Department heads and managers of the Public Entity Saba on Monday, January 27, started a five-day Integrity and Leadership workshop. The workshop facilitator is Oene Bouman, who has provided many workshops and training in the area of integrity throughout the Dutch Kingdom.
Honesty and integrity being two of the essential qualities of good leadership and good governance, the Saba Executive Council decided late last year that those with leading positions in the government organization would take part in a workshop that contributes to a stable work environment and supports good ethical conduct.
“This way of working involves ensuring that department heads know what ethical behavior is and how to deal with unethical behavior within their department. Building and sustaining good governance and employee integrity requires ongoing attention and effort. Department heads play an important role in managing and encouraging employees to maintain high moral standards,” the Executive Council stated.
The workshop consists of four themes and one training day at the end of the five days. The four themes are personnel policy versus integrity, integrity issues, disciplinary process, complaint handling and undesirable behavior.
Department heads will, for example, learn how to deal with influences from society that their employees bring with them to work, what their role and responsibilities are with regards to integrity issues, how an internal investigation works, what the rights and obligations of the employer and the employee are in integrity matters, what can be categorized as undesirable behavior and how the process of complaint handling works.
The course focuses on practical leadership, explained facilitator Bouman. “It is about the government managers and department heads knowing which tools they have to make sure that decent standards are implemented, without depending on the higher authorities. Government managers and department heads have the instruments, but too often, they don’t realize this. It is also important for managers and department heads to set the right standards themselves,” he said.
Bouman has been working with the Dutch Caribbean for some four years. He has provided courses for the police organization in St. Maarten, for the Caribbean Netherlands National Government Service RCN and the Public Entity Bonaire.
This is the first time that Bouman is facilitating a course on Saba. Being an organization on a small island where many people are family of each other brings challenges. “But the challenge gets tough when you can’t present your arguments as a department head or manager on behalf of the organization. The participants in this course are learning how to deal with such challenges.”
Head of the Receiver’s Office Melisa Juana is one of the participants. “It is a very good course. I am eager to learn more about integrity and leadership and how I apply this in dealing with personnel. The course teaches us how the process of integrity and leadership works and which rules and regulations we as managers can apply without always having to go to the Executive Council,” she said.
According to Juana, a course like this one helps the managers and department heads in carrying out their job. She said that integrity, having decent standards, respecting one another, listening to each other, and communicating are key elements in a government organization.
“It is important to have a government with high standards that can serve as an example to others both in and outside the community.” Juana specifically thanked Head of the Human Resources Department Miguela Gumbs for organizing the course.