Written by: Joseline N. Annan
“I strongly believe that our new global strategy, Our Promise 2030, will enable us to fulfil God’s calling in the next generation of World Vision’s work.”
These words of Kevin Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of World Vision International sums up World Vision International’s commitment to doing and achieving more for the world’s most vulnerable children. They re-echoed World Vision’s potential to help rewrite life stories of millions of children across the globe including the children of Ghana.
For the Partnership to achieve more for vulnerable children, there is the need for management and staff of World Vision, across the globe, to deepen their engagements to, among others, re-examine their focus of work, mode of operation and attitudes of workers.
It is in this connection that World Vision International in Ghana instituted and held a Staff Enhancement Day, the first of its kind at the end the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 17). This initiative was brought about by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) led by the National Director, Mr. Dickens Thunde.
The programme which took a whole working day brought staff together to take stock, celebrate World Vision International Ghana’s achievements during the year, identified areas for improvement, boost staff engagement, build relationships, foster unity, team spirit and accountability with a view to building trust for enhanced productivity and staff fulfillment.
Setting the tone for the day, the National Director, Dickens Thunde, said “this day is a working day and not a day off. It is a learning event and we’re here to do serious business. I encourage all of you to fully participate”. Dickens said World Vision International Ghana is working hard to fully align its country strategy to that of the Partnership. He encourage staff to commit to meditating daily on the Strategic Imperatives, Strategic Mandates, Mindset and Behaviours as they are key to World Vision’s commitment to do more for the world’s most vulnerable children. He re-emphasized the need for all staff to embrace and be committed to the EAGLES framework - that is exhibiting qualities of Efficiency, Agility, Grace, Love, and Executing our work with Speed.
Discussions at both venues (Tamale and Accra) were based on staff responses to survey questions, the departmental presentations and on-the-spot issues raised by staff at the forum. The issues discussed covered staff development and morale, gender distribution, staff turnover and burn rate, project implementation targets, key accomplishments and shortfalls in performance. Measure to be taken to address matters arising were collated for further deliberation and attention.
The forum identified the need to further deepen inter-departmental planning and coordination, improve working relationship between the various departments to enhance efficiency and productivity,
Staff have been full of praise for the Senior Leadership Team for instituting the Staff Enhancement Day and for the way and manner the forum was conducted. Timothy Aman-Bey Akanpabadai, the Northern Operations Manager, in his closing remark, expressed his satisfaction for the frank and open conduct of the forum.
“I am really excited about the forum. Staff have been involved and they have responded by participating actively. I thank the SLT for investing in this forum to make the day a success”, he said”
Here is how a staff in Accra saw the forum. “I really want to thank the Senior Leadership Team for instituting this day and ensuring that discussions were held in an atmosphere devoid of fear. I admire the energy and enthusiasm of all the staff who participated”
Prior to the day of the event, the Senior Leadership Team rolled out a survey which lasted 20 days. The survey entreated staff to respond to the following questions: What in your opinion went well in FY17? What in your opinion did not go well in FY17? What burning questions/issues do you want SLT to address (face-to-face) on the Staff Enhancement Day? And finally, what recommendations and/or advice would you will like to give the SLT?
Additionally, as part of the survey, the Senior Leadership Team ensured suggestion boxes were placed at vantage areas of the both Regional and Head offices. All Staff were encouraged to drop their responses to the survey questions, make comments on sensitive issues and offer suggestions for the Leadership Team’s attention. Reminders were sent via mails and at daily staff devotions to encourage all staff to participate to get their issues addressed on the set date.
On the day of the programme, the Senior Leadership Team was divided into two different teams, one team was with the Northern and Upper Regions and the other was with the Head Office and Southern Region.
The Christian Commitment Coordinator, Reverend Seth Acquaye led a devotion and highlighted to need for staff to work in unity and trust. Thereafter, members of the Senior Leadership Team took turns to make presentations covering all sectors of the organisation, highlighting areas of achievement and setbacks in performance.
Staff were given the opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions and comments. A catalogue of staff’s responses to the survey questions, concerns raised by staff in the suggestion boxes and comments were projected and addressed by a panel team made up of members of the Senior Leadership Team.
Gauging from the enthusiasm and active manner staff participated, one could say staff were truly thankful to the Leadership Team for the great opportunity given them to express themselves in ways that they truly have not been able to do for a while. This could be the healing process of broken, bitter and wounded hearts in the organization. As the saying goes ‘One of the best ways to heal is simply getting everything out.”
It is the view of many that World Vision International in Ghana has just entered into a new realm where the organization has actually taken off as an eagle, spreading its wings and gathering momentum to soar.
Photo credit: World Vision/Joseline N. Annan