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:
Classes of companies
CLASSES OF COMPANIES

The company is the most effective vehicle yet in managing and controlling modern business enterprise. Other forms of organisation also maintain this goal, but most business is transacted via companies. In fact, the company pervades economic and social life all over the world, because of the advantages it enjoys over other forms of organisation. Companies can be classified based on their mode of incorporation, the liability of its members as well as the number of members. In this article we’ll look at the main classes of companies and their advantages.

CLASSES OF COMPANIES: COMPANIES LIMITED BY SHARES (LLC)

In this class of company limited by shares, the company has full should it go into debt. ‘Limited by shares’ means that the liability of shareholders to creditors of the company is limited to the capital they originally invested. The shareholder’s liability is only the amount unpaid of their shares. Companies limited by shares end with the word ‘Limited’ e.g.  East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), Kenya Airways Limited etc.

Companies limited by shares may be Private or Public.

Private Companies

Private companies have no authorised minimum share capital and member’s rights to transfer shares are restricted. Private companies prohibit invitations to the public to subscribe for shares in the company. A private company is only required to have one director and it can be formed with only one member.

Public Companies

Public companies allow their members the right to transfer their shares in the company and allow invitations to the public to subscribe for shares in the company. A public company must have at least two shareholders and at least two directors.

The advantages of a company limited by shares are that they allow for multiple owners of the company (shareholders). Additionally, in the event of liquidation, the financial liability for the shareholder is limited to the value of their shareholding.

CLASSES OF COMPANIES: COMPANIES LIMITED BY GUARANTEE

In a company limited by guarantee, the liability of its members is based on the amount the members undertook/promised to pay to the company in the event that the company is unable to pay its debts or goes into liquidation. This company does not have any shares or shareholders but is owned by guarantors who agree to pay a set amount of money towards company debts.

Companies limited by guarantee are most commonly used as the structure for social enterprise organisations such as clubs, Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), charities, cooperatives and residential property management companies.

The main advantage of this company structure is that it is a separate legal entity from its owners and they are protected by limited liability. This means that the company can sue or be sued in its own name and that the company is responsible for its own debts and not its members.

CLASSES OF COMPANIES: UNLIMITED COMPANIES

In unlimited companies, there is no limit to the liability of its members. This means that the members have unlimited obligation to meet any insufficiency in the assets of the company in the event of the company’s liquidation.  This form of company is mainly formed for the purpose of holding stocks, land or property with no likelihood of incurring trading debts.

An advantage of this form of company is that the unlimited nature of its liability allows for careful risk management. This is because the owners can suffer substantial loses if things take a wrong turn.

Deciding on the form your company should take can sometimes be challenging. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you’ looking to start a company, consider your company’s business form, purpose and the potential liability of its members. Hopefully this article will provide you with some clarity so that you can make an informed decision for your company.

Also see:

https://tmc.ke/types-of-business-partnerships/

Mshimba Michelle

types of business partnerships
TYPES OF BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS

A partnership, defined as a business carried out in common with a view of making profit. A partnership arises when two or more people co-own a business and then share in its profits and losses. For any business to function effectively, partnerships must be formed in order to establish everyone’s roles and their liabilities. In a partnership, each person contributes something to the business i.e. capital, ideas, property as well as personal liability. There are numerous forms of partnerships available to business owners. In this article we’ll look at what makes up a few of these partnerships.

GENERAL PARTNERSHIPS (GPs)

General Partnerships are voluntary associations designed to carry on a business for profit. One of the main advantages of this partnership is that there are hardly any formalities to its formation. Express agreement to create a General Partnership is not required. As long as the parties intend to have a business relationship, in the eyes of the law it is considered a partnership. This type of partnership is mainly ideal for small family businesses.

An example of a General Partnership would be if Wambui and Nafula opened a bakery together and they named the bakery W&N Bakery. By opening a bakery together, Wambui and Nafula are both General Partners in the business.  

The disadvantage of this type of business association is that each General Partner is personally liable for any losses suffered by the business; even if the losses exceed the individual partners’ initial investments to the business.

LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS (LPs)

This partnership is designed to combine the informalities of the partnership with the capital raising advantages of the corporation. This form of partnership is mainly used by venture capitalists who want a share in the profits of a business but do not want to be part of the management.

A great example of where this Partnership is used is in the film industry. The director, writer and editor of a movie serve as the General Partners. Companies who invest money into the movie production are the limited partners. This means that if the movie flops, the General Partners (director, editor, etc.) will bear the burden of the financial loss while the investing companies will only be liable for the amount they invested and nothing more.

The main advantage of a Limited Partnership is that shareholders are able to enjoy the profits of a business without becoming personally liable for the debts accrued by the business. Hence the term ‘Limited Partnership’ because shareholder’s liability is limited to their initial capital investment.

LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS (LLPs)

A Limited Liability Partnership is the same as a Limited Partnership save for the fact that both General and Limited partners have limited liability. This partnership form is mainly used by corporations. Medical partnerships, law firms and accounting firms are common examples of Limited Liability Partnerships.

The main advantage of a Limited Liability Partnership is that it is an entity separate and distinct from its owners. This means that the corporation has the capacity to sue or be sued in its own name.

The existence of Limited Liability Partnerships are not threatened by the death, bankruptcy or retirement of an individual owner. Shareholders have limited liability and are not personally liable for the corporation’s debts; their loss is limited to their capital investment in the business.

FRANCHISE

A franchise is a contractual relationship where a franchisor develops a product, service or pattern of marketing and the franchise then becomes an outlet in what appears to be a regional, national or international chain. KFC, Woolworths etc. are some examples of franchises.

The parties in a franchise are the Franchisor (business owner) and the Franchisee (person or business that operates using the trademark and business model system licensed from the franchisor).

This partnership form would be ideal for any small business looking to expand as it would gain the financial resources of the franchisor. A small business that sells fast food can form a franchise partnership with a bigger company in the same business e.g. Chicken Inn or Galitos and become of a well-established franchise. 

The main advantage of a franchise is that the franchisee is granted the right to use the well known and highly advertised trademark owned by the franchisor. This increases their business opportunities and brand recognition because they are represented by a bigger and well-known brand or company.

When you start your own business venture, you have a number of decisions to make. What are you going to offer, who is your target market and the kind of business structure you’ll have. If you don’t want to run your business alone. Then you might want to consider forming a partnership. Consider any of the partnership types in this article and find the best fit for your business.

Also see:

Equipping your employees with the necessary tools to operate efficiently from home is an unexpected expense for your business. The essential tools you should provide your employees are, a workspace consisting of a computer, reliable internet connection, desk and ergonomic chair.

Mshimba Michelle

The autobiography of Malcolm X - The Manpower Company
BOOK REVIEW: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X

Malcolm X was an African American minister and human rights activist popular during the civil rights movement. He was an avid supporter of Black excellence and widely celebrated in the African-Muslim and African American communities for his pursuit of racial justice. He urged his fellow Black Americans to protect themselves against the White aggression they experienced “by any means necessary,” a stance that often put him at odds with the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite his assassination in 1965, Malcolm X is still a widely celebrated figure for his passionate fight for racial equity. Here’s a few things we can learn from one of the most influential figures who ever lived;

THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR SELF IMPROVEMENT

With the right opportunities, a person can turn his or her life around. Malcolm enters adulthood with everything stacked against him; he is Black, comes from a large, dysfunctional family, is illiterate, and feels he has little choice but to turn to a life of crime. However, while in prison, he uses his access to books and the many hours of captivity before him to teach himself to read. He does this by copying the dictionary, and he movingly describes – “reading opens up worlds for him within his prison cell”. He also listens receptively to the Nation of Islam inmates he meets and then devotes himself to spiritual growth. This use of his prison time is life changing for him.

BE TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE

It is easy to get caught up with the glitz and glam of life when we succeed; and many people lose touch with where they came from and all the people and circumstances that helped them get to the top. One of the many things to admire about Malcolm, is that he never forgot who he was when he rose to the top. “I knew that the ‘ghetto’ people knew that I never left the ‘ghetto’ in spirit, and I never left physically any more than I had to. I had a ‘ghetto’ instinct”. That was what made Malcolm different from a lot of other civil rights leaders of his time. He had been at the bottom and moved to the top, but he still connected the most with the people at the bottom. He could easily go from speaking at Harvard University to preaching in the streets of Harlem.

IGNORE THE NOISE

How simple would life be if we all encouraged each other to be the best versions of ourselves instead of tearing each other down? In many instances some people are intimidated by the greatness they see in others and instead of encouraging and supporting them, they discourage them from achieving their full potential. Early on in the book, Malcolm recalls a conversation with his seventh-grade English teacher, who told him that aspiring to be a lawyer was “no realistic goal for *you*” It shows with brutal clarity how even casual comments can have far-reaching consequences. Not everyone is going to cheer for you and support your dreams, but it is important that you stay focused and continue to work towards achieving your goals. It’s just as important you don’t discourage other people from pursuing goals, especially for the sake of “realism”. Remember, success is not a limited resource – anyone and everyone can make it.

There are only a handful of books you can read in your lifetime that leave a tangible impact on you and this is definitely one of them. The voice of Malcolm X was powerful, unbridled and simply heroic. With that, I leave you with one of his most powerful quotes:

“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

Malcolm X

Mshimba Michelle

Also check out:

How to set up an effective mentorship program
HOW TO SET UP AN EFFECTIVE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM FOR YOUR BUSINESS

An effective mentorship program is crucial for business success. Matter of fact, 71% of Fortune 500 companies, according to Forbes, do have such a program in place and can attest to its many benefits. These include higher employee engagement, increased productivity, and better employee retention. For individuals, mentorship has been linked to career success. 76% of people in mentorship programs cited it as a major factor in their success as per a study conducted by the Olivet Nazarene University. Additionally, mentorship increases opportunities and promotion chances for mentees.

  1. Benefits of Having a Mentorship Program in Your Business

Mentorship programs present a myriad of benefits for businesses and their employees. By linking higher level or more experienced employees with less experienced counter-parts, mentorship helps speed up the learning process. This is because mentees tend to share their first-hand experiences, insights, and their failures. Seeing as most mentors are usually successful in their various fields, their experiences and knowledge can be used by mentees to navigate daily challenges at the workplace and progress career wise. This knowledge is also specific to the organisation or industry.

Mentors give support, feedback, assurances, and advice that is very much needed by new employees. They can also teach new skills and avail their extensive resources and network to mentees which in turn opens opportunities and leads to career growth and development.

Additionally, mentorship eases the onboarding process of new hires and makes the company more appealing to recruits. All of this benefit yet it costs nothing. Your business uses already available resources unlike formal training sessions such as seminars.  Having established how beneficial a mentorship program is, the next step is learning how to curate an effective one.

  1. Curating A High Impact Mentorship Program

Curating a mentorship program that works for both mentees and mentors is a process that requires you to factor in a couple of things. Know that it takes time. Not that it is too hard to do. Basically, all you need to do is just follow these 4 steps.

  1. Set Up a Formal Structure

First and foremost, you need to define what are the objectives of your mentorship program. Companies tend to have mentorship programs for different purposes. These include but are not limited to, employee retention, leadership development, enrichment of the onboarding process, and teaching of specialised skills. Once you’ve identified your objectives, come up with a structure that will govern how mentorship is conducted.

Decide if it is an invite-only program, mandatory or voluntary where all employees are open to apply.  Figure out the connection type and duration. Will it be one on one or group-based? How long will it run for? Weeks, months, years? Decide on the mentorship style to be used. There are several types of mentorship; peer mentoring, group mentoring, facilitated mentoring, reverse mentoring, flash mentoring, and 1:1 mentoring which is the most common.

  1. Pair Mentees with Mentors

This is a very crucial step as the matches have to work if the program is to be successful. You need to factor in the roles of an employee, their needs, and their interests when matching them up with mentors. Finding the ideal mentee – mentor pair can be quite tasking. You could ask employees to fill out a form, questionnaire, or do an interview and use the answers given to find matches that just might work. Alternatively, you can ask mentees to pick their preferred mentor or vice versa. Some companies employ the use of mentoring software to pair people up. Others still enlist the help of career coaches.

  1. Sell The Idea to Participants

You might witness hesitation to embrace the program on both sides. Don’t worry. All you have to do is sell the idea to participants. Clearly explain the benefits of participating in the program. Don’t assume they know somehow. While you’re at this, you may also want to set expectations on what either party is to receive from the relationship.

  1. Develop A Guide

Once you have convinced employees to partake in the program and have paired them up, the next step is usually developing a guide for mentor-mentee relationships. This guide should be flexible but still provide structure. Identify key activities to be done, avail calendar scheduling tools, and set up virtual communication channels that can be used to connect. Without such a structure in place, parties can lose momentum and direction leading to the ultimate failure of the program.

It’s also important to evaluate your mentorship program. Identify ways to determine if the program is working. This could be based on productivity levels or the employee satisfaction rate. Should you see it’s not functional, set up a system that allows switching of mentors and mentees without bringing about hard feelings.

Liked this piece? You’ll be interested in:

5 Benefits of mentoring

7 Reasons you need a mentor

How to land your dream mentor

Ruth Kimani

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