The world had predicted that the advent of computers into the world of business would lessen the importance of company secretaries. However, some two decades down the line since computers made their way into organisational management, the role of company secretaries has become all the way more important.
In fact, compared to that of a generation ago, company secretaries today are required to possess a host of additional skills. In order to understand the skills that are needed by a company secretary, let us first try to understand the job role and duties of such people.
• Job Roles And Responsibilities
The most important role of company secretaries is to keep the organisation up and running by looking into the day-to-day management of the organisation. This would include implementing procedural systems, arranging meetings and handling all the correspondence that happens before and after the same.
Physical duties like dealing with staff insurance policies, managing the pension schemes, maintaining a register of shareholders and dealing with everything that has to do with financial, legal or HR administration is the responsibility of these people.
Company secretaries are the ones who have to deal with managing office premises and ensuring that everything goes on smoothly within the organisation.
• Skill Set Required
The diverse job responsibilities of a company secretary call for an equally diverse skill set. Understand that the educational qualification for this post is that of a mere graduate degree. Thus, what sets professionals in this field apart from that of all others is the specific skill set that they possess.
Read on to know more about the same.
Since these people are responsible for all the documentation that goes on in the meetings in the organisation, it is important for them to take down notes in very short intervals of time. For this, it is necessary for the individual to be well versed in shorthand skills. The better you are in this particular skill the more flawless your documentation is going to be.
Good communication skills are an absolute must in order to work efficiently with senior people in the organisation. Since the job responsibilities of company secretaries often take them to work with senior external stakeholders, senior executives, CEOs and others, it is necessary that these people possess high emotional intelligence, tact and good negotiation skills.
Good manners and the ability to maintain discretion and diplomacy even when communicating through a written medium is an absolute must here. Needless to say, oral communication skills and fluency in English are necessary skills as well. One must make conscious efforts to avoid any type of redundancy or grammatical errors.
One must possess high moral values so that they are able to provide fearless guidance to the people in the organisation who are in decision-making positions. It will be fair to say that company secretaries play a pivotal role in maintaining the organisation's conscience.
For this, it is important for the individual to possess high integrity and ensure that their actions are transparent and that they are accountable for the same. Under all circumstances, it is necessary for these people to be impartial.
These days, any organisation greatly depends on things like Word and Excel for its day-to-day functioning. Some companies (particularly those of IT firms) have their single sign-on portal for all applications. Company secretaries must be well versed with those software applications.
In fact, in certain scenarios, company secretaries are responsible for making other people aware of the same. Additionally, since the meetings of the CEOs and the MDs of any organisation are usually dealt with by such people, they need to have a fair understanding of Outlook and other similar applications. Good typing skills also come in handy in this field of work.
The diverse job responsibilities of a company secretary make it clear that there will be times when a person in this role will have to perform more than one task simultaneously. Thus, effective multitasking skills are an absolute must for anyone who wants to pursue a career here. With a little bit of practise and some conscious effort on our part, this is something that can be easily inculcated as a part of daily living.
Knowledge Of The Organisation
Company secretaries are the people who form the point of contact for the organisation with that of other vendors or organisations. In such a scenario, it is important for an individual working in this role to have a decent understanding of the aims and objectives of the organisation and be in tune with the latest developments that the organisation has made.
A typical work day for a company secretary involves answering calls. Many a time, it may so happen that a particular person may need to attend to more than one call at a time. Alternatively, they may need to take back-to-back calls.
Needless to say, things like that are taxing and one needs a certain amount of patience to be able to do justice to that. If you want to succeed as a company secretary, you must take it upon yourself to inculcate this particular skill. If you put in the due amount of effort, juggling calls will seem to be like a piece of cake to you.
Now that you are aware of the skills that are needed to make it big as a company secretary, you can take the necessary steps to inculcate these skills in your daily life. A closer look will make you realise that most of these skills can be obtained through practise.
Thus, if you are someone who is looking forward to becoming a company secretary in the future, realise that it is never too early to begin. These initial planning and preparation will pay off in the long run and gift you a fulfilling career.