Minister Harmon stresses importance of admin professionals
…“they are indispensable in the public service”
By Devina Samaroo
The public service has a crucial role to play in transforming Guyana, Minister of State Joseph Harmon charged to a roomful of administrative professionals who were eager to begin their training in public service efficacy on Wednesday morning at the Impeccable Banquet Hall, Brickdam.
The event, which was organised by Zoywins Consultancy, under the theme “Shine like a Diamond”, coincides with worldwide celebrations of Administrative Professionals’ Day in recognition of the valuable contributions of administrative staff to the success of organisations.
Both Private and Public Sector workers from across seven administrative regions gathered to participate in the seminar where they were brief on areas related to the development of cooperative style, strategies to prevent conflict and master cooperation and efficiency; maintenance of healthy lifestyles; among others.
In delivering his opening remarks, Minister Harmon underscored the importance of being involving in training programmes of this
nature, noting that the knowledge gained may attribute to career advancements and increased earnings.
Harmon, who has responsibility for the public service, emphasised that administrative staff are an indispensable part of the delivery of public/ customer care service, and as such, he noted that it is most advantageous for organisations to invest in the proper training and development of these individuals.
“Administrative professionals or secretaries are particularly important to this process in a number of ways, specifically, many of you, if not all of you, are the first point of contact between your organisation and the public. You are the face of you department or agencies or companies in which you work,” he explained, highlighting that as a consequence, administrative professionals contribute significantly to the way in which their employers are perceived.
Harmon even shared a personal experience to support his assertions.
“When we came into office under the coalition Government, I had the responsibility of organisation work of the Ministry of the Presidency, and from day one up to maybe day 40/50, people were coming to see me on a daily basis and sometimes by the time they get to me, they would have gone through sometimes two layers or three layers of persons and sometimes some of them come in vexed because they say “the people give me a hard time before I get to you”; and so I have been at pains to point out to those members in the public service that they are the faces of that administration, these are the people that interact with the public on a daily basis; therefore, if you are not courteous and you do not treat the public well, by time they come to me to deal with their problems, I have to unwind them, I have to spend an extra five or 10 minutes telling them that this is not the kind of administration we will have,” Harmon related.
On this note, he charged that administrative professionals ought to be considered the backbones of organisations.
“Your day to day work is the foundation of your organisations’ accomplishment. You take care of the details and the success achieved with respect to task undertaken… in reality, it cannot be done without you,” he stated.
In further underscoring the importance of the public service in transforming the country, Harmon reminded that in delivering quality service, administrative professionals must strive to look beyond political, racial and religious persuasions.
“It does not matter which political party you voted for… public servants should deliver with strict neutrality and integrity,” he noted.
In conclusion, Minister Harmon urged the participants to work assiduously both individually and collectively, not only in striving for self-development but to bring about massive changes in the quality of public service being delivered in Guyana.
“You are the agents of change,” he charged.