PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES EXPERIENCED BY SECRETARIES
This research is an investigation into the problems encountered by secretaries in some selected business and public organizations in Owerri urban. In pursuance of this investigation, three research objectives were used. The researcher utilized the survey method. The data was gathered mainly through questionnaire. The fifty questionnaires were given to ten (10) selected business and public organizations and the number returned was forty (40) duly completed. The data gathered were then presented, analyzed and interpreted using simple percentage. The researcher made references to books in the library and unpublished articles, which enable some ideas to be deduced, that aided the research work. When the data was analyzed, certain problems were identified which include sexual abuse, insecurity, inadequacy of modern machines, abuse of secretary’s role etc. However, the effects were noticeable no matter where and for whatever reason. Prominent among them was the low morale of the secretary who worked without motivation and incentive. The morale of the secretary will determine the output and this can account for the growth of the organization. Nevertheless, the researcher made some recommendations, which include; financial rewards should be complimented with other incentives. Efforts should be made to provide good working equipment and materials for effective performance. The management should introduce in-service or on-the-job training for workers to improve their services. The authorities should promote their staff as and when due, and increase their salaries at the right time and also pay their legitimate claims to meet up with challenging needs. Workers should be made to understand that the more effort they put in, the happier they would become with their job. The heads of the various departments and their staff should try and have a cordial relationship between them, as this will not only increase the organization’s productivity but also workers will be at peace with their work. Finally, although the researcher encountered the usual handicap normally associated with this type of exercise, she was able to surmount them.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The secretary is beset with a lot of problems in the course of discharging her duties or responsibilities, in both business and public organizations. These problems may arise from both the job environment and from her duties. Thus, the functions of a secretary in both business and public organizations are that of coordinating personnel of various arms of an establishment that pass through her and she is responsible for channeling each of the correspondence to the appropriate office for action. Secretaries are pivots on which management revolves and she is the life wire of an organization. This means that she is expected to be the communication link between the organization and the outside world as well as within the organization. It is her duty to ensure that information is passed across.
Hence, the aim of the researcher in tackling this topic is to identify the numerous problems that faced a secretary in carrying out his or her duties. The researcher will also use this opportunity to recommend a lasting solution to these problems. This topic is wroth investigating because the researcher will attempt to expose the problems and provide solutions to secretarial functions. The topic is worth investigating because the researcher will attempt to expose the problems and provide solutions to secretarial functions. The topic will also be very useful to both the private and public organizations.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems encountered by secretaries have been characterized by a lot of phenomenal changes in recent times. Most of these problems are caused mainly by the management of both private business and public organizations, thereby hindering the activities or duties of the secretary in the organization. Further, it has been noticed that the secretary is faced with a lot of problems such as inadequate provision of facilities, inadequate remuneration, abuse of roles of the secretary and over/under utilization of the secretary. This study is therefore designed to address the problems encountered by the secretary in business and public organizations in Imo State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study is aimed at; i. Identifying the problems encountered by the secretary in the course of discharging her duties in selected business and public organizations. ii. Identifying the effects of these problems on the secretary in particular and the organization in general. iii. Suggesting ways of motivating the secretary to be efficient and effective in the performance of her duties. iv. Making recommendations for solution to the problems of the secretary.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The problems encountered by the secretary when identified could help the public and business organizations to improve the working conditions of the secretary. In the same way, the problems when identified would enlighten the new entrants into the profession to understand that the profession is not free from problems. The study will identify ways of motivating a secretary for optimal performance and better utilization.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
There are numerous business and public organizations in Imo State; the researcher will limit her research to ten organizations. Six (6) business and four (4) public organizations, the six business organizations are:
1. United Bank for Africa Plc
2. British American Insurance Company Limited
3. International Standard Insurance
4. Rank Xerox
5. Rokana Industries Limited
6. Hallmark Bank Limited and four public organizations that include:
1. Ministry of Works and Transport
2. Imo State Sports Council
3. National Electric Power Authority
4. Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL)
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions designed by the researcher will lead her to a definite conclusion.
1. What are the problems encountered by secretaries in the course of discharging their duties?
2. What are the effects of these problems on the secretary in particular and the organization in general?
3. In what ways can an organization motivate the secretary?
4. What do you suggest could ensure effective utilization of the secretary to ensure organizational growth?
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For easy understanding and assimilation of this study, some of the terms in form of constraints are defined below. Thee definitions are used in the context of this write up.
Secretary A secretary is a person who has acquired the basic secretarial skills of shorthand and typewriting plus enough knowledge and practical experience in office work and is able to apply them in practice.
Business All profit seeking activities and enterprises that provide goods and services necessary to encourage economic growth.
Organization A structured process in which people interact to accomplish objectives.
Business organization A group of people or professional body that combine capital and material resources to various goods and services in a more organized way with the aim of making profit.
Public organizations They are statutory corporations established by the act of parliament or by a decree. They are also business units or government (federal, state, local government) whereby by profits are not paramount.
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