City of Harare’s new management system is results-oriented, and will reward employees with bonuses that vary based on productivity.
So said Josephine Ncube during her address at council’s Milestone Appreciation Awards ceremony held in December to honour council workers for their long service.
“From 2016 we are introducing the performance-based bonus system. This means even employees who have been in council for shorter stints will be recognised. The new set-up takes into account an employee’s performance during the year implying that non-performers will not be rewarded,” explained Ncube.
Late payment of salaries has made council workers among the least motivated workers in the country. It is hoped that rewards for performance will lead to better service delivery.
“We will no longer tolerate those workers who come to work only to register their names to warm their chairs. There should be tangible results. We are also aware of the economic situation our country is in but, we should be able to work with the available resources to produce results,” explained Ncube.
Commenting on the issue, a human resources manager of a government-owned entity-who refused to be named for professional reasons- said that the new bonus system being introduced by council will definitely improve productivity.
“Motivation of the workforce is vital in every organisation and I believe the bonus system is a move in the right direction. Council executives are on performance-based contracts so I believe this is a move to ensure that the workers deliver,” said the human resources manager.
Ncube also unveiled plans for a graduate training program as part of its succession policy. “We will attach graduate students from universities and colleges for periods of up to four years for them to gain skills and to understudy senior employees.” Council’s graduate training will cover all council departments.
Prince Nyamadzavo, a human resources officer for a local company says graduate training is the way to go for City of Harare as it will create the institution’s own pool of talent for future development and take advantage of fresh ‘brains’ from college.
“Graduate training is also part of a company’s social responsibility program and giving back to the community through employment. The program will also strengthen council’s succession plan which will enable it to build a competitive advantage by tapping into unexploited skills,” said Nyamadzavo.
However, one economist has questioned the likelihood of such a project succeeding given that the existing staff are underpaid and under-resourced. “Council has been struggling to pay its workforce and I am not sure how they intend to bankroll this program. It will be sad for council to train graduates whom it will not be able to retain after the training due to unattractive employment conditions,” he said.