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Rasha Kelej Becomes Merck Foundation CEO

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Rasha Kelej Becomes Merck Foundation CEO

Rasha Kelej Becomes Merck Foundation CEO

By Dipo Olowookere

Merck, a leading science and technology company, has announced the establishment of the Merck Foundation.

Through this foundation Merck combines many of its corporate responsibility activities under one roof and considerably expands its scope to address health, social and economic challenges of the 21st century.

“The vision of the new foundation is a world where everyone can lead a healthy and fulfilling life, also those living under disadvantaged conditions,” said Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the new foundation. “With the Merck Foundation we will continue our commitment towards improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and advancing people’s lives through science and technology.”

“The Merck Foundation will focus on initiatives that will contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations. To achieve the foundations’ goals, we will develop and implement coherent strategies, result-oriented programs and initiatives, provide grants to support projects and help raise funds where needed,” said Rasha Kelej, who has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Merck Foundation. Kelej (45) joined Merck in 1996, working exclusively in positions relevant to Corporate Responsibility and Market Development with a strong focus on Africa and developing countries.

The Merck Foundation is a non-profit limited liability company (gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung / gGmbH).

A Board of Trustees, chaired by Stangenberg-Haverkamp, will advise and monitor the foundation’s performance. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, and Belén Garijo, member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Healthcare, are also members of the Board of Trustees.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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TUC Gives Fayemi 21 Days to Pay Backlog of Salaries

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Ekiti State map

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Ekiti State chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has given the state governor, Mr Kayode Fayemi, a 21-day ultimatum to pay the backlog of salaries of workers.

The union reminded Mr Fayemi that during his electioneering campaign in 2018, he promised to clear the backlog and till now, he was yet to fulfil this promise. The tenure of the Governor is expected to expire on October 15, 2022.

According to the group, redeeming such a pledge would further reinforce workers’ trust in the administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and smoothen the relationship with the incoming Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji.

In a statement signed by its State Chairman, Mr Sola Adigun, the union congratulated Mr Oyebanji on his victory in the recently concluded governorship poll, urging him to be magnanimous in victory by being inclusive in governance and forming a robust alliance with opposition to build Ekiti of his dream.

The union condemned in strong terms, the rate of kidnapping of citizens in the state, urging Mr Fayemi to devise means to curtail the nefarious act threatening peaceful coexistence and investment drives.

Sequel to the government’s inability to meet some pending workers’ demands, TUC issued the 21-day ultimatum to the Governor to pay all arrears of salaries, deductions and promotion, failing which industrial harmony could no longer be guaranteed.

“The TUC commends the government’s prompt payment of salary since the inception of this outgoing administration in October 2018 till date. However, the TUC reminded Governor Fayemi of his initial promise to offset all arrears payments before the expiration of the tenure.

“But we noted with dismay, the refusal of the government to remit the already deducted dues such as co-operative deductions, contributory pension, bank loans repayment, NHF fund, to the appropriate quarters.

“We equally frown seriously at the refusal of the Accountant-General of the State to continue with cooperative savings update of Ekiti workers, due to the alleged presence of some syndicate operating in her office.

“Most members of TUC have not benefited from the new minimum wage after almost two years of implementation in the state,” the group concluded.

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Chams Appoints Former UBA MD/CEO to Board

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chams

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc in Tanzania, Mr Ayobola Abiola, has been appointed to the board of directors of Chams Plc.

Mr Abiola headed the Tanzanian operations of the leading financial institution for four years and was also and the General Manager/Divisional Director in charge of Corporate Banking at UBA. He was once the Senior Vice President and Head of West & Lagos Regions at First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

In a statement issued by the Legal Adviser of Chams, Ms Yetunde Emmanuel, it was disclosed that Mr Abiola will be on the board of the organisation as a non-executive director effective July 1, 2022.

The new board member is an economics, banking, finance and tax expert with over 25 years of cognate experience in investment, commercial and mortgage banking.

He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer Capstone Development (West Africa) Limited, a real estate investment and advisory firm. He was until recently the Executive Director, Business Development and Treasury Services at Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), a position he was appointed to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Prior to joining FMBN, he was Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fullhouse Advisory Partners, an Investment and financial advisory services firm which specializes in capital raising, project finance and investment advisory services.

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How Businesses Can Focus on Employees to Avoid The Great Resignation

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The Great Resignation

By Hyther Nizam

Across the globe, The Great Resignation has become a source of concern among businesses. It refers to the unprecedented number of workers quitting their jobs in the Covid-19 and post-pandemic eras.

In Nigeria, businesses have recently seen their fair share of voluntary employee resignations. Most notable was the “big quit,” an exodus of top tech talents from Nigerian Banks. Nigerian millennials and Gen Zers, who comprise a large percentage of job-hoppers, also account for the majority of the young workforce population in the country. Now, they are re-evaluating their working experiences after the hard hit of the pandemic. The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey reveals that the youngest generations in the workplace are now seeking balance, prioritising happiness, and expressing higher expectations for compensation.

With an unemployment rate of just over 33%, you may think few employed Nigerians can really afford to leave their jobs. But the truth is, even here, employers aren’t immune to The Great Resignation. Thanks to the rise of remote work, Nigerian workers (especially those with in-demand skills) can truly compete in the global job market, and not limit themselves to regional roles. They have faced many of the same pressures as other workers around the world as a result of the pandemic, meaning they have the same temptations to start their own businesses or enter the freelance market.

What can businesses do to avoid losing employees to the Great Resignation? While the answer may vary depending on industry and market, the one universally key solution is to earn employee support.

The importance of employee loyalty

Before digging into how organisations can earn employee support, it’s important to remember why it matters. Losing an employee can take a big toll on your company (with the effect magnified for smaller organisations). On average, it takes 41 days to fill a position. That’s 41 days other people in the business have to do all of a former employee’s duties in addition to their own.

Further, replacing an employee can be incredibly expensive. According to the analytics and advisory company, Gallup, it can cost one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary to replace them. Whichever way you cut it, you could give that employee a substantial salary increase and it would still be more financially viable than replacing them.

It’s also worth pointing out that there’s a positive correlation between good employee experiences and good customer experiences. That makes sense—a single positive interaction with an employee can dramatically alter how a customer perceives and experiences the company. The chances of a positive interaction taking place are much slimmer in companies that have high levels of employee turnover and a lack of institutional experience.

Building employee support

With that in mind, how should companies go about building the employee experiences they need to ensure they have the full support of their workers?

The HR team can leverage cloud technology and implement a comprehensive human resource management system (HRMS) in order to automate most of their mundane manual tasks. Through HRMS, an organisation can also create a self-service model so employees have a single portal for various activities, such as applying for leave and adding medical claims. By creating workflows, the company can ensure that when a request is raised, the appropriate approver is automatically notified. Automating processes will free up the HR team to focus on employee engagement activities.

Rethinking talent acquisition

The rise of remote work as a result of the pandemic saw many people leave big cities for smaller towns and villages. For some, the move was inspired by the prospect of a better quality of life; for others, it was about being closer to family.

Rather than lament the loss of centralised offices in big cities, smart organisations should see this as an opportunity. Instead of fighting over the same pool of talent available in metro cities, they can create opportunities for those living in non-urban centres or rural areas, and invest in skill development.

At Zoho, for instance, we have always believed that talent is everywhere, though opportunities are not. We have traditionally hired people from all backgrounds and opened offices away from city centres in order to tap under-utilised talent in smaller towns and rural areas. We expanded this approach during the pandemic by opening smaller, satellite offices wherever we had enough employees residing, instead of prompting them to come back to the office. We have been hiring locally in these satellite offices. By creating opportunities in the sought-after tech sector in non-urban and rural areas, we help communities retain talent and flourish. This adds a sense of purpose to the job, which also helps in retaining talent.

The right (virtual) environment

Even if an organisation meets its employees’ needs when it comes to working location, it’s still important for it to provide the best possible working environment (even if it’s a virtual one).

One of the most effective ways of doing this is to take a considered approach to the software solutions your employees work with on a daily basis. Rather than a patchwork of software solutions, for example, organisations can benefit from a unified enterprise software suite that meets all their needs—from documentation to meetings, to CRM. In an increasingly hybrid work environment, keeping data and processes on a unified system leads to better visibility and fosters cross-functional collaboration.

A holistic approach

Employers looking to ensure that their businesses do not fall prey to The Great Resignation need to have an understanding of the concerns Gen Z and millennial employees have with respect to the workplace and their career paths. They should be deliberate in creating a flexible working experience where the employee can thrive in a globally competitive environment.

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