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Mak Administrative Secretaries equipped with skills and knowledge

  • In General
  • 11 Apr 2017 - 10:12am
  • By Elias Tuhereze
  • 1,231
Mrs Mary Tizikara, The Director Human Resources delivering a presentation titled 'Dealing with Pressure and Stress'

Over 40 Administrative Secretaries serving in the different Units of the University were equipped with valuable knowledge and skills on coping with the demanding nature and ever changing trends in the field of work.

During the Induction Workshop held on 5th and 6th April 2017 at School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-engineering Conference Hall, participants received training focusing on the changing role of an Administrative Secretary. The participants gained multiple skills in multi-tasking and prioritization; effective communication; professional ethics; dealing with multiple bosses, difficult personalities and conditions; customer care services; records keeping and management and time management.

The participants listened to presentations on how to effectively work with others/teamwork, personal development, practical problem solving, conflict resolution, decision making as well as managing pressure and stress.Dr. Wilberforce Turyasingura presenting on  the topic of Team Building and Management,

Opening the workshop, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe emphasized the vital role played by Secretaries in the realization of the University Vision, Mission and Strategic Objectives. He thanked the Directorate of Human Resources for organizing the workshop and urged the Directorate to organize more of that kind for all categories of staff in the University.

According to the Director, Mrs. Mary K. Tizikara, the two days workshop focused on providing important information that would help Administrative Secretaries to align their duties and roles with the institution’s values and behavior. Mrs. Tizikara mentioned. She thanked Makerere University Appointments Board for the support rendered in the organization of the workshop.Ms Naome Namuganga Namulasa contributes to one of the sessions.

Addressing the participants, Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha a Member of Makerere University Appointments Board who represented the Chairperson-Mr. Bruce B. Kabaasa said the induction workshop was the beginning of the holistic process of enhancing professionalism.

“I have listened to the participants and I am happy that this workshop has served the purpose. I encourage everyone to put into practice what you have learned. Let us try to socialize and work with everybody because you are at a work place. Avoid conflicts at work. Always remain conscious regarding your personal credibility. Credibility comes with experience and the professionalism you have on the job,” Dr. Baine Mugisha said.

Dr. Baine Mugisha, the representative of Makerere University Administrative Staff Association (MASA) in Council as well as the Appointments Board used the same occasion to appeal to Administrative Secretaries to join MASA.Mr. Henry Akra presenting about records keeping and management.

In a captivating presentation titled, Dealing with Multiple Bosses, Ms Irene Tino from Uganda Management Institute informed the participants to always remember that there is no bad boss, but one could have a difficult boss. During the discussion, Ms. Tino said that Secretaries should learn how to manage, handle and balance the demands of multiple bosses. An Administrative Secretary with multiple bosses should manage time and prioritise tasks as well as sharing the list of tasks/assignments he/she is working on with the multiple bosses so as to understand his/her workload.

Focusing on Dealing with Pressure and Stress, Mrs. Tizikara said: “Pressure is something that drives you if it is not too much. If pressure is elevated and there is no time for recovery, then stress is felt. Long hours of work can affect your motivation and concentration. Once in a while, pressure is good since it can help one meet a few challenges and keeps the individual on track. Lack of pressure may lead to boredom since the job may become a routine.”

Presenting on Team Building and Management, Dr. Wilberforce Turyasingura, Dean-School of Business and Management at Uganda Management Institute said that the greatest outcomes are achieved as a result of teamwork. He said that with teamwork, individuals work together to accomplish more than what they could have done as individuals, but in an exciting, liberating, satisfying and enjoyable way. He mentioned that to build an effective team, the right people should be selected.Ms Olive Mbabazi, one of the new appointees sharing her learning experience at the closure of the workshop.

“Team building process involves gathering the right people and getting them to work interdependently to achieve high performance levels. If members share a common purpose and recognize that they need the efforts of everyone in the team, then it is teamwork. Working as a team comes with many benefits including: generating new ideas; providing support and help to team members; giving people a sense of belonging; helping them to learn from each other and develop, helping to achieve goals and objectives, experience and responsibility sharing, synergy development and common commitment to goals,” Dr. Turyasingura said.

He also highlighted the seven (7) steps involved in building an effective and cohesive team. These include; clarifying the team’s common goals and purposes, clarifying each person’s role in achieving the common purpose, clarifying the needs of the team’s internal and external clients, allowing conflicts to come to surface instead of stifling, working out effective ways to resolve conflicts based on the needs of the specific teams, not allowing individual interests to override those of the team and celebrating the milestones and success of the team.Ms Joyce Nalwanga(R) receiving a certificate from Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha (L)

Briefing participants on Customer Care and Customer Service, Mr. Ben Mugerwa from Uganda Management Institute explained that good customer service is taking that extra step to help even without being asked. It’s all about attitude and skills. He urged the participants to always communicate with professionalism, be organized, understand their role in the team and be a team player.

 “The level of customer service that a customer expects will depend upon the past experiences and the type of organization they are dealing with. In the public sector, it has been difficult to implement a customer service type in organizations that are typically very process-oriented and usually in non-competitive situation!” Mr. Mugerwa stated.

He said that when the customer care is good, there will be increased satisfaction and increased use of services by the customers since the satisfied customers will tell their fellows. He added that for exceptional customer care; the staff must be professional and knowledgeable, friendly and courteous even when under pressure. He advised the Administrative Secretaries to be helpful, listen to customers, take responsibility and respond promptly to enquiries and problems.

Tipping the participants on Records Keeping and Management, Mr. Henry Akra-Uganda Management Institute informed them that record keeping is a routine activity taken in handling records while record management is the effort taken to handle records. He said that the record content, context and structure should be in order to serve as evidence, should be kept complete and every employee is responsible for managing records.

“When records are created, they have values attached to them; some are short term administrative values while others are long term physical values. Therefore, these values should be known and the retention schedule should be understood, whether to be deleted or retained.” Mr. Akra concluded.Participants pose for a group photo at the end of the workshop.

In a one-on-one interaction with the Mak Public Relations Office team, the participants appreciated the knowledge and skills acquired. Most of them were fascinated by the general slogan "There is no bad boss, but you can meet a difficult boss." They were inspired with the experiences shared on managing a difficult boss.

Delivering the closing remarks, the Director Human Resources, Mrs. Tizikara thanked the staff in the Training and Development Division for organizing the workshop. She equally applauded the team in the Directorate of Human Resources for facilitating the different sessions of the workshop. The facilitators included: Mrs Dorothy Senoga Zake; Mr. Richard Mugisha; Mr. Lawrence Ssanyu; Ms Marvis Kansiime; Mr. Joseph Kalema; and Ms Josephine Apolot Opolot.

The training climaxed with award of certificates and a group photo.

Written by: MAK Public Relations Office

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