An agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, the JBDC is Jamaica’s premier business development organisation working collaboratively with government, private sector, as well as, academic, research and international communities.



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By the end of the first quarter of the new financial year, several public and private sector entities will have official data on the level of employee engagement within their organizations. The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is currently interviewing more than 500 employees in the country’s first National Employee Engagement Survey, the results of which will shed light on the current state of the country’s labour force.

According to the JBDC’s Project Management & Research Manager, Lisa Taylor-Stone, international data has revealed that employee engagement drives business outcomes. Engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, more customer-focused, and more likely to stay. Highly engaged workplaces grow faster, adapt quicker, and innovate more.

“Top-performing organizations don’t just benefit from employee engagement; they depend on it. Many employers tend to focus on employee satisfaction, not knowing that a satisfied employee is not necessarily engaged and therefore does not contribute enough to towards the success of the organization. A satisfied employee is comfortable with his/her place of work, salary & benefits, but does not have the company’s interest at heart. An “engaged employee” is defined as one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests,” she explained.

Mrs. Taylor-Stone says the research methodology should provide powerful analysis to inform and implement policies which promote employee engagement. “We are using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) 17-point questionnaire to measure engagement. The concept of engagement consists of three attributes which include: Vigor, Dedication and Absorption. The data for the three attributes will be aggregated to form a range representing employee engagement,” she said. The questionnaire covers the following areas: Commitment, Satisfaction, Loyalty, Alignment of Effort with Strategy, Empowerment, Teamwork and Collaboration, Support and Recognition, Supervisory Relations, Training and Development, as well as, Compensation and Benefits.

The JBDC will also host a Research Coaching for HR Practitioners, with a focus on Employee Engagement & Satisfaction April 19 – 21, 2016 at the Agency’s Incubator & Resource Centre in Kingston. The workshop will explore topics including designing employee engagement & satisfaction surveys, qualitative research methods for employee engagement, facilitation of employee focus groups, best employers and their winning strategies and engaging middle managers to engage employees.

“The workshop promises Return on Investment (ROI) such as retaining employees and getting your competitors’, getting 100{76a8d7781acf40d95f934ce6b1018934dacab67350035f5e85216bc0c6070443} out of employees, growing productivity, improving revenue and sales, transforming employees into lean-mean marketing machines, as well as winning over “actively disengaged” employees,” she added. Participants will also benefit from add-ons including interaction with employers of choice & learning their winning strategies, free employee engagement survey and post-workshop consultation.

The JBDC’s Project Management & Research Department has hosted various workshops over the past few years including Applied Research Methodology and Proposal Writing, which has been a resounding success with participants acquiring grant funding amounting to approximately JMD$76 million. “Much attention is given to
processes and products in business management, but too little is paid to the people, which essentially is the engine that drives productivity. Once we address that very important factor, we will be well on our way to growth. We are highly anticipating the outcome of this survey and look forward to seeing the results being used to effect culture change within organizations and also to create better workplaces. We want our labour force to be both satisfied and engaged, so they will remain here to contribute to the overall development of the country,” she said.


The cost of the workshop is $36,000 including meals and a workshop manual.

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Jamaica Business Development Corporation
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