Gov’t of Ghana is too generous to the unproductive public sector worker because many Ghanaians in the public sector are very unproductive in their offices yet they are paid monthly. The government paid over 650,000 people working in the public sector in 2017 and this number has increased over the past two years and it is estimated to be close to 800,000 in 2020.
Declining employee performance is the most widespread problem in public sector organizations. The study found that corruption and political interference have significant effect on employee’s performance. Whereas, environmental factors; lack of training/processes/technology and lack of employee participation in the decision making have little impact on the employee’s performance (Najabat et al., 2015).
Many government employees are a liability for the state, they draw monthly salaries with less to show for what they are paid. Gov’t is the highest employer in Ghana but as to whether the government is getting value for money for the monthly wage bills is a big question. As far back as 2008, some 300,000 public sector employees were evaluated as reductant. Thus the number of employees in public the sector is more than the jobs available.
Prof. Peter Quartey of the University of Ghana in 2018 called for concerted efforts to weed out “disguised employees” who are paid for virtually no work done.
Whiles some public sector workers very often report to work late and are more likely to leave earlier than expected, the time they spend at work is very often unproductive. Private employees are most often on time and have many tasks to perform each day and add value to their organizations.
Absenteeism, lateness to work, employing persons without the requisite skills and qualifications are common in the public sector apart from the health and education sectors where certain strict basic qualifications are required.
The above shortfalls can however not be a one size fits all for employees in government institutions because there are rare government employees that put in their best throughout their working lives. Others full of life and zeal to work soon become part of the canker as their passion and willingness to be productive is suffocated by the prevailing unproductive environment they find themselves in.
The government of Ghana can be more efficient, effective and increase productivity exponentially if public sector workers put away the unproductive attitudes and embrace best work practices and ethics.
The application for best workplace principles, employment of just the required staff with the requisite skills and proper monitoring and supervision can help alter the continuous fall in output.
In the absence of this realization, and effort, the government will continue to be generous and keep paying salaries to an unproductive workforce whose employment is secured by the labour law.
Researchers have long found sound applicable solutions to low productivity which include good governance principles of transparency, fairness, equal treatment, and high salaries (Najabat et al., 2015).
The use of merit-based appointments, fair promotions based on objective evaluation is also key. In addition, the introduction of vertical and horizontal accountability mechanisms from the top to bottom of the organization will compel public sector workers to give off their best ion the job than they are doing now. How long will the government take to be generous to the public worker without demanding for hard work and productivity?
Indeed the govt of Ghana is too generous to public servants in Ghana; If you are a public sector worker, be a citizen, not a spectator.