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Ethics and your staff in Bali

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Ethics and your staff in Bali

When talking about ethics and your staff in Bali, it is worth considering how, as their employer, you can improve the quality of your staff’s lives as well as increase your productivity and profits.

Consider how many working days are lost due to sickness, both of your staff and their children. Here are some ways in which you can create a much more supportive working environment for your staff and make your business run more efficiently and productively.

Medical insurance 
Recently I came across a bar in Bali that provides free heath insurance for their staff after a three month trial period. Fabulous, and again, this was explained to me as having large economic as well as other benefits to the business.

Staff being able to afford proper medical attention (such as exists in Bali!) means less days lost to illness, greater employee satisfaction, loyalty and ultimately staff retention, and so less spent on training new staff.

Day-care and child-minding support
On-site day-care for children of employees has shown to allow greater workforce participation for mothers, both married and single, thus supporting parents to raise their children without being penalised.

Parents, particularly single parents, who work nights, can end up paying a fair chunk of their salary to have someone look after their kids. Is it not appropriate for nightworkers to be supported in this way?

Of course, with no unions representing workers’ rights staff have zero official bargaining power. However, because the cost to implement staff friendly programs is paid by the tourist who wouldn’t consider working anywhere that some allowance for child care was not made, it is fairly simple to set up if applied across the board.

What would the cost of such an initiative in Bali? Possibly as little as 200,000 per child a month to run, after the set-up costs. How many days are lost each year to a child who does not feel so well? How much does efficiency drop off when a mother is pre-occupied with a sick child?

Maybe it is as simple as having a bed, or a couch, somewhere that on the odd occasion when a mother needs she can have her kid at her work. Mostly when kids are sick they just need rest, so no really need for mums to take a day off.

Phones and chatting
Of course when you consider the issue of ethics and your staff in Bali, then you also demand ethical behaviour in return.

There must be a tradeoff for these kind of benefits, and one which stands out that the staff can contribute is to leave their phones, especially smart phones, in their bags. Facebook is full of locals chatting and posting while at work, all day sometimes.

And someone who is chatting is not doing their job. And they are going to get more bored with their job. Maybe there are many quiet times where staff are simply waiting for customers, but it is good policy to be strict about this even if it is difficult to enforce.

Give them time off periodically to do chat if you feel to, but good to delineate private from work time.  

Feeding staff
Well-fed people make better decisions and are less sick. Diets based on economic realities are notoriously bad, and as the immune system suffers, so does productivity. The popularity of instant noodles loaded up with MSG is a dietary nightmare.

Not only does MSG increase allergic reactions, sneezing, headaches, rashes which leave people feeling bad and so they stay at home or are sick and can become infectious in a work environment. These instant noodles have the nutritious value of cardboard, and the MSG also stimulates hunger for more MSG.

While these foods seem to fill a gap, they only serve to make one more hungry, under-energised, and then the weight goes on, continuing a cycle that ends up in helplessness.

Add to this the impact of the lack of brain food that is required for proper brain functioning that produces clear, rational thought processes, and it is no wonder that people get frustrated at some of their employee’s shortcomings.

See also Staff in Bali, Ethics and doing business in Bali and Foods that harm intelligence all on this website.

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By Mark O’Brien, April 2014

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