Employers Must Engage Workers – Industry Minister

Photo: Garwin Davis Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, addresses the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) 36th Annual Business & Workplace Convention at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios on June 8.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says that for Jamaica to achieve and maximise its full economic potential, employers must involve workers in everything they do.
  • The Minister, who was addressing the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) 36th Annual Business & Workplace Convention at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios on June 8, further called for a change of mindset on the part of employers, noting that the workforce today is far more flexible and discerning than ever before.
  • “Employees are now looking at entities with new and empowered lenses. They are more willing to work for the hip and trendy workplace. Millennials want to work in spaces that provide out-of-the-box creative spaces that excite and facilitate their creativity,” Mr. Shaw said.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says that for Jamaica to achieve and maximise its full economic potential, employers must involve workers in everything they do.

The Minister, who was addressing the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) 36th Annual Business & Workplace Convention at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios on June 8, further called for a change of mindset on the part of employers, noting that the workforce today is far more flexible and discerning than ever before.

“Employees are now looking at entities with new and empowered lenses. They are more willing to work for the hip and trendy workplace. Millennials want to work in spaces that provide out-of-the-box creative spaces that excite and facilitate their creativity,” Mr. Shaw said.

The Minister argued that technological breakthroughs will drastically transform the way people work over the next five to 10 years.

“A cursory glance at our near-shore service industry gives clear sight of this. We have individuals sitting at a desk here in Jamaica assisting customers in Australia, Europe and so many other geographic locations. Single mothers are sitting at a computer at home making more money that other women who get up, dress up and commute to an office daily,” he noted.

The Minister said it is imperative that Jamaican employers keep pace with what is trending globally, noting that to do otherwise could have irreversible and long-term effects on the nation’s economy.

“We cannot be stuck in the old ways of doing things simply because that’s the way we have always done them. The Internet and the rapidly moving globalisation tide demand that we keep up,” Mr. Shaw added.

He also cautioned against the practice of giving workers the proverbial cold shoulder, emphasising that it is important for employers to make engagement a priority in order to increase productivity in the workforce.

“Despite the challenges that come with change, you must become masters of engagement who are able to identify disengaged team members as well as implement strategies to improve the way you, as mangers, operate,” the Minister said.

Mr. Shaw said the approach must be to create the right conditions, a more cohesive, harmonious, and conducive working environment for all members of the organisation, one that will enable them to give of their best each day, and one that fosters motivation to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.

“We all have a role to play in this regard. Whether as government, managers or supervisors, our goal must be to lead the development of an enabling business environment,” the Minister emphasised.

“As Government, our task is to lead this charge through an effective legislative framework that will strengthen the ability of our employers, public or private sector, to optimise competitiveness and workplace harmony,” he said.

JIS Social