Article by Steve Biko.
Creating jobs is not a mean task. Especially in a third world country like Kenya where the rule of law seems to be at the mercy of a cabal that seems to be espousing vices we grew up being told never to embrace them.
The ripple effect of corruption, greed, tribalism has created an environment that has made it very difficult to create jobs and make them sustainable.
Today’s employee is well exposed to matters current and with social media and digital platforms, it’s evident what their dreams are and what they aspire for. They want that V8 today. They want that 6 figure salary now without waiting to go up the ladder. They want that house in Runda within the first month of employment.
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur and this notion that anyone can be an entrepreneur must cease being pushed. Everyone has a purpose and role. Without employees, no firm, brand or start up would ever see the light of day.
Employees are the core essence of any enterprise realm and that means that they must be looked after. They have needs, aspirations that every employer must met. It’s taken me three years as an employer to realize this. It’s been a journey that no amount of words can be able to cloth what I have learnt, what I have been through, what lessons I have harnessed and especially the mistakes I have made.
What I have come to realize that every employee has at least eight things that they need from their employer. Be it in the private or public or NGO world.
Every employee deserves to be paid well. Given that life is expensive and bills are always doubling up, a well renumerated employee is one who is stable, focused and is able to deliver on their KPIs at work. We know that payments are pegged on how much the firm is making but also, their is an average payment rate across every sector and then, their Is the legal minimum. This is critical for any employee, even our Dear Mr. President.
Everyone needs a mentor and more an employee. Every employer must learn how to mentor his team. He or she must inculcate the ideology of the business into them if they are to deliver, grow and make a brand out of the business. Mentorship is key because, that’s how an employee is able to grow and deal with daily dynamics of life and office work.
The best way to learn and appreciate the ever changing eco-system of work is to be challenged. To be tested beyond your comfort zone and this is what makes stars out of the employees. Challenging employees enables them to adapt, to reach new limits in their perception of issues and above all, be able to handle the competition aspect.
In life, progression is a natural habit and desire of the human soul. Every employee desires to grow. To be better than yesterday. To be in a better place than last year. To feel as though their work means something and through promotion, their validation is entrenched. Not promoting someone for so long creates a doldrum effect that ensures that they have no more value to add to the business.
Team work is nurtured through involvement. Team work isn’t because you work together but because you are involved in a process that creates an environment for nurturing trust, loyalty and commitment. Involving employees enables them to show your their creative side that otherwise wouldn’t come out.
The need for appreciation is a genuine human need and more so for employees. And appreciation isn’t about them getting their salaries or wages or payment. But being appreciated for being part of a team that is delivering. That is growing. A thank you is very powerful. If you remember their birthday even better. Most important, most employers ignore the essence of saying sorry when they know they have offended their employees. Appreciation goes along way and cementing relationships that help the business to grow.
Trust is what binds any form of relationship between humans. At the work, trust is embodied in the laws of our country. Breaching any trust bestowed upon an employee is essentially a criminal offence. The trust equation is two way. An employee who feels trusted is able to do more and be a key ambassador for the brand than one who is not.
Trusting employees to carry out key and sensitive tasks also gives them a chance to grow and appreciate the aspect of trust.
Every human soul seeks to be empowered. Seeks the realm of purpose and vision as they carry out their duty. Empowering your employees to make decisions in your absence, to make carry out duties they normally wouldn’t is the epitome of delegation and nurturing of a team.
These eight key lessons have become engraved in my mind after a myriad of mistakes. If an entrepreneur can deliver these eight to their employees, then that start-up brand is in safe hands.
The writer is the CEO of Soko Directory Investments and can be reached at biko (at) soko directory (dot) com.