Executive Assistants Celebrate Your Peers’ Success! [Admin Recognition]

Something interesting happened a few years back whereby a group of assistants won a special award from an external vendor. Instead of their co-worker assistants being happy for them, the assistants were wondering “Why didn’t they win the award?” “Why didn’t they get recognition?” (It’s a long story as to why.) My point is that instead of the non-winners congratulating their peers, they were jealous of their success.

Far too often, administrative professionals have a reputation of displaying jealousy. This does not look good in the eyes of management and diminishes the profession. When you are strong and confident within yourself, you should easily rejoice in the success of a peer. Think about yourself. What would you want from your peers? How you would want them to react if you were given an award or recognized for a great job? When we share in the victory of another person, we all win.

This doesn’t mean you have to throw a big party. It means when a peer comes to you and says, “I am so excited; I achieved the completion of an entire 8-week class.” You reply, “Great job! I admire your commitment to your education.” Or if an administrative peer was given a special award within your organization, send a congratulatory e-mail.

Admin-to-Admin Recognitionlife is short journal

Typically management recognizes administrative professionals during Administrative Professionals Week. But what about Admin-to-Admin Recognition? Why not tell your administrative peers how much you appreciate them? Think about the other executive and administrative assistants in your organization. Who helped you over the past year? Who covered for you when you were out sick or on vacation or attending a conference? Who jumped in on a last-minute project? Who taught you a shortcut in Word?

There is no better time to recognize your administrative peers than in the month of April.

Office Dynamics’ Success Store has fun, reasonably-priced gifts including journals, books, tote bags, T-shirts and more. It’s not too late to order your gift and we will gladly wrap it for you!


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31 thoughts on “Executive Assistants Celebrate Your Peers’ Success! [Admin Recognition]”

  1. Gloria von Gesslein

    Thank you for discussing this. I think that is part of the reason why some assistants are not taken more seriously. Drama is left for the movies. Not the office.

  2. Thank you for sharing this article, it speaks volumes about the profession and us. If we learn to celebrate each other’s successes, ultimately, we are celebrating our own because of the community of the role.

  3. I am happy to say that our team of office professionals work well together and support one another well. I have not seen this issue here, but know it exists and have seen it elsewhere. It is an unfortunate part of the human condition. Thanks for bringing this to light!

  4. Katherine Margard

    I couldn’t agree more with all of the comments above. If nothing else, the act of kindness that our recognition of our peers will generate is an increased sense of goodwill with our peers on whom we rely so much! I recently submitted a company recognition for a colleague who helped me move a group of 30+ senior executives for a monthly meeting out of my building and into hers. I cold not have made the new location a success without her help, and she deserved every bit of recognition for her above-and-beyond efforts. As a result, she and I have a really good working relationship. Pay it forward!

  5. I love the positive reinforcement of celebrating peers. It goes along with the three most important words: please, thank you, and sorry. Appreciation leaves a lasting effect and in so many cases, it’s easier to give than to receive. Giving thanks releases all sorts of wonderful chemicals within our bodies, as we know we have just helped to life someone up.

    I shared this post with our EA team today and asked them to share more widely!

  6. Great idea. The staff in my department congratulate each other when an award is given to them at our quarterly meetings and I do the same. It’s nice that peers recognize you for a job well done. It’s great for morale.

  7. I completely agree with this! I see this so many times in my office and I think it comes down to people not being secure in the quality of work they are doing themselves.

  8. I keep a couple different thank you cards in my desk so that when anyone in our company has helped with a project or helped me in some way, I can send them a thank you card right away. I have seen the ugliness that happens when one admin receives a gift and the others don’t. When the executives wanted to create an admin award they thought they should have admin on the committee to decide. There was a large group of admins that said that was a bad idea. A lot of bad office mojo would happen.

    I work with some who believe they don’t need to tell someone thank you for doing their job. Does it really matter? “Thank you” is not a reserved commodity that should ever be kept to a minimum.

    1. Robin – You hit the nail on the head as regard the value of liberal thank yous among colleagues! Your comments regarding the admin award scenario are also very revealing. I was at a company where they faced the same question, and decided that, rather than risk the petty jealousies you described, they would just award a trophy to all the admins as a group. The gesture was so meaningless as to be insulting, and I have rarely had such difficult time putting on a good face as when I had to go up to “accept” that award along with my colleagues. In retrospect, I think it left such a bad taste in my mouth was because the need for a special “admin award” made it obvious that we were not even in consideration for the individual contributor awards being offered to other members of the division; moreover, they didn’t even have the courage to offer a real award to an outstanding admin, because they thought we couldn’t celebrate the success of a colleague with grace and goodwill. It came across as a patronizing pat on the head, and holds special place in my heart of “things I will never do to another colleague”.

  9. Great idea! I can remember once I had a co-worker who told me that I needed to stop taking classes because her boss had found out and wanted her to start…. I told her that was between her and her boss and nothing to do with me!

    Saying “thank you” or “job well done” is SO easy. I try to show appreciation to all those that help me with something. I don’t always get it back, but that is a reflection on those folks – not the work I did!

    Kudos to anyone brave enough to take a step towards growth!

  10. Excellent idea! Our company has eCards which we can be used to recognize someone. I use these to recognize peers and co-workers when they have gone the extra mile in helping me get something important accomplished. I always make sure that I copy their managers. It makes me feel good to acknowledge someone and to make sure their manager knows how much I appreciate their efforts. It also helps to strengthen my business relationships and to build future resources!

  11. Excellent idea! Our company has eCards that can be sent to recognize someone. I use these to thank peers and co-workers when they have gone the extra mile in helping me accomplish something important. I always make sure to copy their manager. It makes me feel good to acknowledge their efforts and strengthens my business relationships and resources!

  12. What a great article! A few years back, I attended a workshop at an IAAP conference that addressed this very concept. The speaker pointed out that many times women do not support other women. Sometimes our worse distractors are other women and jealousy is the root cause. Many times we think by criticizing or bad-mouthing others, we make ourselves look better. In my mind, nothing could be further from the truth. That workshop really impressed me. I am glad to see it addressed in this format. Thanks, Joan, for reminding us we need to be working with each other not against each other!

  13. Excellent idea! Our company have eCards that you can send to recognize someone. I use this whenever a peer or co-worker help me accomplish something and I always copy their manager. First, it makes me feel great to be able to tell a manager good things about their employee and it strengthens business relationships and helps build future resources!

  14. Jean Weaver, CAP-OM

    Hear! Hear! Absolutely celebrate other admins’ successes! I’ve been a member of IAAP for over 23 years and can attest that it is a professional association where members truly want to see other admins succeed. We mentor, nurture, train, support, and coach our other members to excel and we celebrate all the successes!

  15. I love using the internal recognition program that is in place an my current employer, but this article has totally inspired me. I love that you point out that while executives typically recognize their administrative assistants during Administrative Professionals Week, this can be an opportunity for us to recognize each other as well. What a powerful idea – thank you!

    I’m going to start promoting idea on our internal Adminstrative communication channels right away!

  16. It is an amazing feeling when you have the support from your fellow assistants. If you currently are not in an environment that displays this, be the change. You’ll feel good about what you’re doing and others will follow suit with your encouragement.

  17. Fantastic idea and article! It is SO important to support and build each other up because too often life is lurking to knock the stilts out from under you when you least expect it. A kind word or action is never wasted!

  18. I sometimes write a thank you note saying “Thank you for your kindness” and enclose a “Kind” granola bar! Or give them a note with Kudos and a Kudo bar!

  19. I really enjoyed reading this post. I agree…celebrate your co-workers successes. When I talk to someone and they have accomplished something great, I want to know how to do it as well. I often have lunch with people that I admire. I use it as a ‘pick your brain’ session. This helps me expand my skills. Thanks Joan, Jasmine, and the ODI team for all you do!

  20. Giving praise for others accomplishments is as important as receiving it for yourself. In recognizing others for their work, you learn about yourself – what is needed for you to excel and how you can assist others to do their best. As one person improves their performance it helps the entire company move forward in accomplishing goals.

  21. Great article. You are right, we don’t always rejoice. I will have to keep this in mind and make sure I recognize my peers for a job well done.

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