IT is not a secret that the Zambian workforce has been associated with a poor work culture. In fact, it is a vice that we should be ashamed of as Zambians.
It is shameful because it takes away from us the good name that we have as peace-loving people. We may not be perfect in all areas of life but to be associated with a poor work culture is something we should frown upon.
We should instead endeavour to be more hard working in all our engagements so that we increase our productivity and get better returns for our labour.
A number of countries that are prosperous reached that level because they had a vibrant workforce which applied itself to work.
The workers put in their best and they in turn yielded a better return which translated into the creation of wealth for their country at large and development of their countries.
Attitude towards work starts at a personal level but it can easily affect those around who get convinced that there is nothing worth breaking one’s back for. Today, this poor culture is affecting thousands of employees, whose efforts are now being misdirected.
It is in view of this that Government is in the process of developing a national productivity policy that will promote a positive work culture and increase productivity.
According to Minister of Labour and Social Security Joyce Simukoko, the policy is also aimed at reversing the poor work ethics which manifest through poor time-keeping and dishonesty at places of work.
Mrs Simukoko was speaking during the China, Zimbabwe, and Zambia ethics seminar held under the theme: “Promoting good work ethics through best practice”.
Government is now coming in because individuals have failed to redeem themselves and this has become a concern because it has resulted in inefficiency and poor service delivery.
The work culture in some government departments is deplorable, where an officer will only be moved to work if they know they stand to benefit at a personal level.
In being a hard worker, there is an element of self-motivation, that drive which makes an employee keep on working even when their boss is not watching over them.
This is what we want to say is lacking in some of the government employees and because of these few elements, a government worker is known as someone who does not work.
We notice that the spirit of self-motivation is lacking in a number of employees in our country. Such employees are interested in what they will get out of their job and not what they will put in to achieve high levels of productivity.
It is also this thinking that breeds vices like corruption and laziness because an employee who is not self-motivated will not be moved to work unless there is something in it for them.
We agree that some employers pay their workers poorly but this should not be taken as an excuse to exhibit laziness and lack of zeal for work.
In some cases, employers do their best to pay workers better wages but the attitude of the employees of always desiring to get more money leads to dishonesty and corruption.
It is time workers learnt from the hardworking ant which, among other lessons, teaches us to be self-motivated and hardworking. Ants have no boss standing behind them with a whip, but they are always busy at work, storing up food for future use.
High levels of productivity also call upon employers to put in their best for the employees. We urge employers in Zambia to do so.
Our country has what it takes to soar to high levels of productivity and contribute to a more developed Zambia.