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How small businesses can build employee engagement [Opinion] –

Here are some key tips from Viresh Harduth, Vice President, Small Business, Sage Africa & Middle East, on how to build employee engagement….

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We celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (16 – 22 November) against the backdrop of a year that has been exhausting for small and medium businesses and their people. As entrepreneurs start to think about what comes next, higher productivity and growth are very much on the agenda.

One of the keys to achieving this goal is to boost employee engagement

As much as it sounds dry and corporate, employee engagement matters as much for smaller businesses as for large organisations. It’s not to be confused with concepts such as ‘employee satisfaction’ or workplace happiness. Your people can be happy or satisfied without being truly engaged.

Employee engagement goes further – it is about how emotionally invested your colleagues are in the business, its goals, and their role in it. A satisfied employee will come in 9 to 5 and do the bare minimum asked in their job description. An engaged employee will put their heart into helping the business, their colleagues, and their customers succeed.

So, how do you build engagement as a small business? Here are a few ideas:

Caring is a two-way street. Showing employees that you care is not just about their mental and physical wellbeing, but also about their growth and happiness will help boost their motivation and engagement. Whether it’s offering them access to a psychologist in these difficult times, hosting company yoga sessions and fun runs, providing them with paid training (even if it’s via a voucher from Udemy), or simply remembering their birthday, these gestures can energise your team.

If you want your employees to go the extra mile, offering the right rewards and incentives is key. In a tough economy, where many small businesses are barely hanging on, the incentives can’t always take the form of a big financial reward. However, you can reward people who go the extra mile in a range of other ways:

· A thank you note and a chocolate bar

· Public recognition

· A bonus day of leave

· Access to the prime parking space for a month

· A shopping voucher for R100 or R200

· The opportunity to work on a particularly interesting project

Employees will feel more engaged when they feel like their voice is heard. They will feel more committed when they have a say in planning and goals. Colleagues like to be asked for feedback, whether in a formal process like their performance review or an informal chat. Of course, you can’t ask your team for their opinions on every decision—but knowing that you’re listening to their ideas, suggestions, and concerns drives better engagement.

The right technology and tools can make a massive difference in employee engagement and the employee experience. If people have access to easy-to-use software that makes their lives easier, they can focus on the enriching parts of their job rather than on fighting processes and technology. Today’s cloud-based solutions are slick and easy to use. You can also use cloud-based tools to keep employees engaged and connected during this time via digital self-service and employee communications.

Gallup has a global database that analyses the engagement and performance of 35 million employees worldwide. The company’s research shows that productivity among highly engaged teams is 14% higher than that of teams with the lowest engagement. It also reveals that two-thirds of the global workforce is not engaged.

These stunning figures highlight just how much of a competitive advantage you could gain by outperforming when it comes to employee engagement. More engaged employees mean better productivity, better customer service, and better business outcomes all round. It’s an ideal place to focus as you rebuild after a year that has left many people feeling burnt out and anxious.

This article was written By Viresh Harduth, Vice President, Small Business, Sage Africa & Middle East

Featured image: Campaign Creators via Unsplash

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2020/11/how-small-businesses-can-build-employee-engagement-opinion/

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ZwartTech launches Talent Foundation to equip Africans with digital skills

Lagos-based ZwartTech has announced the launch of its new edtech, Zwart Talent Foundation (ZTF) in a statement on 30 July 2021.

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Lagos-based ZwartTech has announced the launch of its new edtech, Zwart Talent Foundation (ZTF) in a statement today.

The foundation aims to equip young Africans with ICT skills necessary to close the growing African skills gap. The project has also set aside 70% of recruitment positions for African women.

87% of African CEOs are concerned about the digital skills gap

According to a report by PwC, featured in 2020’s Digital Skills Insights publication, 79% of global CEOs are worried about the availability of digital skills in their workforces, with 87% of African CEOs sharing the same concern.

“We launched the Zwart Talent Foundation to help Africans quickly combat poverty by giving them the chance to acquire tech skills as well as connecting them to international job opportunities. This will enable them to earn more and boost their economic status,” commented Nelson Tosin Ajulo, Chairman of ZTF in a statement.

ZTF’s three-pronged approach to tackling this skills gap means participants are led through the process from initial skills training to launching successful, sustainable careers.

The foundation aims to equip 2 000 Africans with critical ICT skills and recruit them into global companies over the next five years.

The Zwart Academy

Participants are first trained through the Zwart Academy in cybersecurity and Javascript for six months at no cost, giving them the necessary foundation to complete a one-year internship with Zwart Tech on completion.

“We have also realised that the quality of ICT education in Africa is inadequate. Considering this, students who join the Foundation will become Junior Developers in less than three years compared to attending a university and spending four or five years on the same course,” stated Ajulo.

Zwart Recruit

Zwart Recruit aims to support African ICT developers by connecting them with international companies looking for employees specialising in digital skills.

The Zwart Hub

The Hub is an accelerator programme that takes startups from concept to scaling their business on a global scale through mentorship and support from successful, experienced startup owners and investors.

While the global skills gap is worrying, considering automation may render many digital jobs obsolete in the near future, ZTF’s approach is different, according to Ajulo.

“Our approach is not only innovative, but it also saves time and will help tackle inequality faster, bridging gaps between social classes. The Academy training program involves a lot of practicals and it is free,” she concluded.

Read more: Edtech Go1 is SA’s first unicorn after closing $200m round

Read more: Transforming B2B payments could grow Africa’s local businesses [Opinion]

Featured image: Zwart Talent Foundation Chairman, Nelson Tosin Ajulo (Supplied)

“We launched the Zwart Talent Foundation to help Africans quickly combat poverty by giving them the chance to acquire tech skills as well as connecting them to international job opportunities. This will enable them to earn more and boost their economic status,” commented Nelson Tosin Ajulo, Chairman of ZTF in a statement.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/07/zwarttech-launches-talent-foundation-to-equip-africans-with-digital-skills/

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OneDayOnly’s daily deals reaffirms SA liquor industry support

SA’s leading flash sale site OneDayOnly has announced its continued assistance to the local liquor industry through the recent move to Level 4 lockdown.

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SA’s leading flash sale site OneDayOnly has announced its continued assistance to the local liquor industry through the recent move to Level 4 lockdown.

The e-commerce site has displayed resilience and innovation through previous alcohol bans by allowing vendors to keep taking orders, thereby supporting many local businesses to continue seeing a profit. “During the previous lockdowns we continued to support the local liquor industry by running weekly promotions that made wine and other locally produced products available for purchase on the site which was then delivered directly from the supplier as soon as trading resumed,” says Laurian Venter, Director for OneDayOnly.

Continued support for local SA liquor industry

In a report published in February 2021, the South African Liquor Brand owners Association (SALBA) published the cumulative economic losses incurred over the last three bans. Commenting on the report, SALBA CEO Kurt Moore said that not only is the industry and its people suffering, but the Government itself was experiencing considerable losses to the fiscus.

The site will continue to run daily liquor deals through Level 4

The report shows that the tax revenue loss (excluding excise) to the fiscus from the value chain arising from the bans amounted to R29.3- billion (equivalent to 2.3% of tax revenue) and direct excise tax revenue lost across the nation was R8.7-billion (equivalent to 21.2% of excise revenue).

Moore clarified that SA’s GDP loss was approximately R51.9-billion. “If you factored in the loss of potential total capital formation – some R21.7-billion (equivalent to 0.3% of national capital formation, or fixed capital investment in 2019) – then the prohibition measures could only be viewed as a national socio-economic disaster,” he said.

The e-commerce site will be running daily liquor deals, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday and Festive Friday promotions and will deliver once the lockdown lifts to assist local farms and businesses with expenses and staff costs.

Clarifying the decision, Venter concludes: “From a professional and personal standpoint, we have friends across both these industries that have been devastated by the last two lockdowns.”

Read more: Imperial donates R1-million for healthtech to Unjani Clinics
Read more: SA tech startup aims to create the fastest insights on the planet [Sponsored]

Featured image: Maja Petric via Unsplash

The site will continue to run daily liquor deals through Level 4

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/onedayonly-daily-liquor-deals-reaffirms-support-sa-industry/

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She Loves Tech calls for African female-focused startups

Applications are open for She Loves Tech, the world’s biggest startup competition for women in tech. Prizes of up to $50 000 available!

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Applications are open for She Loves Tech, the world’s biggest startup competition for women in tech. The competition is hosting its seventh edition with prizes up to $50 000. This year’s focus hones in on African tech startups.

Fundraising will be front and centre this year

Since its inception, the global non-profit organisation has committed to closing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs and building an ecosystem for technology, entrepreneurship and innovation that creates opportunities for women. Fundraising will be front and centre this year and this pitch round will be held across over 40 countries. Partners of the event include ATAST, Beijing Women’s International Center, Circle, Girls in Tech Macau, Gobi Partners, Hatch and the Kerala Startup Mission.

More than just a tech competition

“Last year, we announced our new mission to catalyse $1-billion funding for startups coming through She Loves Tech by 2030,” says co-founder Rhea See.

Startups can expect increased funding and one-on-one opportunities with leading VCs, mentoring hours, and direct cash and investment prizes throughout the series. Alumni startups from previous years have received over $250-million in aggregate funding from some of the world’s top investors, including Sequoia Capital, Vertex Ventures, Wavemaker, Microsoft and Amazon

“She Loves Tech 2021 is more than a competition, it is an acceleration platform designed to take women-led and women impact startups to the next level,” remarks co-founder Leanne Robers. Previous participants include Arianna Huffington (Co-Founder & CEO, Thrive Global), Ann Cairns (Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard) and Mahmoud Mohieldin (UN Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda).

“Without women, we are unable to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Women represent a new generation of innovation and disruptive thinking,” comments co-founder Virginia Tan.

If you are a tech startup with at least one female founder or a majority of female consumers or end-users, apply here before registrations close.

Read more: Harambee Youth Accelerator acquires SA hiring app Giraffe
Read more: Women in tech at risk of being left behind

Featured image: @canweallgo via Unsplash

“She Loves Tech 2021 is more than a competition, it is an acceleration platform designed to take women-led and women impact startups to the next level,” remarks co-founder Leanne Robers. Previous participants include Arianna Huffington (Co-Founder & CEO, Thrive Global), Ann Cairns (Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard) and Mahmoud Mohieldin (UN Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda).

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/she-loves-tech-calls-for-african-female-focused-startups/

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