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Special focus on productivity

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Special focus on productivity

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FROM ITS INCEPTION in 2010, productivity was a focus of the Barbados’ Best Employers (BBE) programme.

This year, however, organiser Caribbean Catalyst Inc. is shining its spotlight more directly on the subject. This is illustrated by the fact that Maximising Productivity! Building A Better Barbados! is the theme for BBE 2016.

The Caribbean Catalyst team noted that “although productivity has been an emphasis from inception, this year, additional elements have been incorporated focusing on the established drivers of productivity in keeping with the BBE 2016 theme”.

Productivity is often tied to absenteeism and the Productivity Council estimates that there was $300 million in “lost” productivity in seven key sectors between 2012 and 2013 due to absenteeism. However, the problem goes beyond absenteeism and such issues will be examined in the programme.

Beyond getting critical information on this matter, though, there are a number of compelling reasons why the 30 small, medium and large companies in the public and private sector, which have signed on to participate this year, will benefit from the programme.

“As organisations continue to chart their path through challenging times, for some a restructuring process may have been a reality. It is important for each organisation to understand the perceptions of its people, i.e, their productive capacity. Participating organisations will benefit from a full staff survey which seeks to gauge the levels of satisfaction and engagement of its people and the perceived levels of leadership effectiveness and productivity,” Caribbean Catalyst said.

“Participation in a prior BBE programme will provide information on how your organisation has progressed in the areas surveyed. All participating organisations who successfully meet the survey requirements will be debriefed by Caribbean Catalyst Inc.

The company added: “This debrief will include a report with comparative data on how your organisation was assessed against other participants. It also details recommendations on the areas that could positively impact the organisation’s productivity and therefore its business results going forward. All finalists will be provided with the BBE award logo to be used for promotions and branding. These organisations will be publicly recognised at the awards ceremony.”

The areas participating companies will be assessed in are business strategy, human resource strategy, culture, employee communications, performance management/recognition, work environment, work life balance, community involvement, development and career opportunities, compensation and benefits.

A major part of the effort includes an organisational survey, which must have the participation of at least 60 per cent of employees. This survey will augment the information shared during the management interviews.

The survey will focus on:

Culture – this section will assess the organisation’s leadership style, the level of genuine collaboration and employee engagement.

Employee communications – this session will assess the frequency and effectiveness of communications in the organisation.

Work environment – this section will assess the extent to which the organisation’s environment is conducive to productivity.

Work life balance – this section will see to ascertain the existence of factors that purposefully support work-life balance.

Community involvement – this section will seek to determine the organisation awareness of and commitment to its social responsibility.

Performance management/recognition – this section will seek to measure the effectiveness of mechanisms for monitoring, enabling and rewarding performance.

Development and career opportunities – this section will focus on the recognition of avenues for development and advancement.

Compensation and benefits – this section will assess the extent to which the organisation’s compensation and benefits programmes are in alignment with employees’ expectations.

From its 2010 start and continuing with this year’s edition, BBE is undertaken in partnership with the BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY and The Nation Publishing Co. Limited. (SC)