Recognise Employees and Employers

Danny Meyer

International workers day was celebrated in Namibia and in many other countries around the world yesterday – here even as a public holiday.

Also known as May Day or Labour Day, this annual day of recognition is often erroneously connected to socialism and communism, whereas its origin lies in that citadel of capitalism, the United States (US).

So too the origin of an eight-hour workday.

It was proclaimed to be the legal length of a working day in the US from 1 May 1886 onwards, and is used to determine the length of a workday in many countries up to this day, including in Namibia.

Staff members are the most important asset of any enterprise – irrespective of its size or the sector it operates in.
Recognising their importance annually with a public holiday is a no-brainer.

Therefore proper recruitment, careful selection, engagement and putting in place an employment contract in which the roles and responsibilities of the employee and employer are clearly set out are important.

Training and retraining staff members to execute their duties, and monitoring staff performance are equally important.

Operating from impressive premises and owning state-of-the-art equipment and tools helps a firm run profitably, but employing competent and dedicated staff to productively use such assets to optimally service customers is even more important.

If this is not done an enterprise will fold.

An employer must fairly and adequately remunerate staff, pay them on time, and create a comfortable work environment.

Employers must provide the correct equipment and tools for workers to be able to perform their duties.

But it cannot be a one-sided relationship.

Asked to spell out the greatest challenge in starting or growing a business, entrepreneurs and business managers usually cite accessing funding for working capital and growth.

Probing further, one would soon discover that finding and keeping good employees with the right attitude towards their work responsibilities may be a bigger problem than borrowing money.

Tardiness or staff not doing what they are paid for is a common complaint of entrepreneurs and the managers of enterprises.

Employees’ productivity, skills and, above all, their attitude to work could make or break a firm.

That is why it is so important to hire the right people for the job, and to routinely monitor and, should they be unresponsive to further training or have an attitudinal challenge, fire those who constantly underperform.

Failure to do so would result in the loss of customers, then in lost market share and eventually in the firm’s demise.

Discipline at the workplace is important to optimally service the needs of customers, thereby helping the business operate profitably and generating the needed cash flow to pay staff members their salaries at the end of the month.

Staff sidetracked by friends coming to the workplace or distracted from a job by social media messages during working hours is a no-no.
It distracts them from doing what they are paid to do – to service customers.

An employer has responsibilities, but so do a firm’s employees.

Working with 40 young entrepreneurs yesterday on Workers’ Day led me to again feeling it is high time that the importance of employers are recognised too.

  • Reach Danny Meyer at

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