Gifts for Admin Appreciation Day & When Not to Give a Gift

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

April 27 2016

In my early 20’s, I was an administrative assistant (Admin) to Paul Zane Pilzer and Alan M. May. Mr. May returned from New York and gave the receptionist that worked for me a beautiful silk scarf for Administrative Appreciation Day, and he didn’t have a gift for me. It bothered me.

I mentioned it to our CFO, and he found out that Mr. May felt that even though my title was Admin, I was a leader in the organization no different from managers and we didn’t recognize managers. It was a compliment of my ability, but more than that it was recognition that Admin’s jobs are important and that making a day to recognize Admins sometimes lessens their role in the organization.

I have always felt conflicted about whether to give gifts for Admin Appreciation Day. I remember how important it was to know that I was respected at a higher professional level than I gave myself credit, yet I did not want my Admin to feel ignored.

There are 2 ways to handle gifts for Admin Appreciation day:

1.    If you don’t do anything special as far as tickets or gifts during the rest of the year, then Admin Day is a good day to show your appreciation.

2.    If you are the type of person that does things to appreciate your Admins during the year, then small gifts for Admin Appreciation Day are appropriate, but it all depends on the attitude of your Admin.

Our entire office simply sends our Admins flowers. I have never had an Admin express disappointment that we didn’t go to lunch or present her with a gift. However, I am the type of leader that shows my appreciation throughout the year. As such, I don’t do anything extraordinarily special on Admin Day, and I am perfectly happy with “Boss’s Day” not being recognized.

If you are going to give a gift, give one that elevates your Admin’s professionalism. Personal gifts are hard to choose and won’t have the memory or value of the gift that makes your admin an even better professional.

My top suggestion is to give your Admin some business cards and a business card holder.

You can check out my Pinterest boards for other ideas.

Under $50

Pencil Pouch: The pencil pouch is back in style and is a versatile gift that can hold pencils, receipts, power cords, and more

Smart Phone Wallet: These helpful wallets attach to a Smart Phone and hold credit cards, cash, etc.

Pencil Set: A nice pencil set is something you would never buy yourself, but is useful.

Under $100

Customized Stationary: You can customize stationary with any design for a useful gift.

Leather Portfolio: Portfolios hold and protect your important papers and are attractive.

Business Cards and Business Card Holder: If your admin doesn’t have business cards, increase her professionalism and importance by giving her company business cards and a business card holder.

Pewter Pen Holder

Planner system: Some people prefer physical planners over digital calendars.

Over $100

Laptop Case: Laptop cases can be both functional and attractive.

Over $200

Mont Blanc Pen: A Mont Blanc is a timeless gift.

Briefcase: A boutique briefcase is sure to be appreciated. You can even add a monogram.

Whether you celebrate your Admin one day a year or all year long, you can show your appreciation anytime with a simple “Thank You.” Happy Administrative Appreciation Day.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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