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'Making work attractive is crucial to talent retention'

Published:Friday | November 20, 2015 | 4:16 PM

Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Douglas Saunders says creating an attractive environment for public-sector workers is crucial in the retention of high-performing persons within the sector.

"There must be a public-service environment which attracts and retains the best of Jamaica, where employees feel engaged and included and there is collaboration, willingness to listen, and problem solving," he said.

"I just want to underline the imperative matter relating to an attractive environment, not least of all, compensation, and notwithstanding the recent agreements coming out of the wage negotiations, but that significant enhancement of those benefits are unavoidable," he said.


Ambassador Saunders, who is head of the civil service, was speaking at the official launch of Civil Service Week 2015 at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston recently.

He noted that public servants are crucial to the sustainable development of the country and that they need to continue adapting to the various changes they will encounter, both from clients and in the environment in which they work.

"It is about movement, change, flexibility and adding value all year round, even while we experience inevitable change and reform in a wide range of areas. That experience of change helps us to better understand the changes also being experienced by our clients who come to us for services and support," Saunders contended.


He noted that Civil Service Week provides opportunity for engagement in a wide range of supporting and enriching activities, for reflection on the past, as well as projections into the future of the public service.

"It gives an opportunity for reviewing the achievements in the public sector, celebration of the work of public servants, as well as reflecting on the areas in which we can improve, even further, our contributions and performance," Saunders said.

The cabinet secretary encouraged civil servants to fully participate in the week of activities.

During the ceremony, Barbara Allen was named as the 2015-16 Civil Servant of the Year. She is employed at the Ministry of Education in the capacity of senior director in the Planning and Development Division.