JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has emphasised that employers have the ultimate responsibility to ensure productivity and efficiency in the workplace and must put the requisite leadership in place for this to be achieved.
  • The Prime Minister was addressing the 34th staging of the Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) Annual Business and Workplace Convention at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, on May 27.
  • Mr. Holness urged business leaders not to be afraid to take the tough decisions, reminding them that running an effective business usually comes with making decisions that are unpopular.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has emphasised that employers have the ultimate responsibility to ensure productivity and efficiency in the workplace and must put the requisite leadership in place for this to be achieved.

Mr. Holness argued that to do otherwise could be devastatingly costly and counter productive.

“In this regard, the employers do have equal if not more responsibility than the employees to ensure efficiency and productivity within the organization. And, that is even more so in the case of Government – the largest employer of persons in the country,” he said.

             The Prime Minister was addressing the 34th staging of the Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) Annual Business and Workplace Convention at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, on May 27.

             Mr. Holness said while there has been discussion on the “slouchiness” of  Government’s bureaucracy, ultimately it is the employer who has the responsibility to put in place the systems under which the civil service will work efficiently.

          “I am not excusing that there probably is a culture of slouchiness. But at the same time there must be leadership. So the message that I want to give today, not just for the State as an employer, but to the private sector as well, is that you must take the leadership in ensuring productivity and efficiency in your own organization,” he added.

Mr. Holness urged business leaders not to be afraid to take the tough decisions, reminding them that running an effective business usually comes with making decisions that are unpopular.

             “I am often reminded that leadership is not necessarily doing what is popular or fashionable all the time. Oftentimes this will mean some form of discomfort and some form of conflict. However, if it is properly managed, at the end of the day the benefits will be for all,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that increasing productivity could well lie with the cutting of waste and the effective use of human capital in the workplace.

          “I know there are many Jamaican companies that are investing heavily in their staff. And in keeping with your theme, ‘Empower people, Energize business’, the Government has to move with even greater speed and alacrity in this regard, because the big picture is that the level of debt the country owes must be brought down to sub 100 per cent  of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the next three to four years,” he told the meeting.

            Mr. Holness said to achieve this, the Government will have to grow the economy rapidly or rely wholly and solely on austerity, where we spend less on important social and capital initiatives.

The Prime Minister noted that it is important to keep the country’s attention on getting more out of what it currently has, which would mean the elimination of waste.

            Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said Jamaica has been able to achieve relative peace on the labour relations front, resulting from the great work and understanding between employers and employees over the years.

This has allowed for a harmonious climate where the country has benefited significantly since Independence, paving the way for a democracy of the people and by the people, he added.