Business leaders in Barbados are being challenged not to allow national fiscal measures or difficult economic times to stop them from improving their productivity and operating successful businesses.
This caution has come Managing Director of Caribbean Catalyst Inc. Rosalind Jackson as she officially announced the launch of the biennial Barbados Best Employers (BBE) programme 2020 at the Savannah Hotel on Tuesday.
She told the gathering of private and public sector leaders to have a clear view of what their employees were thinking and feeling, adding that it was necessary for them to inspire their workers to share “realistic but stretched vision” of the future.
“Our reality is that we have to stretch into the future. Whatever our current business reality is, it is the circumstances in which we must succeed. If things are difficult because of all these taxes and so on, we still have to succeed. So we need to really grow our talent even more,” said Jackson.
“Neither blaming nor judging are progressive or productive activities. As leaders we all have to see challenging times as opportunities to improve our own shop even if we are not 100 per cent sure what those opportunities are yet. We cannot sit on the fence and wait. We need to find them with entrepreneurial and innovative thinking and action,” she advised.
This year marks ten years since the launch of the BBE, which is now in its sixth iteration.
The theme this year is Continuous Improvement – a Growth Mindset.
Jackson said while there are usually between 30 and 35 companies participating, she was aiming for at least 50 this year.
In addition, she said she was expecting strong participation from the public sector, adding that their participation has been “very low”.
“We really need the public sector to join us as we target excellence through a growth mindset. It is critical for the further development of Barbados that all sectors find tangible ways to improve the development of their talent,” she said.
There were representatives from at least seven statutory corporations and government departments during the launch, with new Executive Chairperson of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland confirming that institution’s interest.
“If each private sector and public sector entity, team or department in Barbados relentlessly focuses on continuously improving leadership of its people to develop a culture which promotes a growth mindset, our productivity would soar, IMF programmes (International Monetary Fund) would be history and that is where we need to go,” said Jackson.
“That would clearly redound to the sustainability of our nation. Our motivation and philosophy therefore centre around promoting individual excellence within the work environment which is so focused on excellence that genuine teamwork is a critical part of the fabric of the culture. Not a lone ranger environment, but a team environment. You cannot be excellent individually if you cannot function in team,” she added.
Jackson said should the BBE attract “sufficient” public sector participation, she was willing to include a category for the sector while integrating them into the programme.
One addition this year will be an award for the most improved company from the past iteration.
Deadline for applications is February 18, 2020 and finalists will be announced by mid-May and category winners will be announced at the awards luncheon to be held on June 18, 2020.
The BBE is a programme designed to, among other things, assess employee engagement, leadership effectiveness, productivity and accountability and evaluate growth mindset.
Companies are given recommendations and are expected to make necessary changes over the two-year period.
“The standard you set in your organation is the lowest standard you allow people to get away with and do nothing about it,” Jackson told the gathering.
“We must lead by example and set the standard. That is the only way to lead,” she said.