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Analysis of The Occupational Schedules for Secretaries in the Anambra State Civil Service

Attempts are  made in this chapter to review various text books, journals and past research works which are related secretaries in Anambra state civil service.

The review where made  under the  following sub headings:

  1. The secretaries duties and qualification
  2. Qualities of a secretary
  3. The secretarial profession/occupation schedules
  4. Occupational performance
  5. Problems associated with occupational schedules of secretaries.
  6. Summary

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  • THE SECRETARIAL PROFESSION ETHNICS

Most profession in the word today ethics that conduct their relationship with others, so also is  the secretarial profession, Ethnic is  defined by the America Heritage Dictionary (second college edition) as a principle of right or good conduct. It is the study of general  nature of moral and specific moral choices to be made by the individual in his relationship with his or her job. In other words it deals with the rules or standards governing the conduct of the secretarial profession.

Secretarial profession has been reigning around the time of the industrial revolution. According to Anyatonwu (1988) the history of the secretarial profession could be trace to the industrial revolution of the fourteen to sixteen centuries which gave birth to record keeping and invention of manuscript. The beginning of this profession was expedited because created by the new invention. But when theses invocations could not provide a complete answer to smooth business  and office operations, further inventions could be made and these encompasses the act of typewriting.

According to white heading (1981) stated that what ever system of an organization takes whether free enterprises or nationlizated  industry, the main focus of  the organization would be the  head office from which instruction starts and the creation of wealth are being issued here, the secretary plays a prominent role in the head office  where he is made responsible for the handing attendance, keeping officials records and etc.

Supporting this view Ohasanya (1990) declared that a good secretary must help by acting as an inter declared through which the executive initiates and concludes actions. Ethics demand that the secretary should be discreeful at all time and must exhibit a  the job. Even in some of the public sector the way the term “secretary’

Is being used does not indicated professalism because they are misconception the term. Secretary can  be attached either as prefix or suffice, some times it stands on its own. Government recognizes specific categories of secretary which may not apply in most private establishments. For example, some banks designated HND (secretarial study) holders as stenographers where as in the civil service of stenographer used to be a category somewhere lower than secretary such as secretary to finance such as secretary to finance and administrative principal secretary, executive secretary . according to mills, G, stand  in for O. Apple by R.C. (1986).

University graduates of other discipline are employed as administrative officers and also identified as assistant secretary may find himself appointed as a secretary to committee set for some specific proposes with defined terms or references. He has to take down notes at the meeting, develop the note into minutes and finally collect the minutes and  as a result of this misconception attempts have been made by expects to association the professional secretary. The Latin word secretaries  which  means a Pearson entrusted with secrets. The chambers 20th century  dictionary defines a secretary as a person with the job of prepping letters, keeping records, assigning meeting etc for another. A secretary is more seen than head; according national secretaries Association (international) define  secretary as an executive assistant who possesses a mastery of skills, who demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who exercise. Initiative and judgement and who makes decisions within the scope of assigned authority. Edun and Ajetumobi (1986) believed that a personal secretary can be referred to as a person employed to deal with correspondences and perform confidential nature. The secretary was also seen as that class which by training education, grooming the act of records keeping, its secret or confidentially oriented.

In all the views mentioned it would be seen that the secretary is referred most appropriately in line with secret, who also performs secretarial duties for an executive or for someone responsible for a major functional operation he performs work of a confidential nature and relieves her boss of some administrative details..

The secretary  requires discretion, judgement knowledge of organization practices and policy to optimize his performance.

2.3     DUTIES OF SECRETARY

It is a widely held view that behind every successful executive is it in the public or private sector, there is a competent secretary. It is on this point that executives recognize the valuable contributions made by their secretaries.

One of the services rendered by the private secretary is that he acts as the executive standing mirror and other self. This means that the secretary has a very vital role to perform in the organization she takes notes of his departmental meeting and records. According to vinicombe (1980) the secretary is one who assists the executive and performs the following duties.

  • keeping of employer’s diary’

The secretary keeps records of movement of the boss and sets up appointment for him so that it does not conflict or clash with other engagement. He goes through the diary daily and reminds lie boss of his appointment with background notes.

  • Reception duties:

This includes the receiving and entertaining of visitors and the  handling of telephone  calls the secretary screens all visitors to the office throughout the day and directs callers to the appropriate office who could handle their matters. She makes available contribution which may help in  solving a customer is problem.

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( c)     supporters helps and various work programmed and discusses work procedure with the boss. She suggests improvements where necessary; the secretary also helps in supervision of junior workers and she helps in supervision of jobs assigned to workers as well as representing the boss at meeting when he is absent.

(d) Sources of information:

The secretary scouts for information on the current activities of all the  under her boss supervision and send to him any significant developments, make available to him any informal news in the organization that may interest him, she receives the subordinates who attend to them and she scans published materials, especially magazines and newspaper and makes interesting news items available to the  boss. She arrange the mails in order of importance to enable the boss treat those that require urgent attention first. He also researches and  writes reports on some projects as may be directed by her boss. Standard of productivity in his occupation,

Furthermore, shore (1973) also wrote concerning occupational performance can also be affected by the degree of participation encourage by the supervisor and added that both experiment and  correlation evidence showing that high level of  peaticiepation and influence lead to higher productivity while lower levels lead to lower productivity. He proceed also  in his view by  expressing that performance however, is not strictly dependent on the level of  motivation that it is the function on individual capability. He illustrated the relationship in this way.

Performance (Ability/motivation) having the knowledge of the job is an effective key to productivity, and  occupational performance, take for instance, workers do not willing damage working materials or equipment it is rather caused by their poor knowledge of the job. Therefore,  suggestion is that the employer should give their employer propct training  for work efficiency.

  • QUALITIES OF PEASONAL SECRETARY”

For the secretary to perform his duties efficiently the must possess some relevant qualities these qualities can be divided into working qualities.

These are one attitude towards work and ways of doing it. Whether the individual is  working for others or self employed his success and his personal satisfaction can only be attained through good work qualities consist of the following; BY Rachman, David J, and Masco Michael H. (1985)

A       Punctuality.

This is an dage that says that “punctuality is the soul of business”. Work in time and complete the jobs assigned to them on schedule.

A secretary must be in the office before his boss so as to be able to organize the days work and bring up any outstanding matter before the arrival of his boss. According to Omotosho, Jacob N. (1987)

  1. Confidentiality:

A secretary should endeavor to keep all confidential matters confidential careless discussions must be avoided as such could lead to involuntary disclosure of official secrets. The secretary should resist commenting or pressing remarks on official issues, particularly on issues of which knowledge came to him in his capacity as secretary.

  1. Initiative and resourcefulness:

A secretary should make use of his discretion and work on her own invite. Every problem should not be taken to the boss for solution. The secretary should form the habit of thinking out solution to problem at work.  For example, how best to tackle methods of getting job, done. The progress and prosperity of any  organization depends on the creativity and initiative of the secretary almost, a good secretary in some eases offer suggestions, new ideas and better methods of operating and controlling organization activities.

  1. Loyalty:

The secretary must be loyal to his boss, and show much respect for top officers of his organization. She does not need to fear any body, all that is expected of him is respect for constituted authority. This will enhance his relation ship with his boss and others. He should also keep office secretes secret and do normal work assigned to him faithfully

  1. Head work;

This is the most important factor for success in any endeavour. Many people have rise from grass to grace doe to hard work. A secretary should have the willingness and ability to rise early for his work and also spend extra hours in the office during the period of emergencies as well as taken extra responsibilities without grumbles or complaints; these traits are found in hard working

Secretary.

F.     Nearness and accuracy

The value and aim of any work done is neatness and accuracy; a secretary should have a moderate speed and accuracy.

(C) Telephone service:

A good secretary handles telephone calls are effectively, making sure that calls are answered promptly without wasting callers to time. In most cases she directs the callers to the officers who could give the needed information.

(f) Routine secretarial service:

The secretary takes dictation from the boss, transcribes and give sit out for typing and in some cases, he types the letters by himself. This depends on the class of letter and the urgency with which it is needed. According to Austin (1978) the secretary is require to keep a well-organized, up-to data filing system which must meet the needs of confidentiality as well as accessibility and safety. He make sure that the office files and documents are secured from number of hazards.

 

2.4 QUALIFICATION

Secretarially work is basically concerned with shorthand, typing, reading and other secretarial duties . with this it might be assumed that secretaries coming in to work an organization is already competent and fitted to a large extent to become secretaries, gain experience. A good qualification and the ability to define it make a successful secretary. The qualification which make a successful necessary may be discussed in the following heading; formal training of secretaries.

 

  • FORMAL TRAINING OF SECRETARIES

A secretary should have an appropriate educational background. He should hold at least on ordinary National Diploma (O>N.D) in secretarial studies. He may also in secretarial studies. Bachelor of science in Bachelor of science in Business Education or such professional qualifications as charted institute of secretaries and Administration the should be proficient in English language and be able to communicate eloquently, orally and in writing. He should be well-trained in office management system and procedures, office machines and processing techniques specialization in secretarial.

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Administration will be of great help and should be able to write shorthand at speeds between 100 and 50 words per minute and type between 50 and 80 words per minute. Such specialized area like education science offers employment opportunities for the secretary. The secretary should have aptitude for quick understanding and retentive memory in order to fit well in such discipline. He should possess sound current affairs, sound health and knowledge of one local language.

Finally, the job of a secretary is very demanding in time, tedious and requires high level of human and publics relations therefore, a secretary should have good human relations and be prepared to work under pressure.

 

  • OCCUPATIONAL PEAFORMANCE:

The business world has long recognized the need for definite occupational standard as the basis for determining the performance of the worker in the organization. Occupation might be defined as activity that occupies one’s time other permanently or temporality for being creative or productive employment. It involves the use of such office machines as the typewriter and other equipment like transcribing machine and key punch etc.

In addition to possessing secretarial skills, typing and shorthand, there is need to be conversant with the methods of keeping accounts books of company and preparing budgets. He must possess sound practical knowledge of office organization secretarial  practice and the different methods of filing indexing well conversed in correspondence drafting resolution reports and minutes.

besides, the above mentioned qualities the secretary has to possess through knowledge of various technicalities of work done in the organization he serves. He must also possess creation personal qualities to easy on his occupation such being a man of integrity pleasing temperament, fascinating manner, strong commonsense of responsibility and  regard for discipline and a man of sympathy for others and a true sense of justice.

All these above mentioned skill and knowledge enable  the personal secretary to perform his or her function very well and maintain high otherwise his product can not be used. For example, when a work has to be repeated several time such as letter  (mailable), much valuable time including the cost of the paper will be wasted and in this case the boss may not be quick to sign a letter repeated several time probably with serious of mistakes.

g        CASE OF TOOL AND EQUIPMENT:

If a secretary is to get the best out of his tools, she should take proper care of them during and after use. When a secretary discovers any fault which he can not put right during use, an immediate report, should be made and a repairer will be contacted. A lazy secretary always quarrels with his tools.

  1. GETTING ALONG WITH PEOPLE:

For effective and efficient office work to be achieved, secretary should be able to get along well with others. In other  words, there should be exist co-operation and team spirit among him and his colleagues.

  1. ORDERLINESS:

The secretary should be organized at all time: she should plan his work in such a way as to  achieve mavirvum result within a short time. Time should revere be  wasted on trivialities and the must never be jolted by pressure of work. In order words he must be calculated at all times.

PERSONAL QUALITIES:

Qualities are intangible substances that can nether be seen nor hold. The impression we make on others form the basis on which to judge or access our personal qualities.

Therefore, a secretary should endeavor to understand and improve all aspects of his or her personal qualities to provide a favourable impression on his or her employer these personal qualities include the following.

  1. CHARACTER:

This involves  moral principles and  proper sense values which leads to self confidence, self reliance, honesty and courage in all contacts and dealing with other people outside the inside the organization.

  1. TACT AND COURTESY:

A secretary is a public relation officer in his organization therefore he should be  tactful especially in dealing with people and their situation. An effective secretary can cater for people’s problems adequately without necessarily injuring their feeling. He also excises tact in dealing with the executives, customers, callers and also should his boss from unwarranted guests.

  1. POLITENESS:

One of the most cherished qualities of a secretary is politeness. He must be polite at all time and must  wear a cheerful look always  to people he must not allow pressure or complex nature of his job  to  affect his dealing with other people.

  1. LISTENING:

A secretary must be a good listening if he want to understand the message in a speech. This can take place only if there is interest and undivided attention.

  1. APPEARANCE:

A secretary deals with categories of people and in this, his appearance matters a lot in the organization. A secretary should dress in a way that will enable him carry our his duties effectively.

  1. SINCERITY:

People are usually take at their words, a secretary by all standards is expected to be sincere and should be guard against pretence and dishonesty in his relationship with colleagues and the public.

  1. ENTHUSIAM

Enthusiasm creates a situation that is conducive to  efficient and pleasant work and keep one from any emotional outbursts, this factor contributes to a sound personal development of a secretary.

 

  • PROBLEM ASSOCIATION WITH SECRETARIAL DUTIES:

Problems used to exist in fields of operation eg. Managerial Administrative, today, marketing, surveying and other professional operations. So also  their are some problem associated with secretarial duties.

These problems are referred as bad working condition. A bad working condition is reveal a friend to any worker especially secretarial staff. Instead it helps to discourage him and reduces his productivity rate.

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Whitehead (1981) highlighted more on this good working condition raise the productivity”.

Lack of office equipment is another major problem associated with secretarial duty.

J- etal (1979) said that the typewriter is an indispensable item of equipment in the office. A secretary can not perform his secretarial duties fine without typewriter and other office equipment.

Lack of knowledge of secretarial skills like typing and shorthand and other secretarial caurses is and another problem associated with secretarial duty.

Whitehead (1981) highlighted that when typewriter is in the hand of specialist, it can produce letters of good appearance, neat, eligible and well displayed, so also if it is placed in the hand of a person that don’t have the knowledge of typing it will be useless.

Pitman (1988) said “shorthand is doing what no machine can effectively reproduce”.

In view of these facts, any secretary not having the shorthand skill can not perform well as a personal secretary.

Inventing new office equipment in an office without innovating new training on the part of personal secretary to operate those equipment is a big problem associate with secretarial duty.

j-etal (1979) said that “ office machinery is rapidly changing and developing and it is important that the  secretary keeps her employer fully informed of the later trends where the secretary fails to inform his employer, the consequence of such will be to the detriment of his secretarial job.

Also lack of recognition lack of functional equipment and good working  environment, lack of motivation for the secretary creates lots of problem which results in low performance by the secretary.

  1. LACK OF RECOGNITION:

Secretaries never appear on organizational  charts either they  have been variably referred to as the obscure members of the organizational isolates. The position of the secretary is commonly observed in almost all organizations, that is little or no recognition. This lack of recognition reassured our universities  to carry out more studies and researches to determine appropriate position meant for the secretary on the organizational chart.

  1. Lack of Functional Equipment and good working Environment functional equipment and good working environment are very desired secretarial service in every office, but in most cases it does not occur in most organization. The absence of the necessary equipment such as modern electronic or electric machines good filling cabinets and standard office tables etc, prevent the secretary form performing his job. In many cases the secretary is not provided with the appropriate office space. She is cramped in a poorly ventilated room. When providing an office for the secretary a conducive environment should taken into consideration.

 

  1. LACK OF MOTIVATION

The subject of human motivation adopted to achieve occupational performance becomes vital when never there is a goal oriented activity. According to Ejiofor (1989) motivation is  the process of work for desired by the motivator . motivation influences the performance of  the secretary and she can produce more if he ears more. Motivation could come in teams of money more education provision or residential accommodation, transport allowances or allowances for the provision of certain needs.

General motivation is accepted by means of stimulating the working secretaries to achieve greater productivity.

Most organization headily provide the above incentives for their secretaries it is often noticed that some chief executives of some organizations do not see the need to give car loans to the secretary no matter his status.

 

  • SUMMARY

The literature review reveals that secretaries age needed in every organization or establishment, be it government ministries, private and public organization.

However, secretaries are not fully engaged in many organizations, based on this, it was erratically analyzed starting with definition of secretary his contribution to the success of the organization or his employers, his qualities utilization and motivation. The various misconceptions about the secretary were also highlighted and this should show that not every person who was able to attend to visitors or seat behind at typewriter has claim to be secretarial profession.  The modern secretary is qualified in teams of training having acquired a minimum of national Diploma in secretarial administration. The problem facing the secretary are bad working condition lack of office  equipment lack of the knowledge and they are not being recognized working facilities are scarcely provided and physical  environment is neglected. Motivational facilities available to the secretary fall below exception and this has result drowsy performance by secretary He lack the interest and also deliberately not doing his work properly.

In conclusion secretaries are in dispersal in any standard office due to their still in managing the  affairs of the office.

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