‘Empowering Managers’ testimonials

June 2020

How better communication helped one manager improve sales, delivery efficiency and staff retention at a Kenyan off-grid company.

Jared Winston Ounda, Sales manager at Orb Energy Kenya, has managed to motivate his team to hit sales targets, improved a key company process, and improved staff retention in his team – all based on learning from AMI’s Empowering Managers programme.

Jared was one of 15 managers who graduated this month from the first cohort of Empowering Managers, a UKAID-supported training programme for African managers in the off-grid energy sector. It’s a practical 6-month part-time programme that combines interactive inperson workshops with online learning and on-the-job practice. All in-person sessions have been replaced with interactive webinars since the Covid-19 outbreak began.

So far, almost 160 managers have started the programme from 11 countries and dozens of companies, over half of them women, both English and French speaking. 48% of graduates from the first cohort had already secured a new job, promotion or salary increase since beginning their learning journey with AMI. All of them shared stories of how the programme has helped them improve performance in their teams and company, often generating direct impact to sales or profitability.

For Jared, improving his management skills – specifically around communication, delegation, and giving feedback – has directly improved retention of staff, delivery chain efficiency and sales volume. His boss has noticed, and he’s received positive feedback.

Before, I had challenges with communicating in the team and in my personal life. I was assuming that communication had been understood, and also taking on other people’s problems – I struggled to delegate. But with the tools from AMI, I’m now focusing on more strategic role. My boss has given feedback that I’m now managing better and my communication with the team has improved, he said

Jared has shared performance management tools that he downloaded from AMI’s platform, which has changed Orb Energy’s approach to performance management.

Now, we don’t just fire people when they don’t perform, we review performance, and give clear feedback, using the AMI tools. Leaders now know what to do, we’ve identified weaknesses and challenges across the team and are able to support them. We’re managing to grow a performing team.

Jared also described how improved communication, feedback and planning helped eliminate inefficiency and improve a key company process, that was previously taking a whole week, due to miscommunication and delay. Since implementing what he learned on the programme, Jared and his team have reduced this process to 3 days – right on target.

And finally, Jared has seen a direct impact on top line sales, thanks to his improved management style.

Overall, the growth of the sales team has improved, because everyone understands what they want to achieve. The team is improving every day and focusing on the sales goals. We can now perform in line with company goals.