“What happened recently, on Nov. 3 with the Central Bank of Egypt floating the Egyptian Pound, resulted in an upward adjustment of several regulated prices, in addition to the direct effect of cutting subsidies on petroleum products. This resulted in an increase in the prices of inland transportation and several core food items, such as meat, poultry, milk, cheese, and oil,” said Emad Nasr, human resources director, Lecico Egypt at a Jan. 12 meeting of the AmCham Human Resources Committee titled “2017 Compensation Challenges.” Nasr was joined by Karim Youssef, human resources head, Commercial International Bank; and Nermine Fawzy, Executive Director – Global Talent & Operations, ITWorx. The reduced spending power of the pound has become a serious consideration for companies looking to retain their top talent.
When designing their compensation packages, companies have to take six major factors into account: The package must be legal, cost/benefit effective, motivating, equitable, secure and adequate. A well-designed compensation package helps to attract, motivate and retain talent in the organization, said Nasr. Having a variable compensation program to retain employees is very important,
Ethiopia, one of the continent’s fastest-growing economies, opened its door to investment through a commodities exchange that was opened nine years ago, said Ermias Eshetu, CEO of the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange. “Now we have 1,000 traders and $1.3 billion worth of commodities are traded every day,” mainly coffee beans and sesame seeds. Eshetu looks to America’s 120-year-old Chicago Mercantile Exchange as a model. “There are lessons to be learned from the Chicago exchange, how they connected to industry and their outreach,” said Eshetu.
Qalaa Holdings’ Khazindar said doing business with Africa on the ground requires friendly politics, including dialogue with the leaders of African countries, and an open mind. Business leaders across the continent should realize that they have much to learn from each other. “Ethiopia has a commodities exchange, Egypt doesn’t have one now. Kenya is a pioneer in mobile money payments, Egypt is still trying to break into it,” said Khazindar. “We can’t be arrogant. We all have to learn from each other.” added Fawzy, noting that compensation in general recognizes and rewards an employee’s contribution to the company’s productivity, profitability and quality. Having a variable compensation program helps recognize those employees who have helped to make the biggest contribution to the business success. Youssef noted that it is also important to include the employees when managers are conducting the company’s performance appraisal. This helps the employees to identify their areas of growth either in their current position or in the preparation for their future roles. Performance evaluations are motivational for employees’ personal learning, growth and development.