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Appreciation is a fundamental human need. The truth is, everyone has a need to be respected and valued for their contribution.
Whether you are an individual or member of a group, when praise for your contribution is expressed, it gives a feeling of achievement for a valiant effort and/or work well done.
Whether there is a monetary compensation for that contribution or not is beside the point.
In the workplace it is no different. There is plenty of persuasive evidence to suggest that staff who receive recognition for their work are more likely to be satisfied, happy, and ultimately productive in the workplace — creating a win-win situation.

When appreciation is expressed through recognition of good work, employees feel affirmed and valued for their work contribution.
As a result of appreciation, they tend to respond positively towards the organisation they work for.
Their satisfaction is often reflected in rising productivity levels and in their motivation to maintain or improve their good work.
Thus, praise and recognition are absolutely vital to an outstanding workplace and enthusiastic workforce.
After all, nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm, and recognition is a great source of enthusiasm.
Happy Employees = Happy Customers = Better Bottom Line

There are bottom line benefits that have been achieved through employee recognition efforts.
Correlation has long been established between employee and customer satisfaction, leading to strong employee and customer loyalty to companies.
This loyalty somehow directly flows to increased profitability. Thus, celebrating employees is not just for large organisations, it is for ALL organisations.
It is for private, public and not-for-profit organizations alike. There is no reason why your staff should go unrecognised — even something as simple as sending out cards can boost morale.
As Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says, “always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”
You have every reason to honor and celebrate your employees because without them you do not have a company.
Let’s face it, while a simple “thank you for a job well done” is easy enough, and is always appreciated, a creative employee recognition programme that goes beyond the traditional bonus pay is the essential to incentivizing and motivating employees.

Although money is important, it’s only a motivator when employees feel underpaid. Just like you have put programmes in place to satisfy and retain your customers, you do need to find creative ways to keep you employee satisfaction levels high to ensure when they walk out your door at knock-off time, they will be returning the following work day.
Why not remind your employees how great you are as a company?
You may be having a very effective and innovative rewards programme.
You may have carried out employee surveys to determine exactly what motivates your workforce and that has already shaped your employee recognition and retention strategies you have put in place.

I suggest, by no means, that you take away or rubbish all your hard work in this regard.
But be that as it may, you may want to ensure that at the time when your employees are taking stock of their achievements for the year, and listing their new year resolutions with determination to change careers and/or work environments in the coming year, you “appeal” to their conscience to consider that you have not just been good, but great, to them, and that you plan to make their loyalty to you worth their while.
You want to remind them that as they consider greener pastures in the New Year, it is much greener inside your company than anywhere else they may contemplate going, especially if they plan to join your competitor.

There is no opportune moment than the end of the year for managers to reward the efforts of their staff.
With the holidays and season of giving upon us, the opportunities are even bigger!
It is a perfect time to reflect on the business year and successful milestones that have been hit, while appreciating your coworkers, partners, and staff.
So what can you possibly do to help staff feel valued and celebrated as the year draws to a close? Here are some ideas on how to celebrate employees:
1.    Reflect on performance of individuals and give feedback — even if it’s not formal perfomance review cycle yet. Using examples from the entire year of how they performed to satisfaction and beyond, express your views on how you think they need to build on their strengths and overcome weaknesses.
2.    Target relevant platforms to show company pride and celebrate company success — including on Social Media. Post ‘throwbacks’ of team events, milestones achieved or perhaps a video capturing memorable events of the year.

Do attribute your company success to employees, and profile them as successful employees so they, in turn, take pride in being associated with your company.
3.    While you celebrate your successes, review and communicate company strategic goals and up-coming programmes.
Ensure that your goals are owned by your employees, and will not only be attainable, but will challenge them to do great.
Letting your employees in on big company initiatives will give them something to look forward to in the New Year and even make them want to come back so they can partake in those initiatives.
4.    Enjoy a moment outside the office. It’s always a welcome change to meet colleagues away from work and have something fun to do. This doesn’t have to be a big party that leaves a dent in your balance sheet.

Treat employees to an annual luncheon, do a bowling game, or going out for cocktails is a great way to de-stress.
It also makes employees feel appreciated and excited about the future with the company.
It is not always possible for businesses to spend big, so smaller touches can prove just as effective.
Whatever you decide, make sure everyone knows that their commitment has not been overlooked over the past 12 months.
Always find out what motivates your workforce, and make sure your rewards and recognition programme is synchronised with that.

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Why invest for the future



AN investment plan forms a critical pillar of a financial plan, says Tokiso Nthebe, a local author and financial services adviser.

Nthebe, the founder of TKO Financial Wellness and Advisory, says when people invest, they can use their money to buy assets that will increase in value over the long term.
He says these assets can help them build wealth.

“When you invest, your money starts to work for you by providing returns that will beat inflation,’’ Nthebe says.

Nthebe says there is a huge difference between saving and investing.

He says investing requires that you take some level of risk in exchange for an expected return or growth.

Nthebe says Basotho should consider many factors before they decide to start investing.

“It is important to have a clear strategy that guides your investment decisions and to work with qualified professionals,” he says.

Nthebe says one should consider their growth mind-set, investment goals, and their risk tolerance.

In addition, one should consider what kind of growth or return they expect.

He says one should find out whether the institution they invest in is licensed or regulated and how long one should invest.

Nthebe says one should further consider what risks are associated with the investment option and whether there are any associated costs.

He says it is also important to remember that investments take time.

“There are no short cuts to building wealth. Do not fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes,” he says.

Moreover, Nthebe says the investment landscape comprises commercial banks, asset management companies, and insurance companies.

He says each provides different financial products and services.

Nthebe says the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) also offers investment solutions such as treasury bills and treasury bonds that Basotho can consider.

Depending on your investment goals, he says financial service providers have a wide range of investment solutions to choose from that cater for short, medium, and long-term goals.

“I encourage Basotho to do thorough research and seek professional advice before making financial decisions,” he says.

Vince Shorb, the United States National Financial Educators Council CEO, writes that “many of the financial problems people face today started when they were young and making their first financial decisions”.

Shorb further says taking on too much debt, not investing early, and failing to plan can take one decades to recover from such.

However, it takes financial literacy to make good decisions, he says.

Financial literacy has been perceived as a tool that gives you the opportunity to be confident and empowered to live the quality of life you have worked hard for.

Shorb says one of the wisest decisions one can make to prepare for the future is to invest.

Investment has been defined as the commitment of funds with a view to minimising risk and safeguarding capital while earning a return.

Refiloe Mpobole

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When Covid-19 hit and the government shut down all gatherings in April 2020, there seemed no way out for ICONICS (Pty) Ltd, a budding events management company based in Leribe district.

They had two options: shut down or innovate to keep the business going.
They chose the latter.

Three years down the line, ICONICS (Pty) Ltd has completely transformed itself from an events management and public relations company into a manufacturing company that is now the envy of Lesotho.
“The closing of events translated into the closing of our business,” Rapitso Mosebetsi, one of the co-founders of ICONICS (Pty) Ltd told thepost this week.
Mosebetsi established ICONICS in partnership with Tumo Mahapa.

Faced with collapse, Mosebetsi say they began buying Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as surgical gowns, disposal coveralls and safety apparel for resale.
Eventually they decided to manufacture the PPEs and safety clothing. That was the turning point.
But since the company was already down, Mosebetsi says diversification was a hard nut to crack.

“It became quite a long journey (for us),” he says. “We had to come up with something new for the industry.”
He says they had to overcome stiff competition from giant companies and come up with something unique that would set them apart.
“That was how thermal heating apparel was born,” he says.

“We are the first company to produce thermal heating apparel,” he says.
The company manufactures thermal clothing, which is electric clothing, using power banks of five voltages.
“The voltage is so low to electrocute a person,” he says.
The clothing also has a power button to turn it on and off.

Mosebetsi says the thermal heating apparel is on corporate clothing as well as high-visibility clothing.
Mosebetsi says they started the journey with the support of several organisations, such as the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO), to build their capacity.
Mosebetsi says they also got mentorship support from organisations such as the Global Entrepreneurship Network.
The results of years of hard work are now all out for everyone to see.

In 2022, ICONICS won the M100 000 Business Plan Competition hosted by BEDCO.
This grant enabled them to acquire land and buy five more industrial machines.
This did not only enable the company to increase their production to 100 worksuits a week, but it further created permanent jobs for five people as well as three temporary workers.

Last year, the company took part in the Exporter of the Year event hosted by the LNDC in partnership with the Lesotho Post Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mosebetsi says they won the award for Lesotho’s most innovative and versatile exporter.
He says this did not only put them in the spotlight, but it further encouraged them to do more.
ICONICS was announced as the best exporter of the year at an event hosted by the LNDC earlier this month.
Mosebetsi says this made them proud, as the award is aligned with their vision.

The award further gives the company an opportunity to participate in the regional competition.
He says this opportunity will further give the company a competitive edge in terms of production locally and globally.
“It will be an honour if we can win the regional competition,” he says.

In terms of markets, Mosebetsi says the company has had the opportunity to list their products in the African Trade Market since 2020 with the support of USAID.
This is an e-commerce platform that opens up the market for African countries to list their products.
Mosebetsi says the company did not only get publicity, but the client database also increased.
He says they moved from supplying individuals only to big companies, different organisations, and different government departments such as those involved in mining and health.

Considering the decline of the Lesotho textile industry, Mosebetsi says their secret to success has been their being innovative.
“Our sustainability is matched with innovation,” he says.
Mosebetsi says it also requires patience coupled with lots of investment in terms of time.
“Rome was not built in one day,” he says.

He says working as a team also plays a critical role.
Despite their achievements, Mosebetsi says the market for innovative industries is one of the hardest nuts to crack.
He says the company is in the process of not only making their products known but also educating people about their safety.
Mosebetsi says the other challenge is the decline of the South African Rand as compared to the US Dollar.

He says some of their materials are sourced from China.
Therefore, it is more expensive to buy such materials.
ICONICS is not only seeking to make their brand well known globally, but Mosebetsi says they are also seeking to create more jobs for our youths.

Own Correspondent

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LetsGo and Win!



LETSHEGO Financial Service has launched the LetsGo and Win loan consolidation campaign where customers win weekly and monthly cash prizes of up to M150 000.
The campaign, which was launched yesterday, will end on November 8.
The LetsGo and Win campaign rewards customers for consolidating their loans.
It is aligned with Letshego Lesotho’s version to offer competitive products that cater for the evolving needs of its customers.

The financial services company operates in Lesotho, Botswana, ESwatini, and Zambia.
The Marketing Manager and Business Partner, Tšotetsi Seema, said Letshego Lesotho is committed to delivering increasing value and options to customers.
Seema said this programme is a testament to that commitment.

“The campaign invites customers to consolidate their loans into one low and easy repayment with reduced rates and they stand to win weekly and monthly prizes,” Seema said.

“The weekly cash prizes will be won by lucky customers randomly selected and notified through Letshego Radio shows,” he said.

Additionally, he said two lucky customers will be randomly selected each month and given a chance to spin the wheel of fortune with a chance to receive a maximum of M20 000 each.

“The loans consolidation campaign makes it easier for customers to choose Letshego Lesotho as their preferred financial services partner.”

He said this innovative campaign aims to help individuals streamline their debt payment while benefiting from reduced interest rates.

“Debt consolidation can help customers get a lower monthly payment, pay off their debt sooner, increase their credit score and simplify their life.”

Letshego Lesotho’s Head of Sales, Distribution and Marketing, Motebang Moeketsi, said managing multiple loans can often be overwhelming with varying interest loans due dates and terms.

“The campaign addresses this challenge by combining multiple loans into a single, easy to manage repayment plan,” Moeketsi said.

He added that this simplification not only eases the financial burden on borrowers but also potentially leads to significant savings over time.
Moreover the new consolidation campaign invites customers to take advantage of their best-in-class financial services provided through Letshego Lesotho branch network and digital platforms.

“Letshego Lesotho is committed to increasing financial inclusion through its efforts to serve underbanked communities, promoting financial literacy and delivering positive social impacts for its customers and communities.”

Alice Samuel

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