A couple weeks ago, I heard a story about how an executive and his wife put on a party for their assistant and other assistants in their company. They did all the work themselves and would not let their assistant help with any of it. Seems simple, right? It is, but have you done something like this for your assistant?
This got me thinking about how my bosses have thanked me over the years. From cash, to gift cards, to an extra day off so I could hang with my kids all day – I’ve been blessed to have worked for some great bosses over the years. But I wondered if this was a common occurrence for assistants, so I took to the internet to find out.
Let Me Count the Ways
I hopped on a couple Facebook and LinkedIn groups to ask assistants to share how their bosses have thanked them. In a couple short days, I ended up with responses from over 60 assistants from all over the world.
From wine, to approving professional development training, to handwritten thank you notes, I was so encouraged to hear how assistants were being shown appreciation.
Unfortunately, there were a couple assistants who made comments like, “I’ve never been thanked. Where do you people work?!“ or “Absolutely nothing.” This was a bummer to hear, so I thought I’d write this post to encourage you to thank your assistant.
To be practical, I thought I’d help you come up with ideas for ways you could show your gratitude.
Top 5 Ways to Thank Your Assistant
After going through the many responses, I came up with a quick Top 5 Ways to Thank Your Assistant list, so here it is, along with comments from some of the assistants who have experienced each gift first hand.
1. Hand-write a thank you note.
“The thoughtfulness and time taken out of their busy day will never be forgotten. Sure, I have received more, however, the handwritten card was the best thank you ever.”
2. Give your assistant permission – and maybe even funding – to take an online course, buy a leadership book, or join a training network.
“I was able to advance my career by attending educational programs.”
3. Say thank you…
…in front of others.
“Being publicly thanked in a large meeting for the hard work I put into a project.”
“After a hectic few months with client meetings for one of my stakeholders I got a text that simply said ‘thank you so much, I genuinely have no idea what I would do without you.’”
4. Freedom and flexibility.
“Flexibility in my job. I know that sounds dull but it meant way more to me to be able to work from home when I needed, come and go in my job, and not be micromanaged, than any gift or money I’ve ever received.”
5. Expensive gifts.
“Gold pearl earrings, and an expensive bottle of champagne.”
“A very nice bottle of wine.”
Now, go thank your assistant!
I want to hear from you! Comment on this post to let me know what the best thank you gift you’ve received as an assistant was. For executives, how have you thanked your assistant?