HR Awards 2015

Talent Management Specialist Award:

Initiating a Proactive Customised C4G Coaching Intervention for Developing Talent During the organisational review, there were deliberations to align the best people with the organisation’s core objectives. The organisation had to move away from quick fix solution.

Together with the CEO together, the talent manger reflected on what needed to be done to improve the service culture, with special focus on the short, medium and long-term objectives. The Talent manager was charged to have leadership readiness across all levels in the business with a clear pipeline and bench strength in an organisation of 1400.

Critical positions that most affect organisational objectives were highlighted and defined. A critical position based on the position’s impact and ease of replacement.

Critical talents were also highlighted by examining individuals with consistent performance over time and potential to assume higher responsibility. These were categorized them into four (4) talent pools to guarantee that the organisation had talent in the short, medium and long term to achieve our objective.

Interventions that reflect gaps at different levels in the brackets of ‘manage self’, ‘manage others’ and ‘manage the business well’ were drawn out in order to help managers acquire management skills. This was supported by inbuilt customised solutions which were delivered over three months with key deliverables such as identifying projects managers can lead on and identifying people to mentor. Each team of participants developed its execution mandate and accountabilities towards the service culture. Weekly updates were shared through a forum dubbed Conversations for Growth (C4G).

Specifically the talent manager accomplished the following;

1) Defined mission critical positions and the required critical talent for these positions

2) Objectively assessed potential successors and identified their readiness and leadership gaps

3) Categorized potential successors into four (4) talent pools to guarantee a talent bench strength for the short, medium and long term

4) Developed a proactive customised coaching intervention named C4G (Conversation for Growth) to orient potential managers in how to ‘Manage self’, ‘Manage others’ and ‘Manage the business’ as a way of moving away from the traditional ‘quick fix solutions’.

5) Created a leadership pipeline that accounts for over 60% internal senior recruitments as a sign of demonstrated ability and internal capacity to assume higher responsibility.

The winner is Kawanguzi Japheth of UMEME

Learning and Development Specialist Award:

Initiating an Internal Contact Center and Query Resolution System for Improving Self-Learning and Turnaround Time

The organisation was changing from the old system to a new software application developed by the Group to be implemented across its subsidiaries in Africa.

Her role was to ensure that all staff using the various systems were appropriately trained in readiness for the system change over.

As the Lead Trainer, she managed the entire End User training of 1200 staff in Uganda and 1800 staff in Namibia. The system went live with very minimal interruptions and business went on as usual an indication that the staff were well trained. She was instrumental in the following


1. Trained the Trainer (ToT) and supported the coaching and supervision of staff

2. Created learning systems such as Internal contact center and query resolution that successfully facilitated staff readiness for system change over in two companies of the Group

3. Together, with her team of trainers, they successfully handled 7,000 queries within 3 months, documented Lessons to learn and shared them with other countries that are currently implementing the new system.

4. Initiated incorporation of the loan origination transaction process to a new system, and developed a dummy/simulation system for staff to practice the new procedures.

5. Developed HR SharePoint which serves as a learning centre for increasing Self service capability and improving Turnaround Time (TAT) for query resolution and key information access.

6. Was acknowledged by the Group Leadership for implementing Core Business training for 3000 staff in preparation for the Finacle Go–live system

The winner is Bwaku Esther of Stanbic Bank

Learning and Development Outstanding Profiler:

Creating a Standardised Competence Based Internal Learning System
The individual joined a regional organisation that had expanded on the Continent from one country to five countries in a space of 10 years.

Until then, little or no attempt had been made to establish neither the required competences nor how to assist individuals attain the
competences to improve performance. As a result, training opportunities were frequently misused as managers and supervisors used training as a means of rewarding individuals for a variety of reasons. Approximately 50% of the staff had never been trained since they had
joined the organisation. This affected the performance of the organisation.
To address the problem the individual developed a graded learning system which allows individuals acquire cumulatively higher competences, solve progressively more complex assignments and prepare to take on greater job related responsibilities. The system referred to as a Competence Acquisition Process (CAP) strategy minimizes disruption of the learners’ routine tasks, systematically promoting learning quality and centrally driving the growth and development of people resources. The following are among the various steps and
competences the individual took and utilised respectively:
1. Organisational development competences with special focus on the political frame enabling the individual size up the prevailing organisational politics, mobilise line managers to get a buy in, and interest them to take the lead in their respective departments
2. With the support of the HR Director, took the initiative to set up a mini workshop for the line managers, introduced the process, its key elements, and its assessment and evaluation levels.
3. With the input from the workshop, developed a structured line and training department partnership procedure that would be followed in implementing and rolling out CAP to all employees
In terms of specific steps the individual:
1. Trained all managers to conduct training needs analysis (TNA) in their departments and branches.
2. Visited all country departments and branches to quality assure the TNA process.
3. Consolidated the different needs into a training plan through discussions with all function heads
4. Developed a training calendar that was the first to ever be approved by the Managing Director in the life of the organisation
5. Developed and implemented an evaluation process that measures all the six stages of training and provide a basis for sound HR analytics
6. Vetted all existing learning solutions to ascertain that they meet the standard requirement.
7. Participated in content improvement for those learning solutions that did not meet the standard.
8. Introduced the stage 3 questionnaires collecting feedback on learner reactions on the course content, administration and facilitators.
9. Introduced stage 4 questionnaires incorporating pre and post evaluation tests to measure knowledge transfer
10. Developed action plans for each individual that are followed through by the line manager as well as the trainee.
11. Introduced stage 5 questionnaires to measure work place impact such as the impact of money transfers training at the work place.
12. Finally conducted Return on Investment (ROI) to examine the net worth of money transfer training that demonstrated that the Department of Learning and Development had measurable impact on the business and was therefore a strategic function. The CAP innovation made it easier for the department to get a bigger budget for our trainings for the following year at the tune of extra 150,000,000/-. Significantly also, all line managers now take the CAP process seriously, demonstrated especially by dropping ad hoc trainings, while adopting a uniform format to run and evaluate trainings

The Outstanding Profiler is: Jacqueline Munene

HR Administration of the Public Service Award:

Creating and Implementing a Strategy for Attracting Critical Staff in Rural Districts
As a result of poor working conditions in the rural areas, the District Local Government had a big challenge of attracting and retaining quality human resources, with critical staff such as teachers, health workers being always in scarcity.

Matters were got worse due to a rigid
Government’s policy that required Local Governments/Districts to seek clearance from the Ministry of Public Service to recruit and fill vacant positions in the staff establishments. For example, the district had no medical doctor for over five years yet there were resources to fill the vacancy.
1) The HR manager lobbied and advised the District Council and Management to institute the incentive of a top up allowance for the position of Medical Officers to a tune of UGX. 1,000,000= per person per month.
2) The District Council and Management adopted the proposal. The positions were advertised and we managed to attract applicants for the positions of Senior Medical Officer and Medical Officer because of the incentives.
3) The district managed to identify and appoint both the Medical and Senior Medical Officers who were still at the district by the time he left. This was his unique achievement because many established and urban districts had failed to attract and retain Medical staff. He became a point of reference for Ministry of Health.
4) Through networking, he lobbied Ministry of Public Service to speed up the process of recruitment clearance requests and increase funding to meet staff wages.
5) He fought the conservative recruitment practice that focused on hiring less competent natives of the district and introduced a diversity focused and competence based recruitment process.
6) He successfully raised staffing levels from 44.4% to 76.8% and the district was rated the best in service delivery in Lango sub-region by the NGO Forum in the year 2013.

The winner is Eyena Andrew from Amolatar District

HR Administration Award

Downsizing without Pain With the volatile economic situation the organisational began to experience high costs of perations requiring a review of all departmental costs. In March 2014, the company undertook a cost reduction exercise and decided to restructure by outsourcing one of the functions.

The function that the organisation decided to be outsourced was composed of mainly unionized employees. This created a more sensitive situation beyond the normal legal implications. My first action was to negotiate with the company that would handle the outsourced function. I managed to convince them to take all the labour force that would be retrenched as a result of the outsourcing. Then next step was to negotiate with the unions to convince their members to accept the package that was stipulated in their Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Union team however chose to re-negotiate new terms that would hurt the company by requesting for another send-off incentive and we hit a snag.
The night shift workers immediately stayed away, a move I had anticipated. I alerted the Service provider to bring who brought in an alternative group that worked during the night shift.
The following day the company agreed to pay an extra one million shilling and the CEO addressed the affected workers. Together, the CEO and myself were able to satisfactorily answer all fears and normal work resumed with the retrenched workers under the new
The company saved UGX. 1.6 billion as a result of outsourcing the operations while none of the downsized staff lost jobs. There was a smooth transition with no business interruption.

The Winner is: Sauda N. Kayima

Gold Award Public Sector:Building Capacity in a Public Service Establishment

1. The Central Government sends capacity building funds to local governments. When I joined a local government as an HR officer, I found that the capacity building needs far outstripped the grant we receive.

I resolved that I would contribute by finding capacity building resources.
2. I successfully write grant proposals among them are the 9th European Development Fund on Enhancing Local Governments’ capacities for effective, Responsive and Accountable Service Delivery.
The total grant was 216,867,745 shillings. Another project totalled US dollars180, 000. With these and other smaller grants we have been able to build the capacity of the district and were awarded a certificate of good performance and a laptop by the Central Government through the responsible Ministry. Some specific results include:
• All head teacher trained in Financial Management in respect to UPE grant from Central Government,
• Heads of Departments were trained in developing quality District Development plan,
• Over 10 executive tables and chairs were purchased for District Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Speaker, Chief Administrative Officer, Head of Departments and Head of sections.
• Printers, desktop computers and laptops were purchased and all these improved teamwork spirit and service delivery in the district.
• We also manage to come with lists of social infrastructure in the district and their status.
• Starting the first District Employees’ SACCO

The Winner is: Oboni Alfonse of Gulu District

Gold Award Private Sector:

HR Strategist and Business Partner: Creating a Professional HR Function in a Large Local Private Sector Corporation
The individual joined a large and established local corporation that was flourishing in terms of markets, production, and recruitment. With no one keeping a professional eye on the people, the source of all productive resources, the company began to experience a significant backlash of employee disengagement.

This was characterised by high staff turnover, increased work related accidents of about 30 incidents per month, labour standoffs of 2 per year on average, an absenteeism rate of 12% and 3 termination disciplinary hearings per month.
In an early discussion with the MD, we recognised quickly that the problem was the HR function that was amorphous. For business performance to improve we needed to streamline the function. With the MD’s support I turned my self into a change manager/institutional
developer. My role was to initiate, innovate, and implement a solution while sharing it with colleagues for support in operationalising the solution and in implementing it on the ground.
We started with creating separate HR functions along the following specialisations:
1. Learning and Development for instituting a learning culture through which we could promote organizational learning and sensitization programs for the whole company
2. HR Administration to focus on managing people on a daily basis including welfare, discipline and reward
3. Industrial relations
4. Safety and security
5. HR information With regards to information management and with the help of the MD, I initiated key IT transformations namely:
a) Automating our Bio data in a one stop file where on a click you get all the staff bio-data with all contacts and related information about staff.
b) All our 1800+ staff clock in on the biometric system to capture their attendance, which is used to process payment.
c) A software automatically generating annual staff leaves and sick leaves and any balances thereof
d) Automated disciplinary records and warning letters
e) Automated payroll
The accident occurrences have reduced to 15 incidents per month, absenteeism has dropped from 12% to 3%, and terminations have reduced from 3 people per month to an average of 0.5 per month and disciplinary hearings by 1/3. There have also been no workers standoffs for 2 years now.

The winner is Joseph Balondemu of Wagagai