The Corporate Communications Manager of Vivo Energy, Shirley Toni Kum, has advised young entrepreneurs to adopt strategic leadership by setting the pace in leading the vision at their respective institutions for employees to follow.
Speaking at the Youth Agribusiness and Leadership Training programme organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) in Accra, Ms. Kum explained that since owners of businesses understand and know the path the enterprise ought to take, it is appropriate for them to lead workers to the company’s destination through coaching and mentoring.
“Be a coach and mentor to your team by leading by example. You know how far you have come, where you intend going in the years ahead and what you want to be noted for, hence, show your workers the way. Also, consciously exhibit the values of the company to influence the employees,” she said.
She spoke on the topic ‘Key Elements of Leadership’, indicating that a leader is somebody who drives and influences the team to achieve a common goal, purpose or vision, adding that he/she drives the business by drawing followers along and encouraging them, especially during odd times.
Turning her attention to the role of effective communication in a company, particularly between managers of companies and employees, she encouraged young entrepreneurs to have periodic structured engagements with their employees and be transparent with matters that concern the company, such as profits gained, costs incurred, projections and many more.
“Having a structured engagement with your workers either on a quarterly or monthly basis is key. Also, implement a one-on-one interaction with your people because sometimes, workers can have peculiar problems or situations they would want it addressed on a personal level,” she said.
Still on communication, she urged young entrepreneurs to have an open-door system, where their employees will feel comfortable to approach them as it creates an avenue for them to get access to key information they might not be privy to. In the absence of an open conversation with workers, she said managers of businesses lose out more.
Ms. Kum emphasised on the need for regular feedback from employers to their workers, adding that it serves as an assessment tool for workers to know their performance at the workplace.
Considering the current state of the economy, she encouraged young business owners who have the capacity in terms of adequate finance and resources to increase employees’ salaries or invest in their professional development.
Additionally, she asked entrepreneurs to create an atmosphere that will motivate workers to develop a high level of commitment to their job and draw the attention of employees on the need to exhibit strong work ethics in contributing their quota to the company’s success.
The programme brought together experts with backgrounds in agribusiness and participants who find themselves in various sectors of the agriculture value chain – farming, aquaculture, poultry and input dealers, among others.