Strong and decisive leadership in both the public and private sectors is needed in order for this country to move forward.

That is the opinion of Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, who stated that both sectors require ???men and women who are genuinely prepared to place national interests ahead of egos and personal satisfaction???.

Addressing the Barbados Association of Office Professionals??? (BAOP) Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony under the theme: Treasuring our Past, Celebrating the Present and Shaping the Future at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, over the weekend, Mr. Inniss reasoned that those future leaders were now ???quietly lurking??? in our homes, schools and workplaces.

He, therefore, challenged members of the BAOP to start moulding the characters of those future leaders.?????Our future must be one where there is less of an adversarial relationship between management and workers, between owners of capital and employees. You have a duty to be the bridge between the managers and workers, not just as a carrier of news but more importantly as one who helps shape policies and programmes,??? the Minister added.

Mr. Inniss contended that the Barbados of today was still too engaged in talks about layoffs and downsizing. ???We need to urgently make a paradigm shift in our thought processes and actions that will lead right away to hirings and upsizing???.Our immediate future must have organisations and workers that have enlightened human resource policies that appreciate that it takes more than money to motivate employees,??? he underscored.

The Commerce Minister told those gathered that whilst he appreciated the desire of all to have a higher salary and in most instances such may be quite justified and desirable, the reality was that today???s enlightened organisation will focus more on employee engagement at all levels; the need for support services for employees; and better physical working conditions, among other things.??He urged the BAOP as an organisation must lend its voice of wisdom and experience on these matters.

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