Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#Ugandan employers hire most skilled people and then tell them what to do

Steve Jobbs (Apple CEO): We do not hire graduates to tell them what to do.  We hire them to tell Apple what to do.

Ugandan employers think that the 87% unemployment for graduates gives them the right to tell graduates what to do.  Well, if you knew it all, why did you hire the graduates?

Richard Branson has a philosophy similar to Jobbs.  So does Bill Gates.

If you know it all and can do it all, why do you hire the top graduates from the best universities? Why do you even hire experienced professionals in their field?

Uganda makes a very big mistake to think that just because you hired a graduate who knows your friend through a family member or another friend and is not good at the job, you have to breathe down the neck of the professionals who did not come through the back door.  So since you accepted half illiterates, you pick through everything they all do.  This is how your company will suffer because the ones who were hired on merit will not tolerate your insistence on all fine details of what you hired them to do. NEPOTISM is likely the worst thing in Uganda now.  You find people who cannot even write or follow instructions and then you hire them and put them to work with kids who are superb at their work.  Oh lalala!

I have had the most fantastic 3 weeks with a professional in Uganda.  He started off asking me what he had to do.  I reversed the tables on him and asked him what I had to do?  This is so North American because in Canada, all my project managers and managers always just gave me a project and trusted me to do it according to what is best.  One manager even told me one time "for every problem you bring to me, bring me at least the 3 solutions you have in mind."

So my Ugandan friend has had it tough.  I told him. You do it.  You design it.  You tell me when it is done. Do not waste my time.  You are capable of doing this. Contact me when you have a beta version and then I will give you my opinion.  He was not used to this way of working but now he is.  He has built a great web site.  I had no hand holding. Are you crazy?  Most people give you work because they are too busy or cannot do it themselves.  In my case, it is both.

Finally it turns out that Ugandans are not being given a chance to be creative and not providing the best of themselves.  Being from Uganda and after my editor told me to slow down and understand the culture back home, I did slow down.  AND then the IT guy turns out to be walking on water.

Why do you hire people and then dictate what they can do when they are specialists in their work?  This seems rather stupid.  Always trust people to do the work you hired them for.  If they have questions or need clarification on the requirements, they will come to you.  You must not force yourself onto them telling them your silly ideas when you are not even a pro in their work.

You see, the best people will quit. You will be back to hiring again.  Then the ones you hire will also quit.  Then you are back on the hamster wheel looking again.  Give people space and work with them. Do you know employees quitting is very expensive?  Do you know that firing people can cost you a lot of money simply because you were breathing down their necks.  The good people will always find opportunities even in a country like Uganda where the unemployment is very high.  But think that the IT people are now all over the Internet and can secure work from global companies and do not have to put up with you making them explain why the graphic is not pink as you like it?

Ugandan employers think that they have our graduates as slaves for very little pay.  Well then wake up, these kids can find global employers who are willing to pay multiples of what you pay and they can work at home and on their own time.  This is a global village.  If you have a good professional, keep them because there are many other employers scouting to poach the person you are treating as nothing.

Martha Leah Nangalama
Moncton, Canada
PS: I take orders from my employees and listen because without them, there would be nothing.  I tell everyone to tell me what to do.

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