BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tuesday February 24, 2015, CMC – Prime Minister Freundel Stuart Monday urged Barbadians to work towards maintaining a high level of excellence in the country.
“The race upon which we are embarked is for a place at the top and not a place at the bottom. So, let us use this week to remind ourselves that an indispensable prerequisite of where we want to be is the attainment of excellence at all times in everything we do, and everything we produce – whether goods or services,” he said.
Delivering the feature address at launch of the National Productivity Council’s Annual week of Excellence, Prime Minister Stuart said if Barbados is to achieve excellence, there must be a higher level of engagement by all workers.
He told his audience that this higher level of engagement would only be possible when the fostering of constructive relationships, based on mutual respect between the various categories of personnel in a work place, was deemed by all concerned to be an essential part of the work environment.
Prime Minister Stuart said that Barbados’ human resource was the cornerstone upon which recovery, growth, development and prosperity would lie.
“So, in addition to the need for individuals to seek to build better and more constructive working relationships, the government for its part must also take great care to ensure that policies, programmes and strategies are designed to enable our human resources to make the maximum possible contribution towards the development of our nation.
“I cannot overstate the importance of tripartite fora such as these, where representatives of government, the private sector and labour can come together to discuss pertinent issues of national importance.”
He said through mechanisms such as the Social Partnership, the people-centered approach to social and economic development is reinforced.
“Such mechanisms place people at the heart of social and economic policies, thereby ensuring that the results of these policies redound to the overall benefit of the country’s citizens,” he told delegates.
During his address, Prime Minister Stuart highlighted the National Initiative for Service Excellence Employee Engagement Index for August to October 2011 that indicated that only three out of every 10 Barbadian employees were engaged at work.
He said that the measurement also confirmed that there was little difference between the levels of employee engagement within the country’s public sector (31 per cent) and private sector (33 per cent).
“These findings showed that both the Government and the private sector are yet to harness the full potential of the Barbadian workforce,” he said, noting that he did not know if the study had been updated, but stressed that it was recent enough to still be of relevance.
Prime Minister Stuart noted that the successful development of a nation required good leadership at all levels, including at the political, social, economic and religious spheres, as well as the general citizenry.
He told delegates that the year-round pursuit of excellence for Barbados was now an inescapable imperative of living in an increasingly globalised world and that no nation in today’s world could claim to make progress without an obvious commitment to the pursuit of excellence, while maintaining that there was no room for mediocrity.