I think I may have mentioned that we have these “4 values” for which we should live by in the office: Trust, Respect, Action and Clarity. It is all part of a Change Journey, making a change in the way we work and in the way we interact with our colleagues in the office.
Borne from this was a Nestlé and I survey which gave the employees a chance to share their grievances and a committee was formed (for which I was a member) to see how best we could change this journey. To be honest when I went into this, I really wanted in my own small way to make a change, for me personally, right now I’m in a position where I own my own house, I drive a car, it may not be a mansion or a 4×4 but I have a roof over my head and I’m mobile. I’m blessed, and I wanted to give someone the chance to at least start somewhere. However my fellow African man (I say African as there are many sub-sahara Africans in my office). Well they feel that they shouldn’t be given a step up but a bump up straight to the top of the ladder.
In the West, ok I can say they are a bit more privileged, better facilities, but they don’t have a lot of the things that can be taken for granted here. Yes in UK we have NHS for which the most part works well (?), but no access to private facilities, no free eye care, not all companies give transportation allowance, free gym, only the magic circle law firms would give that. These are things I really do appreciate about Ghana. Ok so Nyahoo clinic isn’t the cream of the crop of medical centres but is better than me mixing with the unkept at Korle Bu (and well I am better examined than when I go to some UK hospitals). Store discounts, as my cousin would say Apooo, even when I worked in a mobile phone shop which is now defunct I got only a 10% discount and I gave the ordinary customers I better deal then even I was getting.
Then there is long service, my Dad commemorated 30 years of service at the Royal Mail with a clock (I guess to remind him that he has more hours behind him than ahead), ok at our country office they get some months salary and electric appliances but the junior staff don’t get paid nearly as much as those in my office and well our bosses are coming from countries where they get something like a tie for 10 years service, as a former boss said to me when he was doing my appraisal, if I don’t get an excellent then neither do you (not directly, but if you have worked in my country you know how they do things).
So anyway, we got a few discounts on cars, a good mortgage deal for our colleagues, a decent discount at a local chain of gyms, a staff shop where we can get our products at the factory rates and managed to negotiate a decent long service award in comparison to what we had before which was basically, nothing. Myself and two other colleagues did a presentation in front of all the staff this evening.
How did our fellow colleagues greet the news. Mtchewwww…what do you mean mtchew, all the hard work and mtchew, like I vex. When we first started, about 50 people signed up to be on the various committee’s. At todays presentation only 5 people contributed.
I implore anyone to find the time to do what we did, and see what results are reared from it, that’s all I have to say. I tell you, what we asked for at the start and got turned down flat by management, if only these people knew. It was a struggle and a lot of compromises had to be made even to get where we did, but only we who went through it know.
There’s a second round of this survey, I’ll let you know how it goes. As to whether I will stay on the committee. That’s the question.