Every country has labour laws that guide and drive organisations operating in the environment. Such laws help organisations treat their employees with dignity and respect as well as create a conducive working environment for them.
Experts believe that one of the reasons why employees change jobs could be that the welfare packages are not properly implemented out for the employees.
Experts agree that blue chip organisations and fast growing companies place a high priority on creating a motivational atmosphere as well as encouraging employees by providing welfare packages, ranging from health care to employee assistance programmes, maternity and adoption leave and medical allowance.
The immediate past President and Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Training and Development, Mr. Femi Kolajo, says that setting the level of welfare package is the function of the sector and the industries an organisation belongs.
According to him, one thing is key in welfare packages across all industries: they are affordable.
Employees believe that having a well managed welfare package in an organisation gives a clear vision of where the organisation is heading. It also shows that there is a good leadership in place. It is agreed that organisations, like this, have the quality of putting people before profit.
Organisations provide welfare facilities for their employees to keep their motivation levels high as well as create a sense of security.
The First Vice-President, Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria, Mr. Gabriel Farotade, says the welfare package in both the public and private sector are better now, especially with the introduction of the pension fund which employers are mandated to contribute 50 per cent of the total amount of the money meant to be employees’ pension in the organisation.
He adds that sometimes in the private sector, there was a time when employers paid employees entitlements in full whenever they were leaving.
However, he says most of the employees’ misused the funds.
But now with the new pension fund, the employee is not allowed to take all the money at once.
It is also important to create a conducive environment for employees to be able to work without fear or any doubt that their needs will not be taken care of.
Kolajo agrees with this, saying, ”Organisations strive to provide welfare packages to cushion the harsh economy in order to motivate the employees for the growth of the organisation.”
He adds that this gives the employees a sense of belonging and security as well as being a key part of the organisation.
According to him, the welfare packages in the private sector may be different from the public sector, due to the difference in the reward system, adding that it is not uniform in Nigeria.
The employee welfare schemes can be classified into two categories: statutory and non-statutory welfare schemes. The statutory schemes are those schemes that are compulsory and must be provided by an organisation in compliance with the laws governing employee health and safety.
Farotade and Kolajo say that the welfare packages include medical package, which could also to be known as the Health Maintenance Organisation; staff canteens or lunch subsidy; staff buses; children scholarships; car loans and housing allowances and wardrobe allowances, especially for law firms, banks, advertising agencies and television houses as well as other infrastructural facilities that will create comfort for the employees.
”We have what we call fidelity bond, which is a form of insurance protection that covers policy holders for losses that they incur as a result of fraudulent acts by specified individuals. It usually insures a business for losses caused by the dishonest acts of its employees.”
Farotade adds that this kind of insurance policy is to help the organisation regain whatever might be lost whenever a fraud occurs, especially in the finance department – in which case, the insurance will now pay for the losses incurred.
Though the Federal Government has recently increased the salaries of workers, yet experts say the increase is still minimal, despite the fact that it is a step in the right direction.
”There is the need to have an upward review of salaries and welfare packages at intervals,” Farotade notes.
For the welfare packages to really be improved upon in Nigeria, the government should improve on the current level of infrastructural facilities, Kolajo says.
Experts say the level of encouragement is low and that the government needs to improve the welfare packages as well as create a higher standard of salaries.
Farotade says that the salaries paid government workers are not commensurate with the work that is done by them.
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