Proposal to Provide Opportunities at Home for Latvian Workers - How to Stop the Brain Drain

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"It's no mystery why young, capable Latvian workers are leaving Latvia to find better chances for opportunities," says Mike Johnson, American Businessman who has been living in Riga since 1999. The education system is failing Latvians and unless dramatic changes are made, the outflow of young talented people will continue for years. It is holding Latvia back from reaching its high potential and changes need to be made promptly. Communication techniques are ineffective and management practices being employed in Latvian businesses are fear management tactics at their worst. The local business owners are plain and simple GREEDY.

Patricia LTD Business Services Group in Riga Latvia announces a new effort to address the issues around the brain drain in Latvia. Patricia LTD's consultants, will guide Latvian's top managers and educators to make changes that will start providing opportunities to Latvian workers and young people just starting in the job market.

Young workers will be taught how to reach their full potential and management will be taught how to listen to customers and manage in an environment free of fear.

"It's no mystery why young, capable Latvian workers are leaving Latvia to find better chances for opportunities," says Mike Johnson, American Businessman who has been living in Riga since 1999, and is Patricia LTD's General Manager.

Recently Latvia's President threw good money after bad to tell us what we already know. Latvian workers really don't want to leave Latvia for jobs; there are simply not enough good opportunities in Latvia at this time. I don't understand why the Latvian President has created an expensive task force to study this phenomenon.

To study to "death do us part" is not the answer. "Simply raising salaries is not the answer either.

Paying more for the same old inefficient work is merely hiding one's head in the sand like the Ostrich bird," says Johnson. You need to pay a worker more for more productive output rather than just warming a chair.

You simply must ask the customer what they want and then find creative ways to give IT to them, Johnson goes on to say. Listen to the customer and act on what they say. That is what is needed. We have to teach them how.

The young Latvian students and workers are the customers of the system. Just ask them and they will tell you what needs to be done.

Young Latvian workers have been clearly telling Mr. Johnson, that they don't necessarily see more opportunities abroad; rather, they more often see a lack of management and educational potential at home that precludes exciting opportunities for those who want to get ahead.

The local business owners are plain and simple GREEDY, the young Latvians go on to tell Mike Johnson. "They are charging customers ridiculously high prices and are paying us a peasant wage! Where is all that extra money going," they ask. "Its certainly not being paid as taxes to the Latvian government. If we open our mouths with a suggestion they tell us to SHUTUP as they are the bosses." - It's fear management tactics at their worst.

It's also no mystery to Latvians living abroad or for foreign expats living in Latvia. The lack of smiles in the shops; the inattentive service in the restaurants; the lack of self confidence on the part of most people in general, all of it shows clearly why the young people are craving for something better.

Yes, its a Soviet system holdover; however, its been 15years now and this lame excuse needs to be put behind us NOW!

The young people just finishing their studies in a Latvian Higher Education tell stories of out of touch professors who will not allow interaction in class, suppress individual creativity and initiative and create an environment of fear in the classroom.

"There are no opportunities to learn the art of creativity, how to express ourselves, to debate issues, nor to build our self confidence," the young students claim. Similarly, there are not many chances for serious work experience, they say. "Very few summer jobs available and businesses don't want to teach us anything."

Johnson strongly believes that the education system is failing Latvians and unless dramatic changes are made, the outflow of young talented people will continue for years. It is holding Latvia back from reaching its high potential and changes need to be made promptly.

These changes are not difficult to understand in themselves; but, are caught in years of apathy and lethargy.

Strong leadership is needed to overcome this quicksand like environment and create opportunities for these young dynamic people, empower them, to help them build their self confidence as well as their country's future.

There is no mystery, Johnson exclaims, its a simple matter of making change happen in how we look at education; people development; leadership; motivation and get serious about customer service.

Mr. Johnson is confident that other Latvian businessmen living abroad and EXPATS lining in Latvia will join him in expanding this effort.

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