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M.A. Hinchcliffe | COVID-19: Reshaping The Future Of Business Management And Operation

M.A. Hinchcliffe | COVID-19: Reshaping The Future Of Business Management And Operation

Published:Thursday | May 21, 2020 | 12:13 AM

Source: The Gleaner Company (Media)Limited

Whenever there is a hot issue, pundits come out of the woodwork, so I am taking licence to join the ranks. However, I am coming from the position of a business owner and a manager who is at the centre of the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing the impact on business management and operation.

I am also declaring that never in my lifetime as a health management specialist have I witnessed healthcare driving economic activities. Yes, this is the reality brought on by COVID-19, causing the nature of business to be changing before our eyes.

The health sector, long low-keyed, has shown that with support, it can stand proudly among the best systems in both developed and developing countries. This I could have told anyone who would listen, because, coming from my experience when I was the health development officer at CARICOM, and attending international health conferences, Jamaica was viewed as the leader in all aspects of healthcare – in public health, maternal and child health/food and nutrition, primary healthcare, and the environment.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the health status of the country will be the driver for economic recovery.

Another matter for consideration is verification of the extent of workers’ COVID-19 status – the extent of infection spread among the workforce and the implication for the workplace. Here the matter of testing comes into play. Who will be responsible to get timely results? This should be on the agenda for the business recovery task force to come up with a strategic plan for health service to include testing, tracing, quarantine, isolation and treatment.


The pre-pandemic phase of COVID-19 recorded economic growth, though pale; the stock market robust; unemployment trending down; tourism robust; education steady; agriculture and mining in the mix; and other indicators of economic activity were showing that we were inching up to achieving aspects of the 2030 plan for Jamaica to become a place to live, work, do business, and raise family. The health system was dealing with dengue, which appeared to have been coming under control. It is against this background that the COVID-19 pandemic came up on us. The workforce was not on the radar, except statements that it is a valuable asset.


I am not going to join the naysayers on the outcome of the Government’s approach on the measures to control the spread of the virus, and the effect on business. While there are lessons to be learned, there is no place to beat up on oneself, as we have to do what we have to do to sustain the gains of controlling COVID-19 as the background against which to view business in this pandemic phase. What is obvious is that health got in the driver’s seat, and businesses followed. This historic occurrence brought new respect to a health sector which, from time immemorial, got no respect.

The business response saw a mix of actions, some pushed by fear and anxiety, while others had concern for the health and well-being of their clients and staff. Others took steps to preserve the life of their company and, hence, the bottom line. During this time technology rules, particularly for education and training and some services, and the development of ICT gadgets and paraphernalia.

The entrepreneurial instincts also kicked in as the need for people, process and products loomed. The need for PPEs, especially mask, sent sewing machines buzzing. COVID-19 impacts on the economy became the buzzwords, sending economists, financial analysts and business titans tripping over themselves to see who could land the best argument on the impact of COVID-19 on the respective sectors which underpin the economy.

Those of us who own and/or operate businesses had to respond to the periodic edicts, e.g., whether full or partial lockdown, curfews or restriction on personhood, including for the aged and infirmed. Freak out is an understatement when the lockdown of the parish of St Catherine was effected. The underpinnings of business, regardless of sector, came into full view in the form of shuttered business in the parish, with its long arm into jurisdictions throughout the country, either their headquarters or branch operations, or consumers for the goods and services.

Against this background, calls got louder and louder for a national approach to business recovery, hence ‘task force’ became the buzzword to give effect to the call. The Government obliged with the appointment of a multisector task force. While there are gaps in the representation of sectors and subsectors, I am of the view that when the work programme gets under way, there will be room to co-opt representatives to make presentations. In the meantime, I am putting my two cents on some elements for consideration for business post the pandemic. A strategic plan for healthcare, against which business recovery will be measured. What must be avoided is opening and closing business if COVID-19 is not on a sustained path for control. Thoughtful guidelines and action items must be in place to deal with flare-ups of the spread of the infection and to safeguard the health of workers, particularly where they operate in clusters, such as BPOs and manufacturing establishments.


I posit that business recovery must, of necessity, be sector-specific after determining that each took a hit of varying proportion. It is widely touted that we will be faced with a new normal which is yet difficult to determine. However, in this scenario, it is important that we must be clear-eyed about the plans for recovery based on credible data showing the different levels of impact. The common thread running through businesses, regardless of size, is the business plan and related strategic action items. Therefore, my starting point is not a top-down approach, but an internal self-study of the business status with the start of COVID-19, where the business is during the height of the spread of the infection, the path it was on, and the damage it has caused. Analysis of the study result will inform the way forward.


Occupational health will be integral to business recovery, as the health of the business will rest on the health of the workforce and will initially be informed by the state of COVID-19 control, which may very well be among us due to the many unknowns about the behaviour of the virus. It means, therefore, that health will still be front and centre.

If a health unit or first-aid station is not already in place, it is time to add a new position to HR, which I will call a ‘health monitoring aide’. The duties must be informed by the COVID-19 workforce guidelines stated above for implementation. The duties can be expanded to include participating in employee-assistance programme, monitoring cleaning and sanitation, among others. This is one area of job creation brought on by COVID-19.

Restructuring for business recovery during and post COVID-19 will also lead to the need for reskilling and upskilling workers who will otherwise be terminated or furloughed. New business opportunities are likely to emerge from the crisis which will drive education and training to be nimble in producing a ready workforce. The projected economic fallout will be taken into consideration by the task force, but it cannot be an all gloom-and-doom outlook. What will make the mare run will be creativity and innovation. Every sector will have its own take, and since I cannot be even a fly on the wall during the task force’s deliberations, I have confidence that the members will put egos and testosterone aside and come up with a cohesive strategic plan for business recovery.

M.A. Hinchcliffe is the CEO and founder of Manpower and Maintenance Services Ltd Group. Email: ceo@manpowerja.com

Audrey Hinchcliffe | Holistic recovery from COVID-19

Contributed Photo

Published: Tuesday | May 12, 2020 | 12:11 AMAudrey Hinchcliffe/Guest Columnist

THE TAGLINE ‘We are in this together’ aptly portrays economic recovery in the presence of the coronavirus. The challenge for the Economic Recovery Task Force will be finding the balance, as the economy and the virus will have to learn to coexist, at least for a while. There will need to be reliance on science to inform healthcare which will, in turn, inform the economy. This three-legged stool will serve to inform the work of the task force and its subcommittees.

I was tempted to create a four-legged stool by adding politics as the other leg, but with an ounce of caution, I veered away from this as it dawned on me that this is no time to include anything decisive, as focus is needed on the subtopic – finding the balance. We are aware that scientists are still grappling with the behaviour of the virus, its origin, how it is spread, how to control and, eventually, eradicate it. The scramble is on to find a cure, with reports of potions, pills and vaccines being explored. Mythic cures abound while the spread of the disease – COVID-19 – and rising death toll continue to emerge. This is the background against which economic recovery is being pursued.

My unsolicited position is that any talk of economic recovery has to be pegged to human resource; recalling that businesses have said in the past, and it still holds true, that human resource is their greatest asset. This asset goes out the door at the end of each shift, with no guarantee of its return the next day. COVID-19 is now dictating that this asset must be protected if businesses want to reopen, grow and thrive. I am now being bold to state that the business of health is through human resource, which is grounded in occupational health and safety, while health, as a business, is grounded in the economy in the form of products, goods and services.


The talk of business recovery is taking place in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The policies on mitigation and control may be seeing some results, but uncertainty looms as preparation is being pursued for business recovery. In this scenario, I direct attention to the business of health (and wellness), which is the production of healthcare and the determinants of what will work. Here I am limiting my views to dealing with COVID-19. Realising that we have to find a balance between operating business and living with the virus – I now submit that the balance at the workplace has to be supported by a strong occupational health programme guided by enforceable policy initiatives for the following:

• Social distance/Physical distance;

• Compulsory testing with quick results;

• Contact tracing;

• Isolation and quarantine;

• Treatment – symptoms;

• Mental and spiritual support,

Against this background, occupational health services, where it now exists, must be shored up for this responsibility under the direction and collaboration with the public health system. Where there is no programme, companies must move expeditiously to put one in place. This must be backed up by staffing and training. Monitoring the workplace for compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures will come from both external and internal processes.

New staff positions may emerge, hence positively enhancing job creation. Immediately, I foresee a health monitoring aide with duties that include taking temperature; enforcing the wearing of PPEs; social and physical distancing; cleaning and sanitising; assisting with employee assistance, among other activities, for infection control, such as hand hygiene and mask discipline.

There should be internal policy and procedure for if and when a worker gets sick, and the external linkage for care. An occupational health programme will throw up questions, such as the role of health insurance, and medical care. These questions should go into the mix of issues for discussion by the business recovery task force, as these cut across all business sectors.

In this regard, consultations on human resource, health and safety need to be the subject of a task force subcommittee. I can just hear the outcry about the cost and available resources, but we can’t have it any other way – if the human resource is the greatest asset, healthcare is the companion asset. There is no choice in the quest for business recovery. Business must open safely; on the other hand, health as a business will be in demand, ranging from medical care, pharmaceutical (licit and illicit substances), testing devices (kits), medical devices, PPEs, transportation, accommodation, nutrition, counselling, training, technology, and many other items for care, cure and comfort during illness. COVID-19 has dictated its own products and services.

So, as part of business-recovery initiatives, health as a business has a place in the deliberations, as existing businesses will attract support for reopening, whether for organisational restructuring, rightsizing, and new goods and services.

During business recovery, the virus will remain as infectious and deadly as it is now. If control measures are not monitored, and policy changes not made, it will be easy to have to return to lockdowns and curfews. The interest of economic recovery will drive the behaviour of business, regardless of sector; hence, finding the balance is an imperative for the business recovery task force.

Audrey Hinchcliffe is the CEO and founder of Manpower and Maintenance Services Ltd Group. Send feedback to ceo@manpowerja.com or columns@gleanerjm.com.

Source: The Gleaner Company Media Limited

Manpower & Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited Group Helps Fight COVID -19

May 5, 2020                                                                                             For Immediate Release

Manpower & Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited Group Helps Fight COVID -19

Manpower and Maintenance Services (MMS) Limited Foundation has joined the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by donating JMD$ 250,000.00 to the Jamaica “Together We Stand Telethon” to aid in the fight against the pandemic. The donation was made to help with the purchasing of personal protective equipment and supplies for the protection of those working on the frontline against COVID-19 and the strengthening of health systems.

each have an essential role to play during this COVID-19 crisis”, said Mrs. Audrey Hinchcliffe, Chief Executive Officer of MMS. “On April 12, the MMS Limited Foundation pledged JMD $250,000 to help in the purchasing of health supplies for our health care professionals, and today the MMS Limited Group handed over, 2000 N95 masks to the National Health Fund so that they can distribute them, as they deem appropriate, to reach those that need it the most, our nurses and doctors who are working tirelessly on the frontline against this pandemic”.

MMS has always taken a proactive approach when there is a threat to the country’s healthcare system. And it is MMS involvement in the COVID -19 fight that prompts the contributions. Known for its underpinning in cleaning and sanitation, Mrs. Hinchcliffe also shared that the company’s cleaning and sanitation workers are also working on the frontline against COVID-19 and they too require personal protective equipment and supplies as well. In this regard, MMS has them trained and equipped as they work in our hospitals, Business Processing Outsourcing companies (BPO’s), shopping malls, points of entry, education and business entities among others.

MMS continues to be on the frontline, working assiduously to implement steps for the control and mitigation of diseases. In March of this year, the company hosted workshops and sensitization sessions on the coronavirus to educate on symptoms of the virus, transmission, prevention and treatment and minimizing risk at home and in the workplace. The company also donated 200 N95 masks to the Spanish Town Hospital.

Clean Matters!

Opposition spokesperson on Health & Wellness Dr. Morais Guy (left) along with former president of the Medical Association of Jamaica Dr. Shane Alexis (right), examine cleaning and sanitation products and masks distributed by Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited (MMS), along with Chairman of MMS Mrs. M. Audrey Hinchcliffe (centre) at the workshop – Coronavirus, Facts not Fear, Fighting Back – held at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on March 05, 2020. Photo by: Aston Spaulding

Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited (MMS) is adhering to all the necessary guidelines for cleaning and infection control in the interest of the safety of its employees and clients in light of the coronavirus outbreak, the company’s management has announced.

Infection control has its underpinning in cleaning and disinfection. This is Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited’s (MMS) area of expertise. The company has honed its craft and this year celebrate over 30 years in the cleaning business.

In addressing infectious diseases, MMS has established an envious track record because of the nature of the services the organisation provides to a number of businesses and institutions including hospitals, points of entry such as airports, wharves, cruise ship piers; where there are large groups of workers, for example, BPOs; training and educational facilities, hotels, entertainment venues, corporate offices, among others.

According to Chairman and CEO of MMS, Audrey Hinchcliffe, “it is customary that whenever there is heightened advice needed on any infectious diseases, MMS moves into high gear to understand the implications for our clients and services. Clients will recall that in the case of H1N1, Zika, Ebola, Chick V and Dengue, we convened workshops for our clients, employees, and experts to learn about the diseases and steps for control and mitigation.”

With this near-global outbreak of the coronavirus and the threat to Jamaica, “our approach is no different”, she said. It is against this background that the organisation, in its usual proactive manner, staged the recent Coronavirus Workshop held at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, which brought together not only staff and clients but professionals in health and related entities, who were both presenters and participants.

“Manpower & Maintenance Services Limited takes very seriously its mandate and the relevant procedures for janitorial related services, and in particular cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting with a view to infection control and mitigation,” Mrs. Hinchcliffe said.

Given the untried nature of this outbreak, Mrs. Hinchcliffe added, “While there are standard procedures in place, we are now reviewing and revising our “Power Clean Procedures” to ensure that they are in sync

with the instructions for infection control from the relevant local, regional and international authorities.” She said, “With immediate effect, we are also reviewing our business Continuity Plan to include responding to epidemics; we will be appraising our plans and programmes in short order and we are also conducting staff re-training throughout client locations with a focus on infection control, and personal hygiene (in particular, hand washing), with immediate effect.”

Mrs. Hinchcliffe said that MMS also wishes to assure its clients and the wider community that, “as always, should the need arise, MMS is committed to working to do our part in dealing with the efforts to control the outbreak of any infectious diseases. “




ManPower Fêtes 32 Students

Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20190906/manpower-fetes-32-students

Photo by: Aston Spaulding

Published:Friday | September 6, 2019 | 12:08 AM

In keeping with its annual tradition, Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited (MMS) recognised 32 students, children of employees, who will be entering high school for the first time by providing them with school supplies.

Having completed the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations earlier this year, the students led by top achievers Alicia Adamson, daughter of Brian Adamson, who is heading to Wolmer’s High School for Girl’s and new entrant to Calabar High school Javian McLeod whose guardian is Marva Fowles, were feted in a ceremony at the company’s Eureka Road headquarters recently.

A flagship programme of the Manpower Foundation which was ­established as a community outreach initiative, especially in education, the Back to School Awards, formerly the GSAT Awards, now in its 20th year, is eagerly anticipated by both parents and students who welcome the assistance with their back to school preparation each new school year.

Speaking at the recognition function, deputy chief executive officer of MMS, Garth Hinchcliffe, congratulated the ­students and encouraged them to make the best of the years they will spend in high school. “Take this opportunity that a high school education provides to fulfil your given potential. This is your chance to lay a good foundation for the rest of your lives,” Hinchcliffe said.

Also addressing the students, pastor and motivational speaker Janet Allen, urged the students to, put some PEP in your steps. “Now that you have been placed in high schools through PEP, you should remember that this is not a destination, but an entry point to a wider world of possibilities,” Allen said.

The students who will be attending a number of other schools including, St Andrew High, Queens High, and St Jago High School, received bursaries from the Manpower Foundation, along with gift certificates to start their own accounts from JN Bank and First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union, as well as supplies and other tokens from Lasco, Guardian Group, FLOW, Grace Foods, Nestlé and Hi-Lo.