African governments urged to invest in ICT
African government must step up investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to help employees work from home in this era of COVID-19, Dr Vivian Osei, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Human Resource and Organisational Development of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has said.
Speaking at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) School Of Business e-seminars series, she said with the deployment of the right Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, workers could work from their homes and any location they were.
The programme which was to discuss the challenges and opportunities brought about by the COVID-19 was on the topic “Coronavirus Pandemic: implications for workplace reforms and employee wellbeing.”
Dr Osei in address entreated organisations to invest in virtual infrastructure to help their employees to work from home in this period of COVID-19.
She appealed to employers to institute capacity building programmes to help their employees to adapt to the new working environment.
“The workplace for some employees has moved to the home with inappropriate set up for work coupled with destructive surroundings,” she said.
She advised employees to protect data and information of their organizations, saying “flexible work place and working hours should not increase the risk of organizational secrets and information.”
“Organizations should place premium on human dignity, pain and empathy to inform any employee who out of extreme consideration and with regards to the law has to be laid off in this period of COVID-19,” Dr Osei said.
She commended business organizations for the attention being paid to health and safety at the work place, and called for more investments into office layouts to sustain the benefits to employees.
The Dean of the UCC Business School, Professor John Gatsi called for huge investment in ICT to “enhance the correction of disruptions to work.”
He appealed to Human Resource experts to unearth other critical challenges that the pandemic had brought apart from job losses such as health and safety and COVID-19 related illness.
One of the discussants, Mr Francis Eduku, the Vice President and Human Resource Director of Goldfields Ghana Limited explained that one of the issues labor unions and leaders were silent about “is the effect of the pandemic on psychological contract which is about the unwritten contracts which cannot be found in the collective bargaining agreements but have become part of the work culture, motivation and recognition.”
Mr Eduku entreated the Department of Human Resource Management of the School of Business to conduct a survey into the impact of the pandemic on psychological contracts to provide a balanced perspective of the effect on employees.
A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Human Resource Management , University of Cape Coast school of Business, Dr Nana Yaw Oppong discussed the challenges that the pandemic pose to collective bargaining agreements especially post-COVID-19 and call on labor unions to start discussing the issues.
He advised employers to follow redundancy procedures and negotiations, and explained that “employers should not treat employees as victims of the pandemic that should be laid off at the will of the employers without following the redundancy process.”
BY TIMES REPORTER