PENANG, 17 January 2013 - Three basic factors identified as the driving force to improve productivity in the public sector are: salary, job security and motivation in the form of appreciation and incentives to high performance shown.
Professor James L. Perry, an expert in the field of public administration and an academic from Indiana University in the USA, said that the balance of these three key areas needs to be emphasised more comprehensively.
He said the public sector must act to build an efficient structure in developing a country that can motivate to ensure that the public sector is always able to provide the best service to the community.
“First, the government’s recognition of individual successes in linking services to the community includes reliance on the individuals or organisations that have managed to excel.
“Subsequently the existing salary structure needs to be reviewed so that the effectiveness of public services can be realised, while also contributing to efforts of assuring job security of civil servants,” he said.
He said this in a press conference after delivering a lecture on Motivational Foundations for Productive Public Service in the 21st Century here today. Also present were the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Omar Osman; and CEO of Razak School of Government, Dr. Hamidin Abdul Hamid.
Among others who attended the lecture were the principal officers of the University and delegates of USM strategic partners from Australia, University of Western Australia and Murdoch University.
James Perry also stressed that the third factor which is equally important is the appreciation that inspire motivation or reward for the performance of civil servants who manage to give high impact services.
Yet he said that the incentives given have to be scrutinised so that no one will feel that they have been left behind as compared to others who achieved through the recognition that is not financially oriented.
“Among the incentives is seen less costly but high in value are the awarding of gratuity leave, study leave, and specialised training so that it can ultimately help the individual to excel,” he said.
James Perry is also known for his achievements in the various positions in the public sector and his many studies in the field of specialisation which included a focus on wages in the public sector, public service motivation, and national service and the community.
To date, he has also received numerous accolades including the special Charles H. Levine Memorial Award for Excellent in Public Administration and Yoder-Heneman Award for Innovative Personnel Research.
In the meantime, Omar stressed that the special lecture organised by USM through the Centre for Innovation & Productivity in Public Administration (PiPPA) can serve as the beginning of specific collaborations between USM and strategic partners within and outside the country to mobilise public service productivity.
He said that PiPPA has created various agendas with the objective to trigger a process of inner transformation before proceeding to assist the government's transformation programme through the public service improvement process.
“PiPPA will provide services and training to the public and semi-public sector in Malaysia which is in line with the objective of creating a public service that has a high benchmark in the international community.
“This service centre will also collaborate with various parties including INTAN, Razak School of Government and other strategic partners for long-term programmes with the aim to inspire and inject motivation into public servants,” he said. - Text: Marziana Mohamed Alias / Photo: Mohd Fairus Md. Isa / Translation: Yong Check Yoon