Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The best company to work for is...

PHOTO | SALATON NJAU  From left, EABL Group head of employee engagement Jaine Mwai, human resources director Paul Kasimu and senior HR adviser Catherine Muoki after the firm was declared the Best Company to Work For 2012

PHOTO | SALATON NJAU From left, EABL Group head of employee engagement Jaine Mwai, human resources director Paul Kasimu and senior HR adviser Catherine Muoki after the firm was declared the Best Company to Work For 2012 during the award ceremony at the InterContinental Hotel in Nairobi on October 9, 2012. Deloitte & Touche did the survey.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MWANIKI WAHOME jwahome@ke.nationmedia.com

Beer maker East African Breweries Ltd has been voted the best company to work for in Kenya by its workers.

According to a survey carried out by Deloitte & Touche, microfinance firm Kenya Women Finance Trust came second, with regional media giant Nation Media Group taking third position.

The survey is the first to be conducted in the country after South Africa and involved workers in these organisations giving their views on job satisfaction, work environment and career progression, among other work-related issues.

The study involved 16 firms of which British American Tobacco, Pan African Life, Old Mutual, APA Insurance and Total Kenya scored highly. The others were beauty products manufacturer Hacco Tiger Ltd, Deloitte, Bidco and Barclays Bank.

Firms that scored a mean grade of 3.7 out of the possible 5 points, were given a standard of excellence award.

The survey was launched with the objective of understanding workers’ motivators and expectations.

Deloitte East Africa chief executive officer Sammy Onyango said the human resource (HR) management in the country needed to change as the competition for talent had intensified with more regional and global firms tapping personnel from Kenya.

“Kenya has highly skilled personnel and the human resource management has to change because of the intense competition for talent that has been brought by regional and global firms,” Mr Onyango said, adding the survey identified the challenge of retaining talent as most crucial for firms in Kenya and the East African region.

He said business leaders from participating organisations will be able to leverage on the insights gained from employees’ perceptions about what keeps them engaged and committed to the organisation objectives.

African Green Revolution president Jane Karuku said the human resource management matters were rarely discussed in board rooms, with companies focused more on achieving their objectives.

Leadership skills

“In Kenya, human resource matters are shot down at board rooms with management focused more on growth projections. Companies need to encourage workers through incentives and recognition,” Ms Karuku, who has worked with parastatals, the private sector and non-governmental organisations, said.

Ms Karuku said most companies did not train workers in leadership skills, with training mostly focused on technical skills that led to a void.

She said the matter was worsened by lack of strategic links between training institutions and firms that resulted in workers not being equipped with the requisite skills that would work to promote performance.

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