Chamber Voice: Ensuring Staff Love Their Jobs

By Ian Ferguson

Our last few columns have taken us deep into exploring, and understanding, the lack of efficiency that exists in the Bahamian workforce and the challenges that this presents on a macroeconomic scale. We have addressed the challenges posed by low levels of competence in the already small - and seemingly shrinking - labour pool, as well as the business processes and existing corporate culture that seems stuck in a 1940’s model of blatant nepotism and celebration of mediocrity.

Our article this week calls on both business owners and employees to think more carefully about their work lives, and how well they are serving the economy at large. We explore today the top 10 reasons why employees hate their jobs:

Reason 1: The Pay Sucks

Tips for Employers:

  • Find ways to provide value adds for employees, including free training, reward and recognition programmes.

  • Create a bonus incentive programme based on job performance, so as to financially reward only those making a significant contribution.

  • Investigate the pay scale of your competitors and make the necessary changes to stay in the top 50 percentile.

Reason 2: My Manager is a poor leader

Tips for Employers:

  • Invest in management/leadership training for your managers and supervisors. Research has indicated that people seldom leave their jobs then leave their managers.

  • Create an accountability system for managers, which might include staff objectively evaluating their leaders. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even good managers unchecked become monsters.

Reason 3: I am


Tips for Employers:

  • Enhance your reward and recognition system. Let team members know, often in tangible ways, how valuable they are to the organisation.

Reason 4: I am


Tips for Employers:

  • Delegate responsibly. Sometimes the tendency is to overwork the gifted and talented members on the team. You will burn out the few, while the mediocre coast their way through, weakening the fabric of the company.

  • Share the work load reasonably, not allowing employees to ride on the wind of others

Reason 5: I am not


Tips for Employers:

  • Share the exciting and demanding work assignments among team members

Reason 6: There’s no

future for me here

Tips for Employers:

  • Ensure a clearly-defined career path for each employee despite the size of the company.

  • Create a succession plan for key roles in the company.

  • Allow employees to see your company promoting from within (after investing in preparing emerging leaders). This greatly boosts staff morale.

Reason 7: The work

environment is too cold and frigid

Tips for Employers:

  • Create a corporate casual culture. People enjoy working in a less tense environment.

  • Adjust your company policies that might come off as stuffy, antiquated and mean.

Reason 8: No support from the team

Tips for Employers:

  • Create a culture of contribution rather than competition.

  • Hold regular team-building retreats, and engage employees in deliberate interactions with other employees.

  • Reject a culture of passing the buck.

Reason 9: No Staff Empowerment

Tips for Employers:

  • Empower your staff…It’s that simple!

Reason 10: Little or No Benefits

Tips for Employers:

  • Benefits matter…look into pension, medical, education benefits for employees. It sends a powerful message to them.

NB: Ian R. Ferguson was educated locally, regionally and internationally, having earned a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Miami. During the course of his nearly 20 years in education, talent management and human resources, he has served both the public and private sector in senior management roles. He currently serves as manager of the Chamber Institute, and as a local consultant in the field, having assisted hundreds of local and regional businesses in improving business and service excellence through their human capital.


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