LDI Africa Fellow Sunday Shomide on strengthening organizational efficiency and human capital in Zambia

In the month of May, I have gained a greater understanding of the challenges facing the organization as compared to the previous month. As stated in my blog for the month of April, there is a need to focus on staff training to increase their productivity for the effective operations of the company. Therefore, I have planned to engage all staff in a training workshop every month, with various topics to address the issues at hand and make it more interactive.

This month, the topics were: MAKING A SUCCESS OF THE TEAM (for general staff) and BUILDING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP: A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE (for the sales team). For every organization, teamwork is important to increasing staff efficiency. I engaged all staff in interactive sessions and exercises to learn about one another, with details on motivations, likes, dislikes, interests/hobbies, workplace challenges, and suggested solutions. There were also sessions on building the skills necessary for each team. The staff discussed at length, and it was an opportunity for them to learn more about themselves and their team members.  

The customer is king in business, and the way every customer is treated will determine his or her loyalty to the organization or product brands. The sales team shared their experiences concerning their customers, and we all gave our thoughts on how to build customers relationship and engage them profitably and sustainably.

 After the first two sessions of the workshop, I asked for feedback randomly to check if the impacts of the workshop on their professional roles/career were positive or negative. I am very glad to say that all staff sampled said they had enjoyed the training and would like it to continue, as they had learned many good and new things that had been previously lacking in the organization.  

Also in this month, I was privileged to be part of the company’s team to meet with the Bank of Zambia (Central Bank), in an attempt to address the issues surrounding VAT charge on company’s products. According to the law, the company should not be charged a VAT as they offer solar power and renewable energy, but customs still charge for these. As a result of this initial contact, meetings will be scheduled with the country’s Ministries of Finance, Energy, and Commerce. We expect a meeting to be arranged in the coming weeks. We hope justice will be achieved, and the VAT charge on our products removed.

The mutual respect and interactions between the staff and I have remained interesting and continue to improve day by day. The people have confidence in my skills in improving the operations of the organization for the better. 

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Sunday Shomide is a 2017 LDI Africa Fellow placed with Emerging Cooking Solutions in Zambia.