In taking advantage of getting out of hospitality (hostels), by offering live out allowances to the workforce, mining and industry may have created “The Perfect Storm”, guaranteeing a negative result in productivity and increased absenteeism.
Looking back at hostel accommodation and feeding of the workforce, the Chamber of Mines researched Comro References 1991, specified the Kilojoule requirements by job specification of underground workers, in order that they be able to carry out the required workload.
Typically these Comro References translated into a comprehensive menu, as per the example shown.
TYPICAL HOSTEL STANDARD MENU – LUNCH
|Tripe and Gravy 100g||Boiled Eggs x 2 each Breakfast Stew 100g (Flavour of Choice)||Spaghetti Bolognaise 100g||Amasi x200ml||Beef Polony 100g||Vienna’s 100g||Chicken Giblets 100g Breakfast Stew 100g (Flavour of Choice)|
|Lambalazi 500ml White/Brown||Lambalazi 500ml White/Brown||Lambalazi 500ml White/Brown||Lambalazi 500ml White/Brown||Lambalazi 500ml White/Brown||Lambalazi 500ml White/Brown||Lambalazi 500ml White/Brown|
|Brown Bread Sandwiches x4||Brown Bread Sandwiches x4||Brown Bread Sandwiches x8||Brown Bread Sandwiches x4||Brown Bread Sandwiches x4||Brown Bread Sandwiches x8||Brown Bread Sandwiches x4|
|Spread 25g||Jam 25g||Spread 25g||Peanut Butter 25g||Jam 25g||Jam 25g||Peanut Butter 25g|
|Tea or Coffee 300ml||Tea or Coffee 300ml||Tea or Coffee 300ml||Tea or Coffee 300ml||Tea or Coffee 300ml||Tea or Coffee 300ml||Tea or Coffee 300ml|
TYPICAL HOSTEL STANDARD MENU – DINNER
|Chakalaka Wors and
Chakalaka Relish 100g
|Beef and Vegetable Stew 100g||BBQ Wors and BBQ Relish 100g||Beef Steaklette 100gand Tomato relish||BBQ Wors and BBQ sheba 100g||Tripe and Gravy 100g||Chicken Stew in gravy 100g|
|Stiff Porridge 200g||Stiff Porridge 200g||Stiff Porridge 200g||Stiff Porridge 200g||Stiff Porridge 200g||Stiff Porridge 200g||Stiff Porridge 200g|
|Soup of the Day 100ml||Soup of the Day 100ml||Soup of the Day 100ml||Soup of the Day 100ml||Soup of the Day 100ml||Soup of the Day 100ml||Soup of the Day 100ml|
From these observations it becomes immediately obvious that the live-out allowance which includes components for both accommodation (60%) and food (40%) for the individual, ensured a hugely negative impact on the individual’s ability to carry the workload required of his/her job function, and also resulted in an environmentally and socially negative living arrangement, the combination of which has both physiological and psychological negative ramifications, affecting productivity.
Anglo American reports on Fatigue
Upwards of 50% of your workforce reporting for duty could have dangerously low blood sugar levels leading to fatigue, confusion and lack of co-ordination, compromising both safety and productivity….
Why South Africans are fat but hungry
South Africa is one of the 20 fattest countries in the world. About 40% of the population eats food with so little nutrition that they are malnourished – and its affecting our health and productivity.
What then is the reality of your live-out workers lifestyle and the effects on productivity?
- The worker whether live-out own employee or contractor employee, is forced on grounds of non-affordability, to choose the environmentally negative “shack option”, ensuring more likelihood of common debilitation disease, leading to increased absenteeism and decreased productivity.
- Usually the “shack option”, is a distance from the place of work, ensuring additional travel costs, and increasing shift time from 8 hours to 11/12 hours or 12 hours to 15/16 hours daily.
- Leaving little time for cooking and cleaning (hygiene), even if the worker had knowledge of the nutrition requirements of his/her job they are not affordable. So the cheaper option comes into play ensuring “The Fat but Hungry” option. Lack of consistent good nutrition, naturally leads to increased absenteeism through illness and reduced productivity because of lack of consistent energy.
- By ensuring attendance at work in order to guarantee a salary, the worker is forced to take in help to cook and clean, either splitting the available income between the rural family and the help, or bringing the family to live in the shack. Either have significant unaffordable financial implications, with psychological implications as well as physiologically productivity and health consequences.
- Desperation leads to aggression in the workplace and distorted communications between workforce and management. Unhappiness and low morale guaranteeing reduced productivity and increased absenteeism.
- Supplementing the workforce with balanced nutrition programme is a good business decision and can go a long way towards addressing “The Perfect Storm”.