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Employee engagement a priority

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley (centre), Permanent Secretary of Culture and Sports, Ernesta Drakes (left) and Permanent Secretary, Irvine Best.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley (centre), Permanent Secretary of Culture and Sports, Ernesta Drakes (left) and Permanent Secretary, Irvine Best.

Increased employee engagement is one of the major priorities planned to continuously enhance the output of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth.

This assertion was made by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, during a welcome back reception held in his honour yesterday at the ministry’s headquarters in Haggatt Hall. The function was organised by the ministry’s staff.

Thanking workers for the kind gesture, Lashley lauded the “comprehensive and authoritative achievements” that the ministry was able to attain over the last three years, but also stressed “there was still a lot of work to be done”.

Pointing out that the Division of Family was now under to the Ministry of Social Care, he said a smaller ministry would give him the opportunity to be “more intimately involved in culture, sports and youth”.

Lashley stressed that staff participation was paramount to achieving success and disclosed that he would be encouraging a greater feedback within the ministry.

“I believe we should have discussions where management not only speaks with employees, but give you [the staff] the opportunity to talk back to us, to share your ideas, areas of focus and possible areas to explore,” he indicated, adding that there would also be more departmental meetings.

He noted that there was a need to analyse what the Ministry had been doing and called for more brainstorming sessions; stating that such tools were essential to achieving even better results.

“Our captive constituencies are demanding more from us, and we will aim to serve them in a much smarter way. We are going to be doing quite a bit of retooling, refocusing and reaching out in terms of our mandate,” the minister said.

“So, I will be calling on you, through the permanent secretaries and department heads, to propose how we could do [things] better or achieve our results in a more productive manner.”

Lashley underlined that because of the ministry’s dynamism and cross fertilisation of policy and agenda, it was critical that staff worked not only together, but with other ministries, and also members of the public.

He continued: “There will be more dynamism in terms of the areas we want to achieve. We are committed to doing much more for our young people in the area of innovation… We have to think and act out of the box, as well as reach out to each other in terms of our projects and programmes.”

Emphasising that the immediate future required an aggressive approach, the minister outlined that work included implementing the National Youth Policy; the Cultural Industries Development Bill; and the Sports Development Act.

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