By CATHERINE NYIRENDA –
LABOUR and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda has called on workers in Zambia to emulate President Michael Sata’s hard work ethic and time management to improve productivity in the country.
Mr Shamenda described President Sata as a champion of productivity in the nation.
He said this yesterday at the Government complex in Lusaka when he officially opened a one-day consultative workshop aimed at finalizing the first ever Productivity year book for the country.
“You will agree with me all, that from the time his Excellency was a public worker to this very day, he has continued to advocate positive mindset and productive culture in both the public and private sector, even when he is not feeling too well he stands up, he doesn’t shy away and goes to perform public functions, instead of giving him credit people are saying otherwise,” Mr Shamenda said.
He said unless one is bedridden, it was a worker’s responsibility to perform certain functions and later go back to the hospital bed.
He said President Sata was equally disciplined in time keeping such that he advises his ministers to report for cabinet meetings 30 minutes before deliberations begin.
“The President is a good time keeper, if the Cabinet meeting is starting at 09:00 he expects all of us to be seated by 08:30 so that we mingle and then we relax before we start our meeting,” he said.
He said punctuality was connected to productivity which people should endeavour to improve as it was very poor in Zambia compared to other countries in the region.
“I would like to urge and encourage workers to change their attitude to work and put in their best with the knowledge that is that the job puts bread and better on their plates. With improved culture, culture workers can justify their demands for improved conditions of service,” he said.
He urged trade unions to join forces in educating their members on the importance of productivity, which makes it easier for union leaders to negotiate from a stronger position as the profitability of the company would have gone up.
He said it was high time that the country started linking demands for higher wages to higher productivity.
“This is why performance appraisals are important and must be taken seriously as the era of awarding salary increment across the board must be a thing of the past as some workers are free riders and get awarded hefty increment on the efforts of a few hardworking employees,” he said.
The workshop was held under the theme, “providing labour productivity information for realistic planning, informed decision making and efficient management of resources.
The productivity year book was being produced by the Ministry of Labour to respond to the need of having a basis for measuring labour productivity across the country.
The information from the year book once finalised would aim at establishing the contribution of each sector to national labour productivity.
It would help Government identify sectors which require urgent productive interventions, help make sound resource allocation decision and help appropriate strategies for enhancing labour productivity.