Gender Pay Gap

It is now a common practice by most countries world over to adopt measures that promote an increase in women’s representation on corporate boards as well as other leadership positions. Empirically, it has been proven that there is a strong economic rationale for making progress on women representation in the corporate domain. Numerous reputable sources from the academia, management consulting firms and other research organisations have demonstrated that firms with higher representation of women on boards and in senior leadership exhibit stronger financial performance. Despite the associated benefits of placing women in the executive suites, there have been persistent gender pay gaps across nations.

Gender pay gap is defined as the average difference between remuneration for men and women who are working. Although the gap has narrowed from the 1960s to the 1990s, women are generally still paid less than men. Studies done in Australia and United States have shown that every state has a gender pay gap though differing in magnitude. The gender pay gap for Australia   was reported to be around 14.6% for the past twenty years and between 15-19% in the previous decades. These gender pay gaps are internationally established measures of women’s position in the economy hence these pay gaps cannot be compared against nations. In America, data from the Census Bureau has consistently shown that men out earn women in salaries.

Some of the reasons for this perpetual disparity are reasons such as bias and discrimination in hiring and when making pay decisions. Historically women and men have been made to work in different industries and different jobs, where Female dominated industries have jobs attracting lower wages. Even where they are working together, there has been an inclination to pay the women employee lower than their male counterpart. Could it be that women’s output is valued less? ‘Most of my contributions in EXCO meetings are rarely adopted by other fellow male members, until one of them twist them a little bit!’ a common statement from female executives.

Research has shown that this discrimination has emanated from reasons like women having greater time out of the workplace which ultimately impacts their career progression and opportunities. Traditionally held notions of a woman have had lasting impacts which now require a paradigm shift if they are to be changed. Resultantly such notions have resulted in gender gaps of various forms including gender pay gaps (GPGs).These GPGs are said to start from the time a woman enters the work force. The reasons for this are mainly attributed to the times when women are out of workforce for caring reasons which is viewed as directly impacting on the economic security of a business.

Closer home, issues of gender gaps are a reality as well. The Finscope study commissioned by New Faces New Voices in collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and GIZ on Gender Access to Financial Services in Zimbabwe attested to the research above. Though not concentrating on pay gaps the study revealed a lot of thrilling information on the levels of exclusion by gender. In the same study it was established that the majority of the population earns between $1 and $100 a month, and of these 59% are female and 57% male. Additionally, the report notes that as the monthly income increases, the study saw a trend towards men having a higher earning power. In UK a study by Price Water House and Coopers showed that 85% of companies in the UK disclosed a mean pay gap, and 80% a mean bonus gap, in favour of men. The key factor for the gender pay gap appears to be relatively a high number of men in more senior and more highly paid jobs than women. GPG was also exposed at the BBC were men earn on average of 9.3% more than women. Consequently, most governments have embraced strategies and measures to address these long term induced disparities. The Zimbabwe National Financial Inclusion strategy 2016-2020 is one such. The Grace Machel Trust, a network of chapters operating in seventeen Pan African continent countries focuses on women inclusion especially in areas of financial access and advocating for women to be appointed in leadership positions. That same PWC United Kingdom study on the large retails, hospitality , travel and leisure and banking and insurance industries resulted in the UK government setting up priorities for all organisations to address the gender pay gap. These priorities include:

  • Companies coming up with a plan to monitor implementation of equal pay
  • Review of pay governance systems by looking at internal pay architectures ensuring that mechanisms guarantee pay equity.
  • Robust action plans to close the GPGs while adopting changes to improve the diversity of organisations and support inclusion. HR policies and processes to be strategically aligned to support the initiatives.
  • Compliance visits by the government

Across the globe gender pay gaps are a reality and prevalent at the executive level. Time is nigh for the leadership to join hands with governments and address the slow pace of progress seen on growing the proportion of women in the executive suites.

Emmanuel Jinda is the Managing Consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of Professional Human Resources and Management services locally, regionally and internationally. He can be contacted at Tel: 263 773004143 or 263 4 772778 or visit our website at

The importance of trust in work relationships

Today’s dynamic markets and technologies have called into question the sustainability of competitive advantage. Because managers are always under pressure to improve productivity, they   have had to embrace innovative tools like reengineering, reorganisations, system upgrades etc. There is a lot of talk on breaking functional silos too. But these have improved operations and not necessarily results. Gurus in management have argued that operational effectiveness is necessary but not sufficient for the ultimate success of a business. The answer lies more in choosing unique strategies and valuable positions rooted in systems of activities that are much more difficult to match. Managers are said to have under estimated the actions necessary to transform the way employees work with one another.

Yet, successful companies are built on relationships between employers and employees, staff and customers and internal and external stakeholders. At the foundation of all relationship is TRUST. Why then does trust matter in this business equation? Having a feeling of trust between colleagues help strengthen an organisation. Benefits like reduced turnover, improved moral and decrease in workplace anxiety are often realised. Such factors can positively assist in retention and recruiting efforts.

However, this trust does not always happen organically or spontaneously in organisations. It develops from consistent conscious efforts that show colleagues that as managers you are reliable, cooperative and committed to team success. As managers you need to remain honest with employees at both positive and negative aspect of the business. Employees who feel management   values   them are more likely to instil trust in those leaders. As   part of the on-going trust building process, managers it’s your duty to continually   value input from employees , encouraging them at all level as well as listening with an open mind even if as management you do not ultimately chose to follow a suggestion made by an employee.

Existence of a positive culture is a building block to encouraging creativity. Managers, please  show employees that as leadership you trust their ideas .When making company decisions, always consider benefits for everyone not just your own personal gains while demonstrating openly that as management you are concerned about employees future. Forge collaborative relationship and ensure availability of an enabling environment. Your actions and not just words should help you as managers to build that organisational trust.

A workplace will be productive and ultimately successful if there is genuine trust of one another. In trust building, stakeholders need that confidence  to count on each other. Teamwork begins by building trust.

Experience has shown that in organisations where trust is basically   words only and not backed by  action, it is a challenge managing such an environment, it may actually be impossible. Some of the senior managers here would usurp   employee’s ideas, steal credit from them and talk to staff in a in a derogatory manner. What carries the day in such organisations are problems of mistrust which are gossip, undermining, suspicion, doubt, bullying etc. and staff will ultimately be disengaged or they develop a very confrontational attitude. Senior Management will lose credibility and respect in the eyes of employees. However as leaders we should never create a comfortable clone syndrome where everyone around you has to think like you. It is only through creative abrasion that you can demonstrate your trust for others as a leader.

Trust is also when as a leader you appreciate and embrace diversity in people as well as the support they bring to the team. A key component in trust building is understanding that not every staff member, including yourself has strengths in all aspects of the business. The strategic approach for a leader to rely on the strength of others while himself offers to contribute his own level of expertise builds unshakable trust within the organisation. It therefore ensures a huge platform of knowledge and competences and an intricate network of relationships whose aim is to achieve the organisational goals.

Leadership need to know that it’s them to model trustful behaviour. It’s for leaders to break the functional mind set in organisation where someone is allowed to go about bragging about everything they claim to be doing. We could learn from the words of NBA acclaimed, ‘greatest basketball player of all times,’ Michael Jordan ‘’ Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’’

In as much as thousands of businesses have reorganised their work to focus on processes that clearly provide value to customers. These efforts have paid off in the form of lower costs, greater customer satisfaction but many others have resulted in disappointments. The answer is because most managers have underestimated the actions necessary to transform the way employees work with one another. Employees want procedures that allow them to better collaborate, grow trust among themselves while cultivating collective responsibility.

Today’s managers need to mould employees who think constantly and creatively about   the needs of the organisation, employees with as much intrinsic motivation and deep organisational stewardship. The foundation of such a strategic imperative is assured reliance on another and that’s TRUST.

Emmanuel Jinda is the Managing Consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of Professional Human Resources and Management services locally, regionally and internationally. He can be contacted at Tel: 263 773004143 or 263 4 772778 or visit our website at

The practise of Management By Wandering About (MBWA)

Management by Wandering About (MBWA), also known as Management by Walking Around is a widely adopted technique by managers where they directly observe employees working. MBWA is generally perceived as an effective method to achieve organisational goals.

This management technique relies on managers making frequent but random unstructured learning-oriented visits to subordinate’s work stations to observe on-going work, equipment, processes, customer interactions and solicit employees’ opinions. It only succeeds if one has good listening skills and promotes employee engagements during these visits. Additionally, an organisation needs to instil a culture and common belief that every job is important and that every employee is trusty worthy. If the above enablers are in place, MBWA as a concept can be a strategic driver.

When used correctly MBWA, is akin to the Toyota “Gemba walks’ where managers go to the location where work is performed, observe processes and talk to the employees there. The whole idea is to see problems in context, which should aid problem solving in the long run. Organisational leadership should note that MBWA makes teams stronger by increasing information sharing. This alone will result in managers and employees being on common ground and therefore more likely to quickly solve challenges faced in achieving departmental goals. These synergies will ultimately improve performance of organisations.

Experience has shown that in some cases what senior managers observe and hear from employees is off on a tangent with what their supervisors would report. Machines could be turned off due to very simple reasons like a fuse blow that was not being purchased on time and such protracted processes could cost an organisation thousands of dollars. This practical example indeed demonstrates that adopting the MBWA technique can expedite problem solving.

In organisations that are going through a lot of change be its structural or technical, MBWA acts as a catalyst of the needed paradigm shift and enhance managers’ capabilities by letting them appreciate how simple problems can cause serious bottlenecks which affect business. MBWA clearly takes the ‘open door policy’ to another level. Here walls are actually brought down and the Manager’s office is taken to the employees. Interestingly, in the services sector this management style also aids Managers in ‘Know Your Client’ principle. Random branch visits also offer an opportunity to engage with clients, understand their expectations and help build mutually beneficial relationships.

These informal unstructured contacts from MBWA yield positive results like early identification of warning signs before disaster strikes. Additionally, there is control of the processes as the leader can communicate what needs to be done as well as verify progress. Strategically MBWA also aids the leadership by broadening their business knowledge which helps them to make informed decisions. While all organisations are working on securing employees’ commitment, engaging their emotional energy and attention is critical. As leaders endeavour to put their company’s whole brain to work, incorporating new learning styles and approaches like MBWA is a critical skill of   the age. Employees need managers who listen and take visible interest in running projects and by so doing they build team enthusiasm and individual job satisfaction.

While MBWA can improve moral, it needs to be managed though. After weekly contacts from managers, the staff moral can wane due to these frequent visits. Also note as leaders that when this technique is applied, it has to be done evenly to the whole organisation. If all staff do not experience this direct contact with the leadership, they will feel they are targets of unjust exclusion and discrimination. Therefore, the leadership needs to be mindful of these possible perceptions when implementing MBWA. Empirically, it has been proven that there is no system to record and measure this process’ effectiveness.

As leaders it is good to always appreciate the adage, ’If you wait for people to come to you, you will only get small problems. You must go and find them as the big problems are where people are yet they do not realise they have them ‘. What dead truth!

Other leaders in organisations are applying it as a means to boost morale, while for others MBWA can be developed as a technique for checking with staff about the status of the work in progress by walking around in an impromptu way. In the words of G.K Chesterton, “One only sees great things from the valley; small things from the peak.”

Nowadays organisations need leaders who make people reflect on their work and behaviour. This requires leaders giving the employees that space to contribute to issues that effect on their work stations. Managers should also reflect and review MBWA observations and discussions and take action accordingly otherwise the management style will indeed just be ‘wandering around!’

Emmanuel Jinda is the Managing Consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of Professional Human Resources and Management services locally, regionally and internationally. He can be contacted at Tel: 263 773004143 or 263 4 772778 or visit our website at

Recognizing employee achievements in organizations

In today’s business world, senior managers are under continuous competitive pressure to boost company performance. Leaders, is it key to note that while so many questions are being asked to improve business, the answer may also lie in recognising achievements towards attaining that goal?

Employee achievement recognition is an important management skill. It involves identifying achievement, communicating it and at times rewarding it. This skill goes beyond (or comes before!) the structured performance evaluation systems. Here managers do not have to wait for the annual performance appraisals to recognise achievements.

There are several ways to recognise achievements and these include worker of the month programmes based on top sales, or any other goal related standard, rewarding personal accomplishments and professional advancements. Programs like employee anniversary recognition schemes are very effective as everyone know that their anniversary date will come. The whole idea of employee recognition systems is to reinforce and ensure that as the employer, you will see a continuance of the positive behaviour that is recognised. For these systems to work, senior management needs to establish the criteria for what performance constitutes rewardable behaviour or actions. Tell the human capital the behaviour you want to see and set employees up for success and accomplishments. As another requirement make all employees eligible for the recognition and never should you exclude an employee or group of employees. The more clearly you design and communicate the criteria for eligibility for the award, the easier it is for employees to perform accordingly. Achievement rewards need not be costly to the company. They can be a certificate, lunch voucher, discounts on company products, grocery hampers and or in monetary form etc. Studies show that rewards need to occur as close to the occasions as possible in order to have greater impact.

An organization that periodically rewards its staff for being the best dressed down, they select on the very day and are awarded their recognition on the day. In this way behaviour gets to be reinforced. It is best practise that such systems that do not require managers to select the people to receive the recognition and neither should you use random selections, otherwise employees may see this as a process of managerial favouritism. Let the staff pick the eligible colleagues. If it’s the best dressed Manager program, let staff where possible identify the deserving manager.

In one organisation, the Chief Executive Officer traditionally bought lunch for all employees every Friday. The challenge with this system was that the incentive was turned into an entitlement. Such traps can ensnare your employee recognition efforts. Have your ducks in a row, and come up with systems that wow your staff and avoid those that sap their moral and make them fail to understand the criteria needed for competition and winning.

Recognising personal achievements in the workplace actually benefits organisations. The second home notion of the workplace is reinforced, staff certainly will belong and be motivated to achieve the organizational goals. To buttress your systems you may also want to consider use of inspirational quotes about rewards and recognition. These you can put in your newsletters and even during business presentations. For example you can quote some of Jackson Brown‘s quotes like, “Don’t work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition.” With employees being human, they may take a job for more money but often leave it for more recognition. Communicate with them continually that they need not worry if they are not recognised but strive to be working for recognition so that the concept becomes clear to all. Such education encourages employees to stretch and set new challenges to maximise their ability to contribute.

Today there is an approach in business known as Open-Book Management (OBM) which rests on the idea that in addition to caring about quality and efficiency, leadership needs to care about the success of the business. Though not much of a program but a coherent system that promotes financial and operational information sharing with employees to ensure success. It underlies some innovative rewards systems such as profit sharing and employee stock ownership plans. However, such plans are but only half of the measures needed. Owning a few shares does not magically enable employees to think like owners. As leaders you need to do more around sharing all business information, making employees accountable for profits as well as compensating them for success of business.

In terms of rewarding performance, define the real accomplishment as negotiated in the performance development system and ensure a consistency application of the criteria. Employee recognition systems work well if they are coordinated through an HR department. Where anniversary salaries are done, HR is better placed not to leave any one out as well as the system to use. Make use of your HR departments to provide that pivotal role in the employee recognition process which is fast becoming an imperative in modern business.

Leaders always bear in mind that even top achievers suffer insecurity until they are recognised!

Emmanuel Jinda is the Managing Consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of Professional Human Resources and Management services locally, regionally and internationally. He can be contacted at Tel: 263 773004143 or 263 4 772778 or visit our website at

Subordinate Appraisal of Managers

Performance appraisals have been an old age corporate tradition to evaluate employees at least once a year. These known appraisals usually run top-down. However, Subordinate Appraisals of managers, acronym (SAMs) are increasingly becoming a very useful tool in providing information on a manager’s management style and inter-personal skills which is critical for business. SAMs are done bottom- top. Though intended as a tool to aid managers, senior managers leading corporates need to note that subordinate appraisals do actually reveal common needs of employees as well.

Today’s organisations are now moving towards an era of 360-degree reviews as a way of facilitating empowerment in organisations. These reviews started around 1992, when employees requested for an improved performance evaluation process. In the same decade, SAMs became an ordinary practice as companies promoted more broad ranging internal communication. Subordinate appraisals, now considered a valuable source of information about managers as the information generated has been very handy in assisting employees and supervisors to identify areas of strengths and those areas needing improvement. Consequently, there have been significant benefits to this type of evaluation although initially there were concerns about possible dishonest feedback and its subsequent repercussions.

The use of this system in the developmental sector started when international organisations were battling with victimisation challenges. The process then required all employees to complete a form responding to questions like; “Does your supervisor treat you with respect? Do they value your contribution?” Such questionnaires were initially administered by external consultants in strict confidence. Yes, the initial exercises had a lot of upshots and yet on the part of employees such processes made them feel they have a voice and that the company values their contributions towards the effectiveness of management.

The process has continually been refined and varied depending on organisational needs. More organisations are embracing SAMs because of the carried perception that employees are often perceived as more accurate than a typical manager’s assessment of their subordinate’s performance.

A lot goes on between organisational leaders and subordinates and it is pertinent to note that stress caused by management is a common reason cited by employees in exit interviews. Use of these appraisals offer a tool to convey employees’ concerns in a less confrontational way and the implementation of such evaluative systems by today’s businesses is a must do if you are to remain relevant. Leveraging on this information is a critical skill of the age, bearing in mind employees are more involved in daily interaction with their supervisor than is the supervisor’s managers.

If organisations take subordinates’ collective appraisals to heart, they offer critical input on areas needing supervisor’s attention to becoming a better leader. Experience has shown that usually the majority of employees convey the same message and the totality of this feedback has helped the supervisors improve their performance. Those comments about a supervisor’s negative attitude, bullying tendencies and arrogance for instance have put pressure on the organisational leadership to assess how his attitude and behaviours have impacted on the performance of that supervisor’s department. Smarter organisations have made use of these subordinate assessments on managers, employed consultants who collate, analyse and present the findings to all staff. The naming and shaming from these feedback sessions has yielded strides despite emotions and tempers flaring in the room. More radical organisations often invite their board members to such feedback meetings and with the board in their midst most managers have remained open minded and have taken tips on how to better train and develop subordinates. Such interventions have yielded strategic benefits as appraisals from both top down and bottom up have aided in the development of a strong culture of communication. Employees feel comfortable speaking their minds and offering opinions. As today’s leader it is good noting that encouraging a proactive expression from employees promotes a generally healthier environment than leaving them little opportunity for open feedback. This tends to cause employees to gossip and develop negative attitude towards management.

As Leaders, let us understand the importance of feedback from your subordinates. Subordinates actually unearth that other side of your manager which you will never get to know. It is a known phenomenon that modern workplaces as defined by their ability to innovate and or adapt to change are more transparent and communal than ever before. Consequently, those  leaders who have not already implemented such system for their employees are missing out on important insights. While implementing SAMs will give employees a sense of power and prevent employees venting their frustration on a client or looking for an escape they might actual feel part of the organisation success and at no cost help your organisational leadership to develop themselves.

SAMs help you to criticise, compliment, encourage and motivate your boss always bearing in mind that the process does not allow you to be impulsive.

It can be a testing time for employees to evaluate their supervisor if he she is not receptive to constructive feedback. Please take note of such pointers as they are only tips of icebergs.

Emmanuel Jinda is the Managing Consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of Professional Human Resources and Management services locally, regionally and internationally. He can be contacted at Tel: 263 773004143 or 263 4 772778 or visit our website at