Employee empowerment of frontline administrative staff at a University Of Technology, Western Cape Province, South Africa
When one refers to tertiary education in general or specific institutions, its academic functions and features are paramount. Often, there is little dialogue around those who constitute most of the workforce, the administrative staff, and more specifically, the frontline administrators. Given that frontline administrators are ‘customer-facing’ and that their behaviour could significantly influence perceptions of the organisation, these staff members are often portrayed as ones who do not have any authority at work but merely serve a support role. Ensuring that these staff members are ‘taken care of’ is an operational way of guaranteeing that the customers (staff and stakeholders) have a pleasant experience that could positively affect the bottom line. The working lives, feelings of efficiency, job satisfaction and overall empowerment of frontline administrative staff, especially in tertiary education, have not been well documented in scholarly literature. This research project attempts to identify areas where universities of technology could take cognisance of the power that frontline administrative staff hold and also to ascertain how to improve their overall work experience.