For many organizations, the implementation of a sound ergonomics program represents a significant investment. In addition to complying with workplace health and safety regulations, prioritizing the well-being of employees involves being proactive. By implementing proper ergonomics, organizations can reduce the likelihood of work-related injuries or health issues among their staff.

Organizations often require a comprehensively defined business case to justify the need for investment in ergonomics. Toward this end, an effective ergonomics program can offer a positive return on investment (ROI) that is often many times the cost of executing the program.

So, lets define ergonomics?

Ergonomics focuses on creating products, work tools and work environments that reduce physical strain and increase productivity of employees in the workplace.

Given that the average worker spends more than seven hours a day at their desk, ergonomics must be given top priority by companies in order to develop happier, healthier, and more productive workers.

Why is ergonomics a smart financial investment for HR leaders?

In today’s challenging Human Capital landscape, ergonomics can deliver valuable benefits for employees and a significant return on investment for organizations. A growing body of evidence suggests that the presence of an organizational-wide approach to health and wellness has long-term financial implications. The National Business Group 2022 survey on Health found that employers that have health and productivity programs are able to reduce disability days between 10% and 35%, improve return to work rates by at least 6% and experience an ROI ranging from 3:1 to 15:1.

The financial benefits of Business Leaders investing in ergonomics are highlighted below:

  1. The financial benefits of reducing workplace pain  

Desk-related pain is a significant health-related burden for employers – 2.6% of a workforce requires time off each year due to issues like back pain, with an average absence length of 29 days. A company with just 50 people typically spends more on sick pay than the average employee salary.

In the most serious cases, workplace MSK injuries can result in huge compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits. Red Wing Shoes implemented an ergonomics program with equipment modifications and experienced a drastic decrease in workers’ compensation costs, from $4.4 million to $1.3 million.

Even the smallest ergonomic adjustments, such as repositioning screens or using a footstool, can prevent workplace pain and minimise the legal risk as an employer.

  1. Cost savings from a more productive workforce

People with pain are much more likely to experience presenteeism – showing up to work, but generally being unproductive due to their pain. For every sick day a member of your team takes off work, an organization is likely experiencing four non-functional or phantom days with severely reduced productivity.

Studies show that ergonomic setups can lead to a 40% productivity increase and a 56% reduction in error rates amongst employees. Ergonomics can help employees to maintain focus and work more efficiently, resulting in higher quality work for your business.

  1. Higher job satisfaction and retention rates

An investment in ergonomics is an investment in employees, especially in today’s challenging job market. Employee engagement and morale are more important than ever. A staggering 80% of employees are willing to leave their jobs for opportunities with a greater focus on employee health and wellbeing.

Studies in the United Kingdom (UK) show that replacing an employee costs an average of £30,000, with an additional £1,500 for new employee training. Ergonomics demonstrates an organization’s commitment to employee wellbeing, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

Well-considered ergonomic workplace design not only creates offices that are free of health and safety risks and meet your occupational regulatory responsibilities but can also strengthen an organization’s ability to attract and retain employees.

4. Reduced Absenteeism.

Providing a workplace that reduces and prevents musculoskeletal disorders means employees will in turn have less time off sick for these issues. The 2022 – 2023 HSE Annual Report reveals that 35.2 million working day lost, due to non-fatal workplace injuries and work-related ill-health. The workload is frequently divided among coworkers when employees are ill, which can lead to needless stress. Equal task distribution also fosters a sense of closeness within the team, which contributes to a positive work atmosphere.  Fewer absences in the workplace can therefore directly reduce the stress for the wider team as a result.

  1. Improved Quality of Work

Employees will likely produce poor-quality work if they are unwell or do not operate in the right environment. A 2020 Report showed that some organizations’ cost of poor quality (COPQ) work is as high as 15% to 20% of their sales revenue. Investing in office ergonomics helps an organization avoid the cost of poor-quality work.  By making employees more comfortable and the workplace hazard-free, it helps them have better focus on their jobs.



By applying ergonomics to their work environments, organizations can experience a ripple effect of the benefits. When an organization takes a proactive approach to employee safety and well-being, employees take notice of this active stance on their wellness. Well-considered ergonomic workplace design not only creates offices that are free of health and safety risks and meet an organization’s occupational regulatory responsibilities but can also strength an organization’s ability to attract and retain employees.

Enhanced employee commitment leads to increased productivity and a greater demonstration of initiative and effort in their work. Consequently, higher levels of employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity contribute to a positive corporate image for the company, potentially fostering stronger community ties and a more influential brand.


As a woman in a position of leadership, I have experienced and therefore not blind to the kinds of discrimination we face in the corporate world. However I do believe that women’s full participation in leadership at all levels of the economy remains imperative.

Today, women account for 47.7% of the global workforce while data from the African Development Bank shows that only 12.7% of seats on African listed companies are occupied by women. More interestingly is only 27.1% of women are managers and leaders in their organizations.  This is even though research shows organizations with more women leaders experience increased inclusivity, innovation and a stronger financial performance. While there is no denying the impact and benefits that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIEB) brings to an organization, there is still considerable work to be done to ensure acceptance, inclusion and participation in leadership positions.

By 2050, a quarter of the world’s population shall be African and one in eight people shall be an African Woman. Therefore, it is more appropriate to focus on the theme of International Women’s Day 2024, “Counting her in: accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment”. The theme acknowledges that, despite progress, women still face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy and calls for equal opportunities for women and girls to develop their skills and improve their ability to learn, earn and lead.

How can Organizations create an equal opportunity environment?

The work goes beyond fulfilling the metrics of number of women hired; it should go further to increased level of empowerment in corporate environments, having their voices heard and potential to implement sustainable change. With organizations being quite intentional about creating a more inclusive environment for all to thrive, they will reap the benefits.

A few recommendations for employers are;

  • Gender Equality initiatives must be supported by all levels of leadership.

Having a clear organization wide communication plan of Gender Equality initiatives is vital to ensuring practices are supported at every level of the organization. Training on gender equality is one of the key elements of gender equality initiatives, with a view to exposing the gaps that people tend to overlook, such as the pay gap and the role of women in the workplace, as well as the wider societal impact of gender equality.

  • Internal Career Opportunities

Organizations should provide opportunities for career growth and advancement. Through internal promotion policies and learning and development programs women can develop competencies to perform better in current and future roles.

  • Focus on consistency and measure progress.

Any organization on the path to accelerating gender equality  will definitely make mistakes. The ability to be agile and adapt in these situations will determine the level of success. A Gender Equality strategy will have performance metrics for measuring progress in line with set objectives that will help steer corrective action should it be required. The demographics of the workforce in Sub Saharan African and across the world are ever-changing, and changes will only accelerate in the coming decades. The actions taken by leaders today to implement stronger Gender Equality practices will give the required foundation needed for impact and a better bottom line in the future.

The role of women in accelerating Gender Equality

While organizations can create the right environment for women to thrive, it is also important that women play their part to feel the true impact . Key things women can do include;

  1. Compliment the initiatives of the organization by doing your part in creating the world you want to see. It helps to understand the business to be able to effectively contribute to important discussions be it through Town Halls, Department meetings or informal discussions with the leadership team. Women need to make their voice and opinions heard – but always remember to show up prepared. This helps build credibility and allows you to speak with great conviction. Don’t leave room to be second guessed or be mocked.
  2. Be accountable – We’re all human: we’re bound to make mistakes, but true integrity comes from owning up to your mistakes. Doing so will show the people around you that you are worthy of trust, a reliable member of the team and a person that can be depended on during tough times.
  3. Networking – The power of networking lies not only in the exchange of business cards or LinkedIn connections but also in the capability to settle meaningful connections that can give the right direction to a woman’s career. Moreover, networking events, conferences, and online forums provide opportunities for women to display their skills and gain sharp knowledge. It also increases chances to build their brand as well as place themselves as thoughtful leaders in their respective industries. Cultivating genuine relationships based on mutual respect, reciprocity, and shared goals is key to unlocking the full potential of networking. There are those who have walked before you and are willing to provide the necessary support as you grow.
  4. Have Self-Belief and take advantage of Mentorship Programs to be future ready for opportunities that arise either in your current organization or in a different organization. Successful career development requires much more than technical and job-related skills. Typically, crafting a successful career requires effective communication and other soft skills, professional relationships and networks, and a career vision. Many professionals fail to move up the career ladder even while excelling at their jobs because they lack some of these important competencies. However, a mentor can help professionals develop some of these extra-role skills and build key relationships; being a part of a mentoring relationship can be transformational for early career professionals.
  5. Ask for help where needed – it’s not a sign of weakness. We can’t humanly know it all, every day is an opportunity to learn and on a lighter note it does save on valuable time that can be used to do other meaningful tasks.

While the journey to achieve true gender equality is still a long way off, it must be done for the benefit of all.

Workplace harassment is a pervasive issue that affects countless individuals in various industries across the globe.

The government of the Republic of Uganda recently ratified Convention 190 (C-190) on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work at the International Labour Organization (ILO) headquarters in Geneva. C- 190 is the first international treaty that establishes the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment. It addresses discrimination and the vulnerabilities faced by workers in both the private and public sectors of the economy, including the formal and informal sector. Although informal workers may not have an employer, the Convention recognises that public authorities have a role to play in introducing measures and resources to prevent violence and harassment experienced by informal worker.

The Parliament of Uganda in May 2023 passed the Amended Employment Bill, incorporating provisions of this convention. The landmark ratification signifies Uganda’s steadfast commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive work environment for all, free from violence and harassment.

As an HR practitioner, it is crucial to develop and implement effective policies to address and prevent harassment in the workplace.

This article seeks to provide HR practitioners and organizations at large with a comprehensive roadmap to create robust harassment policies that foster a safe and inclusive work environment.

Understanding Workplace Harassment:

Workplace harassment encompasses any unwelcome conduct based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. It includes verbal, non-verbal, and physical behaviours that create a hostile or intimidating work environment, negatively impacting an individual’s well-being and professional growth.

The Importance of Effective Policies:

A clearly articulated harassment policy is essential for maintaining a respectful workplace culture, boosting employee morale, and mitigating legal risks.

Through establishment of clear guidelines and consequences, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to fostering a safe environment and ensuring the well-being of their employees.

A quick guide to establishing effective work place harassment policies is shared here.

  1. Conducting a Policy Review:

Begin by conducting a comprehensive review of your current policies to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. Assess the effectiveness of your existing policy in addressing various forms of harassment and consider feedback from employees and HR representatives. Ensure that your policy covers all protected characteristics and is compliant with country legislation and international labour standards. Collaborate with the legal department if needed to ensure accuracy and adherence to regulations.

  1. Clearly Define Prohibited Behaviors:

Precisely define the behaviours that constitute harassment within your policy. Include examples of both overt and subtle forms of harassment to guide employees’ understanding. This will ensure a consistent interpretation of what is considered unacceptable conduct. Address various forms of harassment, including verbal, non-verbal, physical, and online harassment, to account for the evolving nature of workplace interactions.

  1. Establish Reporting Procedures:

Develop a clear and confidential reporting process that encourages employees to come forward with concerns. Provide multiple reporting channels, such as direct supervisors, HR representatives, or anonymous hotlines, to accommodate individual preferences. Assure employees that their reports will be taken seriously, investigated promptly, and kept confidential to the extent possible. Consider involving a neutral third-party investigator when necessary to ensure objectivity and fairness in the investigation process.

  1. Investigation and Resolution:

Outline the steps to be followed when an incident is reported. Emphasize the importance of conducting fair and thorough investigations to determine the veracity of the claims. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of HR, supervisors, and management in the investigation process. Establish appropriate disciplinary measures for substantiated cases of harassment, emphasizing that no retaliation will be tolerated. Communicate the outcomes of the investigation to the affected parties, ensuring confidentiality is maintained to protect the privacy of all individuals involved.

  1. Communication and Training:

Regularly communicate the harassment policy to all employees, ensuring its accessibility and visibility. Develop clear guidelines on reporting and provide employees with the necessary resources and support. Conduct comprehensive training programs to educate employees about acceptable workplace behavior, recognizing and reporting harassment, and fostering an inclusive work culture. Incorporate interactive exercises and case studies to enhance understanding and engagement. Consider specialized training for supervisors and managers to equip them with the skills to address and prevent workplace harassment effectively. As part of new hire onboarding, training on the harassment policies should be incorporated.

  1. Ongoing Evaluation:

Periodically review and update your policy to reflect changing legal requirements and emerging best practices. Collect feedback from employees and HR representatives to identify areas for improvement. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement and accountability in addressing workplace harassment. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your policy through surveys, focus groups, or anonymous feedback mechanisms to gauge employee perceptions and identify any potential gaps or challenges. Based on insights or feedback obtained from evaluation of the policy, it can be refined.


Harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that affects people of all ages, races, and genders. It can affect the mental health and overall wellbeing of the employee so organizations must do everything possible to stop it from happening.

Harassment training effectively prevents this horrible crime from occurring in your workplace. It raises awareness on what harassment looks like, how it can easily be identified and how to stop it from happening again with buy-in from top leadership.

In today’s fast-paced corporate world, effective employee performance management is key to driving employee engagement, productivity and overall organizational success in line with company objectives.

Through implementation of effective strategies, organizations are able to optimize their employees’ potential and create a culture of continuous improvement or learning.

Despite this, many organizations still do not have a robust system in place for managing and tracking the performance of their employees. According to Gartner, although 65% of organizations provide formal performance feedback, HR performance management continues to be a largely unsatisfactory experience – for both employees and managers.

In this article we explore proven recommendations on how organizations can manage employee performance and maximize their contribution in line with overall goals and objectives

Clear Goal Setting:

The bed rock of effective performance management is setting of clear and specific goals. It is therefore imperative that employees are clear of what is expected of them and how their individual efforts align to company’s objectives. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART), allowing employees to monitor their progress and celebrate achievements.

Effective communication between managers and employees is essential for clear goal setting.  One the employee is involved in discussions and agreement on goals with the Line manager, he or she will not only have a sense of ownership but me motivated to work towards attaining the said goals. Additionally, breaking down larger goals into smaller milestones that can be tracked progressively will help the employee to stay focused and have a sense of progress.

Provision of Regular Performance Feedback:

Giving regular feedback is important for employee growth and development. Managers should therefore schedule periodic performance discussions to provide constructive feedback, acknowledge accomplishments, and identify areas for improvement. These conversations should not be one way thereby allowing employees to share their insights, challenges, and ideas. Regular feedback will encourage transparency, strengthen communication, and enhance employee engagement.

Feedback sessions should focus on both positive reinforcement and constructive criticism. Recognizing and appreciating employees’ strengths and achievements boosts morale and motivates them to continue performing well. Similarly, addressing areas for improvement with empathy and providing guidance and support helps employees develop their skills and overcome challenges. Where necessary managers should be trained on how best to conduct and receive feedback in a constructive way.

Continuous Learning and Development:

Through investment in employee training and development, organizations can support improvement in performance and enhance job satisfaction. Provision of opportunities for skills enhancement and career advancement will not only boost employee morale but also equip them with the necessary tools to excel in their roles. This also helps in fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Organizations should encourage employees to take ownership of their professional development to enhance their skills and stay relevant in a rapidly evolving business landscape. This can be done through mentorship programs, webinars, access to e-learning resources and professional conferences where applicable.

Performance Recognition and Rewards:

Employee recognition and reward of exceptional performance drives a culture of excellence and motivates employees to continually strive to meet and even exceed expectations.

This can be done through short- and long-term incentives, promotion and career growth opportunities, team building events, opportunities to lead key projects or professional development opportunities as well as public celebrations of achievements.

A clear criterion with guidelines for performance recognition should be established to ensure fairness and transparency.

Employee Engagement Initiatives:

Organizations should focus on initiatives that drive or promote employee engagement as engaged employees are more likely to perform in line with company objectives. Engaged employees tend to be more committed, productive, and enthusiastic about their work, ultimately contributing to the company’s success.

Creation of a work culture where employees feel valued and connected is essential for fostering engagement. Regular team-building activities will help build strong relationships, improve collaboration, and boost morale. Encouraging open and transparent channels of communication such as regular team meetings, suggestion boxes, or anonymous feedback systems, allows employees to voice their opinions and contribute to the decision-making process.


Performance Metrics and Evaluation:

Through implementation of clear performance metrics and methodology for evaluation, organizations will be able to track and measure performance objectively.

Employee performance metrics should align with organizational goals as they provide meaningful insights into employees’ contributions. Through regular review of performance metrics, employers can identify trends, strengths, and areas for improvement, enabling targeted coaching and development plans.

Performance metrics can vary depending on the nature of the job and the desired outcomes. Regular evaluations, conducted through self-assessments, manager assessments, or 360-degree feedback, provide a comprehensive view of an employee’s performance and enable data-driven decision-making.


Employee Well-being and Work-Life Balance:

A critical aspect of performance management is employee well-being. It is therefore imperative that employers foster work -life balance, promote a healthy lifestyle and provide relevant support for managing stress and burn out.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a key initiative that can be implemented by organizations to support well-being.  An EAP, as defined by the Society for Human Resource Management, is “a work-based intervention program designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. EAPs foster a culture that values health and wellness reducing the risk of burn out and leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Willis Tower Watson study found that companies effectively using performance management  are 1.5 times as likely to outperform their competitors financially and 1.25 times as likely to see an increase in employee productivity.

Happy and engaged employees are a key driver for success and performance management is a process that will continuously support employees to attain both individual and business objectives.


When you speak to any HR practitioner about retaining talented people, they will let you know the struggles with the war on talent on a daily basis. This is quite understandable because good talent is just so hard to find as not every candidate is a hot commodity and then, once you’ve found it, it’s another battle to keep or retain.

There are a number of factors that play a role in whether that talent stays or exits your company sooner than you would like it to. One of those factors is your onboarding process.

If you think onboarding is a waste of time and effort, please re- think.

When someone is about to start working for your company, they will never be more motivated and engaged. They are keen to start a new job, keen to meet and blend with your team, keen to identify with your brand, keen to grow through the ranks, keen to add value to your company growth.

It therefore is only common sense to take advantage of their enthusiasm.  Take their enthusiasm to new heights by providing an onboarding experience that will not only impress but inspire them.

New talent cannot be treated like lost sheep and expect them to give of their best and stay with the company. If you’re not prepared to invest time and give to them, don’t expect them to give of their talent, expertise, and competence to the company.

A quick 10 step guide to onboarding talent is shared here

Preboarding — one week before

Step 1: Send a welcome email

Step 2: Organize their physical and digital workspace

Onboarding — the first day

Step 3: Be prepared to execute the details including welcome email 

Step 4: Make time for employee and manager relationship building

Step 5: Give them time to settle in

Onboarding — the first week

Step 6: Assign small, achievable tasks – this will help in understanding of the business and key processes.

Step 7: Schedule check-in meetings once daily. Any needs? What’s going well? What’s not going so well? How can anyone help?

Onboarding — the first 90 days

Step 8: Plan a team activity to increase sense of belonging and bonding with colleagues.

Step 9: Prioritize clear and consistent 1:1 meetings on a weekly basis.

Onboarding — the first 180 days

Step 10:  Have an interim six-month performance evaluation, focusing on what the key contribution, achievements and next steps to be reached by the one year mark.

Research by Brandon Hall Group has shown that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

Mitch Gray wrote in his book – How to Hire and Keep Great People; “You must design a system for training and onboarding that gives people a real, fighting chance at success.”

And that all starts with an impactful and personalised onboarding process. 

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