The Ministry of Labour, in collaboration with the Barbados National Productivity Council, established a working committee in 2004 to address the issue of improving worker attitudes at the national level in a coordinated and consistent manner. The committee seeks to spread the message of GIVE (Great attitude, Initiative, Values and Excellence) to enhance the country’s level of service quality and by extension, improve its international competitiveness.
The objectives of the GIVE programme are as follows:
- To improve employer and employee attitudes in the public and private sector.
- To promote standards of appropriate behaviour in the workplace.
Pursuant to these objectives, it was noted that it was necessary to identify certain standards of appropriate behavior for the workplace as the framework for developing a national programme. The values, which were subsequently identified as the key areas of focus included:
- Good Deportment
- Customer Service
The GIVE Committee
- The Ministry of Labour
- Barbados National Productivity Council
- Labour Department
- Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council
- Performance, Review and Development System Unit
- Training Administration Division
- Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development
- Office of Public Sector Reform
- Barbados Community College
- Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic
- Barbados Vocational Training Board
- Government Information Service
- National Union of Public Workers
- Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
- Pinelands Creative Workshop
- Barbados Workers Union
- Barbados Employers’ Confederation
- The National Initiative for Service Excellence.
The GIVE Sub-Committees
The GIVE Programme consists of several components which include:
- Public Relations;
- Reward and Recognition;
- Personal Excellence;
- Education/ Schools Programme;
- Policies and Procedures; and
- Research and Development
In this regard, three sub-committees have been established to fully develop the programming in each aspect and action in the various elements. These consist of the Public Relations, Education and the Awards Ceremony Sub-committees. The Public Relations Sub-Committee was established to coordinate the activities involved in sensitizing the public on the GIVE initiative through the mass media and the use of promotional materials. The Education Sub-Committee was established to design and implement educational and training programmes to support the GIVE initiative. These programmes were developed to target new employees, trainee/students, supervisors and organizational heads. The Awards Ceremony Sub-Committee was established to plan and regulate the activities involved in hosting the Annual GIVE Award Ceremony.
Outreach and Sensitization
Since 2006, the Ministry has been conducting training workshops for the public service. Departments under the Ministry of Labour were initially targeted as well as the Audio-Visual Aids Department .These included the Labour Department, Barbados Vocational Training Board and the then Ministry of Labour and Immigration. These workshops are conducted by Mrs. Cecily Spencer-Cross and Miss Jennifer Sealy, members of the Education committee, and utilise a non-conventional method of learning involving drama and role-playing. The Ministry’s long term goal is to train every public servant in Barbados about the GIVE programme and all that it stands for. Sensitization programmes are also conducted in selected communities in collaboration with the Fine Arts department of the Barbados Community College, which is directed by tutor, Miss Yvonne Weekes. The medium of drama is again utilized since it is felt that a more creative and interactive format would be more effective. The presentations are based on real events and reflects both good and bad service on the island.
The Schools’ Programme
The Education Committee recognized that school children should be sensitized before they actually enter the workforce. A programme has been devised to convey the GIVE message to students in an interesting manner through
(i) the use of drama and
(ii) the conduct of presentations at morning assemblies.
The message involves the 5Ps which are Punctuality, Pleasant Personality, Perfect Attendance, Protection of Property andPositive Attitude. This component of the programme occurs during the first term of school (September- December) during which the Ministry visits ten (10) primary and secondary schools, Each school is also invited to inform the Ministry of one student who has exemplified the 5ps to be awarded at Speech Day (Secondary Schools) or Graduation (Primary Schools).
Useful promotional items (pencil cases, rulers, pens and pencils) bearing the GIVE logo are presented to the schools during the activity. Children appear excited about the drama and it is our hope that the message is just as readily received thus meeting our objectives.
The GIVE Awards
The GIVE Committee agreed that the public sector should become a model for service excellence, high productivity and unwavering professionalism. It recognized that the public service has a number of excellent workers who exhibit all of the positive attributes of GIVE and while their contributions are appreciated, they are not recognized nationally. Therefore, the Ministry decided to introduce the Annual GIVE Award Ceremony to pay tribute to those government employees who clearly emulate integrity, self-motivation, efficiency, loyalty and great skill. All of the awardees have excelled in several areas of professional conduct such as attendance, punctuality, deportment, interpersonal and public relations and adherence to public sector procedures.
The Nomination Process: The GIVE Awards Ceremony Subcommittee developed a fair system for the nomination process for the GIVE Awards, which involved developing a standardized method for allocating the number of awards which each Ministry was granted. Currently, the awards are allocated based on the number of departments under a ministry using a 2:1 ratio, i.e. for every two departments, the Ministry of Labour is willing to offer one award to the individual ministries. The subcommittee also developed nomination standards to assist ministries in developing fair and impartial nomination processes. It is recommended that the following steps are taken: All ministries should identify a liaison to work with the GIVE Awards Sub-committee to identify the awardees. At the departmental level, each department head should identify persons who demonstrate uncompromising work ethics and great attitudes and would therefore meet the following criteria:
- Good deportment (conduct, dress)
- High level of output
- Respect for authority
- Good interpersonal relations
- Good relations with the public
- Adherence to public sector procedures
Co-workers should be given the opportunity to recommend persons, who through their nomination, has clearly earned the respect of those who work with them on a daily basis. This would also reduce any skepticism that there is some degree of favoritism exercised by supervisors in the nomination of any individual. At the ministerial level, with nominations from each department, the Ministry should conduct interviews to determine the final choice(s) for the GIVE Award. It is recommended to involve the GIVE Awards Committee representative during this interview process to ensure that the winner truly reflects the values of the GIVE Award. For smaller ministries, it is recognized that interview(s) may not be necessary. However, the staff could be involved in the final selection process by voting on a shortlist of awardees, which was developed by the senior staff and the liaison. The person(s) with the most votes would get the GIVE award(s). Outstanding persons who participate in the overseas employment programmes managed by the Ministry are also rewarded because these persons act as ambassadors of Barbados to the world.