Ecobank MySME Growth Series: Expert Proffers Solution To Manage Strategic Staff In ‘Japa’ Era 

Against the backdrop of the migration of Nigerian professionals, commonly regarded as the ‘japa syndrome’ to developed countries of the world, a human resource expert and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the African Talent Company, Hilda Kabushenga, has said although the factors are beyond organisations, managing talents within the context of new work realities would check the trend.

Kabushenga, who made this assertion in her presentation titled: Finding Skilled Labour In The Japa Era at Ecobank Nigeria’s MySME Growth Series recently, pointed out that people were no longer looking for physical employment contracts, but “psychological contracts of experience,” adding that employers who want to hold on to their competent and highly productive employees will have to embrace what she described as “the future of work.”

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The MySME Growth Series is an innovative training programme of Ecobank Nigeria targeted at empowering SME operators in the country. Under this initiative, the Bank aims to train over one million SME operators across the country in the 2024 fiscal year.

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According to her, organisations should initiate staff retention from the recruitment stage by having a candidate pipeline for critical departments and have an honest conversation about long term career plans during the interview process.

“If possible, hire an ‘heir and a spare’ – somebody to shadow critical talent and learn the ropes from them.” Stay engaged between when the offer is made and when talent is to resume-a lot can happen in a very short period. Focus on gaining buy-in to your company vision during onboarding and lay out a clear path for growth and development internally,” she stated.

Kabushenga further urged organisations to set up better reward systems such as profit sharing and milestone bonuses to entice employees and increase overall job satisfaction; incorporate flexible work modes; create a sense of belonging; prioritise initiatives like open communication and foster connections between the leadership teams and the entire workforce.

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To manage strategic staff effectively, she opined that firms deepen their talent bench by “building not buying” personnel, tailor learning and development initiatives that are a win-win for all, have a solid succession planning system, be open to negotiations and maintain an enduring relationship.

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Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600,

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