Managing Your Workforce For Optimum Performance

Managing Your Workforce For Optimum Performance
Barr, Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC)

 The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) is revered as the maritime agency with the most dedicated and efficient workers and it only took the Minister of Transportation few minutes to realize this as he said “You appear more organized and I am impressed with the environment, I hope others will learn from you” during his maiden visit to the Shippers’ Council.

Last week, the Shippers’ Council revealed one of its strategies towards getting the best from its workforce as it rolled out the drums to celebrate twelve members of staff selected form zonal and head offices as they received integrity awards.

The awards had been organized by the Anti-Corrupt Unit of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as a means to celebrate individuals who have distinguished themselves with integrity and character that is worthy of emulation.

Credibility is one thing that is very critical to the survival of any corporate entity. It breeds an environment where the “truth”, “honesty”, “integrity” thrives. This is paramount because when organizations are just desperate for survival and profitability without being conscious of building their credibility profile, chances of long-term success will be greatly slim.

How would you rate your workplace in terms of integration of trust and teamwork? Research has shown that many executives and managers have not grasped that credibility is a business asset that has enormous clout and needs to be carefully nurtured through conscious efforts. This is exactly what the Shippers’ Council is building. Such initiatives would help in enhancing the productivity of workforce in the following ways:


A corporate atmosphere of trust motivates the workforce while an ambiance of distrust leads to de-motivation of employees. In organizations that lack credibility, employees do not believe whatever they the management promises them.

Integrity and long-term success

There are four key leadership ideals that inspire companies to the purpose of long-term success. These ideals are called “moral purpose”. Moral purpose is where the big money is. Most stories about wealth creation and success are far easier to understand when we recognize the role of moral purpose. Nikos Mourkogiannis identifies in “Writing in Strategy + Business”, the four areas of moral purpose as Excellence: the pursuit of quality; Altruism: care for the staff/care for the customers; Heroism: the drive to win and to achieve; and Discovery: an attempt to approach each situation freshly. Mourkogiannis says, “When no clear moral purpose is articulated, a company acquires a de facto amoral purpose: expediency.

Atmosphere of teamwork  

Creating an atmosphere of teamwork, innovation and involvement in your organisation requires more than just empty promises. A leader needs to do more than talk the talk; he or she must also ‘walk the talk’. Consistency, they say, is what integrity is all about.


Leaders who are critical to the success of any improvement effort must be totally committed and highly trained in the daily habits that create an atmosphere of trust, teamwork, innovation and involvement. Research shows that if employees do not return from a training programme into a work environment from which the newly-learnt skills are modelled, coached and reinforced by leaders, almost all of the new behaviour will have disappeared within one month.

Finally, organizations that are thirsty for enduring credibility must live their values. They must walk the talk and they must ensure the workforce remains sufficiently motivated.

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