The Challenges Of Modern Automation On The Job Performance Of Secretaries In Financial Institutions
This study was carried out to examine the challenges of modern technology autonomy on the job performances of secretaries in financial institution using Guarantee Trust Bank, Ijebu-ode as a case study. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of secretaries and clerical staff in selected branches of GTB in Ijebu-ode, Ogun State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 39 respondents and 35 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores, while the hypothesis were tested using Chi-square statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that; there is significant relationship between modern office technology and secretaries productivity. The study also revealed that the ever changing work environment will significantly enhance secretaries productivity. And secretaries will significantly appreciate changes in modern technology. The findings further show that the use of automated equipment influences secretaries in-job effectiveness and efficiency. Therefore it is recommended that organizations should involve the secretaries in deciding the kind of technological device they wish to procure since the latter are going to use them. And secretaries who lack adequate knowledge and skill in the usage of modern office technology/equipment should be retrained to fit into the current trend of technological advancement for effective performance.
Keywords: Office, Automated Office, Secretaries
1.1 Background of the Study
Work was the major activities of man before the industrial revolution, that was the period marked with mechanization of work, presently computer is representing mechanization thereby turning the work into automation. The 21st century has witnessed a lot of advancement both in science and technology. This advancement has been growing rapidly since the end of the Second World War both in manufacturing, aviation, medicine, engineering, finance and administration, such advances has affected adversely in all aspects of life. This technological advancement includes the modern office automation which we use in our day to day activities in the business organizations (Ajayi, 2000).
However modern automation in all works of life does not exempt secretarial productivity. The required unchanged while the procedure continues to change as more and more sophisticated machines are introduced in the office.
The impacts brought about the invention of the new office machines are immeasurable many of those office automation out-ways the secretaries performance due to their effectiveness, speed and time saving. The introduction of most office automation might go as far as costing secretaries their jobs as a result of limited numbers being employed (Merony, 2001).
The fear of cost of craftsmanship as new product (automation) replaces the old ones becomes the issue at stake. Consequently, the issue of bearing extra cost in training and retraining secretaries to get accustomed with these inventions becomes a problem. There is apprehension in offices by secretaries as to what is t heir fate due to inventions and innovations in modern technologies. The computer has been invented to do many things that are hitherto done by the secretary. A chief executive can stay in his office or room to make flight and hotel reservations. He can manage information. He does not need any knowledge of keyboard to input his information. He can now use a pen to input his letter or document on the computer and with internet facility and with efficient server he can send his mail and receive reply. He can store, edit, retrieve and print his information.
However, the secretary’s roles and personal attributes still make him somebody to reckon with in the office and in the organization.
There are wide range of office machines and equipment which now enable secretaries to improve their performances. Such new machines take the form of electronic typewriters that have replaced the manual ones. Word processors with multi-purpose facilities, computers and other sophisticated office machines and equipment are now provided by employers. Some of the physical equipment used by secretaries includes computer communication equipment and electronic pocket organizers (Lucas, 2007). New technological equipment that has altered the procedures and technique for office functions include the computers, electronic mail/commerce, voice mail, and the internet. A secretary is an office-staff who combines the mastery secretarial skills of typewriting and shorthand with office routine functions. Automation is an innovation and a consequence of the industrial revolution. It is a collection of methods for controlling machinery and production processes by mechanical method, usually with electronic equipment. Spencer (2001) defined automation as the process of replacing human work with work done by machines or system designed to perform a specific combination of action automatically or repeatedly. Mayer (2007) defines a secretary as an executive assistant, who possesses a mastery of office skills, demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility with or without supervision, exercises initiatives and judgment and makes decision within the scope of assigned authority. It means that a qualified secretary should have a wide knowledge of business acumen, versatile knowledge in accounting, personnel, office practice, and communication and inside knowledge of the operation of all departments within the organization where he works, unlike a half-baked secretary who possesses only knowledge of shorthand, typewriting and basic office practices. The advent of the word processor has helped to make the secretarial career path cleaner. For a secretary to be employable in an automated office, Merony (2001) believed that such a secretary must be well versed in the following specific automated office equipment training:
- The concept and theory of specific automated office equipment.
- Knowledge of the categories of equipment and their intended uses and differences.
- The skill to use resources or reference materials properly.
- Hands-on equipment training, etc.
The success of the newly introduced equipment depends on people, procedure and equipment (PPE). Automation can only be successful if a careful study is carried out to assure the need of the equipment and the financial resources available for the purpose. It is important to note however, that technology is not static; therefore it is essential that while planning to equip the office with modern technology, great care should be taken of the changing nature of technology. As such finance should not be invested into technology that is likely to become obsolete in a short time. It is believed that for new equipment to be installed in any organization, it has to win the good will of the staff, since they are the ones to use it. By getting the good will of the user staff, the introduction and procedures will be accepted and effective.
An automated office, undoubtedly, offers new roles and responsibilities for the secretary. Such new roles presuppose that additional training and qualifications are required from the secretaries. The relevance of automation in business was identified by Aromolaran (2003) as follows
- Creating a distinct career path for the secretary.
- Automation creates a prominent place for the secretary on the organization chart.
- It creates routine and assigned roles for the secretary.
- With automation the secretary now spends less time in correcting, revising, proof-reading and reproducing documents.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The world is undergoing a rapid change due to the innovation of modern automation. The evolution continues and financial institutions in Nigeria, in order to cope with the modern age needs to know the effects of all these automated machines on staff output. What are the effects of these changes on the productivity of secretaries in the office, his or her ability to cope, his/her job security, her relevance to the office work for which she is employed and moreover, the training which is to prepare her to meet the challenges of her ever-changing work environment.
For financial institutions to equip their office with modern automation they need enough capital to import these machines since they are not produced in Nigeria. Modern office automation as we know needs expertise as regards to repair and like air-conditioned room, isolated pace and wide space. It is against this background that this study seeks to investigate into the challenges of modern automation on the job performance of secretaries in financial institutions with specific reference to Guarantee Trust Bank, Ijebu-ode.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to access the challenges of modern technology autonomy on the job performances of secretaries on financial institution with reference to Guarantee Trust Bank, Ijebu-ode.
However, specific objectives include:
- The identification of personal characteristics of respondents in the study area.
- The evaluation on the effect of automation on job effectiveness of secretaries.
- Identification of the problems of automation for secretaries in changing business environment.
- Suggestion and recommendations for policy makers land stakeholders.
1.4 Research Questions
This research is aimed at finding answers to these questions.
- What are the effects of modern office automation on the productivity of secretaries in GTB, Ijebu-ode?
- What are the problems secretaries’ encounters in using that automation?
- What type of modern office automation used in our offices today?
- What are the recommendations on how the secretaries can make maximal use of this office modern automation?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- H0: There is no significant relationship between modern office technology and secretaries productivity.
H1: There is significant relationship between modern office technology and secretaries productivity.
- H02: the ever changing work environment will not significantly enhance secretaries productivity.
H1: The ever changing work environment will significantly enhance secretaries productivity.
- H03: Secretaries will not significantly appreciate changes in modern technology.
H1: Secretaries will not significantly appreciate changes in modern technology.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The research is carried out in the sense that its findings will reassure the secretaries who think their skill is no longer useful in the office as a result of the introduction of new modern automation. This ought to be done in order to boost their morale and increase their productivity as well. It will also be useful to both practicing secretaries and secretaries to be, not to fear about the future prospect of their profession, the study will also be very handy to various institutions where secretaries are trained to design healthy training programs for secretaries in schools so that experience gained will be useful in the world of work if all the study will be immensely important to the general public especially the financial institutions to appreciate the best way to make sue of automation available to them.
1.7 Delimitations and Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study is based on the financial institutions in Nigeria with specific reference to Guarantee Trust Bank in Ijebu-ode. The study would have best been carried out on the financial housed in financial housed in Ogun state but for time and financial constraints.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on the challenges of modern technology autonomy on the job performances of secretaries in financial institution using Guarantee Trust Bank, Ijebu-ode as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was on the challenges of modern technology autonomy on the job performances of secretaries in financial institution using Guarantee Trust Bank, Ijebu-ode as a case study. The study is was specifically set to identify the personal characteristics of respondents in the study area, evaluate the effect of automation on job effectiveness of secretaries, identify the problems of automation for secretaries in changing business environment. And make suggestion and recommendations for policy makers land stakeholders.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 35 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were secretaries and clerks in selected branches of GTB in Ijebu-ode, Ogun State.
In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.
- Modern office automation enhance the productivity of secretaries in GTB, Ijebu-ode as it helps in time-saving, retention and storage of information, and make tasks easier and enables efficiency among many others.
- There is significant relationship between modern office technology and secretaries productivity.
- The ever changing work environment will significantly enhance secretaries productivity.
- Secretaries will significantly appreciate changes in modern technology.
- The problems secretaries’ encounters in using that automation include; lack of good background knowledge of new technologies by secretaries, inadequate skills, lack of information technology facilities, inadequate training being given to trainee secretaries, and lack of constant and alternative power supply.
- The types of modern office automation used in the offices by secretaries include; computers sets, fax machine, printers, photocopy machines, and scanners.
- To maximize the use of office modern automation by secretaries, it is imperative to ensure provision of modern technologies for secretaries, training and retraining of secretaries on the use of new technologies, constant and alternative power supply, good background knowledge of new technologies by secretaries, and self-motivation by secretaries towards acquiring new knowledge of modern technologies.
Based on the findings the researcher recommends;
- Both government and private organizations should procure adequate modern office technology/equipment to enhance the productivity of their secretaries.
- Organizations should involve the secretaries in deciding the kind of technological device they wish to procure since the latter are going to use them.
- Secretaries who lack adequate knowledge and skill in the usage of modern office technology/equipment should be retrained to fit into the current trend of technological advancement for effective performance.
- Organization should ensure performance monitoring of the secretaries in the use of latest communication office equipment: Performance monitoring involves an in-depth analysis of a process or project, to determine whether it is efficient and efficacious. It involves developing criteria, conducting interviews and examining documentation to determine how the process or project is conducted. Additionally, Compliance monitoring and compliance auditing aim to establish whether a process or procedure is carried out in conformance with pertinent external requisites, whether set through legislation, regulations or directions.
- Generally secretaries should undergo regular training on the usage of new technological gadgets in order to enhance their skill and keep them abreast with the technological dynamism in the 21st century.
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