Tag Archives: business

The Changing Dynamics in Employment

Hardly a month passes by before you hear of some one or some people that have lost their jobs mainly due to restructuring by their employers. This information is usually received with alot of negativity and in most cases those analysing tend to blame the employers. I do not blame them for the one sided view because very few have had a chance to employ people in a business and understand the story across the bridge.

When Next Media laid off thirty workers recently, there was uproar allover the industry with many coming up with pedestrian excuses like; growing too fast and poaching staff who were paid too much. Few took time to even read the press release that clearly indicated that the action was a result of engagements across the group on how best to realign the company’s digital strategy to the global digital agenda as demanded by the ongoing technological advancements. Those laid off were considered “Not Digital Ready.”

As someone that has been at both ends of the spectrum, of course I held an opinion that was considered callous. It takes one to run a business operation that guarantees employees a livelihood irrespective of whether money comes in or not to realise how much pressure comes along with that.

It also takes one who understands the need for businesses to continually morph in order to retain market relevance to understand the decision that Next Media took.

Perspective of the Employer

Other than Next Media, there are other organisations undergoing restructuring. Interestingly, some do not stop at laying off staff but end up hiring new ones. This implies that these organisations’ focus is on positioning themselves for the future and hence the need to shed off old skin like a snake.

The broadcasting industry for example has had some neanderthals who have been through all its evolution stages and are no longer as relevant to the Generation Z that forms the majority of its consumers.

Technology has had a mega impact on how businesses are run and this is affecting various industries in real time. The ever increasing ease of connectivity has led to a high adoption of online presence.

Online radios are gaining ground steadily and they are so cheap to setup that all one needs is proper programming, market niche establishment and the adverts start raking in.

Product sales no longer require one to have a large storefront that everyone walks through to make a selection of what they need with most of this going online. This has reduced on the number of retail sales-people that companies need to hire.

Banks are having to restructure their operations in the face of the ever growing alternative transaction options emerging that eliminate the need for human to human interaction.
Online content producers like Bloggers, Vloggers and basic amateurs on platforms like TikTok are giving the traditional media a bloody nose. Imagine the amount you pay for a half page advert in a leading paper like the New Vision being enough for you to run Facebook adverts for over a month with a reach that is customisable.

Information collection for news no longer requires full time employees with many through the use of mobile phones being able to play that role for a meager commission.

What do these changing dynamics imply to the Employee?

Individuals have to lose jobs or re-invent themselves with the changing dynamics in order to stay relevant.

One of the biggest challenges employees have is masked in self entitlement. They are always thinking about their own needs and wants before even those of the organisation. It is common to hear terms like “sagala kumanya‘ implying “I don’t want to know” (I don’t care) when the employer is struggling to clear salaries due to an economic crisis.
A business is like a cow. If you do not take care of it, you will not reap milk or beef to your expectations. A lesson that employees need to learn is that they need to genuinely put in effort to see their employer flourish.

If you are working and your reason for working is solely to earn money to eat food, pay school fees and probably build a house or buy a car, then you are under utilising your potential. You have chosen to Exist and not to Live.

Steven Maraboli once said, “When you are just EXISTING, life happens to you… and you manage; when you are truly LIVING, you happen to life… and you lead.”

J’son M. Lee defines the two terms better by saying, “Existing is going through the motions of life with no zeal and feeling you have no control; living means embracing all that this large world has to offer and not being afraid to take chances. The beauty of living is knowing you can always start over and there’s always a chance for something better.”

When all you care about is to get that pay cheque and meet your societal expectations, you are merely existing and will always end up in the same cycle of being dumped from one job to another. By Living, you purposively determine your journey and even a job lay off will only be a temporary inconvenience or might never occur at all. Start Living.

To survive on a job going forward, employees need to always challenge themselves to create value wherever they are. Many settle for the obvious in their jobs with a very little desire to push the bar higher even at the risk of failure. The truth is that a sound manager will see through your flaccidity. Simply being obedient and ever ready to do what you are told will not guarantee you stay in any progressive entity.

Branding. With the ever growing influence of the internet on our lives, branding is now going beyond merely companies we work for.
There was a time when people that worked for MTN Uganda were always so proud of putting on the company branded clothes, carry bags and bottles all branded with the company and they looked cool. Then when they started falling off the payroll one after the other, they could hardly be identified at a personal level. Many of them simply dissipated into oblivion. There was this very good marketer who made his name as an MTN Marketer and the day he was given marching orders after returning from leave is the last time I ever heard of him. God knows where he is today.

Why should you brand yourself in this day and age? Because of the fact that your sphere of influence is no longer localised to the small confines of a single country or office but globally. Even when opportunities shrink over here, you can get work to do or value to dispense in any part of the world either remotely or not. You can showcase your works actively while at your current job and this information keeps sinking in the minds of the audience you command. That way, you are not merely existing but also living.

Continuous Development. There is always an outpouring of new knowledge in all fields world over. Your goal is to keep enriching yourself with what is new in your field of endeavor. Let’s say you are a researcher with significant experience, it is important that you arm yourself with skills in data collection and analysis software. Today, with the technologies available, you can easily identify data collectors who simply sit in one place and forge respondents hence giving you falsified data. If you do not have knowledge in some of these softwares, you most likely will be rendered redundant.

Understand your level. You have excelled as a salesman for years and earned massively as a result, then you insist on not wanting to be elevated to the role of a Manager because of one reason or another. Wake up before it is too late. You are successfully working yourself out of a job. Think long term and ask yourself what value you still dispense at your current role that you have stagnated in for a decade or more even when it earns you alot.

By the look of things, the situation is not about to change and even when the economic recession ceases, the changing demands of various industries shall continually require the employment scene to change.

Be on Guard, do not let life just happen to you. Live it.

James Wire
Business & Technology Consultant
Twitter: @wirejames
Blog: https://wirejames.com

Only the Senseless can abuse Kabushenga

Any one that has left the comfort of their urban dwellings and gone to their rural settings to effect any form of society betterment has always faced suspicion largely emanating from the established thinkers in the villages. They start off with rumor mills about how you want to stand for a Parliamentary position. Everywhere you pass, they make statements like; How can he come to spend money and time here without expecting anything from us? Before you know it, the established politicians start fighting imaginary wars with you and on and on.

Lately, Mr. Robert Kabushenga’s outbursts over the economic situation are being perceived with negativity by the very people who should be buoying him forward. You will forgive me but I might use some fairly strong language just to fully express my disgust.

The man came out to fight the planned Coffee Monopoly, he has been prominently sharing his challenges as he ventures into the business world, he is now also eloquently dissecting the awful economic situation we are in and all I read on Social Media are the usual I Know it All dimwits criticising him.

Despite claiming to be elite, how different are they from the rural folk I talked about at the start? A section of people seem to think they are the custodians of poverty, brokeness and the like and expect no one else to associate with it.

Some of the sentiments I have come across:

– How does he earn 37 Million per month for 14 years and he claims to be broke?
– Kabushenga wants to come out so Museveni can give him a job
– He used to be a very proud man while at the New Vision
– Is he really broke or he is just trying to talk for the poor?

At this juncture, I urge you to listen to the song BanaKampala Nga Boogera by Alex Mukulu. It is on Youtube just in case you don’t have it.

The fact that many are reacting to his outbursts clearly shows that the message he is putting across is sinking in effectively.

For long, many have talked about the downturn in the economic activity and as usual they were relegated to having interests in the country’s leadership. Now here comes someone whose experience in communication is worthy of global appeal, instead of latching onto him and using him as the voice for the voiceless, we want to use his background of privilege to gloss over his efforts. I would love to know the witchdoctor’s portion they drank.

I am very certain most of those trashing his effort have never even successfully run a roadside vegetable stall but they speak like they know it all.

Kabushenga earned good money. True!!! Did he waste it? As far as I know, NO!!!! He is not a fool, his upbringing was good enough to prepare him for the lean times. Many only got to know him when he reached the helm of The New Vision. I clearly recall him driving a Corsa at the time he was heading the media house and only much later, did I see him in a Prado. So, do not think he wasted money like the way some of you are doing thinking you will be employed forever. His coffee investment is testimony enough.

Being broke is relative but it still remains brokeness just like being rich is relative too. A person with 50 million Shillings will perceive himself as rich so is another of 5 Billion Shillings. The same applies to being broke. To one, being broke is failure to get food to eat, another, failure to pay rent or school fees, another, failure to travel by air to Nairobi, or even buy a bottle of Chivas Regal XV (don’t ask me how I know this one).

Then there are the claims of him wanting to appeal to the eye of the President. This too is nonsense. Does it waterdown his arguments about our plight? If he ends up being called closer to Entebbe so be it. He will have done his part already as far as highlighting what is making lives miserable at the bottom of the pyramid.

On Twitter, I came across a veiled message that even a 10 year old can tell who it was in reference to. This eminent Professor is someone I got to know and interact with since around 2005. I feel letdown by the way his reasoning seems to be degenerating progressively. To quote:
What goes around comes around. A CEO lived large & during COVID-19 cut salaries of other staff & was axed. Now is into growing tomatoes. She is now a champion of we are broke, we can’t afford life. Really? I have watched her on TV & read her posts on twitter. Come [calm] down, it will be well

Without doubt, this eminent professor was referring to Kabushenga. Why choose to dwell on someone’s job as opposed to the issue at hand?

People are broke. Does he want to only see people in tattered clothes complaining about the hard times? By the way, serious brains can sense trouble from far off. People like Kabushenga are not going to wait for the inevitable to happen before they make an effort to take corrective action.

There was a time when a rich person was called Khashoggi and it was from the fact that the richest man at that time of the 70s was Adnan Khashoggi (Sorry for those of you who were sperms at that time, modern day lifestyles have made you very ignorant of many things). When he divorced his wife Soraya Khashoggi, she walked away with loads of cash and I mean mind boggling sums. Today, a woman that had access to 17 mansions she called home, lives in a 400 pound dingy residence somewhere in London.

I now ask, do you want Kabushenga to get to that point before he can be deemed fit to fight for the cause of impoverishment?

For you that is pointing that finger at Kabushenga, remember the three fingers pointing back at you are reminding you that you are destined where he is.

The crux of the matter is that the Government needs to do something to address the economic hardships that have come up. The rate of return on investment is very low for those into legit business and I mean, paying all relevant taxes, meeting salary expectations of workers among other things. Operating on a bank loan is currently suicidal and without access to such capital, company growth slows down naturally.

This brother of ours in case you did not know used most of his 37 Million Shs monthly income to set up a now Multi Billion coffee farm that still needs more to get where he wants it to be. A slow economy is only going to kill his plans.

Once I was with a colleague that runs a Recruitment firm. A call came through and the person on the other end was someone who had lost their job in a well publicised corporate battle. The boss took the day. However, this person was sounding so desperate yet the salary bracket they enjoyed was phenomenal. This individual went ahead to mention three other colleagues (all high profile) that were in the same boat.

What does this mean, Kabushenga is not in a unique spot. What he is going through or has gone through is a baptism of fire that many forced to leave the corporate world go through.

You too, it’s a matter of time before you get to know the cost of newspapers, airtime, data, fuel or medical treatment. You’re being pampered like a teletubby perhaps but as sure as night follows day, you will cross to the other side of the river and start singing a new song.

Allow the learned man, Counsel Robert Kabushenga to be.

James Wire
Twitter @wirejames