Empowering African Businesses

Kenya’s CEOs not ‘ready’ for 21st century workplace: Report

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By Steve Umidha
A bulk of Kenya’s chief executives and managers lack proper management trainings to prepare them for top positions at work places, a new report has shown.
The report released yesterday by African Management Initiative (AMI) in partnership with Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM) has also revealed that Kenyan companies are spending billions of shillings on trainings without realising ‘noticeable’ results.
Outdated and very repetitive management courses was to blame for the current crop of half-baked companies’ CEOs the industry is producing, according to the survey, which also said our education system and work place learning programmes had ‘maxed out’ technical skills and ‘rote learning.’
“The red-hot requirements now are for young managers and entrepreneurs to develop more effective personal habits in the work place,” said Samson Osero, the executive director of IHRM.
The survey tagged Training Talent Report with took six months to prepare found that 60 per cent of Kenyan companies considered current training methods to be too theoretical with a good number encouraging development of  skills for job seekers before hiring.
According to the talent report, 80 per cent of Kenyan HR managers interviewed felt the trend was eating into most companies’ learning investment since no tangible result was being seen.

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Available figures indicate that there is a huge shortage of training offered to job entrants, entrepreneurs and young managers – with the concern now feared could negatively impact on the estimated 750,000 firms that make up Kenya’s formal SME sector.
The report has further noted that the trend if not addressed with caution will expose thousands of CEOs and managers in large institutions and SME sector who it says are not equipped for success in the 21st century workplace – and has recommended companies to apply new embedded learning programmes to bridge the gap.
“About 70 per cent of learning happens on the job, 20 per cent from peer interactions and only 10 per cent from traditional content and courses being offered,” said Jonathan Cook, the chairman of AMI.
The concern has seen several top firms in the country take several significant initiatives in a bid to rescue their firms from spending exorbitantly on wrong trainings and skills among their employees and recruit based on skills.
Last week a consortium of private companies launched an initiative that will seek to equip over 250,000 young entrepreneurs in Kenya with right skills to get a job or build a business.
Dubbed Africa-Working, Barclays Africa, Emerging World, Franklin Covey, Knod, Microsoft, Safal Group and Syngenta committed to empower 200,000 youth and 50,000 entrepreneurs through the programme announced will initially be rolled out in Kenya and South Africa.

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