CEO of NISE, Kim Tudor presenting the NISE Employee Engagement Index (NEEX) Results.

Engagement rises

Employee Engagement in Barbados has risen.

The National Initiative for Service Excellence – NISE Employee Engagement Index (NEEX) shows an increase by eight points from 23.1 per cent in 2011 to 31.1 per cent in 2016.

CEO of NISE, Kim Tudor made this disclosure as she presented the NEEX Results, during the NEEX Leaders’ Forum, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), yesterday.

The public sector, she indicated, had higher levels of engagement 32.1 per cent compared to the private sector’s 31 per cent; and lower levels of disengagement 25.5 per cent than the private sector’s 31.7 per cent.

“A lot of persons in the public-sector work in areas of “public good”. For example, a firearm saves a life, saves a house – he can see meaning in his work… Where the private sector had higher scores, they were more satisfied with their working conditions and their sources. The private sector also had a stronger customer focus as well as higher scores when it came to innovation. The public sector governed by rules and regulations does not always have a lot scope for innovation, but they need to find some.”

Tudor said that Wholesale and Retail, the largest sector in terms of employees, had the lowest level of engagement at 20 per cent. She told the Forum that half of the employees in the Wholesale and Retail Sector are disengaged.

“Wholesale and Retail employees had significantly lower levels of commitment, vitality and loyalty,” she pointed out.

In her presentation, Tudor revealed that employees over 45 years were more likely to stay with the organisation, had greater engagement and vitality and were more committed and loyal. Whereas, employees with more than 25 years with the organisation are twice as engaged as those with less than ten years.

She also noted that Directors and Managers are more than two and a half times as engaged as Customer Facing staff; and four times as many Customer Facing employees are disengaged when compared to Directors and Managers.

“We are led by leaders who are engaged and passionate… It is going to be a joint effort between you leaders and NISE in terms of how do we get those Customer Facing staff with higher levels of engagement. Because we are not going to get the customer satisfaction that we want if the Customer Facing staff are not engaged.”
As it relates to entrepreneurs, Tudor said results showed that they are twice as engaged in their work than employees.

“You have a passion for your work, you devote yourself to improvement and development and you enjoy making a contribution. What this may be showing is that with entrepreneurs, it is not so much about being your own boss; its more about getting an opportunity to do the work you love.”

While noting that the increase by eight points is significant, but that there is still a long way to go, Senator Dr. the Hon. Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, expressed that credit must be given to NISE.

“We must give credit to NISE because of the work they have done in promoting engagement and ensuring that workers as well as employers understand what engagement is; why we want to engage them, and what are those hinderances to engagement and how we can go about addressing them. I think that having begun that discourse in Barbados we have been able to see some things change, including the work that my Ministry has done.

“I believe that if you want to see engagement we have to put people where they fit; where they belong, where they are doing something that they are passionate about,” she stated. (TL)

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