An investigation into the training requirements for executive secretaries in public institutions.
1.1 CONTEXT OF THE STUDY
The introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria has posed a significant threat to all aspects of the Nigerian economy. This has demanded that executive secretaries stay updated of contemporary technology as it pertains to office operations and processes. For executive secretaries to contribute effectively and efficiently to the attainment of the organization’s goals and objectives, they must be continuously retrained and provided with a learning environment in order to get familiar with new office difficulties. There is no doubt that technological innovation has changed and transformed the way executive secretaries perform their duties. Through in-service training programs, one can get a knowledgeable and effective executive secretary. To be adequate and sound, an in-service training program should consist of three phases: pre-service training, on-the-job experience training, and in-service training (Diraso, 2007). In-service training is a lifelong process in which an employee continually learns and adapts to the changing demands of his employment. This is accomplished through reading books, journals, and magazines in his area of expertise, conversing with coworkers and superiors on subjects related to his job, and attending seminars and conferences in his field. The objectives of in-service training include updating employees’ professional knowledge, abilities, and competencies and expanding their expertise in two areas of specialization (Itotoh, 2009). Itotoh stated that such areas may include the following: writing, editing, production, and distribution of correspondence (publications), maintaining all corporate books and accounts, receiving and disbursing funds (finance), assisting in the recruitment of new members by promptly responding to telephone and e-mail inquiries, maintaining all membership, maintaining all records and filing all forms (regulatory), and fluency in HyperText Markup Language (computer literacy). According to Osuala and Okeke (2006), training entails providing employees with directed experience that enables them to fulfill their job responsibilities more effectively. If the training is effective, the employee’s attitudes, work habits, and performance will change. Based on the preceding definitions, one may conclude that in-service training is the process of acquiring skills through reading professional literature, attending conferences, and participating in workshops in order to perform wonderfully and increase workplace productivity. Aminu and Ibeneme (2005) described in-service training as a planned effort to improve an employee’s abilities, knowledge, and attitude in order to gain qualitative and quantitative output from the employee. There is a need for in-service training when workers or employees cannot keep up with new techniques and developments in their respective fields. They argued that in-service training is a well-planned and structured attempt to modify an employee’s behavior and enhance their acquired abilities so that they can perform to an acceptable level on the job. 3 In-service training is an indispensable component of organizational management. This is due to the fact that it is an investment in people and its purpose is to enable the staff to learn more information and better practices, resulting in an enhanced standard and quality of work, and to contribute to the employee’s job happiness. In an age of rapid technological change, the importance of in-service training for employees cannot be overstated; therefore, it should be promoted, organized, and a constant activity (Ofordile, 2007). Several authors, such as (Onah, 2003) and (Mahapatra, 2002), among others, have emphasized the importance of in-service training as it increases both the quality and quantity of output, fosters self-confidence and good judgment, and develops a positive orientation towards work. In-service training is vital in organizations, particularly in the dynamic environment in which executive secretaries operate. Mahapatra (2002) observed that in-service training is necessary in public institutions in order to develop and sustain the service quality and standard of workers and the organization as a whole. Therefore, executive secretaries need proper training so that they may confidently undertake more diversified and demanding tasks. He asserts that the organization’s aims and objectives will be met through the motivation, dedication, quality of work, and abilities displayed by the training personnel in their work environment. He argued vehemently that in-service training is crucial to ensuring that the organization’s employees are prepared to assume their responsibilities. Bryson (1990) argued that the fundamental goal of every firm is to fulfill a set of human resource management responsibilities. 4 This is accomplished through enhancing the performance of organization members in order to attain a predetermined goal or purpose. This is due to the fact that the productivity or success of any particular firm depends heavily on the caliber of its employees. Thus, this can be accomplished through the development and management of human potentials that serve as the backbone of the business. If the workforce is adequately developed, their knowledge, abilities, and competence can help the organization achieve social and economic heights that are enviable.
The purpose of training and development is to guarantee that the organization has a competent and qualified staff to fulfill current demands and that new skills and knowledge are created to meet future needs. This in-service training program could be accomplished by university attendance, participation in relevant conferences, seminars, symposia, and workshops. Additionally, through study leave, self-tuition, the utilization of online programs, and the assumption of new tasks (Ade, 2007).
1.2 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
The expansion of technological progress to all areas of human effort. Offices are continually upgraded through the use of cutting-edge technology and methods. These factors impact the executive secretary and his career. The problems posed by new techniques and technologies necessitate substantially more responsibilities and enhanced job performance from executive secretaries. 6 The purpose of providing executive secretaries with on-the-job training is to help them grow professionally and stay current of new information and technology in office procedures and operations. However, Mahapatra (2009) has noticed that public institutions simply pay lip service to the in-service training of its employees, and this explains for personnel deficiencies such as poor job performance. Gbosi (2008) asserts that while in-service training does occur, it is haphazardly administered, inadequately supervised, and poorly organized. Ofordile (2007) notes that in-service training programs continue to be constrained by insufficient funding. This is because retraining personnel in a public establishment is deemed costly in terms of time and staff upkeep during the program. He argues that the employees’ reluctance to be retrained, as well as the disinterest of some staff with extensive experience in in-service training programs that do not carry any weight for the purpose of evaluation, undermines the effectiveness of retraining as a means of altering organizational behavior. In addition, management is unable to recognize the in-service training requirements of its staff. In general, the workforce is underutilized and underutilized; as a result, its contributions to the achievement of organizational goals fall short of expectations. If these deficiencies are not adequately addressed, they will lead to poor performance, trouble achieving corporate goals and objectives, lack of individual development, etc. These irregularities must be rectified immediately for the businesses’ and their employees’ benefit. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the training needs of executive secretaries in Kaduna State’s governmental institutions.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study’s primary purpose is to investigate the required in-service training for executive secretaries in Kaduna State’s public institutions. In particular, the study aimed to:
Determine the Information and Communication Technology abilities required of executive secretaries in Kaduna State’s public institutions.
2. Determine the administrative/managerial training needs of executive secretaries in public organizations in the state of Kaduna.
Determine the effect of ICT skills on the performance of executive secretaries in the state of Kaduna.
1.4 RSEARCH QUESTIONS
The research will be guided by the following research questions to attain the stated objectives:
What Information and Communication Technology skills are required of executive secretaries in Kaduna State’s public institutions?
What are the administrative and management training needs of executive secretaries in public institutions in the state of Kaduna?
What effect do ICT skills have on the performance of executive secretaries in the state of Kaduna?
There is no correlation between knowledge of information and communication technology and the performance of secretaries in government offices.
H1: There is no correlation between knowledge of information and communication technology and the performance of secretaries in public institutions.
1.6 Importance of the Research
It is anticipated that the findings of this study will be of great use to administrators, secretarial personnel, researchers, and students of secretarial education. Administrators (administration): No organization can succeed without training and developing its employees. As a result, the management that reads this study will be able to anticipate the types of in-service training demands of their personnel, as well as the significance of in-service training and the factors that affect its necessity. They could utilize the findings to create and organize staff in-service training programs. Secretarial staff: The executive secretaries will be made aware that adequate in-service training programs enable them to possess the level of intellectual skills necessary to handle the demands of their daily routines perfectly and competently, and that adequate training will contribute to job satisfaction. The results of the study will hopefully inspire additional research on the in-service training demands of other secretarial staff cadres by expanding the frontiers of knowledge on additional in-service training programs. Students in secretarial education might benefit from the study’s conclusions. They would comprehend topics presented more thoroughly and be able to articulate their opinions on concepts encountered in classroom interactions.
1.7 RADIUS OF STUDY
This study, an inquiry into the required training for executive secretaries in public institutions, was intended to cover at least five local government areas in Kaduna state. However, due to time and other unanticipated constraints, only Kaduna North local government was sampled.
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was limited to the in-service training requirements of executive secretaries in Kaduna State’s public institutions. This research was restricted to public institutions in Kaduna North. The survey did not evaluate other public sector personnel in Kaduna State. The ministries represent the geographical diversity of the state’s public institutions.
An investigation into the training requirements for executive secretaries in public institutions.