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Hire for long term, ILO exec urges companies

/ 02:06 AM December 08, 2011

KYOTO, Japan—Think long term.

Companies that want to be successful in the long run should invest in their workers and not just hire contractuals for short-term profit, an International Labor Organization (ILO) expert said Wednesday.

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Kee Beom Kim, a ILO employment specialist, said firms that hire regular workers and invest in increasing their productivity are the ones that would eventually emerge “successful and prosperous.”

“We know that the companies that are able to survive for the long term and prosper are those whose employees are productive, are happy, and they have good morale,” Kee said in an interview.

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Not good for morale

“Having workers whose contracts are for a very short period of time— that cannot be good either for the morale of those workers or in terms of the investment in those workers,” he said.

Kee is one of the experts at ILO’s 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting here tackling policies on job protection and economic growth amid the global financial crisis. The meeting attended by labor ministers and other stakeholders from the region ends on Wednesday.

Kee said contractualization was a quick response by companies to globalization, but he emphasized that firms should “think long term.”

“Countries are faced with many pressures as a result of world trade and globalization. These kinds of mechanisms provide companies with a means by which they can address some of these pressures. But having said that, one has to think long term,” he said.

Kee said using contractuals meant lower investment in employee productivity, which would eventually prove detrimental to a company’s interests.

Long term planning

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“As a company, if one worker is going to be around for only six months, you have less incentive to invest in the productivity of that worker and providing him with more skills training because you know that after six months he’ll be gone,” Kim said.

He said, however, that long-term planning was a “key challenge for many companies because they’re required to report on their financial operations every quarter in many cases.”

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TAGS: Employment, International Labor Organization, labor issues
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