May 10 2012
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Why pvt sector staff outperform govt counterparts
Hussam Doba is an interior decorator based in Makkah and he designs exquisite floral arrangements at weddings and other occasions in both Makkah and Jeddah.
"My number one concern is always client satisfaction. Once my clients weren't entirely happy with my wedding decorations. Even though I had already spent hours putting the original arrangement together. I willingly re-assembled the entire display to ensure the family was content. I don't mind long working hours or traveling between Makkah and Jeddah because this is my my source of income (rizq)," said Doba.
Based on the input from many professionals, a high quality work ethic consists of getting to work on time, being self-directed, taking initiative, being proactive and getting important things done first, having a positive attitude, producing high quality work, not being a clock watcher, being friendly with co-workers and customers, and finally, loyalty to the company and colleagues.
Dr. Atef Mohsen, a surgeon, told the Gazette, "Work ethics involves characteristics such as honesty, integrity, accountability, and having an alert and active conscience at all times. Valuing what one does, loving your job, and having a sense of purpose and serving humanity are key factors in working at your job to your maximum potential. Work ethics were actually encouraged and taught in our Islamic heritage thousands of years ago."
Indeed, our best role model, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), stressed the importance of work and earning an honest living. In his hadeeth, he said, "The believer dies with his sweat on his brow." Most people know the story of the poor man who came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asking for food.
Rather than granting the man his request, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) went with the man and bought him an axe so that the man could chop wood, sell the wood, and buy food with the money he earned after his toil for the day. This story should be taught to boys and girls at a young age so that they internalize the concept of hard work.
For some people the concept of a strong work ethic comes naturally and is intrinsic, such as young Muhammad Sharaf who said, "I had the desire to be financially independent and to rely on myself from a young age.
When I was still in the intermediate grades, during the summers I would refuse my father's monthly allowance, and work at odd jobs here and there. Later I studied marketing at the university and I now have a lucrative job. It is my belief that working hard at the job guarantees respect, appreciation, and recognition."
"The work environment in private organizations is highly competitive and the employer holds everyone accountable for their performance and productivity. The employee knows that he must go out of his way to impress the customers, clients, and his direct manager. The quality of the products or services that the employee provides to clients is directly linked to the employee's promotion and future bonuses," said Abdulrahman Al-Khathlan, CEO of a company in Jeddah.
In many government positions, the high level of job security coupled with a very slight chance of being laid off causes employees to be more lax in their attitude towards work. "Jobs in the government sector are totally lacking in the incentives, motivation, and strict evaluation needed to keep employee performance at its best. There must be a solid system of positive rewards for hard work, and in some cases negative outcomes for negligence at work. We have a long road ahead of us if we are to transform the laissez-faire work ethic in the public sector," added Ibrahim Al-Samhan, human resources development consultant at one of the private companies.
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