Ethical, Apolitical, Impartial, Professional, Honest and Courteous. These are some of the qualities Dr. Wendy Sealy, Chief Nursing Officer, shared with the seventy nine (79) public officers who attended the Seminar for Entry Level Officers on January 31, 2017. Dr. Sealy’s presentation was on the role of the public officer and in addition to being an informative session, it was very ‘real’, as she shared her own personal experiences from her days on the hospital wards to her current post.
At the end of the first session, the group participated in an activity that resulted in one group remixing the popular Something’s Happening by Red Plastic Bag to melodiously sing:
Oh, oh, oh this is happening,
Within the public service,
People just working hard,
One dedicated team,
All trying to leave a legacy.
It was definitely something not to be missed!
Other groups used poetry to show what they learned from the session, and penned some creative pieces on what it meant to be a public officer:
Some may say there is no security,
Lack of respect and abuse of authority,
But I am pushing on,
With truth and integrity…
Helping you because someone helped me.
To be a public officer is a very exciting role,
It calls for respect and communication to every single soul.
Honesty, loyalty, fairness we want,
Not bickering or fighting or grumbling a lot.
Do not discriminate against your brother
Even though one has a necktie and not the other
Be fair to everyone we see
And remember always extend your courtesy.
Show integrity in all you do
And always remember to be true
So don’t mind what people may say
As public officers we save the day
So thanks to you Dr. Wendy Sealy
For reminding us what we should do
To set a legacy
And always stay true.
Figure 1: Public Service Tree of Growth and Development
O ne group’s realisation was that once we do the things were are supposed to, and uphold the principles in the various acts that govern us, we will reap the fruits of ‘productivity’, ‘better economy’, ‘improved customer service’ and ‘motivated employees’. What was further depicted is that if the public service improves, the private sector and Barbadians on a whole would benefit.
The second session, facilitated by Sabrina Baird, Training Officer, Training Administration Division, created controversy. Murmurs could be heard throughout the room and anyone could tell that the audience was split on the topic. But what was this topic? Career development in the public service. What do you think? Can you plan your career in the public service?
When this question was posed, mixed responses were received. However, it seemed as though the majority of those present believed that it was possible and even more so now, than it was twenty or thirty years ago. The session however was not delivered in a vacuum and there was robust discussion relating to the various obstacles that can be faced when charting one’s career. Advice was given on how to get around some of these obstacles with the central theme being that career development is each and everyone’s responsibility. Participants were discouraged from waiting on ministries and departments to nominate them for training and to stop waiting on their ‘turn’ to be promoted.
The group was then encouraged to consider their life spaces and the many roles they play that could impact on their career development. “Do not compare yourself with friends” was just one of the messages shared by the facilitator as she emphasized that everyone is on their own trajectory and that everyone’s journey will look different.
As the day came to a close and the participants waved the staff of the Training Administration Division goodbye, anyone could see that new friendships had formed, fun was had, and most importantly learning took place!
We look forward to seeing you in the near future as we continue to work together to promote excellence and professionalism within our public service.