The management of a holiday resort in the Maun area has incentivised telling on the wrongdoing of other employees to such extent that theoretically, it is more lucrative to be a snitch than focus on what one’s job description prescribes.
A regular job at Thamalakane River Lodge doesn’t pay an awful lot (P1200) but if you decide to snitch on a fellow employee and management makes good on its promise, you will get more than 300 percent of your monthly pay.
“Any employee who witnesses and reports any kind of theft from any department or any employee, will receive a BWP5000-00 reward if it leads to prosecution of the crime by the employee. Employees who report to managers an incident of theft has the right to stay anonymous,” reads a staff notice which addresses this issue under the sub-title of “REWARD BWP5000-00.”
The main title is “Warning: Theft by Employee will Result in Termination of Work Contract and Prosecution by Botswana Law”. The first point is that the management, directors and shareholders of the lodge have a zero tolerance policy for theft and the second that it is an offence not to report theft or an incidence of theft of company property immediately to management where witnessed by an employee.
“Company property includes all company equipment, all company tips, all company food and beverages, all company funds, stock, guest property etc,” reads the notice which encourages those who need clarification to consult with management “before committing an offence”.
The lodge’s assertion of its ownership rights to tips given to employees is the second peculiarity after the snitch programme and the latter are not too happy about this. Late last year (October 19 to be precise), some 20 staff members co-signed a letter to the constituency office that detailed their grievances but it seems that the letter was misdirected. While the lodge is in Maun East, the letter was delivered to Maun West constituency and no action has been taken to date. With specific regard to the tips, the employees make the following complaint: “Tips, according to our know-how since we started working in the tourism industry, we have learnt that tips are given to the exact staff member who provided the service at that particular time but since August 2015, our tips have been confiscated and management decides who gets the money.”
The two controversial policies mean that a worker who focuses more on snitching than on providing excellent customer service would get more money than high-performers, some of that money being tips meant for the latter.
Tragically, the owners of Thamalakane River Lodge are doing what everybody else (including the government) is ÔÇô taking unethical advantage of nationwide swarms of unemployed youth, with and without education. While each district has a labour office, the exploitation of workers continues unabated. In the particular case of the employees in question, “some of our colleagues approached the Labour Department but were not given satisfactory answers, hence the problems still exist.”