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Stress, Education and Productivity.

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As with nature, the strongest survive by adapting to change. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection explained this concept. In the natural world, however, this change happens slowly but surely.   Change by itself is not bad; it is the adaptation to change that is difficult. In the natural world, this slow evolutionary change sometimes takes the pain out of the adaptation process.

Fast forward now to the world of business. Change is rapid in all aspects of business. In the world of technology, we have Moore’s Law, which is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. Seemingly an inconspicuous observation? Don’t be fooled by its apparent simplicity. This very observation is what causes all of us to be glued to our mobile devices and access so many services electronically which was not even a dream 10 years ago. So most of us cope with this change by accessing services and goods online at our convenience. We have learnt how to use social media and electronic/online games and have identified addictions to them. Companies and individuals that do not adapt quickly are relegated to oblivion. It has nothing to do with size; in fact the bigger they are the harder they fall.

Evolution of Education

So what does all of this have to do with education and productivity? While all of this change has been taking place in the world, some things have remained static. What is the purpose of education? The curricula of the various disciplines have changed from pre-primary to the tertiary level. But have we prepared our students to deal with the psychological stresses that might be peculiar to every generation? According to Ralph Maraj in the Express of May 5th 2019, the education system annually churns out thousands who are ill prepared for adulthood. How does the education system prepare one outside of academics to enter the world of adulthood with all the psychological burdens that come with it? How did previous generations manage? I have no doubts that previous generations would have dealt with various personal and societal upheavals and stresses. But was the stress in a less technological and socially connected world different from that of today?

This goes beyond the stress of examinations only. This has nothing to do with any individual examination such as SEA or University, but generally on preparing students to be productive citizens in the real world outside of academics.

If we are to consider ourselves beings of higher intelligence, then it is necessary for us to refine our education system and teach our students, from the preprimary right up to the workplace, how to deal with the pressures of our modern day life. Just as adults need help with certain aspects of stress, so do children, students and employees. Unproductive behavior may just be a symptom of something deeper.

Coping Mechanisms

Isn’t it time that we began to formally deal with coping mechanisms for children from the young age all the way to University? Would this intervention have a positive impact on our society as a whole? It has been proven in several studies that apart from the formal education, a nurturing and supportive home environment greatly increases one’s chances of succeeding in school. Armed with this knowledge we can now innovate and take the argument one step further to formally engage students in stress management and coping mechanisms. Would this lead to better performance at school, less delinquent behavior and produce an individual better prepared to enter the productive world of work?

Insufficient Productivity

We have several complaints about the lack of productivity. What is the reason for the poor work ethic? Are the problems purely organizational? Is there any room for individual responsibility? Does it have to do with education? What separates a developed country from a developing country? Is it mindset? What causes this inertia? How does one deal with mindset on an individual basis, an organizational basis and at the country level? Is it a deficiency somewhere along the line in our education system that has caused some to fall through the cracks? How do we now address this?

Do the denominational schools have a better approach to the students or is it the home and family support that allows the students to succeed in the denominational school? What is the driver of the individual motivation? What is the difference between the approaches in the denominational vs the government schools? Is there room to learn from the other both in and out of classroom lessons?

Existing Knowledge

There are several studies on motivation and leadership and the personality types that shapes an individual’s point of view.  The knowledge and capability to enact such an intervention into the formal school system is already there. The hindrance might just be the logistics at this time. Would such an intervention change our education system from being highly individualistic to more all-inclusive? Time would be the best indicator of this. But if we are creatures of higher learning then shouldn’t we put all of this productive knowledge to some use that gives us some type of competitive advantage? I have no empirical evidence to quote on this, but the idea does not seem so far – fetched to me.

Conclusion

It is not about an entirely altruistic proposal. In the long run, it is about helping society to adapt to the Darwinian Theory which has been greatly sped up outside of the natural world. The society would not fail as a whole, but it is my theory that by this formal engagement of a stress management programme from the school level we are better preparing the future generation for success. Who knows what the new world of Artificial Intelligence, Self Driving cars, Pilot- less planes, Robotics, Inter- planetary travel and unimaginable plastic pollution would unleash on the future generation? What are your views on this?

Bhushan Singh is a Lecturer and Consultant at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

 

 

Meet Dr. Zaffar Khan, Lecturer of MBA in International Trade, Logistics and Procurement

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Dr. Zaffar Khan is the Programme Director of MBA in International Trade, Logistics and Procurement programme at UWI-ALJGSB, he’s also an international advocate for Energy Efficiency, Energy Cost Reduction, Energy Conservation and Clean Energy.

What is the relevancy of the MBA ITLP programme given the current economic climate?

This programme is highly relevant to Trinidad and Tobago and the region in terms of economic diversification, and plays a major role in all sectors from the perspectives of Trade liberalisation, digitisation, logistics and procurement.

 

 

Why should persons choose the MBA in ITLP programme?

  1. It is accredited by the Association of MBAs

2. Over the past five years the programme ranked #1 at UWI-ALJGSB based on the student satisfaction                               surveys.

Graduates from this programme obtained senior positions in the energy sector, other private sector companies            and in the public sector including the Procurement Secretariat. Also, some graduates obtained top positions                internationally.

 

How does the MBA ITLP differ from other supply chain management programmes?

  1. Accreditation and re-accreditation

2. World class  and dedicated faculty

3. Performance measured by the SSS and graduates obtaining  suitable jobs

4. Relevant and up to date research within the Supply Chain body of knowledge

5. Highly successful and relevant practicum projects

 

How can this programme enhance someone’s career?

  1. Promotion within the company
  2. Obtaining jobs in the Supply Chain and Procurement areas
  3. Become entrepreneurs in imports, exports, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture

 

For more information on this programme you can contact Mrs. Shivana Hosein, Academic Advisor of MBA in International Trade, Logistics and Procurement at 645-6700 ext. 103 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt 

6 Reasons Why CEOs Should Sponsor High Performing Senior Managers in the Executive MBA programme offered by the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

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This blog is a curated content piece about the benefits that CEOs can attain from sponsoring high performing senior managers in the Internationally Accredited Executive MBA programme (EMBA) offered by the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (UWI-ALJGSB). The benefits to senior managers who enroll in the EMBA programme will also be discussed.

Corporate sponsorship of an Executive MBA (EMBA) does not solely benefit the employee but also generates a return on investment to the employer. Investing in high performing employees demonstrates a company’s commitment to the professional development of staff and contributes to a culture of learning, support and loyalty. The six (6) reasons why CEOs should sponsor their most promising senior managers can be assessed from both the employer and employee perspective.

1. Yield Immediate Returns and Cost Savings

The UWI Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (UWI-ALJGSB) adopts an authentic teaching and learning approach which provides students with practical courses, assignments, actual project-based and problem-based learning activities and presentations. The use of case studies, simulations and real-world applications, give students the ability to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom directly into the workplace. This allows for cost savings as competent senior managers can eliminate the need for external consultants to be hired. These knowledgeable senior managers can act as ‘homegrown’ consultants who possess an intimate understanding of their employers’ internal culture and dynamics, putting them in a better position to diagnose and resolve company issues.

2. Develop a Global Perspective on Business

The EMBA programme offered by the UWI-ALJGSB prepares senior managers to manage effectively in the international marketplace through strategically designed core courses. The enrollment of senior managers affords companies the opportunity to build global connections and learn about global opportunities that are potentially attractive for their respective businesses. A Global Mindset is also nurtured by the annual International Business Study Trip, which EMBA students can access. This pivotal experience is an essential way for our local students to gain immeasurable exposure to global markets and commerce.

3. Build a Confident and Competent Leadership Team

The ability to leverage the skills and knowledge learnt in the classroom and seamlessly incorporate this into the work environment builds the confidence of those senior managers who are enrolled in the EMBA programme. When individuals become more proficient in their respective jobs they transform into more confident decision makers. This increased confidence and competence allows senior managers to take on broader roles and greater responsibilities which ultimately contributes significantly to the successful operations of the company.

Benefits to Employee

4. Develop Leadership, Communication and Team Building Skills

The authentic teaching and learning approach adopted by the UWI-ALJGSB encourages engagement among students and between students and our astute faculty. This collaborative approach develops the leadership, communication and team-building skills of enrolled senior managers as the programme requires students to participate in group discussions, team projects, lectures, and seminars, all of these skills being easily transferred back into the work environment.

5. Ability to Resolve Company Issues and Identify New Opportunities

The leading-edge practices in management, operations and strategy gained from projects undertaken in the classroom can be directly applied to the company of the student to resolve major issues and challenges of the employer. In-class collaboration among like-minded peers and expert faculty also gives students the ability to explore and dissect ideas bringing with it clarity about new opportunities and innovative solutions. Fresh insights and potential resolutions to actual business challenges can be derived through these organic in-class discussions.

6. Access Networking and Coaching Opportunities

The composition of an EMBA class at the UWI-ALJGSB is one that includes top decision-makers from both the public and private sectors, locally and regionally. Access to this wide business network benefits future business activities and sharpens the global vision of senior managers. Interaction with persons from various companies, industries and regions bring about a fresh perspective into the workplace. Good relationships also influence the ability of new ideas to flourish. Enrolled senior managers have access to business coaches, who comprise of reputable industry experts, this being an added value to all UWI-ALJGSB EMBA students. Each student is assigned a coach, who provides assistance throughout the programme and also gives invaluable guidance to their professional endeavours.

Why choose the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business?

Choosing the right Business School at which to pursue an EMBA plays an integral role in the sponsorship arrangement between employer and employee as the EMBA programme must match the desired goals of both student and company. The Executive MBA offered by the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (UWI-ALJGSB) is globally accredited and recognized by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the global standard for all MBA programmes. Our esteemed faculty incites innovation, motivates changes, encourages disruptive thinking and transforms the lives of all our students as they bring with them years of local and international experience in their respective fields of study.

The Business School sparks transformation in business as it aims to reshape business and society while constantly challenging the status quo. This is evident through the work of our extensive EMBA alumni who consists of top-level business influencers in both the private and public sector companies in Guyana and the Caribbean. The EMBA programme offered at UWI-ALJGSB is also accessible to regional and international students through our Zoom Online platform, which gives students the ability to log into and participate in classes virtually.

Enrollment into the Executive MBA programme at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business will certainly be mutually beneficial to both employee and employer as we aim to transform each EMBA student from a senior executive into a capable, forward-thinking global leader. Investing in high performing senior managers demonstrates a company’s commitment to the professional growth of its employees and endorses the contribution of each employee towards the successful management of the business.

Entrepreneurial Challenges in the 21st Century

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Editor:

Dr. Balraj Kistow
Lecturer and Programme Director
Lok Jack GSB

Caribbean societies have quite a few things in common.  In large part we have beautiful tropical flora and fauna, fantastic beaches, a common Euro-centric colonial past, which has influenced our legal, socio-political and administrative systems as well as our trading relations. We also have a common history in the early development of agriculture-based industries as the core of our colonial economic purpose. While some countries have moved away from this sector to varying degrees, we all in some way maintained the same principle of economic development by selling our natural endowments.  When we look at the region, we are either dependent in large parts on tourism, agriculture and oil and gas.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am thankful for these natural resources as I am sure you are as it have sustained us for generations.  However, our continued path of being overly dependent on these resources by selling it mainly in the primary state does not only derive less values for us but have given rise to much less virtuous commonality in the region, which is, our economic well-being that’s very much vulnerabile to external events and price shocks.

When we look at regional economies we see that our prosperity could quickly turn to poverty with a crash in the fall in the prices of oil and gas, a mad man’s rant that makes people nervous to travel or an arbitrary decision by some major government or supra-national body that severely impede our ability to trade our products and services in the traditional markets.  In the highly globalized, interdependent and connected world of today it is not possible to be totally insulated from the happenings international community.  The question is how do we position our economies to be less vulnerable to these external shocks and events while at the same time creating an entrepreneurial culture in our population that facilitates and empower people to take advantage of events and current trends towards economic prosperity.

This may sound like a tall order and I can hear the less optimistic among us pointing to the reams of paper that have raised this or similar questions before, but we are still in the same place.  That might be true, but time have changed, people are changing, the world is evolving and maybe we need to change our approach and perspective.

The usual approach to trying to move to a more secure and less vulnerable economic platform has been to look to diversification as a solution.  While we have looked in that direction we cannot say we have been able to diversify in any meaningful way.  I am sure there are many components to why we have not fared well in the area of diversification but I feel that an important element is our approach that seems to suggest moving away from traditional sectors rather than an approach that emphasise on using the resources, skill sets, networks and competencies to develop new products, services and sectors.  In this way we can use the traditional sectors as focal points in creating value added solutions for the modern world.

Rather than speaking about moving away from the traditional sectors of agriculture, tourism and energy we should be asking the question as to how can we leverage these sectors such that we are able to create new and exciting products and services on the higher end of the value chain that treats with contemporary trends, issues and challenges.  For instance, rather than see agriculture as a relic from a bygone era maybe we can look to develop selected areas that can serve global and diaspora markets with traditional goods and local delicacies.  In the last few years coconut is the new craze with coconut water being demanded for its isotonic qualities, coconut oil as a health fat for cooking and in beauty products from New York to Paris and coconut flour and sugar selling at premium prices.  A company in Guyana is now canning a local delicacy called “Heart of Palm” or Palmiste, as it is traditionally known in Trinidad and Tobago, for the export market.  The leaves and the fruits of the “Sijan” or Moringa plant is now a global health phenomenon and is being sold on Amazon.  With fish stocks being depleted globally we should have the capacity to develop fish farms that can serve the domestic and international markets and the regional tourism sector.  These are few examples where we can relook, remodel and recreate the agriculture sector to generate wealth and foreign exchange and I have not even touched on the potential of medical marijuana, eco and indigenous tourism and renewable energy.

We cannot continue to see our natural resources as cash cow by being sold as a primary product, but we need to create and foster an entrepreneurial mindset where we see our resources as raw materials that can be used to create high value products.  We all have our parts to play in this regard as there are key roles for academic in research and development among other things, government in creating and maintaining a secure and predictable enabling environment and industry in taking the lead investing in value creating solutions.  Moreover, creating an entrepreneurial mind set would require a systemic change especially to the way we see education and the way we educate as the move to creating this mindset would not happen in the boardroom if it is not inculcated in the classroom. I am not saying this is an easy task as it would require many herculean changes and dealing with many moving parts at the same time, but it is not beyond us.  Frankly, I don’t think we have much of a choice.

Join us at Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conference and gain insights from Entrepreneurial Gurus – Josh Linkner and Prof. Andrew Corbett on May 6th 2019 at the Hyatt Regency. Register now at www.dlictt.com

 

 

Neisha Ramdass “Energy Bae”

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Neisha Ramdass is a current student of the MBA in Sustainable Energy Management programme at Lok Jack GSB, taking this leap took her career to new heights. Neisha was recently published by the Newsday where she was given the opportunity to moderate and speak at a global energy forum that was held at Panama.

 

Why did you choose the Lok Jack GSB to pursue an MBA?

Coming from a technical background with my BSc, I hoped to diversify my portfolio by pursuing an MBA. ALJ GSB has the best reputation as being one of the top business schools in the country. Upon conducting extensive research on the programmes I was interested in, the feedback I received on the MBA SEM was phenomenal.

Has the MBA SEM programme influenced your professional life? If yes, how?

This programme has afforded me the opportunity to study the energy sector from different perspectives, including business, social, financial, economic, and environmental just to name a few. I have studied energy policy scrupulously and I intend to further my career in this field, since I believe Trinidad and Tobago needs to conduct some serious policy changes within the energy sector in order to achieve sustainability.

Describe your experience with the MBA SEM programme

The experience and wealth of knowledge I gained over the past two years from the SEM programme was invaluable. The all-round view of the energy sector shed a whole new light on the field in which I choose to establish a career in. The knowledge I gained led me down the path of starting and successfully running my very own energy blog (eNRgyTT.com). I believe that the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago deserve to understand their energy sector since we’re a fossil fuel-based economy. The main objective of this blog was to educate in the simplest way possible, allowing for people to formulate their own opinions on a sector which we are heavily dependent on.

Would you recommend persons to pursue the Lok Jack GSB’s MBA in Sustainable Energy Management programme? Why?

I would definitely recommend this programme to those interested because it was one of the best choices I made in my life. Though the programme is gruelling and requires absolute commitment, it was definitely worth it. The lecturers were the best and very experienced in their respective fields. Free-thinking and discussion was always encouraged in the classroom, allowing for my peers and I to become independent thinkers, challenging the norm and formulating our own opinions, instead of simply learning class materials to regurgitate for an exam.

Do you think energy efficiency is well practiced and promoted in Trinidad and Tobago?

Trinidad and Tobago has a very long way to go with regards to energy efficiency and energy conservation. We promote a culture of wastage, mostly as a result of our cheap (SUBSIDIZED) electricity and fuel prices. There have been attempts to promote EE, however, there needs to be a culture shift, which can only come from improved public education and awareness. Energy efficient practices need to be introduced into the curriculum for primary and secondary schools. There needs to be a greater emphasis put on educating the public on climate change and its effects on our country. Citizens should be made aware that their actions today will most definitely cause a huge impact on future generations.

Can you share 3 energy efficient practices for our readers?

Three simple energy efficient practice that can be employed both domestically, as well as in business places:

  1. Switching out CFL and incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs;
  2. Purchase energy efficient appliances;
  3. Conduct energy audits to access where energy is being wasted and where improvements can be made.

Attach YouTube video on EE if possible:

https://youtu.be/ZFgf6cYLwK4

 

To find out more about our MBA in Sustainable Energy Management programme please contact Mrs. Shivana Hosein at 645-6700 ext. 200 or email: admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Innovation and the 4th Industrial Revolution

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According to a Forbes article entitled “The 4th Industrial Revolution Is Here – Are You Ready?”, the Fourth Industrial Revolution describes the exponential changes to the way we live, work and relate to one another due to the adoption of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems.” The article goes on to state that “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is disrupting almost every industry in every country and creating massive change in a non-linear way at unprecedented speed.”

In keeping with our mission to provide for our stakeholders opportunities for continuous learning, the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business will join in on this conversation, on the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), as we host a discussion on Tuesday 5th February 2019, at the Lok Jack GSB, Yara Auditorium, on the topic “In the Hot Seat – Innovation and the 4IR: Implications and Opportunities for the Caribbean”. The Featured Speaker will be Mr. Crispin Chatar, Head of Research on Drilling for Schlumberger International, based in Silicon Valley San Francisco. Members of the Lok Jack GSB Faculty, Dr. Richard Ramsawak and Mr. Faheem Mohammed, will also join in for an edifying panel discussion.

As a subject matter expert responsible for developing new digital technologies and solutions for the Schlumberger International, Mr. Chatar will inspire minds through his global business experiences by sharing insights into how companies compete in the realm of the 4th Industrial Revolution.  Also to be discussed are the lessons for companies in the Caribbean, that is, how companies can be innovative and how they can benefit or adjust to the new realities of the 4IR. From a leadership standpoint, Mr. Chartar will share how he finds, retains, motivates and leverages quality talent to continue to compete in what can be considered one of the most dynamic and intensive revolutions yet experienced by businesses internationally.

To secure a seat, please contact Ms. Stephanie Lezama-Rogers at s.lezama-rogers@lokjackgsb.edu.tt or call (868) 645-6700 today!

 

Risk Management Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

Building a Risk Resilient Organisation

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The importance of compliance and risk management has significantly increased over the past few years because of the numerous scandals and failures from local and foreign companies. There’s a persistent need to build an effective, risk-aware culture at all levels because the risk intelligence of workers is one of the factors that defines and separates success from failure.

Risk Management Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

Risk Management Capabilities Critical to Organizational Performance

According to a 2011 report conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, entitled Risk Management in a Time of Global Uncertainty, the following risk management capabilities are critical to organizational performance:

  • Linking risk information to strategic decision making
  • Embedding risk management practices and responsibilities within strategy and operations
  • Ensuring that all decisions remain within the organization’s risk tolerance
  • Driving risk mitigation activities
  • Proactively identifying current and emerging risks

Risk Management Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

Establishing Effective Enterprise Risk Management Processes

The report conducted by the Harvard Business Review further went on to state that in order to establish effective enterprise risk management processes, the following five (5) lessons must be adhered to:

  • Risk management needs to have a clear “owner” to be effective
  • Corporate goals and risk management must be integrated
  • Manage risk proactively
  • Look deeper and wider to determine what their most serious risks will be in the long run
  • Break down silos and managerial bottlenecks

Risk Management Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

Key indicators of success for integrating an effective risk culture are board-level support and the incorporation of a Chief Risk Officer (CRO), charged with the responsibility of risk management. It’s imperative that the CRO works closely with the Chief Executive Officer and line managers for the smooth integration of the risk management processes.

Simply stated, risk management is imperative for success. Subsequent to determining the effectiveness of existing risk and compliance programs, organizations should seek to implement the aforementioned risk management capabilities and adhere to the five lessons mentioned above. Therefore, giving rise to a risk resilient organization capable of mitigating risks, increasing the probability of sustained business growth.

If you want to learn more about compliance, risk and responsibilities at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business click HERE

Human Resource Management - Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

Human Resource Management in a Recession

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In a recessionary period, human resource managers cannot afford to continue to operate in a ‘business as usual’ manner. In response to uncertainties in business environments, your human resource management leadership strategy should focus on:

  1. Staff reduction and its impacts on employees
  2. Adjusting its HRM functions
  3. Minimising economic adjustment impacts on the organisation
  4. Preparing for the period after a recession

Human Resource Management - Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business

Let’s look in closer detail at the first two activities.

HRM Activities Associated with Staff Reduction & the Impact on Employees

In periods of economic decline, companies often seek to de-clutter ‘excesses’, trim operational ‘fat’ by removing resources such as time, money or people. These corporate activities are generally undertaken with the aim of improving operational efficiency. Therefore, employee downsizing shouldn’t be implemented as an ad hoc activity but rather as a part of the company’s overall strategy to improve its internal business operations. Employee reduction, retrenchment or separation impact three specific groups of employees. 

The Victims

First on the list are “victims” or persons who lose their job due to downsizing. The HRM objective in managing employee separation is to implement the downsizing process in a way that allows dismissed employees to leave the organisation with dignity. Termination with dignity requires separation packages to include: 

  • Severance pay
  • On-going career coaching
  • In-house counseling for separated employees
  • Outplacement services  to make job seeking easier
  • The provision of training and re-qualification courses to assist victims in acquiring new job market skill

Human resource management professionals should avoid sudden-death discharges i.e. abruptly telling employees of their job loss. Instead, consideration should be given to finding ways to eliminate the element of surprise, shock and humiliation employees may experience. A compassionate separation option is a decompression period of two or three weeks of notice. During this period, the affected employee has the time to complete projects, plan for the last paycheck and begin their job search. Employees should also be provided with an explanation of their severance package in writing. Sensitivity and care are required when employees are going through a termination process. Their lives and futures are at stake, and the organisation’s image and reputation are also at risk.  Line managers and human resource management professionals must appreciate the realities of human loss and hurt and be trained to listen attentively and respond appropriately to employees’ distress.

The Survivors 

The second group, the “survivors” are those employees who remain with the organisation. Though still employed, some persons may experience what psychologists label the “survivor syndrome”. This malady causes a marked decrease in the motivation, engagement, and productivity of employees who remain at a company following a workforce reduction. Common symptoms include job uncertainty, fear, anger, the perception of unfairness, stress from increased work and loss of loyalty and commitment. Some researchers suggest downsizing creates a phenomenon in survivors called “the cycle of failure” which begins with dissatisfaction and fear of taking action. Thus, leading to organisational inefficiency and reduced organisational commitment. 

The Implementers  

The third group, the implementers, the organisational managers driving the staff reduction process, represent the third group. Some authors have labelled these employees “executors”.  The downsizing executioners are individuals with responsibilities for planning, implementing and/or dealing with the aftermath of downsizing activities. Human resource professionals are responsible for training the executioners to cope with the downsizing process. Training will help them to display suitable forms of behaviour during the downsizing process.Human Resource Management - Arthur Lok Jack Global School of BusinessThe Impact of Headcount as a Reduction Strategy 

Employee layoffs can have negative, positive and mixed effects on an organisation. Headcount reduction by itself, as a recession survival strategy often causes an organisation’s performance to suffer. In addition to losing the knowledge of dismissed employees, massive downsizing negatively affects the entire network of knowledge within an organisation. Staff reductions also disrupt the organisation’s existing social networks, regarded by economists as valuable, intangible assets developed over long periods of time. Loss of employee loyalty, damage to the organisation’s image, the firing of knowledgeable people and loss of trust are some of the negative effects on staff reductions in organisations.

When layoffs are paired with organisational redesign and restructuring initiatives, organisational performance can be enhanced. A positive outcome from employee downsizing is the removal of redundant resources which can improve efficiency, productivity and profit by reducing labour cost. 

Human Resource Management - Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business  

Human Resource Management Functions & Recession

Which HR functions are most likely to be impacted by a downturn in a company’s operations? The top four are training and development, recruitment and selection, compensation and workplace redesign.

Training & Development

In the area of training and development, a recession requires employees to have new skills. This creates a need for new training plans or revisions to existing ones.  As voluntary turnover generally decreases in a period of economic contraction, employees may require assistance to rethink career paths and revisit personal development plans and goals. A recessionary period, therefore, presents the organisation with an opportunity to adopt new approaches to human capital development to support competitive advantage.

Recruitment & Selection

In times of organisational crisis, recruitment of labour is likely to be stopped or significantly curtailed. Under these circumstances, meeting the organisation’s need for human capital requires a new recruitment and selection strategy. When unemployment is high, an employer has a larger pool of “high quality” potential employees to select from. This presents the selection challenge of having the right techniques to filter the best performing applicants from the rest of the applicant group. Promotional opportunities may also be stymied in organisations experiencing a recession, causing dissatisfaction for employees seeking advancement and growth.

Compensation & Workplace Redesign

The challenge of designing compensation programmes to provide equitable and attractive compensation and incentives for employees escalate in recessionary times. Maintaining the correct balance between base and incentive pay in the form of bonus schemes may have to be revisited. The organisation must also consider the adequacy of the existing health and welfare benefit programmes as the cost of employee benefit claims may increase due to greater levels of stress and resulting illnesses. 

It is not unusual for companies facing tough economic conditions to undertake job re-design and workplace restructuring initiatives. Faced with job loss, an employee’s primary concern in a restructured job may only be with the compensation factors. Other aspects of the job such as task variety, job relevance, or work-life balance may be ignored. Financial needs, however, are not an employee’s only source of motivation. Human resource management professionals who focus solely on compensation and ignore other job motivation factors demonstrate a limited understanding of or appreciation for workplace motivation factors. 

Change in workplace design can also be driven by outsourcing or offshoring of non-core operations. These are attractive strategies for supporting labour cost reductions.  Some of the risk associated with these strategies include a decline in employee morale and loyalty, often in sympathy for those who have lost their jobs, the loss of managerial control and internal talent, an increase in the complexity associated with managing operational processes. Ironically, when a company outsources jobs to individuals overseas, there is a loss of jobs in the domestic market, which can increase national unemployment levels.

Doing Nothing is Not an Option

To survive, and even thrive in a period of recession, an organisation has to be innovative and flexible enough to design and implement a new business strategy.  Effective human resource management professionals must respond to this change, by adjusting the HRM structures, practices and policies to help the company obtain competitive advantage the company. Doing nothing is not an option.

By: Wynette Harewood

Wynette Harewood is an HRM Consultant. Lecturer and the Programme Director for the Master of Human Resource Management at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business.

4 ways an International MBA can prepare you to face the future

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The world of business is rapidly changing and your professional survival will depend on how adaptable and equipped you are to perform and achieve outstanding results. Are you prepared? Can you afford to wait? Top recruiters will confirm that the right MBA experience will improve your chances of landing your dream job while enhancing your skills to succeed in the ever-changing local and international business landscape. What should you consider?

1) The value of an accredited degree

If you are seeking career advancement regardless of whether it is an upward climb or a career transition; the right MBA is globally recognized and considered an essential foundation for persons interested in a career path in management and leadership. Why is this important? Wherever you are in the world and no matter how the economic climate changes, your degree will be recognized for what it is: a stamp of the highest quality of your expertise, enabling easy career movement and growth when the time is right. Does this align with your career goals?

The UWI-Lok Jack GSB has attained programme accreditation for the International MBA through the Association of MBAs (AMBA) from the UK, the gold standard in postgraduate business education in the world. Since AMBA only accredits the top 2% of business programmes globally, it is an assurance of quality from this top MBA accreditation body. This achievement means that all students can be assured that programmes, from design to delivery, have gone through a rigorous process to ensure the highest quality. But it also means special and exclusive access to these gold nuggets:

  1. Access to an online global community of over 30,000 students and graduates from over 245 AMBA-accredited schools
  2. Online Career Development Centre, including global MBA-level jobs database, CV builders, elevator pitch advice
  3. Face-to-face and online events and webinars
  4. Newly launched business book club offering exclusive discounts up to 30% off selected titles
  5. High quality thought leadership, including monthly in-house publication AMBITIONmagazine
  6. Access to exclusively negotiated benefits with hand-picked partners including IHG, The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times

Where else can you get all this?

2) New and international opportunities

There are numerous International MBA options in Trinidad and Tobago, but it’s like comparing apples to oranges: not all International MBA’s are created equal. The final decision is yours, but you must ask yourself “do you want to carry the MBA title or do you want to develop the necessary skills, learn with a powerful network of like-minded individuals, participate in the holistically transformative experience and thereby EARN the MBA title to be able to use it in real-life?

This is your chance to be part of an experience that encompasses a practical approach to real-life business problems through the Lok Jack GSB’s authentic learning approach to education. Students who are part of the programmes are exposed to relevant content and experiences, such as international study trips to places like China, Brazil and Silicon Valley to name a few. Our partnerships give us exclusive access to global internships with large multinational companies and other international alliance benefits, that will prepare you well for the international business world. Employers are apt to choose graduates that can do the work from an international perspective.

 

3) International Business and Leadership Expertise

The right International MBA provides the technical business skills and necessary soft skills needed for the new dynamic workplace through team building and leadership workshops. Our Faculty possess a wealth of academic, research and industry experience. The international faculty brings to the programme research, teaching and consulting styles from an European, Asian and North American perspective while our local facilitators add their rich knowledge about the complex and rapidly changing business environment found in the Caribbean and Latin America. At the UWI – Lok Jack GSB you’ll be exposed to a valuable ecosystem of Faculty, Alumni and peers that are focused on success in business.

4. Be Double-Qualified!

The UWI-Lok Jack GSB offers an International MBA with a dual-degree option that provides you with the opportunity to transfer credits between the UWI-Lok Jack GSB and the Florida International University (FIU), and earn 2 degrees: FIU’s Master of International Business (MIB) and the UWI-Lok Jack GSB International Master of Business Administration.

Omkar R. Seetahal, International MBA student describes how the dual degree helped to launch his global career – “after one year, I became eligible to transfer to FIU as a dual degree student andearn two Masters degrees simultaneously but most importantly have an opportunity to work for aforeign aerospace multinational corporation where my talents could be utilized to full potential. “

Add accolades and experience to your belt that will give you an added competitive advantage!

 

Did you know?

  • 50.61% of our graduates received an increase of salary after completing their Masters’ Degree with us? Where will you be?
  • 21.87% of our students started their own business post-graduation?
  • 64% of our graduates believed the course content considered both the current & future business environment? That’s valuable content that could be used strategically to propel your career. It’s time to use the opportunities placed before you!

 

The Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business prides itself in offering one of the most comprehensive and thorough approaches to preparing our candidates to perform after their Master’s Degree experience. With dedication and application, you can become and achieve all that the International MBA promises. As an institution that is accredited by ACTT, funding is no problem as you have access to GATE and the HELP loan.

If you are ready to experience a different degree, contribute meaningfully and launch your career in the right direction, speak with one of our Academic Advisors at 647 6700 extension 200 or email us at admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

Does Accreditation Matter?

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Applying to do a Post-graduate degree can be a daunting prospect. You want to ensure that you’re investing your time, effort and money wisely and research whether or not you’re getting the calibre of education you signed up for.

Did you know that having an accredited degree can make a huge difference in your future career?

Imagine that:

  • Your graduate programme didn’t have a process to resolve student grievances
  • When you applied to pursue your graduate degree, you had no information on the curriculum or assessments and policies?

How would you feel? What would you do? 

This then is the value of accreditation, ensuring that there is a standard of quality to adhere to. Doing some research on what accreditation means for you can save you both time and trouble in the future.

 

Here’s why Accreditation DOES matter:

 

  1. “Quality is the Key”- this is the motto of the Accreditation Council of Trinidad & Tobago(ACTT). Institutions with ACTT accreditation lends to the institution’s dedication to providing quality education for students and instils confidence that the programmes are supported by high quality processes, standards and resources. Why do we say this? Well, this accreditation body only recognises and endorses institutions that have sufficiently met their rigorous and methodical accreditation process. The key components of this process includes institutional self-evaluation and external evaluations conducted by teams of local and international expert assessors established by ACTT, ensuring that you get the quality you expect.
  2. There isn’t a single person we know who doesn’t want value for their money. The accreditation process assures you that the education you’re paying for is valuable and worthwhile. The process, outlined above, makes certain that an institution isn’t just saying“take our word for it” when it comes to quality and integrity. Accreditation, therefore, is not so much a status to be attained but a commitment to ongoing improvement.
  3. While a higher chance of mobility and employability is not guaranteed, employers can trust that the graduates of an accredited institution have been well-prepared to shape the corporate world, thus making graduates more marketable.
  4. Financial support by the government. With recent announcements stating that GATE funding will only be awarded to institutions with ACTT accreditation, it’s imperative now- more than ever- for you to seize the opportunity to apply to an ACTT accredited institution; only given to institutions that are financially sound.

Think carefully and do your research. Consider if the school also has international accreditation and the implications of a registered institution vs an accredited one. Need further advice and guidance?

Speak to one of our advisors on how you can access GATE and the HELP Loan for our January 2018 Master’s Degrees:

Student Recruitment Centre at recruitment@lokjackgsb.edu.tt.

645-6700 ext. 200

www.lokjackgsb.edu.tt

2) New and international opportunities

There are numerous International MBA options in Trinidad and Tobago, but it’s like comparing apples to oranges: not all International MBA’s are created equal. The final decision is yours, but you must ask yourself “do you want to carry the MBA title or do you want to develop the necessary skills, learn with a powerful network of like-minded individuals, participate in the holistically transformative experience and thereby EARN the MBA title to be able to use it in real-life?

This is your chance to be part of an experience that encompasses a practical approach to real-life business problems through the Lok Jack GSB’s authentic learning approach to education. Students who are part of the programmes are exposed to relevant content and experiences, such as international study trips to places like China, Brazil and Silicon Valley to name a few. Our partnerships give us exclusive access to global internships with large multinational companies and other international alliance benefits, that will prepare you well for the international business world. Employers are apt to choose graduates that can do the work from an international perspective.

 

3) International Business and Leadership Expertise

The right International MBA provides the technical business skills and necessary soft skills needed for the new dynamic workplace through team building and leadership workshops. Our Faculty possess a wealth of academic, research and industry experience. The international faculty brings to the programme research, teaching and consulting styles from an European, Asian and North American perspective while our local facilitators add their rich knowledge about the complex and rapidly changing business environment found in the Caribbean and Latin America. At the UWI – Lok Jack GSB you’ll be exposed to a valuable ecosystem of Faculty, Alumni and peers that are focused on success in business.

4. Be Double-Qualified!

The UWI-Lok Jack GSB offers an International MBA with a dual-degree option that provides you with the opportunity to transfer credits between the UWI-Lok Jack GSB and the Florida International University (FIU), and earn 2 degrees: FIU’s Master of International Business (MIB) and the UWI-Lok Jack GSB International Master of Business Administration.

Omkar R. Seetahal, International MBA student describes how the dual degree helped to launch his global career – “after one year, I became eligible to transfer to FIU as a dual degree student andearn two Masters degrees simultaneously but most importantly have an opportunity to work for aforeign aerospace multinational corporation where my talents could be utilized to full potential. “

Add accolades and experience to your belt that will give you an added competitive advantage!

 

Did you know?

  • 50.61% of our graduates received an increase of salary after completing their Masters’ Degree with us? Where will you be?
  • 21.87% of our students started their own business post-graduation?
  • 64% of our graduates believed the course content considered both the current & future business environment? That’s valuable content that could be used strategically to propel your career. It’s time to use the opportunities placed before you!

 

The Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business prides itself in offering one of the most comprehensive and thorough approaches to preparing our candidates to perform after their Master’s Degree experience. With dedication and application, you can become and achieve all that the International MBA promises. As an institution that is accredited by ACTT, funding is no problem as you have access to GATE and the HELP loan.

If you are ready to experience a different degree, contribute meaningfully and launch your career in the right direction, speak with one of our Academic Advisors at 647 6700 extension 200 or email us at admissions@lokjackgsb.edu.tt

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