Evaluation On Training Strategies On Emerging Technological Innovations In Secretarial Profession

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Evaluation On Training Strategies On Emerging Technological Innovations In Secretarial Profession


Abstract


This study was conducted to find out the training strategies on emerging technological innovations in secretarial profession in Anambra state. The total population for the study was 150 while the sample for the study consisted secretaries randomly selected from four tertiary institutions in Anambra state, the completed questionnaires was used as an instrument for data collection. In analyzing the data, simple percentage were used. Findings show that:

The findings were among others that the demand in information technology, all Agencies still needed a secretary that will be capable of having general knowledge of office work. That is competency in computers, sense of judgment, ability of having communication skill, concentration on the job, ability to locate documents, ability to be punctual and regular, ability to work under pressure and accuracy. It was also recommended that secretary desiring to work in an environmental protection agency are expected to possess certain skills competencies in their office functions and also expected to use their acquired skills for the efficient productivity in their organization for effective job performance.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms
  • 1.9 Organizations of the study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.3 Sample size determination
  • 3.4 Sample size selection technique and procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of data collection
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the study
  • 3.10 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of hypothesis
  • 4.5 Interpretation of Result

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE 

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The world Technological advancement has ushered in drastic changes in record keeping through the introduction of new office technologies and new methods of communication. Man is an embodiment of change, his life circle is marked with different stages of metamorphosis which when it finally actualizes, adulthood is made secretarial profession, an inseparable bed fellow of management no exception. The secretary has been defined as one entrusted with secrets or confidence of a superior, or employed to handle correspondence and manage, routine and detailed work for a superior. Also Orisananya (1991) put it that, a secretary is a skilled and specialize type of employee in an establishment or part of it who is charged with some aspects of organizational functions in the unit including dealing with people’s correspondence and other business matters, with the above definitions, it can be deduced that the secretary is an important officer in any establishment and that the contribution and effectiveness of a secretary enhances the efficiency of an organization. This is the more reason that the secretary needs a proper training to be able to carry out her functions. For decades now, fast changes have been taking place in all facets of human life including the office environment. Notwithstanding, there is no doubt that advancement in technology has reshaped and transformed the way executive secretaries discharge their duties. The competent and effective executive secretaryship can be obtained through training programmes. For training programme to be adequate and sound it should consist of three phases, namely: training phase, on- the-job experience training phase, and training phase (Diraso, 1992). training is a long life process in which an employee is constantly learning and adapting to new challenges of his job. This he does through reading of books, journals and magazines in his area of specialization, through discussion with colleagues and supervisors on matters concerning his profession and attending courses and conferences relating to his profession. The aims of training include: to update the employees and revamp their professional knowledge, skills, and competencies and to broaden their knowledge of the core areas of specialization (Itotoh, 1996). Itotoh maintained that such areas may include: writing, editing, production and distribution of correspondence (publications), maintains all corporate books and accounts, receives and disburses fund (finance), assists in recruiting new members by responding promptly to telephone and e-mail enquires, maintains all membership, maintain all records and files all forms (regulatory) and fluent in Hyper-Text Markup Language (computer literacy).

According to Osuala and Okeke (2006), training involves providing employees with directed experience that enables them to be more effective in performing the various tasks that constitute their jobs. If effective, the training experiences result in changes in employee’s attitudes, work habits, and performance. From the above definitions, one can now say that training is a means of building up skills through reading professional materials, attending conferences and workshops in order to perform excellently and to bring about high productivity in the work place. Aminu and Ibeneme (2005), defined training as a calculated attempt towards improving quality of an employee in terms of skills, knowledge and attitude with a view to obtaining qualitative and quantitative output from him. training needs arise when workers or employees cannot cope with new techniques and innovations in their professional areas. They maintained that training is a well planned and organized efforts to change the behaviour and to improve on the skills acquired by an employee as to perform to acceptable standard on the job.

Training is a vital aspect of organizational management. This is because it is an investment in people and its essence is to enable the staff acquire more knowledge and better techniques by way of improved standard and quality of work as well as help create job satisfaction for the staff. It should be noted that in a fast changing technological age, the need for employees training cannot be overemphasized, hence, it should be encouraged, organized and be a continuous exercise (Ofordile, 2007).

Several authors such as (Onah 2003), Mahapatra (2002) among others have emphasized the importance of training as it increases both quality and quantity of output, engenders self-confidence and good judgement, develops positive orientation towards work, is very crucial in organizations especially in the changing environment in which executive secretaries work.

Mahapatra (2002) opined that training is essential in tertiary institutions to improve and maintain the service quality and standard of staff and the organization itself. Therefore, the executive secretaries require adequate training so that they can handle confidently more diverse and demanding assignments. He maintain that the goals and objectives of the organization will be achieved by the motivation, dedication, quality of work and skills that would be exhibited by the training staff in their work environment. He strongly posited that training plays a vital role in ensuring that the organization staff are prepared to take on their responsibilities.

Bryson (1990) maintained that every organization has the basic purpose of achieving a set of roles with respect to the management of its human resources.

This is done by improving the performance of members of the organization to achieve a set goal or objective for the organization. This is because the productivity or success of any given organization depends to a large extent on the calibre of the people who work for it. Thus, this can be achieved when human potentials that serve as the backbone of the organization are developed, and properly managed. If the staff are effectively developed, their knowledge, skills and competence can lead to enviable social and economic heights of the organization in its goals accomplishment.

Collins (1994) opined that there should be some constant retraining exercises for executive secretaries in order to be well equipped and up-to-date in their knowledge, attitude and skills. He went further to state that such retraining should be in all areas of secretarial development which include Information and Communication Technology Skills, Human relation skills, stenographic, Communication, Administrative and managerial skills, reprographic, micrographic and electronic record keeping skills. Retraining and developing the executive secretaries in the above areas will enable them to discharge their duties and responsibilities effectively and efficiently and with higher degree of performance.

Agbo (2006), described an executive secretary as an employee who can cope with all the stress and demands of the office in a manner that will ensure her overall control of the crises that may emanate from managing records, communication, information, people and other resources that are intrinsically involved in making office the nerve center of any business organization. Executive secretary is seen as an administrative assistant who is able to cope with the stress involves in his work and who is able to carry out his assigned responsibilities with less or no supervision. tertiary institutions according to Oldroyd (1994) are government owned, financed, controlled and managed organizations. Therefore, an effective and efficient Tertiary institutions is one that has workers who exhibit high levels of job quality performance, high productivity and organizational commitments. According to Cole (1996), training is an activity designed to improve key areas of skills and knowledge. He maintained that development is broader than training because development is centred on increase in knowledge and skills acquisition.

Training and development is designed to ensure that the organization has a competent and skilled workforce to meet present needs and taking steps to ensure that fresh skills and knowledge are being developed to meet future needs. These training programme could be achieved through attendance at University, attendance at relevant conferences, seminars, symposia and workshops. Also, through study leave, self tuition, use of on-line packages, undertaking new responsibilities (Ade, 2007).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Technological advancement has been extended to all spheres of human endeavours. Offices are daily modernized through the use of latest equipment and procedures. These affect the executive secretary and his profession. The challenges of new techniques and innovations demand from executive secretaries much greater responsibilities and improved performances on their jobs.

The essence of providing training for executive secretaries is to enable them develop professionally, keep abreast on new knowledge and technology in their office procedures and operations. However, Oldroyd (1994) and Mahapatra (2002), have observed that tertiary institutions pay only lip service to training of their employees and this automatically accounts for staff inadequacies such as poor job performance. It is in this Gbosi (1999) maintains that where training exists, it is haphazardly coordinated, poorly monitored and organized. Ofordile (2007) observes that training programmes have continued to experience the constraints of inadequate funds. This is because employees’ retraining in public establishment is considered expensive in terms of time and maintenance of staff during the programme. He maintains that lack of willingness by the employees to be retrained and some staff with long experience may not show interest in training programmes that do not have any weight for purpose of assessment and they hardly take retraining seriously as a means of changing behaviour of the organization.

There is also the management inability to recognize the training needs of their employees. The work force is generally under-tapped, under- utilized and therefore falls short of its anticipated contributions to the realization of organizational goals.

Therefore, these above inadequacies, if not properly addressed will result in poor performance, difficulty in attaining organizational goals and objectives, and lack of individual development and so on. These anomalies should urgently be corrected for the benefit of both the organizations and their staff members. It is therefore very significant to find out the training strategies for secretarial staff in tertiary institutions in Anambra state.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The major purpose of this study was an evaluation on training strategies on emerging technological innovations in secretarial profession in Anambra state. Specifically, the study sought:

  1. To assess the Information and Communication Technology skills for training needs of executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.
  2. To assess the human relations skills for training needs of executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.
  3. To assess the Administrative/managerial skills for training needs of executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.
  4. To assess the reprographic technology skills for training needs of executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.
  5. To assess the micrographic technology skills for training needs of executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions have been formulated to guide the study:

  1. What are the Information and Communication Technology skills needed for training of the executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State?
  2. What are the human relations skills needed for training of the executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State?
  3. What are the administrative/managerial skills needed for training of the executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State?
  4. What are the reprographic technology skills needed for training of the executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State?
  5. What are the micrographic technology skills needed for training of the executive secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State?

1.5 Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of this study will be of immense benefit to administrators, secretarial staff, researchers, secretarial education students. Administrators (management): There is no single organization that can do without training and developing its staff. As such this study will provide adequate information to the management that will go through it to get a foreknowledge of the types of training needs of their staff and the importance of training and the condition that determine that. They could adopt the findings to plan and organize training programmes for their staff.

Secretarial staff: The executive secretaries will be made to realize that adequate training programmes enable them to possess the level of intellectuals skills with which they can perfectly and proficiently handle the demands of their daily routines and to understand that adequate training will help to ensure job satisfaction. The results of the study will hopefully stimulate further research on the training needs of other cadres of the secretarial staff by opening the frontiers of information on more training programmes. Finally, secretarial education students would benefit from the findings of the study. They would understand better concepts being taught and be able to express their views about concepts encountered in classroom interactions.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study was restricted to training strategies on emerging technological innovations in secretarial profession in Anambra State. This study was delimited to tertiary institutions in Anambra State. The study did not assess other employees of tertiary institutions in Anambra State. The institutions represent the geographical spread of tertiary institutions in the state.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

This research work is specifically on the training needs of secretarial staff in tertiary institutions in Anambra state. In the limitation on research work of this magnitude or nature can be carried out without limitation. Hence, during the course, certain constraints were encountered.

Cost:

The cost of thorough research is not what can be afforded by a student. The prices of materials needed for this work has gone up and transport fee has also gone up.

Time:

The time was one of the limitations in the process of carrying out this research work.

Scarcity of Literature:

The research encountered some problems in collection of literature especially on the bank History and operations. This are hindered the smooth running of this work.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Secretary:

A secretary is an assistant who possesses the mastering of files, skills on how to manipulate these new office machines in her place of work.

Records:

Writing information down for reference purposes or in other ways like on a disc, magnetic tape, etc.

Technology:

Technology in this case means the modern way or technique for making and doing things. It is those activities directed to satisfy human needs which produce alternative as in the material world.

Etiquette:

A polite social behaviour among people in a class of society or a profession.

Metamorphosis:

Changes in form or character that occur in a person.

Skill:

Ability to do something expertly and well.


1.9 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

This chapter presents the summary and major findings of the study. Also presented in the chapter are conclusions, recommendations based on the findings of the study.


5.1 Summary of the Study

The study was a survey research design, questionnaire was the instrument used to collect data for assessing the training needs of executive secretaries in Anambra in Anambra State. A set of 55 structured questionnaire items was used to gather information from 150 respondents made of both Executive Secretaries and Deputy Executive Secretaries. The questionnaire was validated by three experts from the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Abuja, and its reliability was established using Cronbach alpha formula for determining the internal consistency. Reliability result of 0.99 was calculated for the instrument after its trial test on 20 executive secretaries from Imo State.

The data was collected with the assistance of two trained research assistants (RA’s) and analyzed with the aid of computer using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 16.0 version using mean, standard deviation. The mean and standard deviation were used to answer the five research questions.


5.2 Conclusions

The study concludes that there are training needed by secretaries in tertiary institutions in Anambra State which provides better performance in their office procedures and operations. The study is also of the view that training needed by the executive secretaries in up-dating their skills, attitudes and knowledge should be adequately provided which will enable them to contribute to the realization of organizational goals and objectives. It is evident in the study that when executive secretaries in tertiary institutions are given opportunities for training in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), their job performance in their office procedures and operations are bound to improve considerably as such they are motivated to carry out their office routines cheerfully and remarkably.


5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study and the implications:

  1. The administrator in tertiary institutions should endeavour to afford their executive secretaries training opportunities through which they could be retrained in emergent innovations and techniques in the world of work.
  2. The administrators in those pubic establishments should endeavour to properly organize and coordinate the policy (training) as to create enabling environment for executive secretaries to update their knowledge and skills in this dispensation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
  3. The government who owned, managed and controlled those tertiary institutions should be ready to sponsor the executive secretaries to attend both local and national conferences, workshops seminars and refresher courses in Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics so as to help them build up their knowledge and keep abreast of new happenings in their career and also to remain relevant in their office procedures and operations especially in this era of automated offices.
  4. Promotion of these executive secretaries should be based on merit and frequent submission for training programme for upgrading of knowledge and skills and not on the basis of years of experience.
  5. Secretarial staff should at any time be ready to go for training not minding the inconveniences it might caused them.

Evaluation On Training Strategies On Emerging Technological Innovations In Secretarial Profession


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