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Secretaries Week

The month of April is a time to celebrate Secretaries Week and to recognize support staff for their accomplishments and contributions to corporate success. Research from Texas A&M University reveals one gift of appreciation in particular that will naturally lift an employee's mood, create a lasting memory and boost productivity. The research demonstrates that flowers and plants enhance people’s ability to generate ideas and solve problems.

“Our study shows that adding flowers and plants to a work environment can be very meaningful to businesses in the modern economy,” said Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., lead Texas A&M researcher. “People's productivity, innovation and creative problem solving, improved – which in certain circumstances could mean the difference between mild and great business success.”

Rebecca Cole, author of Flower Power and host of Discovery Channel's Surprise by Design offers an additional perspective. “Giving flowers is a loud, proud, sophisticated way of saying ‘I appreciate all you do.' They're a great way to build a strong, lasting professional relationship,” said Cole.

Tips for Bosses
A simple "Thank You" can go a long way to motivate your secretary and build loyalty. Secretaries Week offers an ideal opportunity to show appreciation - and formally reinforce the value of an employee's contributions. Here’s a simple guide to help smart managers put the benefits of proper office etiquette to work during Secretaries Week and year-round:-

Use Secretaries Week to find out what motivates your secretary. Conduct a formal or informal survey asking your secretary what kind of incentives he/she value most. This will show your commitment and give you hints on what forms of appreciation they would enjoy during Secretaries Week.

Be open and direct. If you're not sure whether he/she wants to be recognized during Secretaries Week, just ask.

Make "thank yous" personal. Whether you're buying a gift or making lunch reservations, think about the individual. For example, if you're ordering flowers, ask your florist to create an arrangement that fits the recipient's personality. Is that person traditional? Outdoorsy? Dramatic?

Be specific. Tell your secretary exactly what he/she did that you appreciate.

Treat Secretaries Week like a New Year's resolution. Resolve to practice better office etiquette year-round to build your team's confidence and cohesion. Whether it's celebrated with a gift, flowers, or a group luncheon, Secretaries Week is an opportunity to formally acknowledge not only your secretary but members of your support staff for their contributions throughout the year and wipe the slate clean of any forgotten thank yous.

Story Extracted from International Association of Administrative Professionals ©2005
SAF All Rights Reserved.

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