Reaching the statutory age of retirement should be the dream of every employee. Those employees who complete the tour of duty are to be complimented for the years of service which they have rendered. On entering the world of work, most entrants are concerned with making an impression, as they seek to satisfy the requirements of the probationary period. This is to be expected, as the thought of retirement would be more than likely the last thing to occupy the mind of the average individual.
On entering a new job, most employees tend to concern themselves with security of tenure, and as applicable, meeting the requirements that make them eligible for the receipt of a pension, gratuity or severance payment. This is not be faulted, but it should be of interest to all, that these expectations are realized, provided that they meet workplace performance standards, which include but not limited to being productive, committed and loyal to the organization, efficient, accountable, reliable, displaying of a good work ethic, and offering a high level of service.
It is desirable that employees who reached the standards set by the organization or enterprise that employs them, are recognized by their employers and work colleagues. Such persons are to be seen as standard bearers, whose exemplary work and discipline should be used to motive fellow employees. This is sometimes over looked. Where this happens, there is the likelihood that the organization and/or enterprise will lament of not experiencing a high level of job satisfaction amongst its employees. This is a failing for which management must shoulder the responsibility, as it is expected that management should exercise its authority in ensuring compliance with policy guidelines.
Employees need not to be submerged in this negative trend. Each individual should at the minimum be driven by their own standards. If these however fall below those of the organization and/or enterprise, then it is suggested that the employee in question has some soul searching to do. It may be wise to start by asking two questions. What kind of legacy I want to leave behind as an employee at the end of my working days? Can I be justifiably portrayed as a model employee by management and my work colleagues?
Many persons exit the workforce, merely satisfied that they held a job and completed their time allotted assignment. These who are so minded, are well aware they have not lived up to expectations, and sometimes opt to leave the workplace without any fanfare. Others bemoan the fact that their colleagues did not recognize their departure by finding an appropriate way to register their appreciation for their efforts. Those who find themselves in this position, more often than not have only themselves to blame. It is to the credit of those who have given exemplary service, that they are justly recognized. It is however disheartening where such persons are allowed to exit the workplace without being appropriately recognized.
Every day in Barbados and elsewhere across the globe, employees enter into retirement. The general public is usually unaware of the performance of vast majority of these employees, with the exception of the few who have the privilege of having the retirement function held in the individual’s honour, covered by the media. Where such media coverage is had, the kudos , praises and commendations shared by management and colleagues, convey a positive message to the general public and others within all workplaces.
Such applies to the recent retirement of Sister Verneta Durant , as a nurse at the Psychiatric Hospital, after having given 44 years of excellent service. She was highly commended on commitment and dedication to duty, her work ethic, deportment, interpersonal relations, leadership and management skills. It is profound when such qualities could be ascribed to any employee. Sister Durant has been joined in retirement by Sister Paulette Drakes, a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, who gave 42 years of distinguished service to the nursing profession. In much the same vein, the qualities ascribed to Sister Durant, equally apply to Sister Drakes.
Employees should be aware that there is life after retirement. It is known that some persons continue to offer themselves for service at higher levels. No employee should lose sight of the fact that they ought to leave behind a good track record from their previous employment . Employees who retire, and whose future plans include continuing in the workforce, should be mindful that the legacy and track record they leave behind, could or could not serve them in good stead.
*Dennis De Peiza is a Labour Management Consultant for Regional Management Services Inc.
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