Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, is calling on businesses to place greater emphasis on increasing employee engagement, noting that this is critical in achieving the levels of productivity needed to boost economic growth.
He was addressing the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Engagement Seminar, held at the agency’s Incubator and Resource Centre in St. Andrew on Thursday (October 8).
Dr. Dunn cited a 2016 JBDC National Engagement Report, which showed that at the national level, 75.5 per cent of the labour force was engaged, with 41.5 per cent being actively engaged and 35 per cent being moderately engaged.
This means that 24.5 per cent or approximately one in four employees is disengaged, either moderately disengaged (20.5 per cent) or actively disengaged (2.5 per cent).
Dr. Dunn said that a shift is needed for the 24. 5 per cent of the workforce, as indicated by the survey.
“What we certainly want to see is a greater percentage of our employees more actively engaged and more motivated to achieve our vision for a better Jamaica,” he noted, stressing that low levels of productivity and disengagement negatively impact organisations and national growth.
He said the Government sees workplace engagement as a priority and will provide appropriate legislation to “drive up our productivity and prosperity”.
“Critical to all of this is the focus on the development of human capital through capacity building and training programmes,” he noted.
“We cannot underestimate the vital importance of having a skilled and highly trained and engaged workforce,” he added.
The State Ministry lauded the JBDC for its leadership role in the promotion of employee engagement, especially among micro, small and medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
He said that the staging of the seminar under the theme ‘Lead in the Moment: Empower. Pivot. Grow’ was “very appropriate”, given the changes that are affecting workforces across the globe due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic.