ISSUE 62 | MARCH 2024

AN OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FEDERATION OF UGANDA EMPLOYERS

FUENEWS

THE VOICE OF EMPLOYERS

FUE CEO MESSAGE

Dear Esteemed Member,

As we close the first quarter of the year, I am filled with gratitude for the dedication and hard work each one of you has shown. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones demonstrating our resilience and commitment to excellence.

At FUE, our quarter was marked by several significant events, all of which underscored our collective strength and unity as a team. One such event was the

CEO Breakfast Meeting, where I had the pleasure of engaging with several CEO’s in candid discussions on human resource as a company’s competitive advantage. These engagements reaffirm our shared vision and foster a culture of open communication and collaboration.

The Employer of the Year Awards (EYA) was also held this quarter honouring Employers who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the growth of their organisations. The recipients of this prestigious accolade serve as model organisations for us all. Through EYA, we continue to resound the importance of organisational growth and on this note, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each of them and express my gratitude to all the participants, sponsors and well-wishers for the outstanding support.

We concluded the quarter with our 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM), where we had the opportunity to reflect on our achievements, discuss our financial performance, and map the course for the future.

As we look ahead to the next quarter, let us build upon the momentum and continue to strive for excellence. We remain committed to working with various stakeholders to create a conducive business environment and promote decent work for all.

Thank you,
Together for Employers.

Douglas Opio

The Chief Executive Officer, FUE

CONTENTS

1

THE FUE 45TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The FUE 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) was convened on Thursday 28th March 2024 at Hotel Africana from 8:00am (EAT). The AGM is hosted annually to share a detailed accountability on key work streams, achievements and project initiatives that have been significant in our diligent service to the Employers’ fraternity. FUE Members, Partners and Invited Guests were in attendance. Hon. Betty Amongi the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development was our Chief Guest.

Our CEO, Mr. Douglas Opio expressed that 2023 presented various opportunities for advocacy that led to the launch of the Labour Advisory Board, a committee constituted to provide advisory services on pertinent issues in the world of work to the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD). He revealed that we made recommendations to the Employment (Amendment) Act to parliament for review before it is assented into law. He commended that over 500 Employers benefitted from FUE services.

The FUE Chairperson, Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha appreciated FUE members and partners for their continuous support and commitment to the work of the Federation. He applauded Employers for their resilience despite global challenge that affected the labour market. Eng. Mugisha also encouraged members to consistently remit their membership subscription fees.

Hon. Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the Guest of Honor revealed that 23.5 million Ugandans fall in the working population with 49% engaged in formal employment. Hon. Amongi emphasised collaboration between the private sector and tripartite  partners to promote decent work and productive employment. Employers were implored to maintain social security compliance, promote health and safety at the workplace as well as organise a befitting minimum wage within their organisations.

Furthermore, the FUE Online Member Services Portal was launched at the AGM. The portal is a self-help easy to use platform where Employers can access information, tools and resources in areas of Human resources, Employment Relations and Compliance as well as Occupational Safety and Health. The portal has checklists, templates, step by step guides, pictorial guides, Q & A, industrial court precedents and articles among others. We believe this portal will increasing membership value, save time and foster efficient service delivery.

We appreciate FUE Members, Partners and other stakeholders for their active participation in the 45th AGM. Let’s keep working together for the advancement of the Employers’ fraternity.

THE EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS (EYA) DINNER

In a bid to fulfill our mission to enhance employer competiteveness, we hosted the Employer of the Year Awards (EYA) Dinner on Friday 1st March 2024 at Speke Resort Munyonyo. The dinner was the climax of the EYA 2023/24 survey under the theme, ‘Employer Competitiveness in the Post COVID-19 Era’. Mr. Luc Pirson, the Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Belgium was the Chief Guest.

Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha, the FUE Chairperson emphasised upholding best practices, promoting decent work and continuous learning as assets to excel in the business community. He encouraged business leaders to desist from applying the same strategies during work operations to ensure competitiveness at global level.

The Guest of Honor, Mr. Luc Pirson in his speech shared that EYA is a pre-requisite to advance an equitable society. He highlighted that Enabel’s contribution towards enhancing decent work in the agricultural and tourism sector has been eased through the survey. Mr. Pirson further revealed Enabel’s various programs geared towards skills development, business growth and economic growth.

Additionally, the Lead EYA Consultant, Prof. Julius Kikooma reiterated that the survey was measured in five main aspects of Quality and Performance, Innovation, Risk and Compliance, Customer Experience as well as Workplace Culture. He also revealed that the awards now included a new category of sectoral awards such as agriculture and tourism.

Huge Congratulations to the EYA 2023/24 Winners;

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2024

The Global Gender Gap 2016 ranks Uganda 61st out of 144 countries in terms of addressing the gender gap. On 8th March 2024, Uganda joined the world to commemorate International Women’s Day 2024 themed, ‘Invest In Women: Accelerate Progress’ in Katakwi District. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was the Guest of Honor with the Vice President, Prime Minister, UN Resident Coordinator, Ministers and Members of Parliament in attendance.

In his address, President Museveni urged leaders to work towards the socio-economic transformation through ensuring there is affordable education. He signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at building capacity and supporting women under the Generating Growth Opportunities and Productivity for Women Enterprises Project (GROW) with at least 9 billion distributed to women in business in four districts of Katakwi, Kaabong, Lira and Amuria.

At FUE, we took the opportunity to celebrate our female staff for their exceptional service to the advancement of the Employers’ fraternity. We believe empowering women at the workplace through professional development, mentorship and ensuring work-life balance to boost maximum productivity and promote business growth. Under the FUE Women’s Executive Chapter (FUEWEC), we conduct the Female Future Leadership Program (FFP), Malkia and Annual Women Leadership Conference (AWLC) to equip women with practical leadership skills to thrive at local, regional and international level.

Employers are implored to promote gender equality through providing equal opportunities for all, creating a conducive work environment for women to thrive and investing in building capacity their workforce to achieve gender equality by 2030.

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO UGANDA’S CURRENT LABOUR LANDSCAPE GENERAL TRAINING

On 24th May 2023, the Parliament of Uganda passed the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022. On Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th March 2024, we conducted a General Training on, ‘A Practical Guide to Uganda’s Current Labour Landscape’ at the FUE Training Centre in Kiwanga-Namanve from 8:30am(EAT). Participants included CEOs, HR Managers, Legal Officers and Project Managers among others. The main aim of the training was to equip Employers and HR professionals with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to navigate and comply with the latest labour laws and regulations in Uganda.

The training content entailed a comprehensive expose of the current legal framework governing employment practices in Uganda. Employers were encouraged to mitigate legal risks associated with non-compliance and promote a conducive work environment. Participants were also enlightened on effectively managing key aspects of employee lifecycle including recruitment, compensation, annual leave and termination.

In addition, there were in-depth discussions on addressing emerging trends and challenges within the Ugandan labour landscape such as the impact of technology and managing remote work arrangements as well as identifying areas of non-compliance and implement preventive measures.

It’s important to note that minimising legal risks and understanding the labour laws are significant to preserve organisational reputation.

To request a customised training, contact Yusuf Nsubuga, the FUE Training Manager on yusuf.nsubuga@fuemployers.org

ILO-IOE WOMEN IN BUSINESS WEBINAR

According to ILO statistics, 81% of Employers and Business Membership Organisations (EBMOs) advocate for gender equality. On 21st March 2023, we participated in a ‘Women in Business Webinar’ hosted by the ILO and International Organisation of Employers (IOE). Our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Douglas Opio participated as a panelist with other leaders from other EBMOs. The main purpose of the webinar was to examine how EBMOs are working towards enhancing the representation of women across their organizations, particularly in decision-making roles.

Our CEO’s presentation focused on the Female Future Leadership Program (FFP), a leadership course offered in partnership with the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises (NHO) that has been a significant to mobilise the female workforce to attain leadership positions in top management and boardrooms. In lieu of this, over 200 ladies have graduated from the program with 40% acquiring board positions, 88% receiving challenging jobs and 30% venturing into self-employment since the inception of the program in 2011. The program is a practical course aimed at building self-esteem, developing talent and promoting gender equality.

We believe women have the potential to excel in career, business and politics at all levels. FUE remains committed to ensure Employers invest in the equipping of their female workforce to advance sustainable development.

Sign up for the FFP 2025 Intake. Contact info@fuemployers.org | 0392 777 410.

FUE STAFF COMMENTARY

NURTURE A WORKPLACE CULTURE THAT THRIVES ON MUTUAL FEEDBACK

“No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So, for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue getting feedback and to try to get better because your job is to try to help everybody else get better”, says Jim Yong Kim, an American physician and anthropologist who also served as the president of the World Bank. According to Henrik Ceder, a renowned business innovator and researcher, feedback is the compass for greatness; it tells you what to avoid, what to learn, and where to excel.

At every workplace, employees and leaders a like needs to get feedback in order to grow their careers and improve their abilities at work. According to TriNet Group Inc.

(2022), an online platform that guides on human resource management, companies thrive when employees can give and receive constructive feedback. Feedback at workplace is simply the process of letting someone know which areas they need to improve. And the whole purpose of feedback is to improve performance. Indeed, great feedback is a critical element of the best practice in performance management.

One of the most commonly used forms of feedback at workplace is employee evaluation. Many organisations formally evaluate their employees’ performance and progress after an initial trial period and then again on an annual or semi-annual basis. According to Better Employee Benefits (2022), an online platform on Human Resource Management, employee evaluation is an important part of an organisation’s quality assurance which is conducted to: promote growth and competence and to increase employee productivity; facilitate employer-employee communication and develop relationships; hold all employees to the same standard of performance and identify high and low performers; let employees know how they are doing; document incidents of poor performance for future reference; and establish valid defenses for employment litigation and legitimate reasons for termination.

However, according to the American Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a professional human resources membership association that promotes the role of Human Resources as a profession, and is mandated to regulate its members, feedback should always be a two-way street. That supervisors and managers’ evaluation by employees/ subordinates ought to be done as well since it shows them how to improve. Similarly, John Maxwell, an American author and motivational speaker advises:” A person can add value to others only when he/she first values them”. So, supervisor evaluation by employees is important due to the following reasons;

First, since the quality of management is one of the crucial determinants of an organization success, it is important for organizations to receive feedback from employees concerning the effectiveness of their supervisors and managers. Supervisors and managers just like employees need to continuously work to develop. For Instance, the recent study conducted by American Society for Human Resource Management revealed that half of all the employees surveyed said their own performance would improve if their supervisors improved, 6 in every 10 employees believed their managers need more training, and 84% believed that poorly trained managers cause a lot of headaches and stress!

Second, subordinates are sometimes able to observe supervisory performance that superiors and peers may not be able to see. So, everyone including supervisors needs feedback in order to grow their careers and improve their abilities at work. As already noted, great feedback is a critical element of best-practice performance management.

Third, most employees know that supervisors and managers have a significant impact on their job satisfaction and therefore an enormous effect on employee retention. According to a recent report from GoodHire, an applicant background checking technology, 82% percent of the employees surveyed said they would consider leaving a job due to a bad manager. So, employees’ feedback helps your organization to spot the potential trouble before it happens. When employees share their supervisors and managers’ feedback, you can help the managers lead better and keep employees happier for better performance.
Fourthly, according to studies, supervisor evaluation if conducted well, is one of the effective means of motivating employees and a critical element of best-practice in performance management. Understanding how to evaluate your managers’ performance can help the organization improve its leadership and promote employee wellbeing and productivity (Indeed Editorial Team, 2023).

Supervisors and managers’ evaluation by subordinates is an important part of performance management as it helps to identify leadership problems, improves employees’ engagement, nurtures a health work environment, improves employees’ morale and productivity, and enhances overall organizational productivity when it is conducted as it ought to be. So, the process should be as confidential as possible. Honest feedback is typically not gotten when there’s a possibility of reprisal from the leaders in case they get to know who the responses came from. Employees fully express their reservations when organizations protect their identity.
Feedback questions to evaluate a manager’s performance should cover four key areas of the performance review and assessment. These include, supervisory (leadership) skills, effective communication skills, maintaining of a positive work environment, and work habits (Connor Hoy, 2023). Such questions like the following can be asked; Does your manager promote teamwork and good working relationships? Are concerns identified and dealt with timely? Does your supervisor communicate openly and honestly with employees? Do you receive open and constructive feedback? Are you positively motivated? Does your team manager handle conflicts effectively? Is your manager tactful and resourceful? Does your manager demonstrate a good work ethic?
When supervisors and managers’ evaluation by employees is done regularly as it is done with employees, it will give them vital insights and input they need to become great managers and improve their overall performance as well. In this regard, John Mattone, the world’s top executive coach and the founder of one of the world’s leading coaching and leadership development firms – John Mattone Global (JMG) counsels: “If you reject feedback, you also reject the choice of acting in a way that may bring you abundant success”. Indeed, the key to learning is feedback. It is nearly impossible to learn anything without it. Therefore, as leaders, we should have the humility to continue getting feedback for better performance since the quality of management is one of the critical determinants of an organizational success.

By Patrick Ajuna, Policy and Research Officer

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

MTN UGANDA WINS GOLD EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2023/24

Our People and Culture:

MTN Uganda has been recognized as the Best Employer of the Year 2023 (EYA) by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) winning the Gold category Award. The award was received on Friday 01st March 2024 by the Human Resources team led by the GM-Human Resources, Michael Sekadde.

At MTN Uganda, we believe in “Mission First, People Always.” Our people are the greatest assets that drive the growth of the Company and they are the fulcrum of what we do. We strive to invest and empower our people to drive our Ambition 2025 Strategy and Business Unusual Strategy.

  1. Through our unique Employee Value proposition (EVP) called “Lived Inspired”, we have continuously enhanced our pay and benefits propositions. We improved the medical Insurance scheme for all staff with improved medical benefits and limits; introduced the Lifestyle benefits for all staff; introduced the Loyalty Award benefits for long serving dedicated staff, paid out short term incentives like Bonus and Notional share options (NSO) for good performance as well as paid the yearly salary performance increases to appreciate the staff’s dedication to achieve the Company’s Business Unusual strategic objectives.
  2. MTN has a unique culture that defines who we are and how we behave at the workplace. This culture is based on the “Live Y’ello” brand values which are action oriented “doing” values and correlative behaviors. The “Live Yello” brand values have enabled staff to work collaboratively with each other while also trusting the leadership that guides them to perform their jobs. We have rebranded and refreshed the brand values to ensure that all staff are socialized and educated on what these values mean to them and how they are meant to live the values. These are defined as follows;
    i) Lead with care.
    ii) Can-do with Integrity.
    iii) Collaborate with Agility.
    iv) Serve with Respect.
    v) Act with Inclusion.
  3. Further, we have a Diversity and Inclusion program which provides equal opportunities for all its employees. We believe in equality for everyone despite their differences and our mission is to accelerate full inclusion to attract, retain and enable the best talent as well as increase leadership diversity. As part of our 2023, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, we made a deliberate plan to recruit People with disabilities (PWD’s) into our workforce. We recruited a total of 5 People with disabilities (PWD’s) in 2023 and 3 of them are women. We intend to increase the total number of People with disabilities (PWD’s) in the workforce in 2024. The Company was recognized with an Award for our contribution towards employing People with disabilities by the National Union of disabled persons (NUDIPU) in 2023. Also, as part of our People with disabilities (PWD) Inclusive programs, we introduced an initiative to provide MTN services to deaf customers. We hence trained over 30 internal MTN customer facing staff in sign language to better serve persons who are deaf. We have also included sign language in some of our adverts and live programs to drive diversity and inclusion.

We launched the Women @ Work program to drive empowerment and collaboration among female employees which has achieved great strides through its various initiatives in 2023. They implemented the Women @ Work Financial literacy webinars whose objective was to empower MTN employees with personal finance skills to meet their financial and wealth creation goals. It was also to educate employees to effectively prepare for retirement, enabling them to comfortably retire at the appropriate time. The second initiative implemented was MoMo4 mothers with clinic PESA which was a product awareness campaign among friends and relative who are not on the health insurance scheme. This was intended to drive usage of mobile money maternal health savings account platform that empowers expectant women and couples to access timely savings towards maternity care, birth preparedness kits, upkeep, as well as afford transportation to the healthcare center, hence enabling them to afford safe child delivery. The third initiative was the internal menstrual Hygiene campaign which was meant to raise awareness among the ladies about proper menstrual hygiene practices and the potential consequences of improper disposal of sanitary pads. The Campaign is now embedded into the school outreach programs and Red Cross is seeking a partnership with MTN in their menstrual health countrywide campaign of “Keep a girl in school”. The MTN employees reached out to the communities through the 25 days of Y’ello Care program. 21 ladies volunteered to do SME trainings in digital marketing, customer management , savings and loans across the country for women in the communities and these initiatives imparted business skills to the participants.

The male employees at MTN also launched the MTN 212 Men community as part of the Diversity and Inclusion program in 2023. The MTN 212 Men community is a platform within MTN Uganda workplace aimed at grooming, preparing and enabling male employees live healthy, purposeful and impactful lives. The key objectives are the following;

  • Personal Growth and Self-Exploration: provide a platform for men to explore and express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a non-judgmental and supportive environment. This can lead to personal growth, self-awareness, and a deeper understanding of oneself.
  • Skill Development: focus on skill development, such as communication skills, financial management, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, and stress management. These skills can be useful in both personal and professional contexts.
  • Personal Accountability: encourage accountability for personal growth and goal attainment. Group members can set goals, share progress, and provide constructive feedback to help each other achieve those goals.
  • Mental Health and Well-Being: contribute to improved mental health by creating a space where members can discuss mental health challenges, share coping strategies, and access resources.
  • Community Involvement: extend men’s activities to community service and social advocacy, aiming to make positive contributions to society while fostering a sense of purpose and unity among members.

In line with MTN Uganda’s Strategy to promote Diversity and inclusion coupled with our commitment to care for its staff wellness, we established a day care Creche for our female mothers in 2022. The purpose of the Creche is to support female staff to improve their infant’s nutrition and care while they are at work which will enhance the staff’s productivity. The concept of a Creche is an important benefit for young mothers by allowing them to spend more time with their young children during working hours and be able to breast feed during regular breaks. This ensures that the children are well catered for and it gives the mothers a piece of mind to concentrate on their jobs.

Objectives of Setting up the Creche:

  • To protect the breastfeeding right of the working woman, the right to breastfeeding and privacy of the mother and infant required for the mother to maintain her performance on the job.
  • To promote benefits of breastfeeding for the infants and mothers by enabling continuity of exclusive breastfeeding even after maternity leave.
  • To support breastfeeding and the expression of breast milk by providing a supportive environment to enable breast feeding employees to do so during working hours.
  • To accommodate the postpartum employee to breastfeed at her workplace as they transition back to work after maternity leave.

The Mothers Creche has been operational since August 2022 and children are accepted from 4 months up to 1 ½ years. Currently, 37 mothers have registered and use the facility. The minimum number of children per day is 3 and maximum is 10.

Another Key initiative in our Diversity and Inclusion program has been the implementation of the Gender Pay parity exercise to promote equal pay for men and women at the workplace. MTN has a remuneration philosophy which is non-discriminative based on gender. The Company pays competitive salary and benefits to all staff based on their levels of work, specializations and equity benchmarks across the board. Further, to promote gender pay parity among men and women, the Company has conducted Gender pay parity reviews to evaluate the gaps between the pay for women compared to men at the same levels of work every year. This has helped to identify the gaps that may exist and to enable the Company to make equity salary alignments across the board to reduce the gaps. As a result of these corrective actions, the gender pay gap has reduced from 15.54% in 2021 to 9.16% in 2022 which is a decrease of 6.68%. The Company has concluded the Gender pay parity Audit exercise for 2023 and will make equity salary alignments to ensure equal pay for men and women.

4. Currently, MTN Uganda has a Talent Management Development program which is aimed to prepare future potential leaders for succession to Senior executive positions. 40% of the potential successors to those positions are women. It is a focused development plan to prepare future women leaders. As part of this personal development plans, we have 5 women leaders undergoing the Rising leaders program for women leaders in 2023. Through our Career development initiatives for staff, we have promoted 36 staff internally through the Internal Resourcing program where we open up vacant positions and select the best suitable internal staff with the capability to take on higher career opportunities. We have also seconded 9 local staff to take up expatriate opportunities with the MTN Group operations as part of career development. And 17 local staff have been seconded as Virtual commute expats based in Uganda but working for the MTN Group. 41% of these are women. We have also invested in Learning and development programs for staff through providing internal and external training programs, self-study company funded programs, free e-learning futuristic courses on the MTN Learn platform to develop skills and leadership capability for staff.

MTN Uganda has continuously focused on promoting employees health and wellness through living a healthy lifestyle. We have developed a Wellness center for all staff to indulge in physical fitness activities and workouts. The Wellness center has been replenished with gym equipment to enable the staff work out. The company has also hired a full-time fitness instructor to support employees during the work-out exercises.

As part of our Employee Assistance programs, we have held virtual wellness webnair sessions on mental health wellness, cancer awareness and malaria awareness to educate staff on how to prevent the risks of these diseases.

The above HR initiatives have increased staff productivity and overall sustainable engagement which has led to the growth of the business and recognition as the best Employer of the year 2023 in Uganda. Some of the key Key performance indicators (KPI) highlights of our achievements are below;

Together We are Unstoppable!!

Written By,
Michael Sekadde
General Manager, Human Resources

UPCOMING EVENTS

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