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WORD OF THE ED
Dear Esteemed Member,
“Women leaders in the corporate space boost productivity and enhance efficient service delivery for organisational growth”. I was elated to be in the company of phenomenal ladies at the 11th Annual Women Leadership Conference (AWLC), one of the FUE events that we always look forward to due to the long-lasting impact these women make in our society and the world at large. The Conference graduated the 18th and 19th cohorts of the Female Future Leadership Program (FFP). Over the years, FFP has advanced women empowerment with 52% of the ladies attaining greater leadership roles, 35% starting their own businesses and 45% being selected to represent on various boards.
Diversity and Inclusion at the Workplace to achieve SDG 5: ‘Gender Equality’ by 2030 is core to our mission to enhance employer competitiveness through policy advocacy, provision of business support services, fostering sustainable employment relations and job creation.
Watch the video below to view key highlights from conference;
In this Issue
THE 11th ANNUAL WOMEN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
The much-anticipated women’s gathering, the 11th Annual Women Leadership Conference (AWLC) was convened on Friday 21st October 2022 at the Kampala Serena Hotel. Women Leaders from the corporate world, politics, civil society and business enterprises gathered to share how they applied leadership skills to continue work and business operations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in line with the theme, ‘The Resilient Woman’.
The event was graced by Ms. Ruchira Charkravarty the Director and Founder, CoachCogei who delivered a keynote address in which she described ‘The Resilient Woman’ as one who adapts to changing situations and prevails in times of adversity. She advised leaders to adapt a female consciousness of leadership which entails relatedness, trust, and compassion to streamline the male-dominated space. In her presentation, she implored the ladies to embark on a journey of self-discovery to exploit their potential and fulfill their life’s purpose.
This conference was attended by both the FUE Chairperson, Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha and Vice Chairperson, Ms. Annet Nakawunde who urged participants to have a vision, communicate effectively, defy cultural stereotypes, build social networks, develop support systems, influence and impact society. Additionally, they revealed that challenges are part of life and each leader needs to discover ways to fight and excel during crisis times.
Furthermore, we hosted a panel discussion with notable business professionals namely Dr. James Onyoin, the CEO Jim Roberts, Ms. Grace Makoko, a Seasoned Banker, Ms. Sarah Kitakule, the Director Sustainable Business for Uganda and Platform Secretariat, Ms. Betty Ogiel, a Transformational Leader and Resilience Coach. The common denominator in the discussion focused on sharing tenets of resilient leadership including continuous learning, investing time to achieve goals, confidence, building tenacity, mindset change and adapting to new work modalities among others.
Congratulations to the 18th and 19th Cohort Graduands of the Female Future Leadership Program. We believe each of you will break limitations and continue being world changers in your different capacities for the good of the community and nation.
Sign up today for the next intake of the Female Future Leadership Program (FFP) 2023! Contact Fatmah Nsereko, email@example.com or Joy Ebong, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Special appreciation to our partners the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises (NHO) and UN Women for walking this journey with us over the years. We remain committed to advancing women empowerment to promote workplace diversity, equal rights, and inclusive growth to promote sustainable development.
THE ROLE OF SOCIAL PARTNERS IN SKILLS DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP
The Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy 2019 was developed to support the creation of needed employable skills and competencies relevant to the national labour market as opposed to the acquisition of educational certificates by students.
We were pleased to host a workshop on ‘The Role of Social Partners in Skills Development’ on Tuesday 4th October 2022 at Golf Course Hotel Kampala. Participants included representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), trade unions, Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), and The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) among other stakeholders.
The workshop deliberations revolved around challenges to skills development such as the size of the private sector, negative attitude towards TVET, limited apprenticeship opportunities for students, lack of social dialogue engagements and poor resource allocation. Collaborations between social partners, enhancing financial allocation towards skills development, finalising the National Qualification Framework, and establishing a Skills Anticipation Committee were proposed as recommendations to mitigate these challenges.
This workshop was attended by Mr. Wellington Chibebe, the ILO Director East Africa who advocated for agility in skills development and life-long learning post-COVID-19. He encouraged social dialogue among tripartite partners to enhance productivity, influence policy formulation, and promote decent work.
FUE has been consulted on the development of the TVET Financing Framework, tabling the TVET Bill, and ensuring Employers contribute to the TVET Fund as part of the implementation of the new TVET Policy. During the workshop, our Executive Director, Douglas Opio reiterated that there is need for social partners to embrace a paradigm shift from the school-based system to a workplace-oriented system. He believes an Employer-led TVET system is vital to enhance job creation and boost sustainable development.
We believe these meetings are significant to build sturdy partnerships for social dialogue to boost skills development initiatives and programs at national level. Let’s join hands to ensure we advocate for a better education system to improve the quality of the labour market.
FUE PARTICIPATES IN THE IOE BUSINESS CAUCUS MEETING
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) are the authoritative global framework for states and companies for preventing and mitigating business-related human rights impacts. The African Business and Human Rights Forum is an opportunity to further the conversation amongst Employers in Africa on implementing the UNGPs.
The Business Caucus Meeting for Employers and business practitioners under the African Business and Human Rights Forum was conducted on Tuesday 11th October 2022 at 17:00 (EAT) by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE). Employers had the rare
opportunity to receive a practical overview of key business and human rights standards in addition to participating in a detailed discussion on the challenges and opportunities of implementing the UNGPs in Africa.
Our Executive Director, Douglas Opio represented as a panelist at the event discussing the topic, ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Business Human Rights Governance in Africa’. He shared on the four dimensions of FUE Business Human Rights (BHR) interventions such as raising awareness on BHR among Employers, conducting trainings, designing tools to support businesses, continuous improvement in terms of national legislation and implementation of agreed actions. Further to his submissions, FUE’s positive contribution to BHR was highlighted including increasing the level of participation of business, advocating for the development of the National Action Plan (NAP), strengthening global commitments at company level, providing access to legal support and enhancing community outreach by companies.
In addition, there was a business workshop on, ‘Heightened Human Rights Due Diligence in Fragile Environments’. The workshop comprised of practical sessions amongst practitioners about the realities of conducting human rights due diligence.
It’s vital for Employers to understand their role in upholding business and human rights at the workplace. We believe engagements like the business caucus meeting and workshop are significant to provide a clear, practical refresher on key concepts from the UNGPs to raise awareness and building the capacity of various stakeholders around human rights and responsible business conduct.
FUE PARTICIPATES IN LABOUR MIGRATION METADATA HANDBOOK STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organised a week-long stakeholder workshop for the development of labour migration indicators, methodologies of computation, data sources, standardisation and classification to be consolidated into one document entitled ‘The Labour Migration Statistical Metadata Handbook for Uganda’.
The workshop was held from Monday 24th October to Friday 28th October 2022 at K-Hotel in Entebbe. The aim of the
training was to enhance the capacities of key stakeholders on labour migration data collection, analysis and sharing of content to support labour migration governance in the East and the Horn of Africa region.
Participants included officials from MGLSD, IOM, Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU), Central Organisation of Free Trade Union (COFTU), National Planning Authority (NPA), Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Bank of Uganda (BOU), Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) and Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) among others.
The Labour Migration Metadata Handbook will strengthen the National Statistical System (NSS) including establishing a central depository on Labour Migration Statistics (LMS). The data gathered will facilitate policy formulation for effective and efficient labour migration regulation and governance. In addition, the handbook will provide guidance on indicator titling, definitions, computations and measurement, frequencies and periodicities of production, classification and standardisation.
There will be a validation workshop after the development and submission of the draft handbook for stakeholders to review the document. Hereafter, the MGLSD will distribute the final ‘Labour Migration Statistical Metadata Handbook for Uganda’ to respective institutions for implementation.
As Employers, we have an important stake in labour migration, especially compiling data on labour migrants (emigrants and immigrants). The free movement of labour promotes employment creation, enhances productivity and boosts skills development for economic growth.
FUE-BMU WEBINAR ON NAVIGATING RECRUITMENT CHALLENGES FOR START-UPS
According to techcrunch.com, Uganda is one of the countries creating ripples in high-profile tech programs like the Y Combinator accelerator and Google’s $50 million Africa Investment Fund, launched in October last year targeting early- and growth-stage startups. The Ugandan tech scene continues to flourish with startups emerging in the mobility, e-commerce, e-health, cleantech and fintech spaces, pulling all kinds of investors for instance SafeBoda, Numida and Tugende.
We were delighted to host a webinar on ‘Navigating Recruitment Challenges for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs’ on Wednesday 19th October 2022 in partnership with our esteemed member, BrighterMonday Uganda. Our Guest Speaker was Mr. Hamza Mutebi, General Manager, Turaco.
During the webinar, recruitment challenges for start-ups were highlighted such as limited funding, lack of a hiring strategy, difficulty in finding individuals willing to work on an undeveloped vision and inadequate resources to retain employees. The solutions proposed to curb these issues included identifying a partner to build together, collaborating with recruitment agencies to find the right fit, drafting a hiring strategy and pooling resources to run the business. Participants were advised to create a balance between scaling and retention during difficult times by setting expectations early, providing cash and non-cash incentives, identifying committed staff in addition to providing flexible working conditions.
Therefore, it’s imperative that the recruitment process for start-ups and entrepreneurs leads to the hiring of professionals who are talented and result-oriented to ensure business continuity and growth.
If you missed this webinar, kindly click the link below to watch the recording;
We encourage Employers to utilise the FUE Job Portal to ensure they find the right candidates for available job vacancies within their organisations. Click the link to access the FUE Job Portal: https://Jobs.fuemployers.org. For guidance on how to use the portal contact email@example.com | 0392 777 410.
FUE STAFF COMMENTARY
SOFT SKILLS AT THE WORKPLACE
“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles”, says William Hazlitt, a motivational expert. However, politeness is the first thing some people lose once they get power (Quotation by Amit Kalantri as cited by Codezene, 2022).
Today, if one mentioned the word workplace or jobs, the phrase ‘soft skills’ cannot escape being mentioned. ‘Soft skills’ is now days the catch phrase at the workplace. According to the findings from a recent plebiscite of “soft skills” conducted by International Labour Organisation (ILO), 60% of employers said behavioral (soft) skills are more important than technical skills. Relatedly, results from a recent study indicate that 75% of long-term job success depends on people skills, while only 25% on technical knowledge.
According to Professor M.S. Rao (2011), soft skills are a collection of skills that are essential to survive and succeed in personal, professional, and social life – the skills that complement the hard skills and ensure one’s employability.
In other words, soft skills are skills that are not tied to one specific job but they are general characteristics that help employees thrive in the workplace, no matter their seniority level, role, or industry. Skills that reflect one’s communication style, work ethic, and work style.
Soft skills are also known by several other names such as key skills, core skills, essential skills, key competencies, generic skills, transferable skills, employability skills, interpersonal skills, job-related skills, people skills, career attributes, and behavioral skills. They include aspects such as willingness to learn, creativity, critical and creative thinking, teamwork, communication skills, persuasion, negotiation, agility, resilience, future thinking, adaptability/flexibility, time management, professionalism, computer skills, conflict resolution, decision-making, and leadership skills among others.
Indeed, it’s a simple fact that no individual can be good at everything as rightly observed by Naveen Jain, a motivational speaker. Everyone regardless of their seniority level needs a chance to learn, improve, and build up their skills. Similarly, John Ortberg, a motivational expert counsels, “Learning something new is a fabulous way to be refreshed. When work can grind you down, something about learning a new activity thrills the soul. It reminds you that the world is bigger than your desk and your to-do list”.
One of the workplace’s most critical skills in this rapidly changing business climate is communication. Good communication practices are at the heart of every successful business as Don Brown rightly puts it, “Communication is the lifeblood of any organisation”.
Good communication skills involve more than just public speaking and writing skills. It also includes the art of listening and providing timely feedback – the two most critical elements of effective communication which most times get little respect.
According to Christopher Morley, a communication expert, the major rule for being a good talker is learning to listen. Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, and others over self. So, when someone is talking during an engagement or discussion, others ought to listen completely. Remember that interruption is a barrier in conversation. Similarly, great feedback is a critical element of best practices in performance management.
Therefore, the possession of soft skills is very important for everyone in the workplace regardless of the position one holds. Adam Grant, an educationist sums it up by saying, “the mark of higher education isn’t the knowledge you accumulate in your head. It’s the skills you gain about how to learn and in appreciating the fact that learning is a continuous process”. Indeed, everyone has a chance to learn, improve, and build up their skills to achieve career success.
By Patrick Ajuna, Policy and Research Officer
UGANDA COMMEMORATES 60 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
Uganda’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule started in the 1930s with various demonstrations objecting economic exploitation. This opposition led to the formation of political parties such as the Uganda National Congress (UNC) founded in 1952 by farmers which finally led to independence.
On 9th October 2022, Uganda commemorated 60 years of Independence at the Kololo Airstrip under the theme, ‘A Declaration of African Interdependence and Our Shared Destiny’. H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda was Chief Guest with various African leaders in attendance namely H.E. William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Salva Kiir, President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Evariste Ndayishimye, President of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Hussein Ali
Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia among other dignitaries.
In his address, President Museveni congratulated citizens for attaining and reaching this great milestone despite the challenging previous two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. He recommended value addition for all local products by Employers and entrepreneurs to increase export promotion and unlimited access to a wider regional market especially within the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). He emphasised that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project would continue as planned to advance oil production, create jobs and improve livelihoods.
FUE commends Employers for their immense contribution to the socio-economic transformation and economic growth of our great nation. We remain committed to enhancing Employers’ competitiveness through policy advocacy, provision of business support services, and fostering sustainable employment relations and job creation.
EMPLOYERS’ ADVISORY NOTE
In this month’s edition of the Employers’ Advisory Note, Our Training Assistant, Joy Ebong shares valuable insights on the Leadership Development Female Future Program (FFP), a training for women leaders facilitated by FUE.
The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) initiated the Federation of Uganda Employers Women Executive Chapter (FUEWEC) in March 2010 whose goal is to empower and promote women in top decision–making positions in Uganda’s private and public sectors. FUEWEC has four main activities including the Leadership Development Female Future Program (FFP) specifically for women adopted from the Confederation of Norwegian enterprises (NHO) and adapted for the Ugandan situation. The program runs for 9 months with three modules namely Leadership Development, Rhetoric and Board Competence. FUEWEC has also implemented the Female Future Mentoring program where the FFP alumnae mentor younger girls who have completed tertiary education and joined the workforce.
The various benefits of the FFP Course to participants include;
- Improving leadership styles through applying systematic approaches to move oneself to the top echelon of power in any setup
- Increasing overall workplace competitiveness
- Enhancing Gender Equality
- Boosting Self-Employment and Financial Sustainability
a) The Leadership Module
• Who am l? (strengths/resources, development areas, values, personal authority, success stories, and role analysis)
• What do l want? (Visualisation of personal goals, career anchors, dilemmas, self-esteem, job satisfiers, plans, life goals and priorities)
• How do l get there? (Development plan, networking, training on self-promotion, image, personal branding, organisational savvy, power, and trust)
b) The Rhetoric Module
• Public Speaking (Confidence, Learning from the Best Orators)
• Presentation Skills
• Physical Appearance (Dress Code)
c)The Board Competence Module
• Judicial Framework for the Board of Directors
• Financial Management Reporting
• Board Ethics, Code of Conduct, Corporate Governance, Self-Regulation, Emotional Intelligence, Board Evaluation
• Negotiation Skills, Networking and Lobbying etc.
Since its inception in 2011, FFP has graduated over 296 women leaders and trained over 19 cohorts with all participants attaining personal and professional development. We have registered 52% of the ladies attaining greater leadership roles, 35% starting their own businesses and 45% being selected to represent on various boards. FFP has also been adopted by other African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana due to its success rate in Uganda.
I encourage all women to enroll for the FFP Course to acquire knowledge and practical skills to advance their leadership journey. Sign up today for the 2023 FFP Intake! For more information, contact Fatmah Nsereko, firstname.lastname@example.org or Joy Ebong, email@example.com.
FUE NEW MEMBER ALERT!
We are excited to welcome UNICAF University to the FUE family. Unicaf University in Uganda is accredited by the National Council for Higher Education of Uganda (NCHE) and offers affordable, flexible, international quality tertiary education, available to eligible applicants across the world, in collaboration with reputable universities in the UK, USA, and Africa. We pledge to support this great vision.
Remember if you are not a member of FUE, it’s an easy process. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org | 0392 777 410 or visit our website www.fuemployers.org. Join FUE today to benefit from a variety of services and a wide network of business professionals!