Kitwe District Administrative Officer Stephen Lindunda has said mishandling of customers by secretaries is contributing to organisations losing billions of kwacha.

Speaking when he officially opened a professional secretaries workshop on the theme ‘Quality,Excellence and Professionalism’ at Kitwe’s Edinburgh Hotel today, Mr Lindunda said there was need for secretaries to develop good communication skills in order for an organisation’s business operations to run smoothly.

Mr Lindunda said when an organisation is separated from the public, it risks losing a lot of potential business partners critical to its development.

He said secretaries are the first door of entry to every organisation and should therefore not act as barriers to customers. “Personal barriers such as emotions,moods,poor listening skills,pride, psychological complexes should be avoided at all times,” he said.

He said a lot of organisations were losing out on profit in their businesses because of the way some secretaries respond to business clients.

“This needs to change because it is also affecting the development of the entire nation,” he said.

He added that the secretarial profession has in recent years taken a broader dimension and is not only linked to someone behind a computer, but also to being a dependable,reliable and equal management partner with the boss.

Mr Lindunda said a secretary must also be of good conduct in order to reflect the employer’s and company’s image even under intense pressure during or after working hours.

And Mr Lindunda has appealed to employers to recognise the contribution secretaries make to the success of a business.

He said companies should reward secretaries with conditions of service in order to motivate them.

Mr Lindunda added that government will continue to support institutions offering secretarial functions and has placed no restrictions to private enterprises to fill the gaps where need arose.

And speaking at the same function, Secretaries Association of Zambia Coordinator Christabel Musefwe urged secretaries to strive to be good administrative business professionals as this is what their work entailed.

She urged secretaries to also take time to know their organisations well if they were to deliver effective services.

Ms Musefwe added that secretaries should be exemplary as they were the key to the success of any business entity. ZANIS

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