Phone slaves

HR expert blames mobiles for time wasting on the job

The increasing use of mobile phones on the job is responsible for a lot of time wasting in the labour force, a leading trade unionist and human resources expert said Thursday.

Senior Assistant General Secretary and Human Resource Manager of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Gillian Alleyne suggested at a symposium on labour and productivity that some people have become slaves to the cell phone.

BWU Senior Assistant General Secretary and Human Resource Manager Gillian Alleyne
BWU Senior Assistant General Secretary
and Human Resource Manager Gillian Alleyne

“We have to get our faces up out of those devices. The technology is good but we have to learn to operate without them,” she said.

Alleyne did not provide statistics to support her position. However, she recalled an incident where she spent 45 minutes texting fellow employees who were on the union compound at the time.

Alleyne also identified poor management as a contributor to low productivity, contending that the absence of clarity among workers sometimes led to staff operating on “autopilot”.

The human resource manager also identified a lack of effective communication, stating that some managers did not always set out their plans clearly, leaving employees unsure as to the company’s objectives.

“There are many people on autopilot in organizations and there is no clear focus, and even if there is, sometimes it resides in the head of one or two people and it does not trickle down to the people who have to get on with the business,” Alleyne contended.

The issue of trust also emerged during the symposium, with Chief Labour Officer Vincent Burnett recommending education programmes on productivity matters for the workforce.

“A lot of people might not necessarily trust the outcomes of whatever productivity measures are put in place, maybe because of a lack of understanding, [or] maybe because they are not made aware of why these things are supposed to happen. If there is that understanding, then we are on the road to ensuring that we are able to have sustained development,” Burnett told those present at the Barbados Workers Union headquarters at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St Michael for the event.

He emphasized the importance of trust, saying when parties were willing to share information, have open discussions and be transparent, it augured well for the development of trust.

The Chief Labour Officer also suggested that trust between employers and employees could place Barbados on the road to sustained development.

Stressing that the rebuilding of trust in the current hostile economic environment could present major challenges, the senior civil servant said: “It is not easy in this economic environment to speak about trust and building trust. Every day I have to sit and deal with situations between employers and employees and you can see the danger that the lack of trust puts on the discussions. It is hard to rebuild trust after it has gone.

“We do not always get what we want in negotiations, but if we get somewhere near to what we wanted then we are better off. Barbados could be in the doldrums if we do not look at productivity,” Burnett said.

Source: (BGIS)

10 Responses to Phone slaves

  1. Ras Small
    Ras Small July 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    The got we real gud! More free labour and hobby money fah dem whilst we pay as always.
    It’s called progress.

  2. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva July 22, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Because what she is addressing has nothing to do with texting and driving. Pay attention to what the woman is talking about and try not to turn it into the topic you want.

  3. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva July 22, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    The issue she is addressing has been dealt with in other countries. Bim may be a little behind. However it was just a matter of time before Bajans would of started facing this problem. It is a big problem nevertheless it is one which is very easy to solve. Employees need to respect the their employers, their rules and live by the rules. Once rules are in place there shouldn’t be further issue. If it can be accomplished everywhere else there is no reason it cannot be accomplished in Barbados.

  4. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva July 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    The school issue is another matter. As far as using your phone for business, if it is required then that’s what you do. However, do not use it other than for work, when at work. Simple, if the cell is not required on the job, you leave it in your locker or car. There are some occupations where it is dangerous to use cells. Productivity is also a major concern as well as safety. People need to take responsibility and abide by and follow rules. It is done everyday in other places, Barbados is no different. If Bajans can’t accept simple rules, follow those rules, then there is something wrong with them. This is like I said, a very simple, solvable issue. Once dealt with it should fall in place. Some of the things that can screw it up from not working is, if employees do not make clear, precise rules, do not do as they preach, do not enforce the rules evenly and fairly for everyone and do not have consequences for those who break the rules. It will be interesting to see how Bajans will take to such a simple matter, whether or not they will adapt without making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  5. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva July 22, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Not once did she mention safety which surprises me. Unless of course Occupation and Safety will be the next to address cells on the job. Safety should be as great of a concern as productive, or perhaps even more of a concern. Cells should not only be banned for productivity reasons by as well as safety reasons. Those who are allowed to use cells on the job should also be taught safety.

  6. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva July 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    The solution to preventing workers from checking fb accounts on work time is simple, install an app to disallow access to fb.

  7. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva July 22, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Also not all employees who work on computers need to have access to the internet, eg data entry clerks. Positions not requiring internet service, should not have internet service period.

  8. Alex Alleyne July 23, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Licking their mout’ on the job. As per usual in BIM.

  9. ch July 23, 2016 at 1:39 am

    It actually looks stupid when adults ( 18 and over) show a lack of basic manners by using cell-phones inappropriately. Whether it is at their jobs or in other professional settings such as during bank transactions or other persons’ offices. Or in church; or using pedestrian crossings etc.
    Trust me, if someone has to tell you to turn off or put down your cell-phone, they already think that you’re an idiot who should know better.


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