The Ministry of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform and Religious Affairs hosted a three-day training workshop for administrative officers and administrative assistants, which introduced an Onboarding Handbook for the Belize Public Service. The Press Office says that formal induction training has been pending in the Belize public service for years. With the onboarding handbook, public officers will now have access to a comprehensive process that provides an induction into the public service and opportunities for coaching and mentoring. Minister Henry Charles Usher says that this exercise will help public officers from not flying blind in the dark at work.
Henry Charles Usher, Ministry of Public Service: “We are here to make sure that the service being provided to the Belizean people is the best service. But, how can you provide the best service if you’re not trained in how to do your job and that’s why it’s very important that we have this onboarding procedure, that we also codify this onboarding procedure and there are three reasons for that. 1. You want it to be the same across the board. You want every ministry to understand what they are supposed to do and that’s why you put it in the form of a handbook. Sometimes you have great trainers in some ministries that know exactly how to impart the knowledge, know exactly how to get that employee to get the best out of him or her but, other times you don’t. By having a handbook now, you know what you’re supposed to do at a bare minimum. At least you know there are steps to be followed in terms of trying to carry out this training and onboarding procedure. So that type of equality across the board, that’s the first important thing. But secondly, continuity. Continuity in terms of even after you leave and somebody else takes up that post, that they know that they are supposed to be doing this job as well. Because I think for a long time, that was not explained to a lot of public officers. That when you bring in somebody you’re supposed to train them. You can’t just assume that they know what they’re doing. You can’t just assume that they know that their job is not only to file papers and do this and do that. It’s about providing service to people.”
The handbook is essential in guiding inductors to provide a standardized process for new entrants into the public service. The induction process will familiarize new employees with their conditions of service and the culture and values of the public service and their respective ministries and departments. Chief Executive Officer Rolando Zetina is hopeful that this will help public officers find clarity on their roles and responsibilities.
Rolando Zetina, CEO , Ministry of Public Service: “Imagine how much more of us there are in the ministries that are left alone and my observation also has been that some employees walk sound and do nothing. Some employees believe that their only responsibility is to collect their cheque. So we need to change that. We need to, from the beginning, tell our employees what their responsibilities are, what we as the employer expect from them and what they should expect from us.”
This onboarding handbook was created by the Training Unit of the ministry in collaboration with its senior management team and will be circulated throughout the public service.