Working ‘just for payday’
There is a “dangerous” and “disturbing” trend where Barbadian employees have “mentally and emotionally checked out” from engagement at work but “still turn up physically for their cheque”.
The unwillingness of Barbados’ largest companies to find out how effective their leadership is and whether they are getting the best out of staff is also a concern for Caribbean Catalyst Inc. managing director Rosalind Jackson.
She was reflecting on the results of this year’s Barbados’ Best Employers (BBE) programme, which had its awards luncheon at Hilton Barbados last Thursday.
In this year’s edition of the biennial programme, Globe Finance Inc won the small category which it also claimed in 2010, while Royal Bank of Canada Insurance retained the award in the medium. Bougainvillea Beach Resort also won a special hospitality sector award. For the first time, there was no large category winner as the entrants were deemed to be not of a sufficiently high standard.
Addressing guests attending the awards ceremony, Jackson said there were some cases of regression based on the survey results, and she singled out employee engagement as one of those areas of worry.
She found it “concerning” that even the six finalists had workers who, based on the survey and overall programme research, were “doing just enough not to get fired”.
“For the disengaged and actively disengaged, many of whom have mentally and emotionally checked out but they still turn up physically for their cheque, that’s on the increase even in the finalists group. That is disturbing for me and I think a dangerous indicator,” she said.
“Just imagine the productivity and profitability improvements if we could shift our opportunistics to engaged and our disengaged to opportunistics or to exits, preferably.”
Jackson also said several large companies that did not participate in BBE this time because “they have had to lay off staff and therefore did not think the survey feedback would be great” would have lost the opportunity “to know what the remaining people are thinking and feeling so that they can constructively and realistically address the residual issues in order to preserve a decent level of engagement and productivity”.
She said until the BBE reached a workforce participation number representative of at least ten per cent of the working population, including larger numbers across the major sectors, “we cannot reliably infer any national realities”. (SC)