How to devlop the administrative assistants motivation level

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Today the strength of any organization is not a crucial factor as considering the five six decades ago. Now the prime requirement of an organization to achieve the ultimate aim depends on how far that the men are capable of utilizing the technology and skills and how far they have been motivated to do so. In mere words if any organization is lacking in administration aspects and proper management systems the organization employee's character and attitude are not effective and their survival is not an easy task in most cases.

Most of the successful organizations are having updated technology as well as proper administrative and management systems behind their success. Almost every victory in the present and past battles have been successfully achieved due to the combination of resources, technology and providing a sound administrative backup behind the war and due to the morale and motivation of the soldiers.

Morale is a quality peculiar to human being, because it is a product of mind with a conscience. It is that intangible product, which develops man's skills; so that he will overcome his desire to take the easy way to out and surrender to fear.

High morale is the quality, which maintains human dignity in battle and facing challenges and at the same time develops man's courage or makes a man endure and show courage in times of fatigue and danger. Morale is not a general trait of personality, which some men have in large degree and others not. Morale is simply man's relation to the particular job or particular requirement of his life.

In an organization for the purpose of achieving better results it is required to maintain and keep it constant the morale and high level of motivation of their men at any time.

Why Administration is important in military

It pertaining to mentioned that one of a principle of war is administration. It plays a significant component in any military organization. This being so the undertakings pertaining to the Administration Branch could not be easily kept away either by omission or commission. Sound administration is the pre-requisite for success in any military operation. Administrative considerations are often the deciding factor in assessing the feasibility of any operation. Clear appreciations of administrative limitations are very important to a commander as his ability to make a sound estimate of the operational situation.

7. No tactical plan can succeed without administrative support commensurate with the aim of the operation, it flows that the chief of the military must have a degree of control over the administrative plan proportionate to the degree of his responsibility for any military operation. Administration gives the chief of the military the maximum freedom of action in executing the plan. In military the administrative sector must be as simple as possible. The head of the organization should have a clear understanding of the administrative factors, which may affect his activities. It is his responsibility to control the administrative plan, which supports his operational plan.

8. Administration includes management of men and material. Since a person inducted stays in the organization for at least 20 - 25 years, great care is to be taken in managing human resources. Correct recruiting procedure, effective general and operational training, rational policies on lateral and vertical mobility will go a long way in motivating the personnel to commit them fully for the task of the organization.

9. Administration of an organization is used both to describe implementing policy decisions and also to describe the activity of regulating the day-to-day operations of an organization such as office, payroll, personnel records, personnel welfare, etc..




1. Generally, it has been observed that there is a tendency of decreasing the effectiveness of SLAF administration branch considering the past. The effectiveness of the administrative assistances also getting decreases in the branch.

2. Therefore it is required to examine factors affecting to the motivation of administration assistance's to recommend measures to develop their motivation level in order to develop effectiveness of SLAF administrative branch.


3. This research paper mainly concentrated on the factors affect to the motivation of administrative assistance's and measures to be adopted to develop and how to keep it constant in the organization. It is decided to recommended suitable methods to overcome negative issues also. When data was collected through interviews, I feel that genuine ideas cold not be obtained. The information collected through questionnaires by focusing on selected group. I have concentrated more in to the own scenario than the other notions.


4. The study has been carried out mostly from primary sources. Documentary sources available in the Academy library at SLAF China Bay and including web sites were used as secondary sources. The researcher has referred most of the syllabus and written notes which are used by the administrative instructors also for the purpose of gathering information for the research. The data which are contained in administrative assistances basic course note books as well as advance course note books and the admin phase syllabus at NCO Mgt training school also referred for the purpose of collecting information for the research. Interviews with resource personnel including DA, senior administrative officers in the branch, senior administrative assistance's also carried out by the researcher. A standard questioner was circulated among the administrative assistances at AFHQ, SLAF Cbo, SLAF Base Rma, SLAF Peraru, SLAF Wla for taking their actual views.



1. The main functions of the branch have many areas such as payroll, maintenance accounts in AFHQ and stations, maintenance of personnel documents in AFHQ and stations, general office administration and processing disciplinary matters are some of the important areas of the branch. The structure of the branch will consist of one director who heads the branch and other two deputy directors as DDPR and DDPS. There are staff officers including the legal branch to support these staff officers there are many assistant staff officers. Clerical staff is there to perform the routine work in respective areas of the directorate and other Bases and Stations.

2. There are number of officers and clerical staff in the Bases and stations to carry out admin and accounts functions in the SLAF.

3. The researcher is considering the administrative assistance's staff duties their capabilities and other things in this research.


4. The overall cadre of the Air Force has been increased in number of times giving due consideration to the involvement of the Air Force in the operational commitments during the past. The cadre of the Air Force till 2007 was 23,000 out of which the administrative assistant cadre was 663. In 2008 the overall cadre of the AF was increased by up to 33,000 but the administrative assistant cadre has been increased only by 45 making the total 708. By this time the actual requirement of administrative assistant to accommodate the administrative needs of 33000 was more than 1000, but the cadre remained at 708. Again the cadre of the AF was increased in another 5000 making the total 38000 and the cadre of administrative assistant were increased to 1011. After that the total carder of administrative assistant was remained same and carder of other ranks in Air Force was increased to 39202 and 40209 respectively in the year 2010 and 2011 accordingly. The comparison of the increase of administrative assistant with the increase of the total no of other rankers of Air Force is as at Chart No 01.

Chart 3.1

5. The actual strength of the administrative assistant as at 01st Feb 11 is 915 including the 94 airmen who are doing their initial training and 105 airmen who are doing their basic trade training at TTS SLAF Ekala. The detail breaks down of the Cadre and the strength of the administrative assistant trade men is attached as Annex 'A'. The strength of administrative assistant amount is 915 which is distributed among more than 130 establishments which have been formulated. So the unfilled number of cadre vacancies in the administrative assistant trade is 96.The productive strength of the administrative assistant also goes down depending on the number of administrative assistants whose service cannot be obtained due to various reasons as shown below.



Initial recruit training


Awaiting Basic Trade Training


Maternity Leave


Leave prior to retirement


Full time sports attachment






Table 3.1

6. Once the unproductive categories of the existing administrative assistant strength were reduced the actual productive strength is 591 and it is undoubtedly not matching to accommodate the exact requirement. Therefore the requirement of administrative assistants for the establishments as per the LUE was not accommodated in most establishments in SLAF. Ultimately the Directorate of Administration is functioning with a short fall of 420 administrative assistants for the working force.


7. The recruitment of the Airmen in the Air Force highly depends on the availability of training facilities. As a practice DA is allocated 50 allotments in a course. These 50 allotments again has to be distributed for both administrative assistant and administrative accounts trades most frequently making the number of recruits in administrative assistant trade 30. Probably two such recruit courses are enlisted in to the Air Force per year making the annual inflow of administrative assistant 60.

8. However during the past Recruitment has not been done on such fixed numbers and depending on the requirement of trades and availability of cadre vacancies the number of tradesmen recruited has varied time to time. Such unplanned recruiting has resulted adverse effects in the long run to the trade of administrative assistant at the time those administrative assistant are getting retired. When retirement of a unplanned large course will create a huge vacuum in administrative assistant trade.

9. The number of personnel getting retired annually will not be replaced with a similar number of recruits results the cadre vacancies available in administrative assistant trade remain unfilled.

10. The following statistical details clearly give the pattern of recruiting administrative assistants during the past 15 years.





NO-10 AW






NO -87








NO -94

NO -95

NO -96





NO -14 AW







NO-15 AW




















NO-16 AW























NO-21 AW









Table 3.2

11. The above chart clearly indicate that there had not been a planned recruiting policy during the past years and it affects to the present problems in the strength and the rank structure of the administrative assistant trade [1] .

Chart 3.2



1. In the point of organizational success, the researcher of this paper will extensively examine the current trends of administrative assistances and their level of motivation to develop the organization as a whole. It is a very important fact that each and every organization is interested to maintain its dignity, prestige and social status. Though SLAF had won the National Productivity Award (Public Sector-Service) in 2004, it is required that the organization has to develop many areas in order to reach its optimum performance. It is required to have a sound administrative system to achieve optimum performance in the organization.


2. Following are the main motivational factors in SLAF and the same factors are affecting to the development of motivation level of administrative assistances also.

a. Leadership. Leadership is a critical factor when developing the motivation of the servicemen. This is common to all the other tradesmen also. This is very important in shaping the human effort in a war. It plays a key role in improving willingness as far as success of work is concerned. During my research it was revealed that 18% of selected group has confidence on their leadership from their section commanders (Section SNCO I/C's/Admin officers) level.

(1) It is the responsibility of a leader to look after those who are under his command and ensure that the administrative assistances are afforded a good working environment. The individual's basic needs must be met and he must have confidence in his leader.

(2) The nature of duty of the clerk necessitates that he must be kept informed and briefed all the matters at all times to his section commander. This may include miner matters also considering the importance of the service aspects. This of course is to be done on the need to know basis. The clerk must know the task at hand, his leader's intention and the deadline. The good work should be praise to him and the mistakes and unsatisfactory works should be honestly told to him. If not men will have uncertainty in their mind. It will lead towards the fear of danger and have adverse effects on their morale and working willingness.

(3) In the event of acts of indiscipline immediate corrective action must be initiated after establishing the true facts of the case. One single wrong decision in originating disciplinary action will prove disastrous to and individual causing frustration and disgust in his superior.

(4) No favouritism is to be shown to any individuals. It has been revealed that commanders are in the wrong practice of taking disciplinary action against their men beyond their jurisdiction. Some times prosecutor, witness and judge of summary trial is a single individual. [2] The punishment for an offence must be speedy and exemplary. Once punished for an offence it should be the end of it. There should not be further punishment for the same offence.

b. Basic Needs. If the needs of troops were not fulfilled, the morale and motivation would go down. Men tend to become irritable and stressed out; they are likely to be aggressive and quarrelsome. Sometimes they try to project their troubles on others and find faults where no fault. Tired workers are aggressive men and they are readily exasperated, quickly to anger and easily frightened. When their morale is low, they lose sight of the larger issues; they cannot plan well or take action clearly with anticipation.

(1) The Air Force provides adequate living facilities for all personnel. However, the nature of duty of the administrative assistance most of the time they are fortunate to utilises their basic privileges. Some times continuous engagement in special duties deprives him from visiting the mess, social club but most of the time they can utilise their living in billet facilities considering the other tradesmen. This cause them to denies the enjoying the social facilities with the fellow airmen.

(2) Leave and rest in after working hours directly affects the efficiency of administrative assistances. It was observed during my research that most of the administrative assistances are getting their rest period and enjoying their rest time while doing recreational activities and personnel works. This will greatly affect to develop their level of motivation especially on day to day activities. An individual performs continuous routing works for a prolonged period and proceeds on leave after thirty to forty days continuous work. They are getting no of opportunities to go on "Book Out" or "Night Out" may effect to develop the level of motivation. They are so quick to finish their works before leaving the stations for a book out or night out. They are willingly complete their pending tasks before leaving the stations. They don't like to take unnecessary troubles while and before their away from the stations. This book outs and night outs also affect to develop their team work and relations among the administrative assistances. They are having good access to the command of the stations considering the other tradesmen at all time.

(3) The performance of guard duty in the present context sets in monotony and frustration in the individual not only causes his morale to deteriorate but also reduces efficiency in a great manner. Soldiers need companionship and in different degrees according to his social capacities. Administrative assistances are not willing to carry out the guard duties as it causes so many extra work to them and they have to be prepared specially for that and they don't like to use their normal routing time for this guard duties.

(4) Most of the administrative assistances think that because of these guard duties their routing works are getting pending due to none clearing the particular tasks. Some administrative assistance are like to do the guard duties for the purpose of escaping or forwarding their normal routing and other special works. Any how performing of guard duties and other security duties cause to develop the interaction between the administrative assistances and other tradesmen and it causes to shape the carrier of a military men.

c Training. It is very vital that training be concentrated on the standard of the individual. It must be constructive and in keeping with the current requirement. It is important to introduce training on using new technology and advance methods. It is pertaining to mentioned that basic and advance admin courses are designed according to facing the all administrative problems in the SLAF. It is clearly explain in sinhala language the way you have to carry out administrative duties in the SLAF. After completion of the above courses the administrative assistances would feel confident that they are far ahead of their duties. Therefore these courses involve building confidence of administrative assistances and it will invariably uplift the morale of the Administration assistances in SLAF.

(1) The facilities which are provided at TTS SLAF Eka for the basic trainees are up to the standard. Providing the living out facilities to advance trainees reduces their level of course knowledge as they are attending their personnel works while carrying out their duties in the advance course. These courses are truly enhanced the morale and confident of the administrative assistances also.

(2) It has been observed during my research that most of administrative assistances who are serving in Forward Defence Lines having a good motivation level considering the leave aspects because they are having trust for their leave and they know there is no any interruptions will happen while on leave too.

(3) It is understood that reforms or revises should be implemented for the course syllabus along with development of technology and new methods. But it must be done methodically and with proper planning.

d. Career Development Even though SLAF is adopting an advance administrative system, still administrative assistants are experiencing difficulties.

(2). Assessments of administration assistances are closely monitored by the stations heads and it greatly effects for their motivation level. It has been observed that people are hard working on the submission period of their assessments especially senior administrative assistants. It greatly effects to morale of administrative assistances when their juniors supersede them due to system failures.

(3) During the recent past specialised courses were offered to senior administrative assistant at NIBM for their carrier advancement. These courses were arranged by the R & D section. This will slightly improve the motivation of them.

e. Job Satisfaction. It is very important that an individual has the satisfaction of his job to obtain maximum contribution from him. It is very important the following things in order to develop the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of administrative assistants.

(1) Only small no of appointment opportunities are reduced due to certain individuals being granted extensions exceeding the retirement period. This deprives deserving persons from availing appointments thereby reducing the prospects of their career. This is not a critical factor in the current situation among the administration assistants.

(2) Failure to adopt the laid down criteria for promotions is seen as a major setback in promoting administrative assistances. The ad hock procedures adopted from time to time at the discretion of the responsible authorities have seen injustice being done to certain individuals as per their views.

(3) Performing duties in defences for a prolonged period is a monotonous job for some individuals. Therefore it reduces the efficiency of personnel. Hence it is vital that measures be implemented to overcome monotony to uplift the morale.

(4) When administrative assistants are going on posting most of them are not receiving bases/stations near to their residences. This home base concept is not practising in the administrative branch like SLAF Regiment. But as per their requirements most of them are receiving the stations near to their residences.

f. Recognition of the Society. The public support is a key element for the motivation of a force in addition to that it greatly affects the morale of the administrative assistants. In the early 80s the soldiers were accepted and given due respect by the people of Sri Lanka. But it has been gradually declining with time. Due to prolong war and the increasing of soldier's involvement in breaking civil law of the country

(1) The administrative assistances, after joining the Air Force get more opportunity to interact with the society. Hence they have a sufficient knowledge regarding the civil society as well as Air Force administration systems. Any how some individuals are ignorant of the civil law and knack of getting a job done in the civil society. Some are having sound capabilities to get the work done through the society also. On certain instances some personnel tend to misuse their powers resulting in breech of the civil law, which also tarnishes the reputation of the Air Force.

(2) Another vital factor is the attitude of other trade airmen towards the administrative assistances based on a misconception that they are more qualified than other tradesmen. During my research it was revealed that this attitude has led administrative assistances to overestimate their capabilities.

g. Security of the administrative assistance's Family. There is a great threat to families of service men with rapid development of crime in the country. It is known facts that living in administrative assistances have to be away from their families for a long period of time prior to proceeding to see their kith and kin. Thus the security of their loved ones is at risk considering the increased rate of crime in the country. This aspect has a direct bearing towards the drop in the level of motivation of the administrative assistances.

(1) It is understood that SNCO i/C's and officer I/C's are to ensure the sending of them for their family requirements as when required considering their problems and necessities.

h. Economy of administrative assistances. It is a known fact that poverty and poor living conditions is a common factor experienced by much administrative assistance and invariably has adverse affects on their motivation. Although airmen do get a reasonable salary in comparison to civilians employed in other government establishments and possess the same paper qualification, it is vital that salary increments are made from time to time subject to the fluctuation in the cost of living.

j. Entertainment. All personnel in the air force are provided with social and recreational facilities to entertain themselves. The administrative assistances are also enjoying these facilities and get the opportunity to use avail those facilities.

k. Welfare Facility. In the Air Force, as in other services, welfare activities are being carried out to create a better working environment for administrative assistances to perform efficiently. It is important that personnel are granted such facilities both during war and peace. The most common welfare facilities which are practise in SLAF through D wel [3] for the serving personnel are as follows.


Continuation of death donation scheme as per the AFO 854.

Attempts to obtain blocks of lands through government sources for distribution among serving personnel to construct houses

Providing assistance for government teacher transfers and other transfers in association with Ministry of Defence and Rana Viru Seva Authority.

Attempts to provide houses through NHDA and UDA.

Arrangements to distribute free school books for the children of serving and civil personnel.

Coordination of training for retiring serving personnel.

Financial support to conduct English classes at station level.

Financial support to purchase library books required for Bases and Units.

Distribution of Greeting Cards, Calendars and Diaries among service personnel.

Award of scholarships for children of serving personnel through Ranaviru Seva Authority.

Coordination of grade one school admission to government schools.

Arrangements to provide suitable jobs for those who are going on retirement through SLAF Job Bank.

Arrangements to provide block of lands through Guwan property programme.

Coordination of school admission to Defence Services School.

Conducting Annual Avurudu Pola for the benefit of the service personnel.

Monitoring and assisting the Station Commanders to provide basic requirements to living in service personnel.

Monitoring and assisting the Station Commanders to carryout families Welfare Association projects.



1. United State Army [4] concentrates greatly on recreational and welfare facilities to enhance the Morale of the soldiers. In addition to that following are identified as new trends.

a. Army Emergency Relief - provides financial aid to soldiers and their dependents for overcome real emergency situations such as non receipt of pay, loss of funds, medical, dental or hospital expenses, funeral expenses etc.

b. To improve the quality of life for single and unaccompanied soldiers they are arranging social activities include sports, parties, cookouts, trips and tours.

c. Several welfare activities for military and retired military personnel such as Child Development Centre, Arts and Crafts Branch, Challenger Club, Officers' Club and Post Restaurant.

2. The Indian Govt did well in increasing benefits and monetary awards for servicemen. In Indian armed forces there is a scheme that the servicemen those who retired from the forces they are entitle to posses the quarter they occupied. It is given as a honour to the service they rendered.



Servicemen who are serving in operational areas especially in Jaffna peninsula and remote locations, unlike the members of any other organisation, due to the nature of their duties and distance they have to be away from their loved ones and continue to live under severe tension and stress for prolonged periods. Therefore, they have to either forgo or completely sacrifice their normal life style and even basic privileges. It is to the very least that these administrative assistances get a time to enjoy their lives. Besides being compelled to live away from their families they also have to live under extreme tension some times due to heavy work load. Therefore, to support administrative assistance to look after their loved ones, when they are in the Jaffna peninsula and remote locations one of the main objectives of welfare.

2. The Army has established directorate of welfare. The main tasks of the directorate are to co-ordinate and promote the welfare activities of the officers and other ranks, as approved by the commander of the Army. An additional directorate of welfare is subsequently established to tackle welfare activities for the soldiers who are killed-in-action, missing-in-action and wounded-in-action and their families.

3. Following are the main welfare projects available in the Army. [5] 


Free Medical Scheme

Welfare Shops

Holiday Resorts

Distribution of Land

Army Seva Vanitha

Welfare Projects for Disabled Soldiers

It was the vision of the Director of Welfare that enables the Army today to obtain and function as the agent of the Insurance Corporation to insure officers and other rankers. This timely action not only generated considerable amount of money as compensation but also made the service very efficient. Today the monthly payments from Insurance alone are calculated in the range of Rs 400,000.00 to Rs 500,000.00

5. Types of Insurance Schemes.

a. Life insurance

b. Illness and accident Insurance

c. New Personal Group Insurance

d. Drivers Insurance



1. An analysis of the great battles of the past clearly indicates that the most prominent feature of winning a battle is the proper administration among the involving parties who are working against the enemy side. Therefore the administration activities of the clerical staff in the services are extremely essential and it should be achieved through appropriate processes of motivation, which supports the enhancement of will power of the administrative staff.

When carrying out administrative duties especially in operational and remote areas the duties of a administrative assistant are playing a vital role and most of the time he has to work under presser with minimum resources. On those situations officers should have the ability to motivate them and get the work done from them in a smooth way.

3. Sound Administration is the key to success in military as well as in any organization. If in a situation administration collapses that will be the collapse of the organization.



1. The officers and SNCOs in various levels in the administration branch must consider their full attention for their subordinates in each and every aspect of service to gain the required duties and works from them. They must realise that the welfare of them must come before self. Although this is considered an important aspect failure to put it into practice has resulted in the loss of confidence of men in their superiors. The growing tendency of leaders to turning a blind eye on the well being of their subordinates has to be addressed as a matter of priority. The feeling of being wanted and belongingness has to be created to re gain the lost confidence. A caring and profound officers and SNCOs will no doubt gain the confidence of his men.

2. The present system of performance of guard duty by the administrative assistances is to minimize or get the duty as per the requirement only. At SLAF Base Rathmalana is taking only one duty turn from all other tradesmen per month. While carrying out of the guard duties it is required to provide adequate rest for them and it will enable to build their confidence in the men which automatically enhances their motivation for the duty. It is recommended that at least three men to be detailed to perform duties per Defended Post and this will help them for carrying out duties with adequate rest period for all of them.

3. Increase of opportunities for administrative assistances to follow more local and foreign training courses will give them more exposure and better career prospects. This will be a source of encouragement and will increase their working efficiency and commitment to the task. It will also enable them to work hand in hand with their comrades of the sister services.

4. It is necessary to introduce new technology to speed up the clerical works in the organization. Computer base speed data entering methods should develop in the Air Force head quarter level as well as base unit level also. Using of computers and new machineries will save time of the clerical staff. This will have a great psychological effect and direct bearing towards success in routing and programmes works in the SLAF. If the administrative assistances will be aware that he has the required functioning new technological equipments he knows how to do the required work in a stipulated time period. It is recommended to provide computer courses for administrative assistances for the improvement of their computer knowledge. It is required to provide short time computer courses to keep it constant their knowledge level.

5. The instructional allowance of administrative assistances instructors is to be increased, as this is one factor that will increase competition and enhance the quality of instructors.

6. The recruitment, retirement and career plan to be determined well in advance to avoid stagnation of promotions and appointments.

7. Educate administrative assistances on how to plan their personnel and professional life. In addition to that educate them on how to plan their income and expenditure by saving for the future.

8. Educate administrative assistances on law of the country and how to deal with the outside organisation to fulfil their requirements.

9. Salary increments are to be introduced in relation to the cost of living of the country in order to maintain their standards in society.

10. By considering above facts it has been observed that the effectiveness of the administrative branch is largely depends on the level of motivation and performances of the administrative assistant due to the dearth of men to carry out all duties in the branch. Apart from that some other factors are also affecting to decrease the effectiveness of the branch those are discussed in the above chapters.