A Public Agenda investigation into the attitudes of Ghanaian workers has revealed an appalling level of absenteeism and indolence among workers in public institutions. The investigation by Public Agenda also revealed that this behavior leads to low productivity and requires the immediate attention of the government.
Some workers come to the office as late as 12noon and leave the office before the required closing time which is 5.00pm with an excuse that there is no work to be done in the office or they are leaving for lectures. In July-August this year, calls to 5 Ministries of state between 10.00am – 12noon went unanswered.
Another worrying development is the tendency for lactating mothers to bring their babies to work. After mothers resume from their maternity leave, they are not expected to bring their babies to work, yet it is common to find nursing mothers with their babies in the office. These babies take all the attention and concentration, meanwhile they will only spend half of the day in the office. Therefore leaving their responsibilities in the office incomplete.
Other workers also have the notion that, they are not under the direct supervision of the government who employed them. Most at times, the highest punishment given to Public officials is to be transferred from one region to the other if they misconduct themselves.
Even though it is a norm in every working institution to transfer workers, this simply move from one station to another. Whereas in a private institution the person who commits same offence might receive a punishment of either going to jail or being fired.
Various studies have revealed that in major Public institutions, during normal working hours, it is not unusual to find offices locked throughout the day with an explanation that every worker in that office is absent , sometimes without any meaningful excuse.
These same workers request for salary increment every now and then, and hit the streets with demonstration when government delays in the payment of bonuses and allowances.
An investigation by Pubic Agenda has revealed that some public workers pretend to come to the office to work but only do lesser than it is expected of them.
Former President John Agyekum. Kufuor once quipped, “we pretend to pay workers and they also pretend to work”.
Public Agenda is therefore calling on the government to tighten supervision in the various Public institutions to keep workers on their toes to perform as it is expected of them.