Editor's Comment

Motivated civil service key to service delivery

PUBLIC Service management Division permanent secretary Boniface Chimbwali (right) and Zambia Congress of Trade Union general secretary Cephas Mukuka exchange documents during a signing ceremony between Government and public service unions at Twangale Park last evening. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

WHILE it is true that money is not everything when it comes to employee satisfaction, fair and equitable remuneration practices are essential to employee productivity and retention.
Many employers are aware of this fact and therefore consider remuneration as an important ingredient in the overall human resource strategy.

It is, therefore, commendable that Government, the largest employer in the country, has continued to work towards improving the remuneration and conditions of service for public service workers.

Government has awarded over 200,000 civil servants salary increments of between 7.4 and 9.62 percent.
While others may look at this increment as minimal, we believe it is a step towards bettering the conditions of service for public workers.
The increment will also help motivate the public service workers to be more effective and efficient in service delivery.
For a long time, public service workers have been associated with meagre salaries as compared to those in the private sector.
We know that a demotivated workforce or indeed civil service can be a hindrance to development.
Given that these men and women play an important role in the development of our country, they deserve better.
It is a bare fact that the public service is the vehicle through which Government delivers its development agenda.
International organisations such as the United Nations recognise this fact as captured in the 2005 UN report, which states: “No matter how organised and constitutional a government is, it would not get very far in the absence of public administration system capable of translating its broad political intentions, enforcing its laws and delivering services needed by the people.
This attests that without a motivated and professional public service, it is impossible to achieve any meaningful development.
This is because, while any Government in power may have a vision for the country, it takes the public service technocrats to translate that vision into policy and action.
The role of civil servants is to implement policies and programmes of Government to achieve the much-desired economic development.
It is also within the duties of public service workers to raise revenue for the country and oversee public expenditure to ensure prudent use of resources for maximum development benefits.
It is, therefore, indisputable that public service is at the centre of service delivery.
Given the significant role that public service workers play in the country’s development process, motivating them for maximum productivity is indeed the way to go.
Human Resource experts point out many ways of motivating employees, and good remuneration is certainly one of them.
We are also aware that Government is one of the few employers with a good education policy which allows employees to improve their academic credentials while guaranteeing job security.
These, coupled with the economic growth recorded recently, have made Government an attractive employer drawing many from the private sector.
It is also commendable that Government is working towards ensuring that public service workers own houses, land and vehicles.
This will no doubt motivate public service workers to put in their best and execute their duties with the highest sense of responsibility and professionalism.
Given the political will exhibited by Government to address the plight of public service workers, we expect civil servants to reciprocate by providing quality services to the Zambian people.
This will also justify an even higher increment in future negotiations.
However, there are no two ways about it motivating public service employees is a sure way of having a well-functioning civil service, which is vital to fostering good policy-making, effective service delivery, accountability and responsibility in utilising public resources.

 

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