It is apparent in the minds of many to first and foremost, land a job; get on the gravy train, and be the source of a significant turnaround in an organisation, when the need arises. However, there are major setbacks that organisations face in the journey to achieving company goals and objectives. These help build cohesion between employers and employees as they work together to achieve an established intent.
In the world of work in Ghana, there are a lot of missing elements that wreak great havoc in most organisations, leaving some establishments too handicapped to reach their full potential. Amongst the many missing elements of work in Ghana are two elaborated ones: Organisational Climate and Transparency.
Aristotle expressed in his teachings on the human nature: “Human beings have a natural desire and capacity to know and understand the truth, to pursue excellence, and to instantiate their ideals in the world through action.” Organisational Climate is an all-encompassing human resource concept that refers to the meanings people attach to interrelated bundles of experiences they have at work. Once an organisation lays the foundation of empowering its employees by providing avenues for learning and development, flexibility, rewards and recognition, the end result is evident: productivity – with the byproducts of customer satisfaction, profitability and even staff retention.
However, the culture of positive organisational climate is absent in most establishments in Ghana. Most employers fail to place great value on the work of their staff do and as such, do not offer the needed carte blanche for useful contributions and productive service. There are some outfits that actually still pay their staff below the stipulated daily minimum wage of Ghc10.65, and insufficient pay makes it impossible to build a robust and formidable team. Aside remunerations, there are several instances of harsh treatments employees encounter from their superiors, leaving them distraught and discouraged. ‘Where motivation is lacking, nonperformance finds a home.
When an organisation fails to create an atmosphere of acceptance, comfort and appreciation for its employees, creativity and maximum output is hindered. In creating the right organisational climate for workers, companies need to reassess the entire employee experience from the moment of entry, through to understanding and growing their job role, to avenues of growth and finally, to the moment of exit. With the right organisational climate, even un-retained talent will have nothing but positive stories to tell of the company, its brand, and its products and services.
“An organisation, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it”- Dee Hock- Founder, Visa.
In finding a suitable career, there are many axioms one may come across, and one of them is: follow your passion. That is absolutely true, and yet, one needs to assess their expertise and capabilities to know if they are truly in sync with the responsibilities that come with certain roles in an organisation. In a country like Ghana, where there is an issue of mass unemployment, most people have settled into roles that they neither love nor fit into. Today, most people are employed in companies where they are not fashioned to perform well. One cause of this is nepotism; where one lands a job only because of an affiliation to a societal bigwig or influential fellow. When this happens, we discover unqualified and underqualified workers who exude unprofessionalism and low standards of work. The process of seeking and acquiring talent should not be shrouded in bureaucracy. In the same vain, processes across the entire organisation should be clearly spelt out and made available to all workers within the organisation. This will not only create an environment that breeds confidence and trust, but will also open up opportunities for shared learning and corporate growth.
Gina McCarthy, an American environmental expert, puts it right. She said, “Transparency is all about letting in and embracing new ideas, technology and new approaches. No individual, entity or agency no matter how smart, how old or how experienced can afford to stop learning.” A culture of transparency will set a precedence for open communication, critical thinking and innovation. With these three, an organisation will begin to make more impact locally and globally. The absence of transparency automatically sets a negative tone for workers on a daily basis, which is neither beneficial for individuals nor the organisation.
In considering the world of work in Ghana, there are many elements that need improvement across industries. If there was a tall list of such elements that needed attention, these two points will be atop that list. If both organisational climate and transparency were taken seriously, they are sure to nudge organisations closer to the needed complete cohesion for both individual and corporate growth.
By: Dufie Boakye