I was irritated and visibly angered as i listened to Caroline Mutoko on Kiss 100 relate the experience of one of the supermarkets married female employees called "x" in Kisumu who has to work from 8 a.m to 10.p.m ,7 days a week,28 days a month as a shop steward that she hardly has time for her family.She is only eligible for 2 days off in a month and I'm certain the pay must be meagre! Fellow bloggers please take this challenge to expose practices that are not only harmful but exploitative!The onus is upon you.I'm very certain that Tusky's supermarket has a HR department that simply needs to be changed as it is a non starter and non performer!
Accor Hotels 3-Day Super Sale Asia Pacific There has to be a limit to the number of hours an employee should work and i believe though I'm not an HR Guru that retail businesses in Africa should especially introduce flexible working hours and shift system so as to cater for its employees!They should further put a ceiling on overtime hours. For a certain how a business treats its employees tells us of how much you value us as customers.Honestly i also believe that the other supermarket chains such as Ukwala similarly, do not have any due regard for their employees.It stands to reason that an employee who has no time for family and works long hours with little pay and scant motivation will 99% of the time vent his frustration on customers thereby affecting their perfomance.That is contrary to the marketing mix which stipulates "the customer is king" .
I as a customer would rather spend my hard earned coin to shop at an institution that values its employees and strategically motivates them rather than at a venture where the Directors shamelessly turn all profit to expansion and their own personal benefit and disregard the human element.Such kinds of attitude are replicated through many Businesses in Kenya ,Uganda, Tanzania and Africa in General and with no discrimination intended especially in Indian owned or managed firms.The classic case of Kenya's retail giant Uchumi Supermarkets seems not to educate the management of various African establishments that despite massive capital if you do not motivate your employees in various ways the net result is pilferage among other ills and the business faults.
A close scrutiny of various companies in Africa reveals that the HR departments are merely administrative units, put there as a fashion statement to indicate that the business is modernized! but having no real output in terms of efficiently managing, motivating and enhancing the productivity of employees in a professional manner.
There seems to be a large lacunae in our employment and labor laws ,first and foremost to necessitate that businesses plough back a portion of their profits to employee benefits(many governments provide tax incentives for businesses that adopt this approach),to provide clear guideliness on staff dismisal,benefits and redundancies,to legislate against discriminative tendencies(both on account of race and sex) in businesses and to compel businesses to abide by established laws.The absence of such policy frameworks has largely contributed to the dismal performance of African economies and the huge disparities in wealth income and poverty levels.
No Government can do well without sufficiently addressing the labor issues and this narrows down to business entities also.
At the same time in Kenya the Institute of Personnel Management which is the professional body for HR practitioners is so weak in formulating policies that can translate into laws to cater for employees and or to ensure that HR administrators by and large stick to the professional ethics and persuade business to operate by certain ethics.There is need for public sensitization on this issue.I am yet to see them advertise of a seminar or a luncheon in that regard and their website is not useful(trust me i subscribed to their newsletter two years ago and have not received a single issue to date)Businesses that give lip service to catering for personnel interests are not worth any investors interest!Kudos to Nakumatt at least they exhibit some sense of direction just that for a big establishment like that i would expect Mr .M.Omondi their HR manager to be sitting on the board of Directors(at least as the 1st African-Nakumatt we are watching!).HR department is crucial and key for any business and its strategic goals!
pss I'm Happy to note that after this post there has been a lot of change on how some of this chain stores treat their employees.Its the wise course to honor your employees and truth be told employers stand to benefit more!(this post was done in 2007 , i believe much has changed and consequently i will do a second post on the supermarket and not its hr policy, i foy would love to share some facts leave a comment!)