Nico Holdings plc group managing director Vizenge Kumwenda has called for huge investment in human capital, observing that firms that thrive on the market invest in the development of their people.
“Organisations [or companies] that invest in human capital are more energised and enthused to deliver their objectives both in the short-term, medium-term and even in the longer-term,” he said on Friday in Mangochi during the official opening of the 2018 Institute of People Management Malawi (IPMM) Annual Lakeshore Conference.
Kumwenda, who heads the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed financial services group, with footprints in Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Mozambique, said equipping employees with the right knowledge and skills, changes their attitudes towards work.
He, however, bemoaned that there are a few firms that commit resources for investment in human capital, adding that in most cases, human capital investment budget line is the first to be pruned in cost rationalisation exercises.
Kumwenda advised human resources (HR) professionals to read about all indicators that matter such as staff turnover, return on investment, cost to income ratio, total cost of employment and take swift action to curb any negative emerging trends.
Outgoing IPMM president Alick Sikelo said the annual conference is the pinnacle of activities carried out throughout the year, observing that this is the time for HR professionals to reflect, refresh and network away from office environment.
“The institute recognises the importance of such functions and urges members to attend because they are naturally beneficial to us all as individuals and also to our organisations,” he said.
Sikelo, who is Airtel Malawi human resources director, emphasised the importance of IPMM, established in 1984 as a Trust, saying it promotes human resources management best practices.
In one of his presentations, Joe Eshun, Delloite East Africa chief executive officer, advised HR professionals to treat employees as customers, saying they are the most critical resource.
He urged HR professionals to continue learning, warning that the future of work and workforce is changing.
The conference, which drew about 300 delegates, was themed Energising Business Leadership: A Focus On Human Capital Management. n