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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The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has added another to its growing list of industry firsts with the staging of the inaugural Employee Engagement Conference scheduled to take place at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on October 31, 2017. The conference follows on the release of the National Employee Engagement Report (2016) which found that only 41.5% of Jamaican workers are actively engaged on the job.

The conference is being staged in partnership with the University of the West Indies, Mona and features world renowned Executive Engagement Coach and author of The People Pill, Australian, Ken Wright as Keynote Speaker. Wright describes Engagement as “the measure of a team’s emotional commitment to their leader.” This, he says is critically important for the bottom-line.”

According to Lisa Taylor-Stone, Manager of JBDC’s Project Management and Research Department, The National Employee Engagement Report, Jamaica – 2016 was designed and executed by JBDC and comprises data that was provided by over 500 employees representing 37 companies across multiple industries within the private and public sectors in Jamaica via survey using convenience sampling over 5 months spanning January 2015 – February 2016.

At the national level, 75.5% of the labour force is engaged, with 41.5% being ‘actively engaged’ and 35% being ‘moderately engaged’. This means that 24.5%, approximately one in four employees is ‘disengaged’ either moderately disengaged (20.5%) or actively disengaged (2.5%).

“The ideal scenario is to have your employees Actively Engaged as they feel connected to their job at least an average of 60% of a regular work month. But, with the Moderately Engaged – at least for 20%, Passively Disengaged – no more than 15% and Actively Disengaged- no more than 5%, one can decipher the low level of productivity and negative impact on the bottom-line and ultimately economic growth. Employee disengagement comes at a financial cost. For example, it costs the United States of America an average of US $168.5 billion per year. There is no dollar value of the impact of disengagement on the Jamaican economy. However, Jamaica has the lowest labour productivity rate (i.e. unit of output per worker) when compared to its major trading partners in the Caribbean and North America,” Taylor-Stone explained.

Taylor-Stone argues that engagement must become a priority for employers in order to increase productivity in the workforce by becoming masters of engagement who are able to identify disengaged team members as well as implement strategies to increase engagement. The Report highlights the top 4 drivers of engagement in Jamaica at the national level as: (1) Satisfaction and Loyalty, (2) Perception of Job, (3) Support and Recognition and (4) Development Plans.

“People make up companies and companies contribute to the economy, so we must begin with the unit of analysis, which is the employee. At the organizational level, we found other drivers such as Line of sight, which is critical, as employees should see themselves as beneficiaries from the company’s growth as a result of their output. Perceptions of the Job as a Career is also significant, as you do not want employees working in your organization until better comes. Employees who see their jobs as a career are more successful,” she added.

Several top local experts are booked to present at the upcoming conference which targets, executives and managers: Dr. Orville Taylor – Head of Department, Sociology, Psychology & Social Work – UWI, Clement Branche – Head of Unit, Human Resource Development Graduate Programmes – UWI, Dr. Patricia Holness – Former CEO, Registrar General Department, Dr. Carvell McLeary – Senior Director, Human Resource Management & Administration, Airports Authority of Jamaica, Dr. Hopelin Hines – Director, Total Rewards & Evaluation , Scotia Group Jamaica Ltd., Tyrone Wilson – President & CEO, eMedia Interactive Group Ltd., Desrine McFarlane – Manager, Business Human Resource, Jamaica & Trinidad, 3M Interamerica Incorporated, Melverine Hemmings – Head of Human Resources, Red Stripe, Dr. Sophia Morgan – Organizational Consultant & Lecturer, UWI and Lisa Taylor-Stone.

Topics to be explored include: Employee engagement and productivity, Team input: obtaining “wisdom from the masses”, “Hold the Gold”: Creating a strategy to recognize and keep high-potential team members, Converting employees into super-marketers, Building trust & respect instead of being ‘liked’, Leadership skills to build engagement and deal with disengagement, Recognition & acknowledgement that cost nothing, Staying purpose driven: if a leader veers off track so will the team!, Engaging Generation Z through Creative Media, Decent work and decent work places, Engaging middle managers to engage employees, Making engagement happen will be the business decision for the next century, Engaging the “Sweet Spot” and administering the “People Pill”.

The event also features a private pre-conference cocktail for top executives with Ken Wright. Registration is available here.

Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries.


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