Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has cautioned executive secretaries against expressing a callous attitude towards visitors.
By Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has cautioned executive secretaries against expressing a callous attitude towards visitors, and has in that spirit called for courteousness.
“Why are some of you so abusive and like mistreating visitors?” she demanded.
She told over 250 secretaries and administrative assistants meeting at Hotel Africana to stop being rude while handling visitors or risk ruining the reputation of the organization that has employed them.
“Your attitude will impact negatively on the institution you are working with.”
Kyambadde was speaking as a chief guest during the National Association of Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (NASAP) annual general meeting on Saturday.
The secretaries were drawn from key Government ministries and agencies, high institutions of learning as well as corporate organisations.
The minister also directed blame towards bosses, saying that they undermine secretaries by not allowing them to attend executive meetings, and instead limit them to preparing drinks for them.
“Don’t accept to be treated like a tea girl or an office messenger,” she advised.
She cited an incident in her ministry where top official did not want secretaries to attend high-level meetings.
Kyambadde argued that secretaries should be allowed in the meetings so as to take notes of high importance.
Don't 'leak' key info
Clearly, her emphasis was the need to change the mindset of bosses: “It is high time employers changed their attitude towards secretaries.”
She pointed out that 80% of success of an organization depends on secretaries.
“We are the inventory of their contacts. They forget that we are custodian of data management of the organization,” she said.
But she was quick to caution secretaries never to leak confidential information of their organization or company, even if they feel alienated from top engagments.
Maggie Kigozi, the former executive director of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) supported Kyambadde's position on changing attitudes.
"They are the eyes and ears of the office," Kigozi said, referring to the importance of secretaries.
Kigozi further encouraged the secretaries to start their businesses before they are retired.
Another call, made by Jolly Nanseera, the commissioner in charge of human resources management in the ministry of public service, was to have secretaries improve their communications skills.
Minister Kyambadde warns secretaries on attitude