Research consultant at Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) Letsogile Batsetswe has cautioned against some people in the national labour force whose bad attitude and lack of accountability has immensely contributed to them not conforming to their set work ethics.
Updating stakeholders on Botswana’s competitiveness and the business environment status in Maun on Thursday, Batsetswe said BNPC has now come up with a work ethic investigation which will allow them to go deeper to see what still needs to be done, since they want to take it upon themselves to develop mindset change, to make people identify with their leadership roles as well as to improve issues of accountability at the work place.
“As a country we are also challenged as we still have an inadequately educated workforce. We might have institutions in place but there are still concerns of stagnation. These are human related factors and so we will not give up on improving work ethics since we already know some key components.
“We will work on the investigation, and based on the findings, we will probably come up with measures to address some of these issues,” he said.
He added: “We are still lagging behind on issues of technological readiness, which is why we need to ask ourselves how advanced we are as a country.
“Even the quality of products we produce locally is still very low. And while it is important for government to provide a conducive environment, it is also important for those already in business to take the lead and minimise their dependency on government support.
“As you may be aware, most businesses do not have standardised processes as is required and this affects productivity levels.”
Sharing Batsetswe’s sentiments was BNPC’s acting general manager Matlho Kgosi who stated that an observation has been made to the effect that too much reliance on government support by some business owners has led to the collapse of some of their establishments.
She said it is very wrong for people in business to wait for the commencement of the financial year for them to get government tenders, saying they should instead come up with other techniques of continuing even during times when tenders are not upcoming.
On the issue of poor work ethics, she pointed out that almost all departments are affected and that the BNPC has not been spared.
“Even at BNPC we still have a workforce that we still have to turn around so that they lead by example in applying best work ethics behavior. And besides the work ethic investigation that is to be carried out, we will also have an executive opinion survey which will have an increased coverage to even include Selebi Phikwe, Maun and Francistown, to mention a few”.
Meanwhile, Industrial officer at the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry Jacinta Malunga stressed the need for Batswana to always ensure that the business frontier is predictable, saying it is important to have honesty about a service that a customer is being offered.
He said, however, this could only be achieved if there is enough transparency, given that researchers have already raised complaints about the unavailability of detailed data which is believed be one of the most problematic factors of doing business in Botswana.
“Their findings have been that even in instances when data is availed, it is often not in a useable format and as a result not easy to access. Issues of corruption have also been picked up, which therefore calls for a lot of improvement on various aspects that will allow for the smooth running of businesses going forward because as it stands now our business environment has worsened. We have to work hard towards upgrading investor confidence as well as attracting Foreign Direct Investment.
“We also need to standardise processes to facilitate trade so that even cross border trade can be enjoyed by all”.