07 December, 2007

Tuskys-Business Without Ethics?

This morning i take a swipe at Kenya's second largest multi-million shillings(dollar) supermarket chain (and all those businesses in Africa exemplified by this organization)Tuskys Supermarket(formelly Tusker Mattresses).They simply lack the ethics ,custom, appreciation... etc to prize and value the most important aspect of their business-their human resource!

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!)


  1. HI, nice description....first time here..would like to link exchange with you...may i? nice to meet you....i m a medical student currently studying in russia...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. annon

    I do not agree with you at all about what you have to say about Tuskys.
    1.they avoid hiring female employees for the same reason of late hours but this has NEVER stopped a female from asking for a job here
    2.Before one is hired the working hours are explained to you and they make sure you understand that you will be working late.If its a probelem, X did not have to take the job am sure there were more people who were willing to take the job despite the hours (In other words, no body forced her to take the job)
    3.Any hours worked beyond the state allocated time is fully compensated for using over time rates wich is higher than the regular rate. (Trust me if those over time hours were tpo be taken away she would complain)
    4.If that is how X feels about her job, why is she still working for Tuskys??????????????????am sure she can find a better job else where.
    I am a female working for Tuskys and am very proud to be working there and wouldnt dream of working anywhere else. I suggest next time you decide to blog about a company you do your research well enough and in a professional manner instead of presenting facts to the public that you are even not 100% sure of.One persons opinion doesnt count.
    Actually, here is a challenge, how about you interview several females who work for various braches of Tuskys then give me your findings. Then we can talk....

  4. hi.Am a fan of shopping at tuskys n mainly the tuskys pioneer.however there are these ladies who serve at the small bakery in the supermarket n they are ever so rude.U kindly ask for something n they get back 2 you so rudely.U even loose appetite of what they are making!I kindly ask the manager or anyone in charge of them to change their attitude otherwise the supermarket will loose some of their favourite customers.I shop there everyday N I wouldn't want to immagine having such treatment everyday.its annoying.however I also apprecate the other attendants n especally the athiriver ones.they are so kind.thank you n I hope you do something about it

  5. Anonymous said...annon .. Or whatever your name is .. The lady X.... From Kisumu Could not quit working for Tuskys because that is the only place that she is getting her livelihood... and getting another job nowadays is quite a hustle...and that Does not give Tuskys the mandate to overwork people and going against the laws of the land and the ILO if you know what the animal that is. Tuskys Human Resource needs restructuring and and oh!! my!!! a through training of the attendants on customer service ..... Including yourself.... otherwise if you had proper training, whatever you are saying here s no way to approach issues pertaining to your potential customers. If You all did that Tuskys would be a leading brand in Kenya. and indeed the East Africa....Have shopped at Tuskys on several occasions and I know what I am talking about... Don get me wrong though some of the attendants are very very nice and are worth applauding but some are just flatly very very rude to customers.

  6. I strongly concur with Elijah on this, i don't know wat annon or whatever your name is trying to justify here. the kenyan labour laws clearly protects the employees from any abuse that may lead to overworking due to stretched working hours, i pity you when i realize that you truly don't know your rights. Again i believe those chain stores take advantage of joblesness and hence go for cheap labor. it's upto us kenyans and our minister for labour to fight such acts of injustice, i wonder if annon would mind comparing her payslip plus the overtime payments with her counterparts in places like south africa.
    Word of advice: all good things are fought for not given on a silver platter

  7. Tuskys Kisumu
    May be am unlucky anytime I go there. just relocated from Nairobi.
    Staff at Tuskys Kisumu are wanting very wanting. They r so rude . is it rudeness or arrogance may be pride 2. we know u work there so there's no need to show off. we can c ur r in uniform hence u work there
    the first time I had a problem with the cashier down stairs, the next one with a linesman [at the spices and herbs aisle who in the first place did not know what items r present in his aisle].
    the last one was just the otherday a problem with the cashier supposedly named john.
    Tusky's take care otherwise ur loyal customers have left u . i'd rather buy from an expensive place where i am sure to be attended to with gr8 care when u need help.
    May be am wrong who knows only time will tell only time.

    for ur information nakumatt staff [both stores]. they help u with heavy and bulky luggages if ask for help unlike urs.
    sorry am so pissed off at u.
    nakumatt now count me in as a very loyal consumer. we need it we've got it

  8. Where the hell do you come from. Don't try to establish your existence by tarnishing businesses that support economies in Africa. Trying to implement your policies on how businesses should be conducted in major companies that employs a lot of people is non of your business. I have your feel, and for your pardon, please go to where you belong.

  9. @anonymous:kindly favor us with a name rather than launching vitriol behind an unknown facade.Again its not just about offering employment....(certain trades e.g prostitution and drugs do the same) but its about ethics, improvement ,change ..etc .This kind of critic just does that .Employers better invest in their human capital and respond to their customers lest their businesses tumble.This blog is committed to that and its not about where one is from ,its about what is right and just!

  10. Annon......... we are kenyans!!!!!!! we are not from space, we are fighting for justice and equal human rights. i believe u have some personal interests with the said org. we have all witnessed the enormous profits some of this companies are making, those figures are truly unrealistic in reference to what the employees earn in the same company. how do you justify a company making over 10 billion in profit while we well know over 60% of their work force are living from hand to mouth? come on man we are in a new era, lets not take the advantage of the excessive brain gain of our citizens.

  11. Hi,Tuskys is my choice when choosing where to shop but I want to draw the management's attention to something that happened to me on Saturday 21st Nov.2009 while shopping at Tusys Nakuru's Highway branch at around 6.30p.m.I gave the cashier 1000ksh note to buy a Tic Tac and the cashier informed me he did not have change.I asked him if I could get the money back and return the item but he just held a disgusted look at me after which he opened his cash box and sorted the oldest notes he had and gave me as change.I objected to 2 very old notes but he was adamant so he called in a supervisor who directed me to the CS desk.I made the lady at the CS desk know that what I was objecting to is the bad attitude that came with the service and maybe not necessarily the notes.All in all that was so disgusting a service that if the business was owned by the cashier I would never step there again.Made me wonder whether the cashiers are taught basic customer service skills before being made to handle the customers directly.

  12. To my readers, i believe that everything at Tusksy's is not that bad, i myself used to shop at Tusky's Buru Buru and the staff were very kind, so from henceforth i will publish positive comments from you readers.Im certain that the management has and intends to improve the situation.


  13. Hi All,

    Who actually owns Tuskys. I heard its 50% owned by Nakumatt. Is this true?

  14. Well, we all work or have worked at different places where one thing or another seems to be so wrong with a work mate/boss/tea gal/ messenger e.t.c one thing i have come to learn is that we shouldn't at any cost try to correct someone by condemning. That makes them even more rude or something even worse.
    Some attendants and Cashiers at Tuskys are so lovely that u keep shopping at the same shop for obvious reasons, so please lets not condemn Tuskys as a company but that particular person. Caxtonne!!

  15. Well, we all work or have worked at different places where one thing or another seems to be so wrong with a work mate/boss/tea gal/ messenger e.t.c one thing i have come to learn is that we shouldn't at any cost try to correct someone by condemning. That makes them even more rude or something even worse.
    Some attendants and Cashiers at Tuskys are so lovely that u keep shopping at the same shop for obvious reasons, so please lets not condemn Tuskys as a company but that particular person. Caxtonne!!

  16. Its true that the tuskys management pays for the extra time worked but then its not not optional for the worker.The hr is just another administrative block that that has no say on the running of the business.Not only are the staff overworked they are also denied access to their mobile phones thus a cut of link between friends and family members.I am in there and do not ask me to quit for i have no option in the current economy.

  17. enn said i need help, a job at Tuskys....mundiajames@gmail.com



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