Motivating workforce spurs positive output

Elevation and reward to the least productive cadres of the workforce impedes innovation and productivity
Elevation and reward to the least productive cadres of the workforce impedes innovation and productivity. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Elevation and reward to the least productive cadres of the workforce impedes innovation and productivity.

There is a fable making rounds in social media, a replica to the modern work environment.

As the parable goes; a small ant arrives at work very early every day and starts work immediately. She is productive and happy.

The chief, a lion, gets surprised to see her working without supervision. He envisions how productive she would become if supervised.

So, he recruits a cockroach who has extensive experience as a supervisor and famous for penning excellent reports. On reporting, the cockroach immediately set a time management system.


He also hires a secretary to help him in drafting and typing his reports. Then he recruits the spider to manage the archives and monitor phone usage within the organisation.

The cockroach reports delighted the lion. But on reporting, the lion suggests for the graphical representation of production rates and trends for use in board meetings presentations.

Hence, the cockroach acquires a new computer and a laserjet printer and recruits a fly to manage the IT department to meet this request.

The once happy and productive ant is unhappy with the new plethora of paperwork and meetings that consume her productive hours.

The work environment is no longer pleasant.

Notwithstanding the many bureaucratic layers established thus far, the lion goes ahead and nominates a cicada in charge of the department where the ant works.

His first assignment is to buys a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his comfort.

Also, he procures a desktop computer and fetches a personal assistant from his previous organization to assist him in developing a work optimisation plan and budget control strategy.

Further to this, he convinces his boss of the absolute necessity to do a climatic study of the work environment due to declining production prospects and notably rising overhead costs.

Thus, the lion recruits an owl, a prestigious and renowned consultant, to do a performance audit of the organisation and suggest probable strategies for restoring the organisation to productivity.

After three months of serious work, the audit exercise concludes that the ant’s department is overstaffed and that she is demotivated and has a negative attitude towards work. The owl recommends for her sacking.

This fable is a model practice in human resource management and governance in most public institutions, especially in developing countries.

Needless to say, it cuts across governance systems in the management of public affairs. Nevertheless, in optimising growth and expansion, organisations should value the contributions of the low cadre employees amongst the labour force as a critical asset to any given organisation.

Among the 7Ms of management, human-resource is the only factor in possession of tacit knowledge that is not transferrable besides decision making and problem-solving ability and skills.

If well-motivated, capacity built and adequately facilitated, this workforce at the bottom of the pyramid can contribute positively and productively to organisational goals and strategies.

According to the Solow residual, technological advancement, labour supply, and capital accumulation are critical aspects of any organisation’s growth and development agenda and in that order of listing.


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