Businesses Must Benchmark Global Standards - Dr Annan
5/1/2012 11:06:55 AM -
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Joseph Samuel Annan, has charged entrepreneurs and captains of industries in Ghana to always keep the larger global competition in mind in managing their businesses and not limit their scope within the country.
Dr Annan said there was an overwhelming need for Ghanaians, especially the business community, to change their attitudes of looking at things only from the Ghanaian pot and rather look at how to meet international benchmarks in running businesses, saying “there is no Ghanaian way.”
The deputy minister gave the advice at the launch of the 2012 Business Effectiveness Benchmarking Survey report, a baseline study undertaken by PwC, an accounting and financial advisory firm. The survey, the first edition, aims at identifying best practice in business and understanding how Ghanaian companies were performing on those international benchmarks.
It was based on questions answered by 24 companies with quantitative and qualitative information regarding eight key areas including people, business insights, process and systems, internal audit governance and compliance as well as corporate social responsibility.
The deputy minister pointed out that the findings in the survey, which suggested that Ghanaian companies needed to do more in all the areas, also applied to the public sector because they must work closely with the private sector to move the economy forward, adding that executives from both sectors often crossed carpets.
Dr Annan gave the assurance that the government would continue to implement policies that would improve the competitive environment for businesses to compete.
The survey had startling findings which suggested that in almost all the variables examined, Ghanaian companies needed to step up their game if they make an impact on the rest of the world.
For example, on span of control, which indicates the right balance of employees to managers, companies surveyed scored a median of 6.4 employees per manager, as against an international benchmark of 9.9 employees per manager.
On this score, the survey suggests “there is some way to go in establishing an optimal structure and potential to revise existing managerial spans of control.”
Workplace diversity (gender parity); the survey suggests it was being legislated in some mature economies and may soon come to Ghana. The study points out that although women form 51 per cent of the country’s population and 48.8 per cent of the labour force, only 32 per cent of the employee population of the companies surveyed are women, as against an international benchmark of 45 per cent median mark.
The level of female participation at the managerial level in the companies surveyed is 30 per cent and the results also corroborated other surveys that point out that women dominate the informal sector, while men dominate the formal sector.
The Guest Speaker, Mr Ishmael Yamson, commended PwC for the insightful study and advised Ghanaian businesses that faced challenges not to be quick in blaming external factors but look within their operations and find out ways to raise the bar to international standards.
“Businesses should not always blame competition from outside such as Asia for their poor performances. They should look inside and benchmark their activities with other top players in the world,” Mr Yamson said.
He said such benchmarking would help businesses to avoid complacency but would want to build enough capacity and respond to changing needs.