Bosses pointing fingers at workers for low productivity and worrying inefficiency while on the job are not blameless.
Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President (Finance), Peter Downes, said the island’s competitiveness had suffered because of complacency here, but said bad hiring and the failure to develop workers was at the core of problems in the workplace.
He was reacting to comments attributed to local businessman Ralph Johnson, who reportedly called Barbadian workers “lazy” and “inefficient”.
Downes said he believed that the core reason for problems in the workplace such as inefficiency and low productivity stemmed from employers not hiring the right people for the job in the first place and then not effectively developing them to their full potential.
He said if the wrong person was hired for the job problems would arise in the future.
The Chief Executive Officer of Profiles Caribbean Inc said these problems would be greatly reduced if more businesses engaged in using psychometric assessments.
“Psychometric assessments seek to measure human behaviour, interests and thinking style among other things. It is a useful tool for pre-screening potential employees and is ideal for matching people to jobs to ensure the right fit,” he stated.
“There are several assessment tools available to help employers and existing employees improve their performance by critically examining strengths and development areas.”
Despite the criticism, Downes said he had witnessed the Barbados labour landscape evolve over the past 25 years to the stage where it was superior to its regional counterparts.
“The Barbadian labour force is seen as well-educated and informed. But we have become a little too complacent in our outlook and this has hurt our competitiveness,” he pointed out.
The experienced human resources professional also said workers needed to be properly trained prior to entering the workforce. (SC)