Open up to external eyes
More Barbadian organisations need to open their doors and allow external assessors to evaluate their operations.
Seasoned banker Horace Cobham, who is one of the review panellists deciding finalists and winners in the Barbados’ Best Employers (BBE) programme, feels that if more employers sought that set of “fresh eyes” their company performance would stand a batter chance of improving.
And while not knocking internal evaluations, veteran human resources practitioner Rosalind Jackson, who is managing director of Caribbean Catalyst Inc, which conceptualised and organises BBE, said an independent evaluation offered great value.
They, along with other review panellists, longstanding business executives Vancourt Rouse and Pauline Mager-Jordan, spoke to BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY last week.
Cobham said an external assessment programme like BBE was “very useful from the perspective that it allows a set of fresh eyes to look at the organisation in an independent way and present some findings that management can take on board”.
“The problem with lots of organisations is that they tend to be focused inwardly, they tend to look at the things that they are doing and they believe that those things are what either are or should be happening,” he said.
“A fresh pair of very independent eyes can, through the independent process, access whether what you think is happening is really happening. I think that kind of feedback to the organisation is useful because if you say you are doing something and the survey results tell you ‘yes, you are doing these things great, you are on the right track’ you will see the results.”
Jackson said BBE, the biennial programme that is currently in the midst of its fourth edition, had shown that the external evaluation was at least as good as the internal one.
“Even though some of the regional and global organisations may have their own internal survey, and sometimes they will say ‘that is on the heels of our global survey, so we won’t do your thing’, I think the team values the independent survey more than the internal,” she said.
“And I have had people in the past do both and say to me ‘this just validates the global survey’, but then the feedback they get from an independent professional is where the rubber hits the road.”