Bonuses might be contributing to economic stagnation in Namibia

30 October 2018 2 min. read

According to Managing Director of Headway Consulting Jan Coetzee, the dilution of the Christmas bonus as a concept through its indiscriminate distribution is partly responsible for the stagnation, lack of structure, and lack of innovative effort in the Namibian business environment.

As the leader of an information and communications technology (ICT) firm, Jan Coetzee has been among the most prominent voices surrounding the evolution of the Namibian business environment to become more innovation oriented. The economy appears to be undergoing a transformation, characterised by a greater orientation towards digital integration.

Coetzee has repeatedly emphasised the need to keep up this reorientation process,  explaining how “Namibia is focused on creating a knowledge-based society where technology, innovation, entrepreneurship at every socio-economic level becomes the norm.”

In addition to highlighting the importance of Namibia’s new direction, Coetzee has also elucidated certain challenges faced by the country’s economy, one of which is the indiscriminate allocation of bonuses irresepective of employee performance throughout the year.

Bonuses might be contributing to economic stagnation in Namibia

He explains how the bonus “was conceived as a way of rewarding employees who had performed above and beyond what was expected of them and their job description. Whether it was exceeding their sales targets or performing their duties in a manner that went beyond expectations.”

Now, Christmas bonuses are given out to all employees, which is partly responsible for the deterioration in the quality of Namibia’s services sector, according to Coetzee. The dilution of this incentive structure and the simultaneous absence of management structures removes the possibility of excellence in the business environment.

Coetzee highlights the need to earn the bonus as crucial to Namibia’s economic development. As a solution, he recommends the implementation of some of the best bonus structures across the globe, with the provision that these practices are tailored to match the special circumstances in Namibia.

“This will create a win-win scenario, Namibia becomes a truly service orientated society and improves service delivery and production and people feel great because they know they truly earned their bonus,” he explains. Coetzee's own firm has been considerably active in promoting digital compatibility across Namibia's business environment, primarily through multi-sectoral training sessions