What is it that can and must be done to make Barbados a more productive society? How significant a role does leadership play? These are questions employers in the public and private sectors have been grappling with for some time.
But at a time when economic growth has vanished, financial challenges at the national and personal level have mounted, and corporate profits have dwindled, the need for increased worker output has become more relevant.
It is one of the key issues Barbados’ Best Employers (BBE) 2014 is firmly focused on. It is summed up in this year’s booklet for the biennial programme organised by Caribbean Catalyst Inc. and held in partnership with The Nation Publishing Co. Limited and the BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
“In recent years, there has been a concerted focus on increasing national productivity. This has been demonstrated by a renewed emphasis on the importance of an organisation’s most critical resource and its source of competitive advantage – its people. It is imperative, therefore, that organisations continue to understand the elements that best motivate their people toward productivity and excellence,” the document said in part.
“The Barbados’ Best Employers Award focuses on the human resource practices and climate of organisations and showcases companies that demonstrate a commitment to their human resources through the adoption of progressive employment strategies.”
The BBE “focuses on the human resource practices and climate of organisations and showcases companies that demonstrate a commitment to their human resources through the adoption of progressive employment strategies”.
Much discussion on productivity focuses on the role of the employee and the impact of his or her output while on the job. Many human resource experts point out, however, that sound leadership is a key ingredient to achieving increased productivity.
Speaking in the context of the BBE and what it aimed to achieve, Jackson said: “If each private and public sector entity/ team/ department in Barbados relentlessly focused on continuously improving leadership of its team then our productivity would soar. That would clearly redound to the sustainability of our nation. Our motivation and philosophy therefore centre around promoting leadership effectiveness through excellent engagement of our best resource – our people – nationwide.”
This is a view shared by others and confirmed by research. For example, in a Nigerian study on the topic Impact Of Leadership Style On Organisational Productivity concluded that leadership did matter in the overall attainment of productivity. It is expected that these types of issues will come to fore during BBE 2014. (SC)