Last year the School of Psychology, Makerere University renewed its memorandum of understanding with the Federation of Uganda Employers to among other things conduct surveys leading to the Employer of the Year Awards. The Employer of the Year Awards (EYA) survey was initiated by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in 2001 with the major objective of identifying, ranking and recognizing organizations in Uganda that excel in instituting and remarkably executing world class human resource management policies and practices in a bid to encourage other organizations to follow suit.
EYA provides a structured forum for employers to reflect on their businesses and people management practices. Overall winners are based on the theme of the year identified by the HR practitioners community. This year’s awards theme was centered around HR Analytics and how businesses use data to derive business insights for improved productivity.
Speaking at the Employer of the Year Awards ceremony held at Kampala Serena Hotel on 20th September 2017, lead consultant, also Dean School of Psychology, Dr Julius Kikooma explained the importance of data driven approaches in addressing human resource challenges. He however noted that most organizations lack people data required to support business decisions. He also expressed concern that some HR practitioners collect a lot data but do not use it to derive business insights.
The overall results of the survey revealed improved Human Resource processes and systems in most organizations. The findings also revealed several missed opportunities for Human Resource management and suggested priorities for the future development.
Dr Kikooma urged employers to tap into the hidden strength of their employees so as to improve performance in their organizations.
The 2016/2017 Employer of Year Awards were presented in four categories namely; the Overall Winners, the Special Awards category, Young Employers and Persons with Disabilities. In the Overall Winners category, Uganda Breweries Limited emerged best, followed by Uniliver Uganda Limited in second position and NSSF in third position.
Some of the practices that made UBL employer of the year include; the organization’s active culture transformation programme that is based on a review of business performance, the people manager programme which is based on the assessment of leadership versatility and development of customized leadership development based on coaching, e-learning and classroom training as well as sales performance management – where every sales person is measured on specific KPIs of how many outlets are visited per day; strike rate; coverage; distribution and market share.
“UBL has an amazing people manager programme that ensures everyone at the brewery has an amazing employee experience. We have internal promotions and a vibrant talent management programme that has seen us have 80% of our vacancies filled internally,” Uganda Breweries Human Resource Director Florence Bamwine said, noting that UBL also has a Spirited Women’s network that ensures that women who are the minority are supported to grow and develop within the business.
Global Christian Trust emerged winner in the Younger Employers category followed by Ambrosoli Wonder. In the Special Awards category; Uganda Wildlife Authority won the Corporate Social Responsibility award, Total Uganda won the Occupational Health and Safety award, Wagagai Limited took the Employee Motivation Initiative award and Stanbic Bank Uganda won the Learning and Development award.
The Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority, Dr Andrew Seguya received the Most Benevolent CEO of the year award from the outgoing Federation of Uganda Employers Executive Director, Rosemary Ssenabulya.
In his remarks, the Guest of Honour, Minister of State for Housing, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, emphasized the importance of human capital in production. He applauded the Federation of Uganda Employers for the EYA initiative noting that the surveys promote self regulation and consequently improve performance. “The initiative is an opportunity for organizations to benchmark best practices that can help boost their productivity,” he said. Dr Baryomunsi also appreciated the School of Psychology for taking lead in the EYA survey. “The authenticity of a survey that is scientifically conducted cannot be questioned. I therefore want to thank Makerere University, particularly the School of Psychology for managing this important exercise,” he said. He appealed to public institutions to participate in future surveys. “Government is the biggest employer and as the public sector, we can learn much from participating in such initiatives,” he noted. Dr Baryomunsi represented the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.
Other areas of collaboration between the School of Psychology and the Federation of Uganda Employers include; conducting research in people management and organizational development, working with employers in reviewing the curriculum and management of the internship programme for students of Organizational Psychology, writing and publishing a journal on people management and organizational development and writing joint research proposals and seeking funding for applied research in the areas of HR management and organization development.