Have you ever wondered why employees involve themselves in private practice (popularly referred to as “PP”)? Comparing employees in multinationals such as GE, Shell, Coca-cola and Mobil, and their contemporaries in African firms, especially Ghana (kindly help insert their names here…LOL.), you will realize that most (if not all) in the multinational organizations tend to be dedicated to their job without any room for private practice. On the other hand, in the typical Ghanaian firm, almost every employee seeks private practice at every opportunity. The latter even believe that those who are not involved private practice are not smart enough and at higher risk of financial loss because of the lack of multiple streams of income to meet ever-increasing financial obligations.
Although there could be several reasons why employees in indigenous firms engage in PP, these 4 broadly cover a number of them:
1. No Clear Career Path
When it is difficult for an employee to have a clear picture of a career path in any organization, the employee will seek direction elsewhere. It is quite funny when some organizations speak of job rotation as a career path for employees without a clear picture of the level the employee can attain in the organization at any specific future time. This often leaves employees dissatisfied.
2. Low Capacity Development
Capacity development should be key in every organization in order to empower employees to attain optimal performance and achieve career growth. However, when organizations fail to fulfill this obligation, employees tend to spend extra time and resources finding other avenues in developing themselves for better opportunities elsewhere.
3. Non-competitive Remuneration
Although there is no standard for remuneration but employees expect their pay to be competitive when compared with those of their contemporaries. In some organizations, there are no rules and what you get is based on your negotiation skills. This often leads to a system where workers might be on the same level but earn incomes that are miles apart. In addition, this provokes enmity among employees and, as such, appraisal will be subjective rather than objective. As a result, employees look outside for better remuneration to meet financial obligations.
Imagine when last some workers’ salaries was increased, although the prices of everyday commodities are on a constant rise.
4. No Retirement Plan
In many organizations, there is no retirement plan for workers and anyone can be let off employment at any time. No job security of any sort! Surely, such organizations do not have any exit plan for their workers. This plan is not just about pensions but an implementable assurance, through an organization-wide policy, for a better life after many years of dedicated service. Without a system of this kind, workers believe their organization only wants to suck their productive life out of them and dump them at the last moment - when the juice is out and dry. And for them, the only wise thing to do is to secure their own future, since their employer cannot help them.
There is no need to deny that “PP” is very much in many indigenous organizations. It is everywhere and most employees are involved. This can have a number of downsides on certain organizational goals.
So, let's talk: how do you think employees and employers can assume a common ground? Why do employers fail in their obligations to employees? At what level can employees be satisfied and not to consider “PP”? Or is satisfaction at work impossible? Is it possible to eliminate “PP” completely? Do you practice “PP” too? Let's talk!