The first and most important reason why you should take the issue of productivity seriously is because your time is limited and you ought to make it count for something worthwhile.
It is not happenstance that many of the trainings organised and delivered under the auspices of the Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions are geared towards improving the productivity of the Lagos State Civil Service. On the other hand, it is a deliberate preoccupation flowing from the realisation that all the goals of the government will rise or fall on the back of the strength of the civil service and its propensity to be productive.
The question, ‘Are you productive?’ may be asked in a number of different ways in order to effectively drive home its importance. One could say, ‘Are you making every minute of your life count?’ And, as John Rampton, an entrepreneur and investor, recently posed the question, one could say, “Every minute of your life is gold. Are you treating it that way?” In other words, are you productive?
It is thus imperative to learn how to remain productive in the midst of all the things that have the tendency to distract us today. Because of the ubiquity of the Internet and social media applications today, many people unknowingly waste their time in chatters that are not productive by any measure whatsoever under the guise of keeping abreast of developments around them.
I am thus delighted to attend the opening session of this 2-Day seminar on ‘Enhancing productivity in the Lagos State Civil Service.’ This, indeed, is one of the most consequential topics for the workplace today and, for the public service in particular. I am confident that the subject of this seminar will get the in-depth treatment it deserves and will be delivered in a way that participants will leave this seminar appreciating the importance of disciplined and informed work ethics for their personal success and the success of the Lagos State Public Service they serve. The approval of this training is yet another signal to all and sundry that the administration of His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, is devoted to transforming the Lagos State Civil Service into the most modern, most responsive, most skilled and most knowledge-exposed in Nigeria and Africa. I call on you all to join and support his efforts to ensure that every officer in the Lagos State Civil Service is equipped with the soft and hard skills required to achieve the corporate objective of moving Lagos State forward.
In the article where he posed that question, John Rompton argued that because “there are only so many hours in the day…making the most of your time is critical.” In saying this, he was, in fact, echoing long-gone thinkers and philosophers. Another business titan who echoed the wisdom of the ancient thinkers and philosophers was Mr. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers, who, in his famous speech to the Yale University Convocation, emphasised that everybody’s time is limited.
Summarising Mr. Jobs’ views, George Ambler wrote as follows: “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it…”
I therefore say to all of you today: the first and most important reason why you should take the issue of productivity seriously is because your time is limited and you ought to make it count for something worthwhile.
Of course, productivity is also important in many more ways. Andy Core, an author and speaker on Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance, wrote an article where he explored how productivity impacts an organisation and its major stakeholders. He posited that the organisation’s customers are the first to benefit from a productive workforce.
According to him, “Productivity in the workplace will often translate into good customer service and interaction. This total client experience is the key to satisfying customers and clients, and almost all highly productive companies use this to gain customer loyalty. When a customer is loyal to your business, they will share their experience with others, which is a marketing advantage coming out of high levels of productivity.”
In our own case, our customer is the general public; the good people of Lagos State. When each officer of the Lagos State Civil Service is productive, the members of the public interfacing with the Civil Service will obtain such huge benefits and satisfaction that will positively rub off on the reputation and morale of the Civil Service as a whole.
The organisation is second in line to benefit from increased productivity, according to Andy core. He wrote that, “the employees themselves are an investment, and like any investment, they should yield a healthy or worthwhile return to the organisation. Therefore, when employees are highly productive, the organisation achieves its goals of investing in them in the first place. Productivity also helps to motivate the workplace culture and boost morale thus producing an even better company environment.”
In the third place, employees themselves will benefit from increased productivity in the organisation. More often than not, when an organisation is highly productive, it eventually becomes successful, and because of this, incentives are bound to be made available to the employees. These may include pay raises, bonuses, and so on. This will also motivate employees. Indeed, productivity in the workplace is an important aspect of every organisation and when all stakeholders understand this concept, success is just around the corner.
In light of the above, it is therefore important for each person to consider how to make each moment count in their own interest and in the interest of the organisations they serve. On this matter of increasing productivity, John Rompton said, “There are two ways to increase your output – either put in more hours or work smarter. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the latter.”
This training will explore all the latest scientifically-proven methods for attaining smart productivity. It is my fervent hope that you will take the best advantage of this seminar and resolve to be even more productive than ever before. As always, I wish to thank all the people who have worked tirelessly to ensure the realization of this seminar including the principal officers at the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions and other departments and offices that have been involved in organizing this training. Once again, we all are indebted to the visionary and passionate leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State. His interest in the welfare and training of officers of the civil service is unparralled. I hope that you all will actively participate in this workshop with a view to complementing the efforts of our Governor in ensuring the progress of our dear Lagos State.