A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE FACTORS THAT IMPROVE THE ADVANCEMENT OF SECRETARIES IN BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
It has been observed that the secretarial profession is becoming less popular in recent times. Various schools of thought have trend to offer explanations to this ugly trend. Some attributed it to the nature of this profession, others through that it has to do with the executive who is always bossing the secretary. This course work is therefore aimed at finding out the factors responsible for the advancement of secretaries in business organizations.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Most writers on secretarial duties, secretarial management and office organization have carefully avoided the duties, levels and positions of professional secretaries except for the volume of letter, memo etc. type or minutes and pages of report prepared by them.
Clearly stated, the rules and levels or positions of secretaries are aimed at establishing ideas but it is in an attempt to discover and lay down those rules and lends, which should be followed that we discover some factors that improve the advancement of secretaries in organizations. Some of these duties were not enforced, but a branch of them normally provoke public condemnation and effect their growth. With the unfolding circumstances. The profession is fact acquiring a distinction as one of the most versatile essential services of modern economic communities. Nonetheless, the profession is becoming challenging and too many people perhaps enroll into the ranks as a future prospect. With more technological and industrial development, the secretary shall fully realize his potentials in the country. (Utomi; 1990).
As defined by National Secretaries’ Association (International), a secretary is an executive assistant who possesses a mastery of office skills, who demonstrates the ability to assume responsibly without direct supervision, who exercise initiative and judgment and who takes decision within the scope of assigned authority. With the above definition we can see that the present day secretary is a potential officer. A secretary is indispensable to management and it is true that a good secretary can make an average manager very effective and also a bad secretary can make an able executive very ineffective. (Odenigbo; 1990).
Lack of job description for secretaries has led to the misappropriation of skills unequal distribution of work, low morals, and bored (Appt; 1979). He stressed thereafter, that each secretarial position should be analyzed and task requirements of the job identified for better job description.
Job description of secretarial staff should contain a statement bout what a secretary does on the job and what she knows and should include also other classes of things that are done on the job such as preparation of a venue for meeting provision of refreshments, seeing to the cleanliness of the office which do not actually relate to the basic skills (Mayes and Beach, 1967).
Experience has shown that inspite of all that a secretary does to promote the image of the organization little or even the very boss whom she serves accords her no recognition. Lack of recognition and undefined job role have contributed to the poor self-image of a secretary in the Nigerian society. It is common that anyone who can type is referred to as a secretary by many, despite his not possessing the skills required of a secretary. This misconception of who a secretary is and what she does had led to non-challenging job experiences, law payment and lack of respect by the executive for whom she works. As a result, secretary are either underused or overused by organization without creating any room for their advancement. A situation whereby the advancement and promotion of secretaries depend solely upon her boss does not encourage personal initiative.
It is therefore necessary to look into those factors that effect the advancement of secretaries in our business organizations.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
The position of the secretary in any organization is very distinct. She is very essential and an image-maker of the organization. She is the mirror of her organization while some describe her as the life wire of the organization. Hence it because doubtful if any chief executive can discharge his duties properly without the assistance of a secretary.
Apart from being an administrative assistance the secretary perform such other functions such as clerical and receptionist duties and in some cases does some accounting jobs, which are not quite in line with her job description. The work of the secretary cuts across every aspect of the organization’s activity. As a result of being and all purpose staff, the secretary has been described by some schools of thought as an “unclassified” office personnel who is neither here nor there.