failure
FAILURE

Failure is the instance of falling short of success. It is both a universal truth and an inevitable part of the human experience. No matter what time or place in history everyone has known failure.

“To err is human…”

Alexander Pope

Despite the fact that each and every person; at some point in their lives has and will experience failure, we’re all afraid to fail. We must then ask ourselves why this is so.

In my exploration, I’ve found that people are afraid to fail because of the understanding that time is a very important and limited resource. The thought of investing loads of time, money and resources into something and then have it not work out is terrifying. Frequently, this bars people from actually pursuing their dreams or venturing out into new directions.

The ancient Stoics firmly believed that the pain and disappointment brought on by failure was an opportunity for self-improvement; that failure presents lessons. The philosopher Epictetus said;

Epipectus - FAILURE

It is worth noting Epictetus was a man who had all the odds stacked against him. Epictetus wasn’t even his real name. ‘Epiktētos’ is a Greek word meaning ‘acquired’. Epictetus was a slave. He wasn’t regarded important enough to be given a name. Yet despite the many obstacles in his life he chose to push through and is now revered as one of the many great philosophers.[1]

When I think of the reasons why I am afraid to fail, I think about my understanding of the concept of opportunity and cost. I think about all the things that I will miss out on because I devoted myself to a particular cause. What the cost of being involved in this undertaking will be and all the sacrifices I would have to make. I fear failure because this one life is surely not enough to accomplish everything I set out to do. I especially fear failure because each time I am unsuccessful; I have to take a long walk back to my comfort zone. Is it worth it?

I believe that failure to life is what gravity is to our bones. It is a constant stressor that forces our activity and strength in our bodies. Failure breaks down the muscles of our inner processes in order to regenerate them.

Failure is what helps us toughen our minds for the challenges that lay ahead. We may fear failure and do all we can to avoid it. However, when it occurs, we should not be ashamed or bow our heads in defeat. Failure is a gift that allows us to constantly evolve and improve. Much like gravity, failure is a hard habit to shake off.

Mshimba Michelle

Also See:

Rebranding is really an emotional shift. It is a shift in business direction, a change in customer experience and a change in the type of services you are offering. It is actually a restructuring of your actual business.



[1] https://dailystoic.com/epictetus/

mobile-friendly
BENEFITS OF MAKING RECRUITMENT MOBILE-FRIENDLY

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have to shift in the work place in order to better cope and adjust. A simple yet transformative change is the shift from traditional to a more mobile-friendly recruitment process to fit with growing smartphone usage.  This advancement has already been apparent in recent years following the advent and continued growth of technology. However, its importance has been made all the more stark by current changes wrought by the pandemic. Thus, a mobile-friendly recruitment process like a website, texting and video- conferencing, is becoming one of the most crucial HR trends to follow. It needs to be easy to read, quick and user- friendly. If it is hard to read, slow and difficult to use on the phone, then it increases the risk of losing out on qualified candidates who abandon the process (Snook, 2020). So as an HR department, ensure that candidates can go on their phones or tablets and be able to search for the perfect job on your company’s platform (Krumrie, 2020).

Attracts a wider pool of candidates

Working with statistics, not only has it been found that 70% of job seekers use their smartphones to search for jobs, but also, for nearly every 1 in 5 U.S adults, the smartphone is the single source of internet at home (Hedreen, 2019). Extrapolating the cost of internet and technologies to access it, this number is likely higher here in Kenya. Furthermore, it is estimated that 75% of the world will have access to the internet exclusively via smartphone by 2025 (Hedreen, 2019). Mobile technology, therefore, is increasingly becoming an essential in people’s everyday lives and subsequently a sure way to reach out to potential candidates as a significant portion of talent can be found on the phone. More candidates also means higher chances of drawing in top talent.

Saves time and money

Owing to its simplicity as compared to the traditional methods of recruitment such as physical interviews, mobile-friendly methods speed up the recruiting process because candidates are able to respond quickly to both job advertisements and recruiter questions at any time of the day. This saves time as there is no need for scheduling specific times for interviews, looking for appropriate venues to cater for all the potential candidates and spending hours on hours looking for the best hire: “An overlong recruitment cycle will result in the loss of talent from your pipeline.” says Paul Beard, Skywater Search founding partner (Krumrie, 2020). Additionally, it can be done from anywhere, even when travelling or moving in between meetings in the workplace. So it saves time and money for the company, recruiters and the candidate while, increasing the chances of both parties finding what they want.

Improves candidate experience

It makes the recruitment process more convenient for the candidates. Phones are always on the person or near them and so are not difficult to reach at any given moment as compared to computers. It is precisely this aspect of flexibility coupled with the ability to have one’s documents like the resume and certificates just a few clicks away that make smartphones appealing to use for just about anything, including job applications (and recruitment!). Add to that the fact that many people are in careers or industries that require them to be on their feet most of the time, like engineering, medicine and sales, it provides candidates with an easier, cheaper and less stressful way to search and apply for jobs. Moreover, “millennial workers have shown that they want a different application experience, one that brings jobs to them quickly and easily.” according to founder of former CEO of job- matching app Switch, Yarden Tadmor (Hedreen, 2019).

Enhances company’s brand

Mobile-friendly intergrations make the company look modern and up to date which attracts more candidates because it demonstrates the company is willing to adapt and cares about the experience of its candidates and employees. Also, making mobile applications available drives traffic to the careers site, bringing more attention to the company in general. For that reason, the career site should also be mobile-friendly in order to facilitate the process. For instance, it should be easy to navigate and straightforward. Besides, the brand image should be reflected too, to have the most impact.

Brandy Awuor

Also see:

More importantly, because of the great incongruence between the talents that companies are searching for and that which is being offered in the market, social media recruiting provides a platform through which talent can be easily identified and a connection established directly

References

Hedreen, S. (2019, July 04). Top Mobile Recruiting Tips for Small Business. Retrieved from https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8405-mobile-recruiting-tips.html

Krumrie, M. (2020, September 10). Why You Must Have A Mobile Recruitment Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/why-you-must-have-a-mobile-recruitment-strategy/

Poirier, J. F. (2020, March 27). Mobile Recruitment: Smart Recruiting Through Smartphones. Retrieved from https://www.talentlyft.com/en/blog/article/330/mobile-recruitment-smart-recruiting-through-smartphones

Snook, A. (2020). 16 HR Trends You Need to Know in 2020 (According to Experts): I-Sight. Retrieved from https://i-sight.com/resources/16-hr-trends-you-need-to-know-in-2020-according-to-experts/#health

American Psychological Association 6th edition formatting by BibMe.org.

Social media recruiting
WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO RECRUIT EMPLOYEES

Also known as social hiring or social recruiting, social media recruiting is now a coveted strategy in attracting both active and passive job candidates.

Firstly, social media recruiting simply refers to the use of social media channels to recruit potential candidates. Different social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as websites: like Indeed.com, forums and blogs, can be used to attract, find and hire wanted talent (TalentLyft, n.d.). Case in point, an Adweek report suggests that 92 percent of recruiters use social media to find the best suited candidates for the positions required (Clarke, 2020).

More importantly, because of the great incongruence between the talents that companies are searching for and that which is being offered in the market, social media recruiting provides a platform through which talent can be easily identified and a connection established directly (Clarke, 2020).

What social media recruiting looks like:

LinkedIn is one of the top social networks when it comes to finding skilled candidates as 87 percent of recruiters report using it. This is because it is a platform specially made for professional networking so people share their resumes and companies can post jobs. It is followed closely by Facebook with 55 percent and then Twitter with 47 percent. However, more platforms are being used like Instagram (Clarke, 2020).

The process involves activities such as (SmartRecruiters, n.d.):

Tweeting links to available positions and also using appropriate and relevant hashtags; industry-specific hashtags

Contacting ideal candidate using direct messaging on Instagram or Facebook

Sharing videos on YouTube that best showcase the company’s culture and core values

Benefits of social media recruiting:

  1. Enables you to reach a wider audience

Job seekers, particularly the young ones, otherwise known as millennials, are fans of social media platforms and can easily be reached in such platforms. They are also the group that is looking for online information and so to find the best talent among them, social media is fundamental in establishing an online reputation and advertising the jobs as well as presenting corporate values (Clarke, 2020).

Along with members of large social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, there are talented people who are more engaged on sites that fill both social media and professional needs. As such, in order to have a prominent and effective recruitment presence online, you must be active online and then establish yourself as an authority in your respective field (Clarke, 2020).

  1. Helps in reaching passive candidates

Passive candidates are not actively seeking new positions or applying for new jobs but make up 70% of the global workforce (Kappel, 2018). They are usually more qualified than the active candidates and as such already have jobs. This makes it difficult to find them as you will not find them on job boards but social media provides a way to reach them (Kappel, 2018). For instance, referrals through social media are a great tool that expand the candidate pool; employees already know about other talented individuals and so can directly reach out to them on social media or post something they know will attract other top talent.

  1. Crucial for targeting the perfect candidates

Owing to the diversity of social media users, these platforms are filled with people with a myriad of distinctions: different backgrounds, diligences and genders. This then provides the perfect environment for finding any type of talent or candidate (TalentLyft, n.d.).

Moreover, in a case where the candidate persona you are looking for is very particular and narrowly defined, then advanced search filters can be used for more specificity.

  1. Establish a more personal connection with potential candidates

Social recruiting is considered to be effective when it mimics or carries out like a conversation. Because of its nature, social media allows candidates to connect with your company in a low-key, low- pressure environment which makes for a more personal and authentic communication and connection with the candidates (TalentLyft, n.d.). Additionally, millennials want emotional connection and to feel like they are working for the right company, without having to make a compromise with their beliefs and ethics (Clarke, 2020). As such, there are many companies that are changing their work environments to make it so that the employees feel empowered and “that they can show up to work and be themselves, as the lines between work and life continues to blend together,” according to the President of workplace communication training company Fierce, Stacey Engle (Snook, 2020). This process can be easily facilitated and accelerated through social media recruiting.

  1. Gather more referrals

This method makes it easier for employees to refer candidates (TalentLyft, n.d.). For instance, they can share information widely and faster by just clicking once to ‘share’ certain information like a video that highlights and outlines the company’s core values and culture, or a link stating positions that are available. The information is shared with their family members, colleagues and friends.

  1. Saves money

The process of finding candidates through social media is very cost effective in comparison to the traditional methods of recruitment like TV, newspapers, specialised publications, paid websites and radio ads (TalentLyft, n.d.). Posting videos showcasing the company’s culture, sharing links for open positions are actions that cost nothing yet reach a large number of people in a short amount of time making social recruiting very beneficial and efficient.

Brandy Awuor

Also See:

References

Clarke, A. (2020, April 27). The Best Social Media Recruitment Strategies in 2020. Retrieved from https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/social-media-recruitment-strategies/

Kappel, M. (2018, October 4). For Hard-To-Fill Positions, Try Finding Passive Candidates. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2018/10/04/for-hard-to-fill-positions-try-finding-passive-candidates/amp/

SmartRecruiters. (n.d.). What is Social Recruiting?: Tips & FAQs: SmartRecruiters. Retrieved from https://www.smartrecruiters.com/resources/glossary/social-recruiting/

Snook, A. (2020). 16 HR Trends You Need to Know in 2020 (According to Experts): I-Sight. Retrieved from https://i-sight.com/resources/16-hr-trends-you-need-to-know-in-2020-according-to-experts/#health

TalentLyft. (n.d.). What is Social Recruiting? Retrieved from https://www.talentlyft.com/en/resources/what-is-social-recruiting

American Psychological Association 6th edition formatting by BibMe.org.

employer branding
WHY CEOs NEED TO FOCUS ON EMPLOYER BRANDING

Every company has a reputation. It could include thoughts about your products, services, leaders, team members, history, and more. And your company’s reputation can also go beyond to inspire a specific perception — emotional, instinctive, intellectual — in the people who see your ads, use your products, and eventually, speak to others about you. That reputation is known as your brand.

Your company also has a second brand related to its primary brand about how you’re viewed as an employer. This is your employer brand, and it lives and breathes in the minds and hearts of your former, current, and future employees.

In today’s increasingly competitive job market, a positive employer brand is critical. Without one, hiring and retaining the best employees becomes challenging — and costly. You need talented, leadership-bound workers to drive your business forward, and the best way to find them is to cast the impression that your company is a great place to work. Everything from the salary and benefit packages you offer to advancement opportunities to weekly happy hours, the culture of an organization and the treatment of its employees can greatly impact the impression you’re trying to make on potential candidates.

What is an employer value proposition (EVP)?

An employer value proposition encompasses your organisation’s mission, values, and culture, and gives employees a powerful reason to work for you. It’s everything your company can offer as an employer, in exchange for all the skills and experience your employees bring to the table.

An organisation benefits from a well-designed EVP, communicated often to both potential and current employees. A strong EVP can attract and retain the best people, help prioritise goals and agendas company-wide (especially in HR and workforce planning), help re-engage a dispassionate workforce, and reduce hiring costs. Most of all, it contributes to a favourable and robust employer brand.

Before you craft your employer brand proposition, your company’s benefits should be well-established, well-defined, and a proven hit with your current employees. And if they’re not, and you’re looking to revamp things, consider what influences a person’s decision whether to accept a job offer or not

Who does employer branding?

There can often be confusion about who owns the organisational task of employer branding. At smaller shops, it could be the CEO controlling the messaging or, more traditionally, talent or HR leads. At larger businesses, recruiters might lean on their HR, communications, or marketing departments to help them craft and hone an employer brand.

What’s most exciting is that your employer brand is no longer just what your company website says it is. Like it or not, employer branding starts and ends with your employees.

The employer branding process

Step 1. Get familiar with your company

When you’re able to define your company’s unique attributes, it’s easier to hone an EVP. Get to know your organisation’s core business, vision, mission, values, and culture. Understand what your company objectives are, and what sort of talent is needed to accomplish those objectives.

Step 2. Do an audit of your employer brand

You probably already know exactly where your product or service stands in the marketplace, but you may not be as aware of how your company is viewed in the market or how it’s perceived by your current employees. Conduct research both internally and externally with applicant surveys, internet and social media searches, and/or firms that conduct reputation monitoring. See what’s working at your company so you can keep doing it, and what areas need improvement — both when it comes to company operations and morale, but specifically with the talent acquisition process in order to discover ways to improve it.

Step 3. Define an employer value proposition

Now comes the part when you can make your corporate messaging sing. Draft an EVP that clearly communicates the values of your corporate brand, while reflecting what’s special about working at your organisation. It should align with your customer brand, but also speak directly to your employees.

Step 4. Use recruitment marketing

When designing an EVP or other employer brand messaging, consider enlisting the talents of the creative wordsmiths in your own marketing or communications department (or outsourcing this and other brand work to an agency). By borrowing a few marketing techniques — such as starting every branding endeavour with the questions, “WHO are we trying to reach? And WHAT do they want?” — you’ll be in the best  position to craft an employer brand that speaks to your exact target audience.

Step 5. Build engagement among current employees

To help you become a trusted employer, look no further than your own workforce. For finding out what it’s like to work for your company, employees are 3x more likely to be trusted by leads than your CEO. Your employees also shape your company’s culture, live your values, achieve your objectives, and manifest your company’s mission. Without their participation, your employer brand would be nothing. Here are a few ways to get your workers more engaged with your employer brand:

  • Hone the message. 

Use a set of words or phrases that become a part of the company’s vernacular, as a way to describe your company’s values and what the experience of working for your company is all about. Keep it simple, clear, informative, and unique. Use this language in HR or recruiting meetings, and focus this language for your career pages, recruiting sites, social media accounts, and anywhere else your employer brand can be leveraged.

  • Show off your employees (by having them show off themselves). 

Did you know that one in four candidates view other employee profiles immediately after finding out about a job opportunity? Encourage your workers to update their online profiles so they’re current, professional, and attention-worthy. Your People or HR department can send out helpful email reminders, no-hassle links, and tutorials on how to do this. You can also leverage the experiences, expertise, and personalities of your employees by having them tell their stories on panels and become subject-matter experts or mentors on topics they’re qualified to write or speak about in their field. Any time your former or current star employees bring positive attention to your customer or employer brand, you’re putting your best recruiting foot forward.

  • Turn your employees into a social recruiting army. 

As your employees update their personal and professional profiles, ask them to write (honest, but ideally favourable) reviews of your company on job listing sites, to post company news and updates, and to share job opportunities to their personal networks as they come up. The average network size of a company’s employees is 10x larger than its own. Since your employees are your unofficial recruiters and marketers, the first step of a good employer brand strategy is to help employees use LinkedIn and other social media networks to represent themselves and spread the word about your company. Ask your social media manager to send guidelines on where and what to post and send links to make it easy.   

  • Nail the onboarding process. 

The first 90 days of employment are critical to turning a new team member into a productive employee. Your company can make a deep and lasting first impression by offering a smooth onboarding process. Arm new hires with the tools, introductions, and orientations they need to hit the ground running and start thriving in their new roles.

  • Offer skills training and advancement opportunities. 

Nothing saves recruiting costs more than promoting from within, so give your workers opportunities for personal growth and professional development. Offer management and leadership training, special certifications, and plenty of avenues for career advancement to capture job candidate interest and commitment from your employees.  

Step 6. Write snazzy job descriptions

Job posts are often the first contact candidates have with your company, so they’re a perfect way to promote your employer brand. If you’re going for a brand voice that stands out, instead of, “must demonstrate excellent communication skills” you might try, “You’re the type who’d just as soon pick up the phone than wait for an email; the phrase ‘cold call’ doesn’t give you the shivers,” as a more descriptive, attention-getting way of bringing your organisation’s personality to life. Then, optimise your search engine results using — but not overusing — words and phrases you know your ideal candidates are searching for.

How to improve your employer brand

To increase the number of quality, enthusiastic applicants vying for positions at your company, your CEO, leadership, marketing team, and recruiters can all help develop and growth your employer brand. Whether you have a big budget or small, whether you’re a large company or a start-up, there are plenty of strategies you can use to think like a marketer, build deep and meaningful relationships with your staff, and boost your employer brand like a boss.

1. Don’t focus on compensation

Your employer value proposition will be the strongest if you can talk about how a role will be meaningful (personally fulfilling or about a global good) or a superior work experience, over compensation, especially if you want to attract younger candidates. Your EVP should be unique, compelling, and tuned into the deeper motivations of why a person might want to join your team.

2. Start a company blog

If you’re a recruiter with a marketing mindset, you know that content — and lots of it — can be a great strategy for competing in a noisy marketplace. Job seekers often check out a company’s blog to get to know an organisation on a more human level. You can post company news, culture updates, and articles written by your employees or company leaders, all in a personable voice. A blog can also be used to highlight the unique people policies, processes, and programs that show your organisation’s commitment to employee happiness.

3. Use rich media

Use high-quality videos, photos, and slideshows to tell your company story, celebrate your diverse employees, and show off beautiful workspaces. A welcome video from your CEO or hiring manager is a great way to make an introduction, as are staff interviews talking about their experiences working for your organisation. Plan and budget for these and other marketing costs at the start of each quarter.

4. Hire for diversity

It’s no surprise that who you hire says something about your brand. Having unique thinkers from a diverse range of backgrounds shows you’re not only walking the walk as an equal-opportunity employer, but also extending your brand’s reach (both customer, and employer) into new groups — a sound business move, and a key strategy when building a powerful employer brand.

SOURCE: LINKEDIN

Also see:

JOB SECURITY
JOB SECURITY

Much like everything else, Job security isn’t what it used to be. Individuals hardly maintain the same job for 20-30 years anymore. Job security is defined as the probability that an individual will keep their job; a job with a high level of job security is such that a person with the job would have a small chance of becoming unemployed. In today’s economic and innovative climate, you’re considered a veteran if you hold a position for 10+ years.

The typical narrative for success and job security has always begun with good grades, a successful university career and a healthy respect for authority. Vocational training and career advice maintains hard work and patience are the key to a long, successful career. As you have undoubtedly come to realise, the requirements for job security now extend beyond these two values.  Ahead of you is a long and arduous career journey  surrounded by an unhealthy level of of competition in a very noisy marketplace. Arguably, job security no longer exists or economic strife has least accelerated the average career development timeline and shortened job viability.

Governments and individuals are understandably motivated to achieve higher levels of job security. Governments attempt to do this by passing laws which make it illegal to fire employees for certain reasons while individuals can influence their degree of job security by enhancing their skillset through education and experience, or by moving to a more favourable location. Unions also strongly influence job security. Jobs that traditionally have a strong union presence like as government jobs jobs in education, healthcare and public service  are considered very secure while many non-unionised private sector jobs are generally believed to offer lower job security; although this varies by industry and country.

Basic economic theory holds that during periods of economic expansion businesses experience increased demand, which in turn necessitates investment in more capital or labour. When businesses are experiencing growth, job confidence and security usually increase. The opposite often holds true during a recession. Businesses experience reduced demand and look to downsize their workforce. And this is exactly what we’re currently experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers are experiencing uncertainty over job security as well as their ability to secure paid leave if required to self-isolate. The insecurity particularly impacts casual workers who do not have the same entitlements as full time workers. 

The main idea in maintaining job security would be to make yourself invaluable – not only to your current employer, but to future employers as well. Try to learn new skills and adapt to changing markets. It’s all about self-awareness. Stay positive and find helpful ways to cope with the psychological pressures of job insecurity because your willingness to adapt to change makes all the difference.  Keep an eye out for opportunities with other organisations in your industry, too. It does no harm to know what’s available, and it’s not disloyal to make contingency plans for possible shifts in your career. Be sure to keep your resume up to date so that you’re always prepared to apply for new positions that may come up. And, if you can, save some money, so you don’t have to worry about paying your bills straight away if you do lose your job. That way, you can focus on the positive, not on doubt and uncertainty.

Whereas if you’re an employer, you’ll want your company to maintain a positive reputation for job security. A stellar brand as an employer will improve you bottom line, quality of employees available to you, your position in the marketplace and positive engagement from your workforce. Keep insecurity low by focusing on quality rather than quantity in your employment practices. It’s important to hire people who will multiply the value of your company offering so in economic downturn, almost every employee is essential. This may sound idealistic – and it probably is however, minimising ‘dead weight’ and loss is basic economic theory for a successful outcome. Put measures in place to mitigate disruptions like workplace insurance, severance packages and financial buffers. Therefore, even if you have to make hard decisions your employer brand is secure.

Let us know in the comments what your concerns and solutions are!

Check out: The Ultimate Guide to Re-Opening your Office during Covid-19

Mshimba Michelle

Employee nutrition program
Employee Wellness: Creating a Nutrition Program for your Employees

Employee Wellness: Creating a nutrition program for your employees

Providing food for your employees might seem like an intimidating prospect when considering the added costs while in hindsight, your organisation will actually profit in numerous ways. More importantly, it’s a much needed humanitarian act as the coronavirus pandemic has increased levels of food insecurity in the country. A good number of your employees are providers for urban households and were likely struggling pre-pandemic. These households have to now cater to children at home and a reduced salary post-pandemic. The closure of certain borders also caused a spike in commodity prices. Households are likely skipping meals while others are starving. By implementing a nutrition program, you will not only be helping your employees but, you’ll be creating a happier, healthier, more productive workforce.

Why Instating an Employee Nutrition Programme Is Important

A nutrition program can have a significant difference in an employee’s overall health. If your employees are not eating or are skipping meals, they are not getting the nutrients they need to be at optimal health and are at risk of becoming sick. Providing them with nutrition will ensure they stay in good shape. It will potentially, save you a lot of sick leave days and employer health costs. Investing in employee wellness will ultimately save your organisation money.

Secondly, feeding programs make people happy. As per a Peapod survey, 67% of employees who worked at companies that had nutrition programs said they were extremely happy with their jobs. Food, fruits and vegetables, have been especially linked to good mood and improved mental health. Food literally makes people happy. A happy workforce is more productive which will translate to an increased bottom line. Additionally, employee satisfaction will help you retain staff and save you the costs and time it takes to hire new workers. 

Thirdly, food increases worker focus and creativity. According to a publication in the British Journal of Health Psychology, the brain operates best when there is 25 g of glucose in the bloodstream. This amount can be provided by a single banana or a bowl of cereal. Should you provide such, your employees will be more engaged, focused, and energetic.

Nutrition programs additionally build an attractive work culture and good PR. Employees will view it as a very huge perk.

Best of all you can implement a feeding program for your esteemed employees without investing an obscene amount provided you go about it in a smart way. You can spend as little as Ksh 250 – Ksh 500 per week for a family of four. That is inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also provide 2 meals a day if you’re operating on a tight budget.

How To Develop An Effective Nutrition Program

Here is an of how to create a working nutrition program with a Ksh 500 per week per household (4 people) allocation based on Nairobi’s World Food Programme Initiative.

  1. DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF NUTRITION PROGRAM YOU WANT

You have 3 options:

a. You can decide to create a fund and allocate money to staff on a weekly basis.

b. You can also distribute foodstuff to the households of individuals in the program. It would be wise to partner with community-supported agriculture groups who will give you great deals and whose produce is mostly organic. You can also source products straight from farms. According to Standard Media, a cabbage at a farm in Nyandarua goes for Ksh 24 but you will buy it at Ksh 80 in Nairobi.

c. Another alternative is carryout meals. You can pack meals in boxes and employees can pick them up as they go home.

  1. DECIDE ON MEALS OR MENUS TO BE GIVEN

A good meal should consist of a staple, a bit of unsaturated fat, veggies or fruits and a stew/ sauce/ relish according to FAO. Meals can also be planned according to need because different people have different dietary needs. Pregnant ladies, for example, need more iron-rich foods compared to men who need more starch from staples and legumes.

Recommended foods that will help you stick to the Ksh 250 to Ksh 500 allocation include green grams, potatoes, vegetables, low-cost fruits like bananas, whole grains, starchy tubers, spaghetti, eggs, rice, all-purpose flour, oatmeal, lentils, beans, and bread. Surprisingly, if properly planned, the same monetary allocation could include meat and even seafood.

What can a good nutrition program include?

If you do decide to give out meal boxes to your employees every week, here is an example of what you can include. Remember it’s advisable to buy things in bulk, e.g sacks, and then divide it among your employees. This will save you a lot on costs. For 500/= a week you can provide breakfast for 5 days and 10 lunch and supper meals to a family of four in Nairobi, consisting of:

Breakfast

  • 1 ½ litres milk – Ksh 39. A litre of milk from a dairy farmer is Ksh 26. This could cover 3 different breakfasts assuming they use 500ml per day.
  • ¼ kg sorghum- Ksh 26 or ¼ kg millet -Ksh 15. This is enough to make porridge for at least 2 days.
  • 1/4 kg of green maize. This can be boiled or roasted. A kilo goes for Ksh 18 if bought in bulk so this will cost the company about Ksh 4.5 per employee.

Lunch and Dinner

They could use the following foods to make several meals like ugali Sukuma, rice and beans, githeri, rice and peas, ugali and cabbage, ugali and eggs, rice and green grams, mukimu, rice and potatoes and so on.

  • 2 kg of maize to be milled for ugali flour – Ksh 74. A 90kg bag of maize costs Ksh 3330 meaning if bought in bulk a kilo should cost you about Ksh 37. 2 kilograms of maize is enough for at least 4 meals.
  • 1/2 kg of tomatoes- Ksh 15 .Vegetables at the farmers market Kenya retail for Ksh 30/ kg.
  • 250g cooking fat- Ksh 24.5. 10kgs of cooking fat cost roughly Ksh 980 if bought in bulk.
  • ½ kg rice –  Ksh 43. Rice goes for an average of Ksh 85 per kg and ½ a kg could fit 2 meals.
  • ½ kg Potatoes – Ksh 25. A 50kg sack costs Ksh 2500 at the farmers market.
  • ¼ kg bulb onions – Ksh 19. A 13kg net goes for Ksh 1000. Alternatively, you can go for spring onions which cost Ksh 20 per kg. ½ a kg should be enough to cater for an entire week of cooking.
  • ¾ kg green maize- Ksh 13.5.  A 115kg sack of green maize sells at Ksh 2100.
  • ½ kg beans –  Ksh 30 bob for Mwezi Moja beans and Ksh 49 for Rosecoco. Alternatively, you can offer ½ kg peas which will cost you Ksh 29. This can cover 3 meals in the week and can be paired with staples such as rice and green maize for githeri.
  • ¼ kg Lentils – Ksh 37 or ¼ kg green grams-  Ksh 22
  • 4 Eggs at Ksh 40
  • 1 kg of assorted vegetables ( kale, cabbage, traditional veggies) – Ksh 30

Fruits

  • 1kg Pawpaw – Ksh 50 or ½ kg mangoes – Ksh 14.
  • ¼ kg oranges- Ksh 12 or ¼ kg bananas – Ksh 24. An orange can be divided by 4 and each member can get a slice. If this is the case, the ¼ kg of oranges could be distributed over 4 meals.

The prices listed are based on the latest surveys by Soko Directory and Farmers Market Kenya and represent the current cost of foodstuffs in the Nairobi market. Prices could fluctuate in different locations.

An effective nutrition program should meet the dietary needs of your employees. It’s not just about giving people food. The food should be healthy. A common misconception is healthy food is expensive. This is not necessarily true. So strive to provide employees with affordable but healthy food. You also need to ensure the food is safe and is distributed in a manner that prevents crowding to mitigate Covid-19 risks.

Ruth Kimani

Also see:

If you’re still optimistic that COVID-19 will come to a swift end and restore your regular business schedule, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. Here’s a simple but detailed guide to help you streamline your business objectives with the COVID-19 landscape:
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