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Johnson: Get Engaged, Involved and Competitive

June 18, 2012


BARBADOS needs 100 per cent of its employees in 100 per cent of its companies to get engaged, get involved and get competitive.

These words of advice came from Chairman of Harris Paints, Ralph Johnson, while delivering remarks at the Hilton Barbados Resort on Friday night.

Harris Paints copped the Prime Minister’s Award for the Most Improved Organisation at the 100 Improvements in 100 Days Awards Gala hosted by the National Initiative for Service Excellence.

According to Johnson, “Nothing can replace the magic and the awesome power of engaged employees as they can move mountains.”

“As a proud Barbadian I sincerely hope that our experience and the experience of all the other companies that have benefited from taking part in this initiative will help all of the other companies on this island to wake up and get involved and get competitive.”

Johnson lauded the NISE initiative, saying, “The NISE campaign came at a perfect time to engage our staff, to challenge our staff, to activate our staff into action, believing that they really could make a difference.”

“The big win for Harris is that over two-thirds of the Harris staff got involved in the initiative and we and our customers have seen improvements in many areas varying from health and safety… product information and process improvement.”

“We have also improved our supply chain efficiency. Many of our staff have also made personal improvements from gaining more skills on the computer, on improving their public speaking and all of this directly or indirectly impacts on our customer value propositions for the better. So our commitment to continuous improvement at Harris will continue as it did over 40 years ago.”

The chairman said that the key to the success of the company, which is celebrating four decades in the business, “has been having good employees, keeping them engaged with the customers and going the extra mile. You always have to try to please your customers and bend over backwards to help. In the long run you may lose a few dollars by giving away a deal, but that customer is going to become loyal forever.”

He noted that when the company first opened its doors, it faced an international competitor which had 80 per cent of the market share. “And the only way that we could compete was to offer better service,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s Award was presented to the company that generated and implemented the most improvements from the highest percentage of employees and where these improvements have been proven to have the highest measurable impact on its performance in the key improvement areas. (JH)


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