Paying workers according to their performance and innovation is something companies in Barbados are being encouraged to do more of.
Kim Tudor, chief executive officer of the National Initiative For Service Excellence (NISE), says given the level of disengaged workers in Barbados, based on a 2011 employee engagement study, all employers should implement such an incentive scheme. The time is right, she thinks, for management of companies to compensate workers based on their performance, to keep them engaged and motivated.
Tudor was addressing members of the Barbados Employers’ Confederation (BEC) during a panel discussion at the Savannah Hotel yesterday. The topic was Perfecting Productivity Schemes.
“The [schemes] are there to help you drive engagement. You say to the worker I want you to go beyond the call of duty. I want you to be productive. I want you to be innovative, and the worker is going to say what is in it for me? That is where the productivity schemes come in,” said Tudor, reminding employers that for every engaged worker in Barbados there was one that was disengaged.
Adding that Barbados did not have natural resources to depend on in order to remain a competitive jurisdiction, and given the current financial circumstances, anything that could be done to drive innovation and employee engagement was “very useful”.
“The time is good to implement the performance-based scheme and put measures in place to drive innovation. This is what we are competing on,” she added.
Anthony Sobers, chief technical officer at the National Productivity Council, said many organizations were placing too much focus on output while ignoring critical areas of their operation, adding that a performance-based scheme should take into account teamwork, quality, continuous improvements, customer care and customer relations.
He said some companies had very complex systems in place to measure employee engagement that were not working, and that in some cases workers were merely dong what they could to get the minimum from the scheme.
Also a part of the panel was Toni Moore-Bascombe, deputy general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU). She too agreed that there was a need for productivity schemes. The union negotiator cautioned, however, that the needs of management should not only what is addressed, but also those of employees.
“Schemes should address employees’ interests and needs. Very often, in my experience, employees are not even interested as much in money as they are interested in the opportunity of being a part of,” said Moore-Bascombe.
Employers were also encouraged to ensure workers fully understood their performance schemes before implementing them.