Interpersonal / Human Relations Skills Secretaries Require For Effective Job Performance In Industries

Project and Seminar Material for Secretarial Administration

Interpersonal / Human Relations Skills Secretaries Require For Effective Job Performance In Industries


Abstract


This study focused on interpersonal/human relations skills secretaries requires for effective job performance in industries. In the course of the study, related literatures were reviewed. A total of 105 copies of questionnaire for both bosses, secretaries and customers was drawn up and administered in selected firms in Enugu Urban and the information gathered were analyzed. It was realized that to be sufficient on-the-job, the secretary must possess or be acquainted with some personal qualities/characteristics that will make her quite unique in the office. The data emphasized that the secretary must possess such technical skills as public relations skills, machine operation skills, shorthand and typewriting skills in order to meet up with the trend of the business world. Moreover, it was found that both the bosses, secretaries and customers perceived the interpersonal/human relations skills as very important. Based on the findings and discussion, recommendations were made.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Human Relations refers to a management tool that is concerned with the integration of people into a work face. It is the study and application of knowledge about human in an industry as it relates to other systems.

Human relations come about at the early stages of industrial Revolution on the 18th century when land, labor, capital and entrepreneur were the focus of industries as a means of serving community interest. The objectives and goals of industries/organizations later transformed to relationship and finally to human relations concept.
A group of researches organized by Elthen Mayo (1927 – 1932), established human relations in industries to motivate workers, ensuring cooperation and maximum production for their survival in a dynamic business world, thus escaping the dehydrated or depersonalized atmosphere of the work place or industry. The neoclassic therefore, rate human relations as the fifth important factors of production. The secretary helps in the achievement of the above goal as she is well equipped by her training to carryout functions that ensure harmony amongst people and create good organizational image. Experience shows that some employers who have acquired the necessary technical skills in respective occupational fields have failed in their job because of their poor attitudes and lack of their interpersonal/human relations skills.

Secretaries are therefore, someone who carryout official duties with a good sense of relatively and a realization that things, have order of importance and the skills in discovering what this order is, by keeping abreast with colleagues, the boss and the customers thereby maintaining a cordial relationship amongst members of the organization, enhancing its efficiency and boosting the image of the organizations to the public.

A secretary and indeed every employee should develop human relations skills as it will make for human relations skills as it will make for harmonious existence among the workers of an industry, thereby increasing productivity and makes the secretary to last and progress on the job.

Since the human specie inhabited the earth centuries ago, their behavior has been a subject of public discourse and compared to the applied science, the study of human behavior is relatively new

Industries exist to achieve a set objectives or goals. In accomplishing the broad objectives of the industry, the individuals involved also attained objectives that are of great importance to them.

In order to understand people, we need to consider the whole person. The human being is total person influenced by input received from external factors. For example, family, schools, trade associations, political associations etc, the secretary in dealing with people must consider the impacts of these forces on the workforce.

It thus, becomes imperative to recognize that individuals are much more than a productive factor, they are citizens members of a social system in any industry and they vitally influence demand and supply.

In recognition of this, it is then believed that there is no average person people are unique in their own ways, they play different roles, they have different needs, different ambitions, attitude, different levels of knowledge and skills and different potentials, it then becomes imperative for the secretary to recognize these unique differences in human behaviors.

Hence good human relations/interpersonal skills of secretaries ensure good quality in both human and material resources in industries. Interpersonal skills breed harmonious co-existence which ensures organizational and industries efficiency that leads to organizational success. Society that lack human relations oriented secretaries would find it difficult to attain her desired objectives hence this study.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The secretary can be looked upon as a vital link in an organization, an image makers, more that than that, she is expected to carry out nearly a thousand different activities in assisting the executives (Wikdall 1958). The inability of some secretaries to meet up with these expectations has brought frustration to their bosses. This has equally raised quarrels between the secretary and her boss, other employees, customers and the public of which the reason might be lack of interpersonal/human relation’s skills. This might results from the defectiveness of the academic curriculum and the secretary being the nerve center of the organization requires interpersonal/human relations skills to function effectively. More often than not, these interpersonal/human relations are not found in the secretaries. These among others necessitate the need for this research work.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this research is to find out the interpersonal/human relations skills secretaries required for effective job performance in industries in Enugu urban specially the study sought:

  1. To assess the Information and Communication Technology skills for interpersonal human relations needs of secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban.
  2. To assess the human relations skills for interpersonal Human Relations needs of secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban.
  3. To assess the Administrative/managerial skills for interpersonal Human Relations needs of secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban.
  4. To assess the reprographic technology skills for interpersonal Human Relations needs of secretaries in Industries in Enugu Urban.
  5. To assess the micrographic technology skills for interpersonal Human Relations needs of secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban.

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 interpersonal Human Relations skills of the secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban?
  2. What are the human relations skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of the secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban?
  3. What are the administrative/managerial skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of the secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban?
  4. What are the reprographic technology skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of the secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban?
  5. What are the micrographic technology skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of the secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban?

1.5 Hypotheses

The following hypotheses have been formulated for this study and were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

H01: There is no significant difference (p<0.05) between the mean responses of Chief Secretaries and Deputy Chief Secretaries on Information and Communication Technology skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban.

H02: There is no significant difference (p<0.05) in the mean responses of Chief Secretaries and Deputy Chief Secretaries on human relations skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban.

H03: There is no significant difference (p<0.05) between the responses of Chief Secretaries and Deputy Chief Secretaries on administrative/managerial skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban.


1.6 Significance of the Study

Secretaries play vital roles as to the promotion of production efficiency and attainment of the organization’ objectives. This research work will then be significant to the management and staff of industries in Enugu urban and also to other organizations in Nigeria. They will be able to harmonize their interpersonal/human relations as this would help to avoid conflict in the organization.

Practicing secretaries would as well benefit since they would be acquainted with the interpersonal/human relations skills they require for effective job performance.

Additionally, it will provide guidelines on how to deal with problems arising from secretary-boss relationship. As it will encourage the boss to perceive the secretary in a positive light and evolves policies that could integrate secretaries into management team hence facilitate job satisfactions and improve the performance amongst secretaries.

The result of this study would be useful to the secretary, colleagues as it will advise on the ways relationships between these people can be enhanced for achievement of the organizational goals.

The customers to the organization would also benefit from the study as they become aware of the significant of good interpersonal/human relations and why secretaries respond the way they do at times.


1.7 Delimitation of the Study

This study is limited to industries in Enugu urban. The study is limited based on the fact that there is no time and material resources to see to the whole industries in Enugu state.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations

This chapter presents the summary of statement of problem, procedures adopted in conducting the study and major findings of the study. Also presented in the chapter are conclusions, recommendations based on the findings of the study, implications of the findings and suggestions for further studies.


Summary of Findings

Based on the data collected and analyzed the following major findings of the study on interpersonal Human Relations skills needs of secretaries in industries are:

  1. 13 out of 19 items on the Information and Communication Technology skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries were agreed to as needed by the respondents with means raging from 3.50 – 4.67.
  2. All the nine items on the human relations skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries in industries were agreed to as needed by the respondents with means ranging from 3.88 – 4.68.
  3. 15 administrative/managerial skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries were in strong agreement with the opinions of the respondents (secretaries). This was with means ranging from
    3.61-4.79.
  4. Six of the seven items on the reprographic technology skills needed for interpersonal human relations of secretaries in industries were agreed to as needed by the respondents with means ranging from 3.52-4.45.
  5. All the five items on micrographic technology skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries in industries were agreed to as needed by the respondents with means ranging from 3.86-4.41.
  6. There was no significant difference between the mean ratings of Chief Secretaries and Deputy Chief Secretaries on the Information and Communication Technology skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries.
  7. There was a significant difference between the mean ratings of Chief Secretaries and Deputy Chief Secretaries on the human relations skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of executive
    secretaries.
  8. There was no significant difference between the mean ratings of Chief Secretaries and Deputy Chief Secretaries on administrative/managerial skills needed for interpersonal Human Relations skills of secretaries.

Implications of the Study

The findings of this study have implications for the administrators (management), secretarial staff in both private and industries and secretarial education students.

The study has provided information on the interpersonal Human Relations skills needed by secretaries in industries. The study implies that the interpersonal human relations identified will enhance the job performance of secretaries in their office procedures and operations. The findings have implications for administrators or management in those public and private establishments. Interpersonal Human Relations skills is essential for high productivity in the face of changing social values and staff expectations. It is therefore imperative that these administrators in industries to provide adequate training opportunities and create enabling environment for serious office work for the secretaries and also gives them privileges for further retraining in their careers. Secretarial staff should be encouraged by making sure that they are allowed to attend conferences, seminars and workshops as to keep abreast of the new happenings in their area of specialization and also to discuss freely with their professional colleagues on the emerging areas of Information and Communication Technology. The findings will also help the secretarial staff to know when and where to go for interpersonal Human Relations skills programme in order to build up their skills and knowledge.

The findings of this study have some implications to secretarial education students. It will help them to expand their study activities as to keep abreast with recent developments in Information and Communication Technology so that they could be equipped with requisite skills and knowledge. It would also help them to make personal effort in acquiring new skills and knowledge that their career demands rather than waiting for their teachers to teach them.


Conclusions

The study concludes that there are interpersonal Human Relations skills needed by secretaries in industries in Enugu Urban which provides better performance in their office procedures and operations. The study is also of the view that interpersonal Human Relations skills needed by the 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 secretaries in industries are given opportunities for interpersonal Human Relations skills 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.


Recommendations

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

  1. The administrator in industries should endeavour to afford their secretaries interpersonal Human Relations skills 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 (interpersonal Human Relations skills) as to create enabling environment for 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 industries should be ready to sponsor the 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 secretaries should be based on merit and frequent submission for interpersonal Human Relations skills 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 interpersonal Human Relations skills not minding the inconveniences it might caused them.
  6. Secretarial staff training schools should be established, well furnished with adequate modern machines and equipment with qualified personnel for the retraining of the secretaries in both private and industries.

Suggestions for Further Studies

  1. The study can be replicated in other States of our country to assess the interpersonal human relations needs of secretaries in industries.
  2. A similar study should be carried out to identify the interpersonal Human Relations skills needs of other cadres of secretarial staff in either public or private organizations.
  3. A study should be carried out to determine the staff development needs in the era of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

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