Staying resilient in times of uncertainty

Employees need motivation to boost productivity. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH
Employees need motivation to boost productivity. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

A recent chief executive officers, human capital managers and brand experts gathering sought to deduce how staff would stay resilient in times of uncertainty in the corporate space.

During the meeting it emerged that some careers and jobs in corporate Kenya were at stake and that had sent a chill down the spines of most employees.

The executives attributed this to the country’s seemingly stagnant economic performance which also trickled down to company performance.

It is, however, not all doom and gloom as one of the executives alluded. The corporate leaders agreed that the economy is diversified and that has provided a soft base to invest in different cash generating ventures. 

“I have a lot faith in Kenya’s economy, if people stop tampering with it then it will correct itself. the diversified sectors we have given it more reason to flourish, Kenya’s multi legged economy differentiate it from other countries that rely on sector to flourish” Richard Mukoma, managing partner at Brand Integrated.

So how are employees expected to maintain a level face amid the threat of job loss due to uncertain economic times?

Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) managing director Mwangi Githaiga said employee retention is not solely a factor of the economy but a mandate of the company’s top management to ensure appropriate strategies are developed to mitigate against job loss.  He says employees have to be engaged, for them to be part of the bottom line growth of the company.

That is, they have to buy in to the company’s vision in the simplest of ways.

“Let us engage our employees, be fairly simple in communicating your vision and be genuine. Let us run the organisation as though you will run your own family,” he says.  

“It is the work environment that we are talking about, it is not the huge salaries that keep people in jobs.”  The KWFT has for two years in a row been voted the best company to work for in the Deloitte Best Employer Survey.

Executive coach Ann Kabinga, however, cautions that companies need to shutter the idea that there is an internal organisation and an external organisation.

“We need to be responding to what our customers what. We need to be aware and close enough to take a pulse check of the market demands and that is how you are able to create jobs for the future” she says.  

How do you engage employees? Oracle’s human capital team conducted a study in how people management will look like in 2017 and the detailed report sought to be a wakeup call.

The report placed the responsibility of employee engagement right at the door step of HR Practitioners.

“HR have the difficult task of making the case for a more employee centric and today’s analytics and technologies have put them in a position to make compelling arguments based on hard data,” reads part of the report.

Mr Onserio is a business reporter with NTV Kenya.