Gertrude Torkornoo, Chief Justice nominee, giving the public lecture. Picture: ALBERTA MORTTY
Gertrude Torkornoo - Chief Justice nominee, giving the public lecture. Picture: ALBERTA MORTTY

Involve workers in formulation of workplace regulations — Chief Justice nominee Torkornoo

Chief Justice nominee, Justice Gertrude Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, has urged corporate entities to involve employees in the formulation of regulations that govern the  workplace.

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That, she said, would motivate voluntary compliance at workplaces and help employees to contribute to higher productivity.

Delivering a paper at a public lecture ahead of this year’s International Labour Day in Accra yesterday, she said:

“The more stakeholders own regulation, the easier it is for peer-to-peer reminder of best practices to be shared, leading to strong organisational cultures built on the accepted regulation.

“It is within this context that this paper suggests that effort must be made at workplaces to produce clear records of how stakeholders expect the workplace to be regulated for maximum productivity, and these clear regulatory lines should be created from consensus by as many stakeholders as possible,” Justice Torkornoo added.

Lecture

The lecture — the sixth in the series to be organised by the Institute of Work, Employment and Society of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) — was to commemorate the commitment of workers towards national development and to reflect on the ethical aspect of workers’ responsibility.

It was on the topic: “Harnessing Good Work Ethics for Higher Productivity”, and was sponsored by AngloGold Ashanti and Citi TV.

It was attended by labour unions, personnel from academia, Justices of the Superior Courts, media practitioners, among a host of dignitaries.

Underscoring the need to involve every stakeholder in the formulation of regulations, Justice Torkornoo — who is also an author — said:

“When regulation is made up of rules that stakeholders are aware of and contribute to the making of, their submission to the rules produce a culture that is orderly, predictable and harmonious among diverse people.

“This culture can be carefully calibrated and guided through the upgrading of law and regulation in order to produce higher standards of conduct,” she noted.

Communication

Beyond the regulation at workplaces, the Chief Justice nominee said the lack of communication of signposts, goal posts, and indices of success and a constant flow of why things were what they were could also affect significantly the effectiveness at workplaces.

Effective communication, she said, would increase understanding in order to increase cooperation and collaboration at workplaces.

“Transparency, clarity and continuity of engagement and collaborations are always critical ethical values that must be harnessed to ensure productivity because any chain is as strong as its weakest link,” she added.

Technology

Touching on another area of harnessing good work ethics for productivity, the former Chair of the E-Justice Oversight Committee recommended the use of technology at workplaces.

She, however, cautioned its users to examine technology for efficiency, sustainability and ease of use.

“Harnessing good work ethics for higher productivity will always require the multi-pronged approaches needed for success in any life endeavour.

“Vision is not enough, mission statements are not enough, goals per se are not enough; strong tools such as clear communication, a culture of accepted regulation and efficient use of technology can be engaged to assist in this journey,” Justice Torkornoo added. 

Commitment

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the UPSA, Professor John Kwaku Mensah Mawutor, said the lecture was a testament to the university's commitment to academic excellence and intellectual discourse.

He commended the efforts of the workers of the university and the country for dedicating their skills and expertise to the service, advancement and development of the country.

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Attitude

The Director, Labour Research and Policy Institute, Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, said some of the negative attitudes exhibited by professionals emanated from the tertiary institutions.

He, therefore, charged institutions of higher learning to help eradicate the menace, adding that “if the attitude is right, we can increase our revenue, and government will be able to find the money to pay workers and pay them more”.

Standards

The Director of Human Resource of the University of Ghana, Dr Yvonne Ayerki Lamptey, stressed the need to develop ethical standards for all forms of work for higher productivity.

“As we celebrate the day, let us review our ethical standards and look at how we can improve our standards to align with changing trends,” she said.

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The Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission, George Sarpong, assured the university of the commission’s support in helping to promote good ethical practices at workplaces to increase productivity.
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