Administrative Day recognition gift ideas for April.

Administrative Professionals' Day (formerly known as Secretary's Day) is April 25, 2012, are you prepared with the right gift?  When selecting a gift for your adminstrative people, consider what they like, need, and want.  People will always buy what they need if it fits within their budget.  However, some needed items may be seen as only a useful luxury - often professionals will try to get by without them.  What people want are things they desire and find interesting but may or may not be utilitarian in nature.  Which leaves what they like, this requires getting to know someone in order to understand their nature and hobbies in order to select something they might like. Consider the following personal and professional gifting ideas:

A useful gift for an administrative professional will be something that makes their job easier or gives them a better feeling about their job.  This can be personalized stationery or office supplies that they don’t normally purchase.  It can be equipment they would like in order to personally be more effective.  It could be a time management tool to make scheduling, planning, and note-taking easier.  It should be something for their desk or work area that is for their specific use and not for everyone in the department. 

Although training should not be seen as a way to reward people, it is a way to acknowledge that a person wants to grow professionally.  Allow the individual to take a special training course they feel is needed to improve the way they do business.  Encourage individuals to be part of local professional groups and learn from people doing similar work.  Paying for the membership fee is an excellent way to help employees get started with local associations.  IAAP is a great organization for administrative professionals and there are many groups that are specific to different professional areas that may also provide growth opportunities.  Books that help with professional development are also a great business gift, but be sure it is on a topic the individual has expressed an interest in or in an area where a need for improvement gas been noticed.

A gift of recognition or appreciation is enjoyed by most professionals.  This can be as simple as a worded mug, flowers or plant for the desk, a specific award, getting tickets to a special event, or being taken to lunch.  It can also be a reward of a half day or whole day of paid-time off. 

A gift that keeps giving is something decorative for the work area.  This could be a plant in a basket or unique pot, a frame to put a family photo in, coordinated desk accessories, a cute or funny poster, and more.  Be both creative and practical when selecting something for the work area.  But be considerate of what the receiving individual might enjoy and won’t be embarrassed by. 

A personalized gift that meets individual preferences and desires is also a wonderful way of recognizing and rewarding someone.  This requires knowing their interest and hobbies outside of work.  If they are athletic, they might like a nice refillable drink bottle, small bag for toting equipment or clothing, or some small item that fits with their specific sport.  If they enjoy gardening, they may enjoy some new hand tools, multiple packets of seeds, or a flowing plant or shrub they can add to their garden.  Find out what they like by listening to them when they talk about outside activities and later make notes that can be used for future gift purchase ideas.

Gift baskets are often appreciated for recognition and holiday events.  These can be bought already assembled or exercise some creativity and create a unique one.  All the above suggestions can be used to provide ideas for small items to place inside a gift basket.  When picking a basket to place everything in, consider something that can be use in the office for toting office items or at home for personal hobbies.  Or get a canvas tote reusable ecology-related bag from a local office supply or grocery store and fill it up.  The reusable tote can then be used for anything.

See also gift ideas post Giving Green for Recognition during Administrative Professionals Week fore more ideas. 

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