This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.afp.al
By Plator Nesturi
Up until a while ago, employment in the state sector, especially in the civil administration, was almost the only possibility that graduates had to start a professional career. But, this ratio is changing fast and the private sector, which is no longer in the phase of “adolescence”, is looking to attract more and more specialists, in an attempt to be more competitive and to respond to the requirements of the market development and dynamics. Albania is no longer an isolated country, as it was 27 years ago. The country has entered new relations and its challenges in these conditions are three dimensional: with itself, with the time and with other economies, with which it is connected in an increasingly global network.
Focusing on the relations of the individual with work, we can notice two types of approaches that public servants and specialists have about the state sector and the private sector. These approaches relate both with the effectiveness in exploiting their skills and job satisfaction. Employment in the state sector, especially at the beginning of the career of a young person, is, without any doubt, a success. This, first of all, helps his CV and helps him to advance in his career. It offers him more security and stability at work and it also provides him with other benefits such as health insurance, pension, etc. On the other hand, he can benefit through other government programs the opportunity to become more qualified and by being part of this large structure, at the beginning of their career, youngsters are able to be orientated faster and to create a general idea of the priorities and the problems that exist in the functioning of the state and economy. However, we are all aware of the fact that our state administration is still suffering from old mentalities and old methods, starting with the recruitment of youngsters, which is not totally based on merit. This doesn’t allow the administration to attract the most talented elements and this puts us in front of the typical official or civil servant who is there thanks to the electoral favors that he has done to the party in power.
Another negative aspect of our civil administration is the lack of dynamics and the lack of values. The fact that the mechanism is set in motion through orders issued from above, doesn’t allow work effectiveness to be optimal. This sort of bureaucracy makes state administration look like a clumsy giant. Therefore, those youngsters who start their first experience in this system, run the risk of being infected from its shortcomings and the lack of incentive. It would be interesting to conduct a survey asking civil servants how happy they are with their work. Given the reasons mentioned above and despite the security that employment in the public offers, it’s hard to say that they are happy with the product of their work. Let us elaborate on this argument. In the past, civil servants would more often be found in cafes rather than the office, but now, strict rules have been introduced regarding discipline at work and business hours. But, there’s another problem. The fact that these civil servants spend more time in the office doesn’t necessarily mean that they do more work. There hasn’t yet been an efficient allocation of the workload and civil servants are often obliged to spend their time at work in front of the computer, not doing work stuff, but logging on Facebook. Can we say that this civil servant is happy with the job that he does? Not to mention the fact that our civil administration employees are forced to participate in political rallies organized by the party in power (state institution or municipality) if they want to keep their job.
Let us look at the private sector. Although the risks are greater and security at work mainly depends on results and not connections ,this sector is much more dynamic. The objective at work is more concrete and the area in which the specialist operates is narrower. Thus, results at work are more concrete and tangible. On the other hand, the work dynamic increases and offers more incentives for everyone, avoiding unnecessary bureaucracies. Is a specialist satisfied in the private sector? The fact he’s clear about the product of his work, is a positive element. The hours that he spends at work are filled with activities and every incentive turns into a daily challenge, by keeping adrenaline high. Meanwhile, another important aspect is motivation, which is mostly reflected on his reward. The work, incentives and their success are rewarded with material bonuses and career promotions.
So, will a person working for the public service feel like this one day? Coordination and the transfer of employees from one sector to another, will certainly bring more efficiency at work. This should benefit society and economic growth. However, there’s still a lot of work to do.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy