Jambo from Zanzibar

jambo jambo

I’m sitting in the back row of the computer school of Nungwi (northern Zanzibar, Tanzania), in the middle of the Excel and Internet class. I’m using the spare computer that they rent out to tourists to raise money to keep the computer school going. Call that entrepreneurial or what!

I am pleased to report that most of the students are female. So watch out world, here they come…

an update…
We arrived in Zanzibar Christmas Day. Not our average kind of Christmas Day by a long shot, but certainly one of the most memorable. We shopped and bargained and purchased (as most on Zanzibar are Muslim and therefore do not close for Christmas… bonus!).

Once we’d had enough of that we went to the Africa House Hotel and sat in luxuriously rich surrounds watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean. Whilst not the most spectacular sunset ever, it was still pretty special. We then had to shop our way back to the hotel (of course we did) before finding ourselves rubbing shoulders with the locals at the seafood market along the shores of Stone Town. Not your average market by any means, one where the fish comes straight from the water onto the BBQ, cooked for your culinary pleasure. To finish off was to indulge in their specialty, chocolate and banana pizza… hhhmmmmmm

Boxing Day was spent finishing off the shopping (because of course we did not complete the job the day before!) and then headed north, to where I find myself now.

Its been a good rest here as the constant tent erection and dismantling was wearing a little thin by day 8-9. So to have time out by sleeping in beds, lounging for a day or two really as recharged the batteries. To the point where my girl has had her hair braided, her ankle henna’d and her tan lines sufficiently added too…

Next we head back into civilisation, to Dar es Salaam and then off to Malawi for more lounging and camping…

We hope the fat bloke in the red suit found you well and was able to assist in making your dreams come alive.

ho ho ho denise

Intergenerational expectations… interesting times ahead

AS the Australian economy tilts towards recession next year, it may be instructive for generation Y to see how they are viewed.

Over the last month, Bernard Salt has run two workshops designed to elicit intergenerational views in the workplace. In both instances, he asked participants more or less the same question: describe the attributes of the perfect employee or manager.

The question as to the perfect employee was put to a group of 40 generation X middle-level managers mostly aged 30-45.

He wanted to create a truly mythical beast: the perfect Gen Y employee. What would such a person look like? How would they behave?

The suggestions came thick and fast… read on

This is well worth a read, and one which surprised me a little.
Although when you think about it, this generation are not going anything that previous ones have not either; mainly around maturity and really appreciating and understanding how humans operate work places, and how you work your role within such places…

To Have and To Hold: retaining and utilising skilled people

Not being able to hire people with the required skills is an obvious impediment to the productivity and prosperity of any organisation and, ultimately, to a country’s economy. An equally important concern for employers is how to keep skilled employees and how to use their skills fully.

This report, To have and to hold: Retaining and utilising skilled people by Andy Smith, Eddie Oczkowski and Chris Selby Smith, examines the ways in which Australian employers retain skilled staff at a time of low unemployment and skills shortages. It also considers the ways in which employers enhance their ability to use the skills of their people. The study analysed retention and utilisation at the organisation level. Its focus is on the role of human resource management practices, including training and high-performance work practices, in enabling employers to retain and utilise the skills of their staff.

Key messages…

ß The key driver for both skills retention and utilisation is the presence of a learning orientation in the organisation. People stay in organisations if they feel they are learning and progressing in their careers.

ß Retention or utilisation of skilled people is not necessarily improved through strategies such as increasing wages, adopting family-friendly working policies, and the use of non-monetary rewards. These things help make people feel satisfied, but they are not sufficient to retain skilled people in a tight labour market.

ß What does facilitate retention is the application of high-performance work practices such as a commitment to learning, open-mindedness and shared vision. More widespread adoption of these practices would benefit employers and workers alike.

ß Training as part of an overall learning culture, particularly nationally recognised training, is also important in retaining skilled people and making better use of their skills. This also offers opportunities for registered training organisations to work with employers to improve retention and utilisation strategies for employees.

Tom Karmel
Managing Director, NCVER

To read this rather interesting report, click here

What I wanted to highlight to you in this report is this, developing your people is key (and that actually includes yourself also). Regardless of the size of operation you either own, or are a part of, the message is the same. Whilst this report is worded to address corporate speak and size, make no mistake… the message is just as important to a 2-person operation as it is to a 20,000-strong one.

If you have people working with you, then I encourage you to read this, digest it, and then translate it into your particular situation. If you need a hand with this, let me know…

Pin It on Pinterest