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Jan 24, 2017

Improving Productivity in the Workplace

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, collaborating with representatives of the International Labour Organization and Caribbean Employers’ Conference, today hosted a one-day workshop in Belize City. It concerned improving productivity in the workplace for small and micro enterprises, which form a large part of Belize’s workforce even if they do not provide as many jobs. Productivity, as News Five’s Aaron Humes found out, is critical to helping even the smallest businesses survive and thrive.

 

Aaron Humes Reporting

Members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry who attended this morning’s workshop on improving productivity in the workplace for their enterprises must wonder if the idea was an oxymoron – after all, they could be more productive at their workplaces. But Vice-President for Commerce Rufino Lin says a different perspective is needed.

 

Rufino Lin

Rufino Lin, Vice-President, Commerce, Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“Productivity is all around us. Anybody who owns a vehicle will measure how many miles they get per gallon; that is a level of productivity. The engagement today is productivity in the workplace: how do we improve our outputs from the inputs that we put into any business enterprise. Today’s workshop is to bring together a wide sector of employers and representatives of the labour unions to be able to work together and engage in that public discussion of improving productivity in the workplace.”

 

Reporter

“What will be the main discussions around the table today with all the participants?”

 

Rufino Lin

“I’m sure we will focus on the types of inputs that we have; in the generation of goods and services we have inputs of labour, we have capital, we have also materials that we use to produce goods, so the discussion will be how we can make more efficient use of those inputs to produce goods and services in the economy.”

 

President Nikita Usher told us that Belize, which lags behind its Caribbean neighbours in terms of productivity and competition in business, must have its three arms of labour – employers, trade unions and Government – work together to change the state of affairs.

 

Nikita Usher

Nikita Usher, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“The Chamber is the lead organization for the I.L.O.; we are partners with the I.L.O., we have funding from the E.U. to as much as possible trying to improve productivity in the workplace. The Chamber has invited more than just entrepreneurs; but also, the Unions as well as the Government – because it will involve a three-prong approach: it takes the unions, it takes the employers, and it takes Government if there is need for any regulatory changes. And that is what we are hoping to come out of this session today.”

 

I.L.O. advisor Vanessa Phala says information is also key.

 

Vanessa Phala

Vanessa Phala, Employees Activities Specialist, I.L.O. Caribbean

“In some of the countries that we’ve seen, particularly those that seem to be doing well as far as productivity is concerned, is where you have a dedicated institution or dedicated administration that is responsible for collecting data; that is responsible for measuring productivity and also looking at the trends in terms of how the country is faring towards productivity. So you do need to look at ways and the feasibility of having a dedicated structure in place that is responsible for measuring and over time looking at the productivity trends.”

 

Only good things, says Lin, can come from this endeavour.

 

Rufino Lin

“Productivity is achieved over a period of time. And the important thing about productivity is really the mind-set – the knowledge of the tools available to measure productivity so that we can ensure that the resources we have available are used in an optimum way to generate the goods and services that the economic unit is engaged in producing.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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