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Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart. (FP)??

Barbados cannot function effectively nor can it continue to develop without the sterling contribution of public servants.

This was the strong message to public officers last evening from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as he delivered the feature address at the Ministry of Labour’s Fifth GIVE (Great attitudes, Initiative, Values and Excellence) Awards at Hilton Barbados.

Mr. Stuart acknowledged that Barbados possesses very limited natural resources. However, he said it is blessed with an endowment of high quality human resources. "This, among other factors, has led to the development of a very strong service economy with the international business, financial services and tourism sectors emerging as major contributors to our economy," he stated.

According to him, the success of those sectors had been founded on Barbados’ ability to guarantee business facilitation services and to develop relevant legislative, regulatory and treaty frameworks. "This, has, in turn, depended on the input of workers in the public sector, at every level. Our public sector workers should, therefore, be proud of the contribution they have made, and continue to make, to our economic development," he stressed.

He noted that research had shown that the more often praise and merited recognition were given employees, the better they performed. However, the Prime Minister maintained that recognition and rewards could not be the sole reasons for performing well.

"I cling to the view that an individual who performs well without recognition is an individual who gives God thanks for his or her job and has pride in it; who holds a disdain for mediocrity; who painstakingly works towards improvement; and who pursues excellence at all times," he said.

Mr. Stuart proffered the view that the GIVE programme was not only a recognition and rewards initiative, but a catalyst for public officers to strive for greater development. He continued: "The programme should encourage individuals to be in charge of their growth and advancement; it should encourage them to exercise self-direction and self-control, to make innovative decisions, to be more responsible for their work, and to mentor work colleagues and encourage them to be more proud of their work. Every public servant should realise that he or she has potential and should develop that potential for self-fulfillment."

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Fire Officer, Terry Griffith receiving his??Spirit of the Public Sector Development Award from OPSR Director, Michael Archer.??(A. Miller/BGIS)

He added that as public officers placed more emphasis on achieving those goals and continuing to develop desirable attitudes and behaviour in the public sector, "we should see a more customer-focussed, customer-driven employee who is empowered to operate in a professional manner".

The Prime Minister noted that initiatives such as the GIVE programme which not only recognised and rewarded excellence, but also motivated people, should not be compromised by negative attitudes and poor performance.

He highlighted punctuality and co-operation as two of the eight criteria for the awards and stated that punctuality, as a concept, still seemed to pose challenges for too many people. He expressed the view that it did not refer only to being early, or to being governed by the clock, but must be extended to the timely and expeditious delivery of services.

"Similarly, the word co-operation connotes and denotes working together. It does not refer only to working with our colleagues within our organisations, but also with our external clients. It refers also to partnership with our stakeholders.

"Individuals who uphold these two principles tend to be those who endeavour to provide efficient and effective customer service, who seek to ensure that their work is of a consistently high quality and who demonstrate respect for their colleagues and their supervisors at all times," he asserted.

Mr. Stuart congratulated the awardees, saying they had demonstrated that the public service comprised individuals of very high repute and also commended the Ministry of Labour for the GIVE initiative.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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