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EDITORIAL: An exercise that’s good for Barbados

marciadottin, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: An exercise that’s good for Barbados

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LATE LAST MONTH, the winners of the second Barbados’ Best Employers awards were announced during an impressive event at Hilton Barbados.
It was obvious from the attendance that the event carries a level of prestige. Indeed, this event should be used as yet another benchmark which will help define this country as we seek to be a leading place to do business and also become a developed nation by 2025.
Several tripartite initiatives started in the early 1990s have helped the country and ensure that we effectively managed challenges. The Social Partnership – comprising Government, the private sector and labour – has been the guiding light. Out of this has come the Productivity Council  and also the National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE). They are all now seen as critical to our economic and social landscape.
At the core of all these initiatives has been a focus on employee engagement since the productivity and performance of our people will be the marked difference for this country.
We cannot expect that all the innovative ideas to tackle our problems will be derived from one source, therefore, we must applaud Rosalind Jackson and the team at Caribbean Catalyst for the concept of Barbados’ Best Employers.
Having completed its second biennial event, it has developed into more than “an awards ceremony” and a way of honouring employers. The organizers have built it into a blue riband event with both entry criteria and its eminent panel of judges beyond reproach.
For those finalists in this year’s competition, it is most welcoming that the Caribbean Catalyst team will be meeting with them to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. The information from this exercise should also be helpful as Caribbean Catalyst can use it to mount a high-level employer summit for HR professionals as we as a country do more to develop, test and implement effective strategies to attract and retain top talent.
A growing number of Barbadian and indeed international employers have recognized that progressive employee policies and practices are important if they are to grow the bottom line.
We expect to see a much bigger number of participants for the 2014 competition with not only more private sector firms recognizing its value, but also the state agencies, departments of Government, non-governmental organizations and indeed the trade unions. All our businesses must be tested and evaluated if they are to become stronger and better.
Caribbean Catalyst must be lauded for this initiative.