CBM for clerical and non-clerical staff is an emerging phenomenon in Paskistan. This is about bringing positive change in offices and the officials
By Muhammad Ayub Buzdar
In order to achieve any goal in a systematic way the role of leadership and management is indubitably compulsory. In addition, the role of supporting staff is also unavoidable. One can often observe the role of subordinates and clerical staff in any office of educational and non-educational organisations. The job of the clerical staff is to facilitate and assist rather than slow down the pace of the educational program. They are responsible for the creation of professional and friendly environment in the offices. Besides their academic qualification, the personnel already working in the organisations also need latest knowledge, techniques, skills, methodologies and approaches to enhance their performance. All such professional expertise can be inculcated in them through 'Capacity Building Mechanism' (CBM).
CBM for clerical and non clerical staff is a new and emerging phenomenon. This is about bringing positive change in offices and the officials. All the well structured Organisations plan and implement numerous programs to enhance their staff's working capacity as a part of their Staff Development Program.
The goal of CBM is basically a positive and creative "CHANGE" in the workers' knowledge, behaviour, attitude and competence along with their skills, values and beliefs. This process is designed to improve job understanding, promote more effective job performance and establish future goals for career growth. According to Morphet, Johns and Reller (1959:431) the prime concerns of such programs will include these questions.
1. What behavior do we wish to change?
2. What is the present condition or level of behaviour we wish to change?
3. What is the desired condition we wish to achieve in personnel performance?
4. How can we link learning theory to staff development programs?
5. What type of training shall be employed (classroom, on-the-job, apprenticeship)?
6. What type of newer technologies shall be employed (computers, projectors, close circuit T.V, programmed text materials and video cassettes)
7. What indicators shall we use to evaluate the effectiveness of development programs?
Prominent universities of the developed countries like University of Leicester, University of Bath, University of Queensland Australia, University of California, University of Leads and Shepherd University have developed capacity building programs for their teaching and clerical staff. The chief aim of such programs is to assist the development of each individual and group to boost up organisation's performance through improving organisational efficiency and effectiveness.
COMPONENTS OF CAPACITY BUILDING MECHANISM
Honadle (1981) describes seven components that form the CBM for the development of any type of staff.
1. AN ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION:
At first step it is to be analysed that:
(a) What the organisation is doing?
(b) How well is it doing it?
(c) What is the current level of activities?
2. ANTICIPATE THE CHANGE:
At the second step, the lessons learnt from the analysis of the first step are to be applied in the future activities, a change can be anticipated as a result. This change can be of any type ranging from the demographic, economic, political, operational, and professional and academic.
3. POLICY MAKING:
Consequence of anticipation is policy making. Policy is formulated on the bases of best available knowledge, manpower and infrastructure. Basic aim of policy must be to meet the anticipating change.
4. DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAMS:
To implement the policies, creation and development of feasible and appropriate work plan and program is compulsory. This program will consist of the detail of required sources and services, their generation and steps to utilize these sources and services to achieve the goals.
5. ATTRACT AND ABSORB THE RESOURCES:
The Mechanism must have the ability to collect the resources and then absorb them. This includes the recruitment and/or selection of personnel, taxing and grants-man-ship. Absorbing the resources is to utilize these resources. Sometimes an organisation has the resources but lacks the ability to utilize them fully. MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES:
The elements management resources are; budgeting, financial management, personnel relations and record keeping. Better resource management saves the wastage of human and material resources.
6. EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK:
Evaluation is the soul of all this process. Evaluation of the past and current activities provides true guidance to plan and implement future actions.
There are various factors which affect capacity building;
A) staff competence and capabilities,
C) service hours
D) dual employment and side business
E) personnel management
F) administration style
RETURNS OF CAPACITY BUILDING MECHANISM:
Development and training is an easy way to help your employees become more engaged. People choose to work with organisations that encourage development and stay with you if you continue to provide opportunities for development, whether formally or informally. People produce their best work when they are interested and committed to what they do. If they believe in their organisation's products and services, and they can see that the organisation values their contribution by supporting their development in concrete ways, they are very likely to be engaged.
ROLE OF CAPACITY BUILDING MECHANISM FOR CLERICAL STAFF:
Capacity building has become equivalent to full change. It plays an integral part in developing the institutions' philosophy, goals and expectations. Training and development activities increase professionalism, productivity and individual and organisational effectiveness. Examples of such activities include job related enhancement, change personnel attitude and behaviors, career development, instructional development, new, strengthened and refined skills and research and scholarships, when appropriate. The elements, which highlight the role of CBM for clerical staff, are:
A) IMPACTS ON STUDENT LEARNING:
Clerical staff is critically involved in learning process of students. It is to facilitate and manage the activities of students as well as other staff. It also creates a friendly environment in the institution. All these elements have impacts on students' learning. So any improvement in the clerical staff is bound to influence the student learning.
B) IMPACTS ON TEACHERS' PERFORMANCE:
For an effective functioning of the institutions, it is necessary that the teaching staff is provided adequate support in the following areas of work: (a) library (b) laboratory (c) clerical work and (d) non clerical work (Kapoor and Permi, 1988:73)
As described, clerical staff is to facilitate the teachers and to manage their activities Improvement in their abilities to assist, support the enhancement of teachers professional performance.
C) IMPACTS ON MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION:
The main aim of capacity building of clerical staff is to develop quality management and administration.
D) IMPACTS ON THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAREER:
Capacity building of clerical staff provides it ability and opportunity to get progress and growth in its career.
D) UNDERSTANDING OF RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:
Trough this mechanism a staff member understands the nature of his job, its needs and requirements, its purposes and his own role related to that job.
E) ORGANISATIONAL GROWTH:
Improvement in skills, behaviour, efficiency, competency and motivation of staff consequently gives the results of growth, development and expansion of an organisation.
F) COMPULSORY TO FORMULATE AND ACHIEVE FUTURE GOALS:
To formulate and achieve future objectives and goals, CBM provides knowledge of latest technology, required skills, required behaviour and attitude, required efficiency and required understanding of responsibilities.
To sum it up, while keeping in mind all the positive points regarding capacity building of clerical staff and the change it will bring in the long run, there are some challenges which continue to serve as a deterrent for such a process.
In Pakistan, organisations especially public sector organisations don't practice this process completely and comprehensively. Firstly, the existence of such mechanism is rare and secondly, the full concentration is on programs development rather than the situation analysis, objectives formulation, policy making and evaluation and feed back, which are compulsory to judge the levels of mechanism's achievements as well as overall program structure.
Another hurdle is the structure and environment of our offices. After the training, retraining, or any other type of Capacity Building Program like coaching, counseling, and monitoring, when an employee comes back in the office, it does not match theoretically, functionally or practically with the atmosphere which he observed and learned during his training.
Hence, he doesn't see his newly gained knowledge materialize into action. It is also obligatory for management to provide the staff environment and infrastructure according to its caliber and responsibilities. These steps will change office environment and employee behaviour, develop staff capacity and capability, and enhance teaching and learning system in the educations institutions.