Accountability in the blue collar workforce

Accountability in the blue collar workforce

The blue collar workforce, though mostly invisible through the lenses of many, are the backbone of our country. The nature of blue collar work is hard manual labour, predominantly in the construction, factory, services, farming, agriculture, and mining and quarrying sectors – all of which are integral sectors of the economy. In this blog, we turn to Suvaneswary, Senior Recruitment Consultant of FirstWorksGroup, to analyse problems of accountability faced by employers of the blue collar workforce in Malaysia.

As in the white collar industry, contributors to the blue collar industry are crucial and any problems encountered with its work force will affect businesses in terms of production and output. Employers of blue collar workers seek dependable and responsible workers, who come with a positive work attitude and a want to grow in the company. However, more often than not, Suva explains, employers of blue collar workers face problems with attendance and tardiness, and high levels of attrition in the industry.

Employers of blue collar workers rely significantly on their employees’ accountability, with an expectation that once a worker undertakes a role, that they would turn up to work punctually and commit to their job. Employers would run into problems where their employees, after spending their day at work, may choose to desert the job halfway through the work day. For employers, this means scrambling to seek for replacement in order to ensure that business productivity is not affected. Even where employers offer incentives such as weekly attendance bonuses, some workers still choose to desert their role. Besides that, Suva further explains that another problem regularly faced is when blue collar workers choose to leave their employment for a slight increment in wages in a different company.

What this highlights is the attitudes of blue collar workers in Malaysia. The problems faced by employers of blue collar workers are multi-dimensional, stemming from the demographics of the blue collar workforce in Malaysia, which are regularly amongst the B40 income groups who may not have had access to opportunities of higher education and may not  fully understand the importance of accountability to their work. Not only that, there may also be a problem where blue collar workers view a small increment in monetary compensation to be more fruitful to them in a short-term view as opposed to viewing the long-term benefits they stand to gain from being with a company for longer periods of time.

For blue collar workers, they must realise that building credibility for themselves is an important part of being accountable to their employers. What this means is for blue collar workers to build trust with their employers, and stay committed to doing the right thing for the company by staying in their employment. Not only that, blue collar workers stand to benefit from upskilling themselves whether by their own initiative or seeking out positions that provide internal training as part of their employment.

Although blue collar workers in Malaysia are viewed lowly due to the stigma that workers of the blue collar workforce are low-skilled, contributions by employees in the blue collar workforce are greatly important to ensure that the industry keeps running. Blue collar workers must be empowered into understanding the gravity of their contributions to their respective organisations, which in turn may improve accountability levels of the blue collar workers and ensure continued productivity of the blue collar industry.



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FirstWorks Group is a Recruitment Agency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that specialises in matching the best people with the best companies.

We help startups, SMEs & large companies solve their hiring and staffing problems without the hassle and high expenses of traditional agencies.

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