A leading office professional believes the problem of low productivity can be traced right back to issues in the workplace.
President-elect of the Barbados Association of Office Professionals (BAOP) Clovine Leslie is therefore placing much of the onus on employers to create a more conducive environment that encourages workers to contribute and to bring new ideas to the table.
However, she said based on the feedback she has received from members, some employers were not open to new ways of doing things.
“You would hear often that members don’t have that ability to be innovative in terms of the environment. It is not set to [encourage] creativity,” Leslie told Barbados TODAY.
However, she warned that this type of business attitude was counterproductive, while suggesting that “we have to create that environment where persons are allowed, sometimes, more authority, rather than [having to] go to someone [a superior] each time they have to make a decision.
“With that authority you know that there would also be accountability,” the BAOP top official acknowledged.
She also emphasized the need for employers to focus on teamwork, saying it was “one of the important things with increasing productivity within the workplace”.
However, she said, more authority did not mean allowing people to “run wild and do everything that you want to do”, explaining that when workers’ activities were properly channelled “we can get a whole lot out of our employees”.
Leslie said it was important to have employees buy in to the goals of the organization.
“That is important in terms of being motivated. If you understand the goals of your organization and if they fit within what you want to achieve it becomes easier, for the individuals become motivated,” she said on the sidelines of the association’s 19th annual conference at the Hilton Barbados.
The theme this year is Innovate, Motivate, Educate.
Leslie said within the BAOP itself a new trend was emerging where members who started out as secretaries had upgraded their skills and were now in management positions.
During her presentation to the BAOP members, featured speaker Lisa Padmore, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), urged participants not to be afraid to be innovative or take risks.
She said too often people engaged in procrastination and therefore missed out on opportunities.
“And I always say this, always have a plan B or C, because if plan A doesn’t work out then you have to have something to go back to. So always think about a B and a C. Don’t minimize that aspect of preparation,” advised Padmore.