In a rapidly changing public service environment, there are significant concerns about the need to ensure organisational sustainability, flexibility and responsiveness in efficient service delivery.
The capacity to perform and deliver services whilst dealing with issues such as demographic dividends in the workforce, labour and skills shortages requires new approaches to ensure that the public service has the capacity to sustain effective and efficient performance and responsiveness now and in future.
I use the term Emeritus to describe those technical and professional staff that are distinguished and have served with distinction. These staff may be retired but continue to offer their expertise to institutions. The meaning of this honorific title varies widely and is applied to an ever-increasing and ever-widening cadre of personnel ranging from university professionals to public management administrators.
While some universities still award emeritus only to full professors, others have expanded it to include distinguished non-academic faculty. Several institutions have created emeritus titles for retiring administrators.
I want to propose that the
Emeritustitle be conferred on just a small portion of retired staff, who have
demonstrated excellence in their area of competence and who display
extraordinary merit. Once awarded, the title comes with privileges, including
access to office facilities like the library (and sometimes an office and
boardroom), an invitation to take part in relevant official meetings and
Organizational e-mail address.
Almost always, it’s a lifetime appointment.
Cases where emeriti have lost the title because they started
doing contrary activities to their calling are extremely rare. The most
valuable attribute for an appointed emeritus is the standing that comes with
While the title confers distinction on retired staff who continue to work with organizations on special contractual Agreement, its real importance is for those who want to continue the transfer of knowledge that they have acquired to existing staff through experiential Coaching, Counselling and Mentoring in organizations.
To have a Public service
Emeritus strategy is to ensure the continuation of effective service provision
to the citizenry, regardless of organisational change. Without planning,
disruptions caused by both expected and unexpected exits can lead to
sub-optimal outcomes in the delivery of Government business. Forward planning
to manage knowledge and skills exit helps develop a diverse workforce better
equipped to respond well to a variety of challenges, not just human
Background and Context
The proposed public service Emeritus strategy is an initiative that aims at ensuring efficient public service delivery, sustainability, flexibility and responsiveness through knowledge management and retention. Ability to deliver services within a rapidly changing environment calls for innovation and creativity to effect deliberate transformation of the Public Service. The demand for quality public service necessitates the need for novelty through tapping into retiring professionals and technical staff with the requisite skills, competencies and experience in work performance.
An efficient and effective, public sector is vital to the
successful implementation of policies, programmes and projects This efficiency
is brought through building and strengthening institutional capacity of public
service, sound financial management, efficient and fair collection of taxes,
and transparent operations.
One of the most pressing concerns facing the Public service workplace is organizational brain-drain through exit of technical and professional staff. A complex issue, the brain-drain concept exemplifies social factors that threaten knowledge transfer and knowledge retention within the Kenyan public service at the two levels of government.
Records from the Integrated Public Service Personnel Data (IPPD) indicate that 12,112 civil servants retired on attainment of Mandatory Age Limit (MAL) as follows; by 2014, 3,120 civil servants retired; 2015, 3,581; 2016 5,050 and by 2017, 361 totaling to 12,112. Having served in the civil service for an average of 30 years, majority of theseprofessionals cadres exiting the service acquire immense depth of knowledge that needs to be codified and stored in a database
The continued loss of organization knowledge through mandatory retirement is a significant blow to the civil service. In addition, the number of new entrants to the labor market is not sufficient to replace those exiting in terms of knowledge transfer and retention. These converging dynamics have created several major challenges for public service. In today’s public service workplaces, multigenerational challenges and conflicts are starting to be a common phenomenon.
Brain-drain has numerous causes. Modern downsizing, outsourcing and cost-cutting trends have produced a new breed of younger, more career-mobile employees who are not as attached to organizations as workers of prior generations. In addition, many Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) are in a state of generational flux as the median employee age is rapidly dropping and many professional and technical employees are now eligible and potentially gearing up for retirement.
Kenya’s workforce spans four generations, with recent university and college graduates, people in the middle age bracket, the 40 to 49 years and older workers aged 50 and 59 years, thrown together in Public sector environment. Replacing employees is only part of the problem. A bigger issue is how the Public Service continues to tap the vast store of knowledge that retiring employees possess.
Despite tension and workplace inefficiencies caused by generational conflicts, when workers aged 50 and 59 years exit, executive leadership face daunting task. The loss of organizational intelligence and knowledge these professionals possess could amount to billions of shillings of lost intellectual capital. To mitigate this potential massive loss, public sector leadership must act fast.
Even in organizations with younger employees who experience much smaller attrition rates, such organizations must still consider knowledge management issues. After all, institutional knowledge loss can also occur when key employees resign or are lost due to illness, tragedy, or being poached by another organization
While many professionals are preparing to leave the workforce;
the National and county leadership must come up with strategies to tap into
this source of experiential knowledge through Knowledge Management strategies.
It has been argued that Most professional public servants are among some of the
best-educated, most highly skilled aging workforce. Although they’re only about
31% percent of the workforce, they comprise more than half of all managers and
almost half of all professionals, such as Administrators, managers, doctors,
Role of public service
Kenya’s public service is facing unprecedented challenges and great opportunities as it strives to shape a high performing, high integrity, dynamic and citizen-centric public service. Kenyans expect a public service that is built on the foundation and principles of good governance; high patriotism, ethics and integrity; a public service ecosystem and environment that is harmonious, inclusive, diverse and sustainable; and leveraging on science and technology.
The public sector must actively and relentlessly pursue a public service transformation agenda powered by a well thought-out public service Emeritus programme given that the target date to achieve a middle-income level country is hardly two decades away.
Challenges and critical issues affecting the
public service require public servants who are able to think strategically, be
more creative and innovative to shape a future public service that remains
relevant and is able to change with the needs of the time. At the same time,
public organizations need to be more open and dynamic. All of these need to be
combined and supported by a public service delivery system that is fast,
accurate, proactive and responsive.
Transfer and Retention
Low workforce participation rate of older
professionals in the public service
The drop in labour force participation rates have concerned Human Resource economists for several reasons. First, it depresses economic growth. Second, it puts pressure on the National budget resulting to fiscal constraints. The fewer workers there are, the more the tax base shrinks. And thirdly, any time out of the labour force impacts workers’ future earnings trajectories should they return to work, due to lost training and on-the-job experience. Part of the decline in workforce participation is the result of mandatory retirement and natural attrition
My research has revealed that 31% of staff at National and County Governments level are aged between 50 and 59 years, while 30% are in the age bracket of 40 to 49 years. Further, 40% of staff in a number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are aged 50 years and above. Therefore, increasing the workforce participation rate of professional and technical workers who are exiting the service is an effective strategy to enhance public sector productivity. Lack of strategy of re-engagement of this cohort results to loss of knowledge, skills and experience in the service.
Further, professional and technical older workers have acquired specific management skills, using greater intelligence based on knowledge acquisition and experience, whereas younger managers may have higher levels of basic or abstract reasoning ability. My survey study has found out that there is no statistically significant difference between the capacities of older and younger managers.
addition, professional and technical older workers play a crucial role in
assisting an organisation to engage with its customers, suppliers and other
stakeholders. There is great benefit to Public service institutions in
including older workers perspectives within the organisation, to guide decision
making, and to include in branding, marketing and community engagement
Inadequate use of diversity dividend
diversity is a central issue in human resource management in any organization
in the 21st century. The call for
workforce diversity has arisen in part from social movements which challenge
traditional patterns of exclusions in most important institutions of society
including work institutions and public employment.
societies have promoted change in legislation, social values and roles in the
work place. Civil rights, older workers, women’s and persons with disabilities
movements have to a large degree put pressure to broaden composition of the
labour force. This has led to opening up
of opportunities for groups which previously had been excluded from accessing
societal resources and opportunities.
When addressing workplace diversity, emphasis is often placed on groups of people who, for historical, cultural and systematic reasons, have been excluded from the workforce or face barriers or discrimination that limit their full participation in the labour market.
Diversity initiatives commonly refer to the policies, programs and strategies designed to promote representative diversity within organizations. Achieving diversity, however, is a double-edged sword where increased diversity creates challenges at both organizational and interpersonal levels. There is, therefore, need to have in place strategies of managing conflicts between the diverse groups of employees.
Kenya as a member of the international community has ratified treaties and conventions that call for inclusions of all members of society in all sectors including public sector appointments. However, there is no policy and legislation to give effect and domesticate these international treaties and conventions that Kenya has ratified as per constitutional requirement in Article 2 (5) and (6).
Professional and technical older workers are a key element of a diverse workforce; when well managed this pays the diversity dividend. It leads to better decision making – the organisation has the benefit of drawing on different perspectives and different ways of thinking from within its workforce when setting strategies and solving problems.
Further, it results to increased sustainability – the organisation is better equipped to adapt to change, and less reliant on a particular type of worker or age cohort. Also, it produces Higher productivity – the workforce is more engaged and motivated, leading to better outputs.
and technical older workers promote closer connection – the workforce better
reflects the organisation‘s customers and suppliers, bringing stronger
engagement with customers more effective business-to-business relationships. Older
workforce results to Wider reach – the organisation has greater insight into
new markets, locally and globally.
Negative stereotyping on ageism
stereotyping of older workforce – sometimes called ageism – is common in the public service. We tend to equate age
with lower levels of energy, loss of physical and mental capacity, and higher
levels of illness. Negative stereotyping is a significant barrier to older
people‘s workforce participation. It reduces productivity, triggers early
retirement, forces many into unemployment and causes organisations to miss out
on their skills and experience
from widespread social stereotypes, employers and managers may inadvertently
undervalue older workers skills and experience, assuming that they will have
difficulty learning new skills or using new technology. Other negative
stereotypes about older workers are that they are less competent, are less
productive, and are resistant to change. Ageism may be hidden behind euphemisms
such as unable to fit into the current
work team, overqualified or lacking up-to-date skills
is often the case with stereotypes, these perceptions or assumptions about older
workers do not accurately reflect reality. For example, contrary to the
stereotype that older workers lack commitment to the job, studies suggest that
workers aged 45 and over were 2.6 times less likely to have left their job in
the past year than worker aged under 45, and that there are no significant
differences in relation to job commitment measures
Another aspect of stereotyping is to assume that all older workers are the same. In fact, there is great diversity not just between but within generations. For example, older workers come from diverse backgrounds, are in different financial situations and have different life experiences.
positive stereotype that older workers are reliable may hinder them in the contemporary workplace with its emphasis on innovation, flexibility and creativity
addition, older workers family situations vary along a spectrum from being free
from family responsibilities and wanting to prioritise work for the first time
in their lives, to being simultaneously responsible for very older parents as
well as children, grandchildren and/or great grandchildren.
One final aspect of ageism is worth noting: even stereotypes which on the surface may appear to be positive can have detrimental effects. For example, the ―positive stereotype that older workers are wise may bring with it the accompanying assumption that an older worker should not be put in charge of an innovative project because their approach is likely to be too conservative. Similarly, the ―positive stereotype that older workers are reliable may hinder them in the contemporary workplace with its emphasis on innovation, flexibility and creativity
Lack of investment in flexible work options
of flexible work options is a key part of recruiting, retaining and maximising
the productivity of older workers. Many older workers are interested in being
able to work fewer hours or fewer days per week, or in having flexible start
and finish times. Some are interested in being able to arrange significant
periods of unpaid leave, for leisure, volunteering, or community activities or
to coordinate with their partner‘s leave arrangements.
older workers also cite the ability to work from home as an important feature,
to reduce the amount of travel required or to allow for a better balance
between work and non-work responsibilities and interests. Older workers may be
interested in different types of flexibility than younger workers: instead of
parental leave or incentives like promotion, older workers may be attracted by
flexibility to care for their own or relative’s needs, or roles with less time
required for hands-on management.
course, flexible work is not just of value to older workers. Employees of every
age benefit from the availability of flexible work options, as do their
For many older workers,
flexible work is specifically about phasing into retirement: For other
employees it is less about leaving the workplace and more about establishing a
new, sustainable pattern of work for a new stage of life. This introduces the
concept of flexible careers: a person‘s level of investment in work changes over
the course of their life and does not necessarily follow a simple ―career path
which ends with a retirement at age 60.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible work arrangements
may appeal to older adults who no longer wish to work traditional full-time schedules,
either because of additional personal obligations worsening health, declining
physical energy or stamina, or a preference to sacrifice some income for more
control over their time without giving up paid employment entirely. Some older
workers with enough savings or access to pension benefits can maintain their
living standards with lower earnings.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Include the Following:
work schedules, including flextime (which grants employees some control over
the timing of the workday) and compressed work schedules (which allow employees
to work longer days but shorter weeks);
jobs within the organization, which can facilitate shifts to part-time work and
offer new opportunities to older employees seeking new challenges;
arrangements, which enable employees to work from home or teleworking centres
closer to home than their normal workplace. These arrangements require
appropriate workplaces free from distractions with necessary communications
are not appropriate for all jobs, such as those that require equipment that
cannot be placed in individual homes and those that entail face-to-face
interaction with customers or fellow employees;
work programs, which allow employees to shuttle between two locations seasonally.
These arrangements are economically viable for large organizations in such
sectors as retailing and health care services with customer bases that also
migrate over the course of the year
With public servants
staying healthy and active for longer periods, many are enjoying an extended
period of work. This may take place predominantly after the traditional
retirement age however it does not mean that the person has retired or wants to
retire: many older workers want to continue to participate in “returning-back”
to the organisation during this period, generating a new concept of repeat
Encore careers refer specifically to
work with a social impact, with a strong emphasis on volunteering rather than
paid work. While not necessarily full time, an encore career involves a
significant time commitment, definitely more than a hobby or occasional
activity. It also involves new directions, personal growth and new experiences.
Re-skilling older workforce for the future
The issue of training and development for older
workers is rather contentious. There is a common perception that older workers
skills and qualifications may be out of date. At the same time, older workers
may be either deliberately or inadvertently restricted from accessing training
and professional development, on the misapprehension that workers who are
―close to retirement are not worth the investment in training. Sometimes older
workers are encouraged to take redundancy, or are retrenched, rather than
Surveys show that Public service managers are
far more likely to view younger workers as worth training, and that when
budgets for training are cut back, MDA’s are even more likely to discount the
value of offering training to older workers The reluctance to invest in older
workers is based on two questionable assumptions; that skills enhancement
through training will be greater in younger workers compared to older workers;
and /or that older workers will not stay as long in the organization as younger
workers. Research evidence shows that both these assumptions are unfounded
Offering training to older workers has the dual benefit of ensuring their
skills and qualifications remain up to date, and counteracting stereotype
threat by making them feel valued in the workplace
When it comes to on-the-job training, MDA’s
need to consider not just olderworkers‘ training needs, but also their capacity
to be a training resource within the organization. Many older workers are well
suited to Counselling, Coaching and
Mentoring and other roles where they can share their experience and
corporate knowledge in formal or informal ways.
Contrary to popular thinking, the ability for
adults to learn is not dependent on
age. Contemporary neuroscience dispels the stereotypes that are attributed to older-aged
workers when it comes to learning new skills. The concept of neural plasticity
and the brain‘s remarkable capacity to adapt and change has rendered redundant
the old adage that “you can‘t teach an old dog new tricks”. Ageing and reduced
brain functions do not necessarily go hand in hand. Studies show that mature
aged workers are as ―trainable in new skills
as their younger counterparts
However, it is important to acknowledge that
some older workers may not have undertaken formal education or training for a
long time. The current older generation tends to have lower levels of formal
education than subsequent generations, which means that some older workers may
have relatively low levels of literacy or numeracy. This does not mean they are
unable to learn, simply that they did not have the same access to education in
their youth which is now taken for granted.
Given that older workers may have years of
experience but no up-to-date qualifications, training packages tailored for older
workers may incorporate recognition of prior learning. This allows training
participants to combine demonstrating their existing skills with learning new
skills, to attain a qualification
A specific training and professional
development need is emerging for older workers: later life career planning.
Once considered the exclusive domain of school leavers and university
graduates, career planning is just as important for mid-career and older
workers however the focus may be different: not on occupational choice but on
career success, job mobility and continuous re-skilling.
In order to take full advantage of the
opportunity to continue in their career, flex their career or perhaps embark on
an encore career, older workers may need to plan ahead. This kind of career advice
needs to take place well before a worker begins to consider retirement, as
early as their 40s. They may need to undertake training or re-skilling in new
areas, and may appreciate financial planning advice in conjunction with career
232 of the Kenyan Constitution, 2010 provides that subject to representation of
Kenya’s diverse communities and affording adequate and equal opportunities to
men, women, members of all ethnic groups and persons with disabilities, fair
competition and merit be the basis of appointment and promotion. Currently,
there are about 700,000 persons serving in the public sector (KNBS 2015) all
from varied ethnic groups and races, persons with disabilities, the
marginalized and minorities.
Public Service workforce that respects the country’s diversity will accord
support, understanding and unity in diversity, leading to improved service
delivery. Further, a service that values
and capitalizes on employee’s diversity will attract and retain productive
employees. However, merely diversifying
the workforce is not enough; there is need to ensure that diversity helps
enhance organizational performance. Consequently,
the human resource practices and organizational structures need to change in
order to accommodate and manage the diverse groups and views.
Rationale for an Emeritus
Public Service should be keen to harnesses the knowledge and experiences of
exiting technical and professional public officers who have attained the Mandatory
Retirement Age through an organised emeritus programme.There is an imperative
fora comprehensive integrated Emeritus strategy to tap quality skills from the
exiting professionals in technical areas, and an attractive structured
engagement mechanism to harness and manage the intellectual and Knowledge
dividend. It is in light of the above
that I found it necessary to propose the development of a comprehensive public
policy emeritus programme.
Dr Elijah Achoch is a Human Resource Management and Development Specialist and an adjunct lecturer in Kenya’s top universities Business Schools. He holds a PhD degree in HRM from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Email: [email protected]
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11