Tuesday, June 12, 2018

By Carl Gilchrist

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw has urged employers to focus more on helping to develop their employees in order to increase productivity in the workplace.

Addressing the 36th annual Business and Workplace Convention and Expo of the Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF) at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios on Thursday, Shaw said that this would help to stem Jamaica's declining productivity rate.

"I urge employers to commit to start working in earnest with your employee; ah beg yuh, start taking an interest in their personal development," Shaw said.

"When you have on-the-job training, when you help in personal development, it might not come back to you immediately, within a week or within a month, but believe me, within a six-month to a one-year period, you are going to begin to see the incremental return in increased employee productivity in your organisation.

"I'm asking you, commit yourself to it, don't write off Jamaicans ... we've been beleaguered by all kind of problems ... but don't let us lose hope," he pleaded.
Emphasising the need for increased productivity, Shaw pointed out that the country's prosperity depends not just on the number of people who are employed, but on their level of productivity.

But while asking JEF to invest in their workers, Shaw at the same time commended the organisation for "continually assisting your members to achieve global competitiveness," leading to the group remaining the premier employers' organisation in the region.

He also commended the JEF for selecting the theme 'The Challenge of Change', which he said draws attention to the need to place workers at the centre of our aspirations as a country in order to increase productivity, economic growth and to move to prosperity.

Over the years, members of the JEF have been exposed to personal development courses on a regular basis. During September and October of last year, around 20 short courses were held covering topics such as stress management and coping strategies, fundamental of human resources management, transition from staff member to management, among others.

The three-day convention, which ended on Saturday, attracted scores of persons to the various booths.


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