February 10th, 2021    |   Related To: Employers Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ECA)

‘Who’s Who has asked the ECA what are the Association’s priorities for 2021.

Employers Consultative Association logo

In photo from left: Stephanie Fingal, Chief Executive Officer (Interim) and Keston Nancoo, Chairman

• As businesses continue to move forward, what are your priorities in the coming 6 months? 

The ECA’s focus over the next six (6) months remains that of ‘survival and relevance.’ As a non-for-profit business Association, the impact of previous restriction measures, coupled with the financial struggles of many members of the ECA, means that our revenue streams have been significantly impacted. Our survival plan will be based on three (3) key strategies:

  • Re-engineering our business and service delivery models
  • Identifying gaps in technology infrastructure and investing in key upgrades that will facilitate new operating models and business continuity
  • Reviewing existing member benefits for relevance and identifying new and improved products and services to better deliver on our value proposition.

• Were there any permanent changes initiated by your company, necessitated by the demand to ‘change the way of doing business’

In reviewing our organisational structure and service delivery models, one of the first initiatives we undertook was the introduction of remote work arrangements, which was not in place prior to 2020. This option has proven to be integral to our business continuity efforts and has positively impacted our staff members’ response to ongoing change to work models. ‘Work from home’ will now form a permanent part of our work system.

Secondly, we moved some of our services completely online, for example, training interventions. Many of our industrial relations consultancies, and even the chairmanship of disciplinary tribunals are also now done virtually.

• Also, what do you see your industry’s sector prioritizing

As business consultants in the industrial relations and human resource management services industry, the digitalisation of services will be a priority. However, HR Management and Industrial Relations are inherently and highly interpersonal, so the challenge is to successfully move service delivery to the online world without losing the impact of this relational element.

At the organisational level, there is the associated challenge of redefining organisational cultures as businesses adopt more flexible working arrangements in satisfying both client and employee needs. While this shift to hybrid working models has proven to be advantageous for both organisations and individuals, the impact on organisational culture cannot be underestimated. The social dynamic within the workforce will change as work schedules and work environments change. With less face-to-face interaction and an increasingly dispersed workforce, business leaders will be challenged to find ways to keep their employees engaged, cohesive and optimally productive.