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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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King launches Lesotho Nation Brand

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KING Letsie III launched the Lesotho Nation Brand yesterday which he says has identified four main pillars which form the foundation of the national vision for a prosperous and thriving Lesotho.

These pillars are investment, trade, tourism, development of local products, and patriotism.

“They will be the cornerstones upon which we will build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,” the King said.

“In investment we recognise the vital role that it plays in driving economic growth and creating opportunities for our people,” he said.

“By fostering a conducive environment for investment, we will attract both domestic and foreign capital, fuelling innovation, job creation, and accelerated growth across all sectors of our economy.”

The king said trade, in this increasingly interconnected world, serves as a catalyst for progress and prosperity.

He said through strategic partnerships and trade agreements, we will expand our market reach, promote our unique offerings, and ensure that Lesotho-made goods and services are attractive, competitive and sought after in global markets.

He said Basotho will continue to harness their God-given natural resources to drive economic growth and social transformation, and where appropriate, utilise those natural resources to create industries and businesses that can expand export offerings.

“We have always believed that our country is blessed with an array of breath-taking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a people whose hearts are warm and hospitable,” he said.

The King said all of these qualities and attributes are valuable ingredients for building a prosperous tourism industry.

Under this pillar, he said, Basotho will endeavour to showcase the beauty and diversity of Lesotho with the aim of attracting visitors from far and wide.

He said this will undoubtedly generate growth in Lesotho’s tourism industry and will create much needed economic opportunities for local communities.

“I am very much aware that we take immense pride in the craftsmanship and ingenuity of our people,” he said.

“This pride has to be supported and matched by a strong commitment to champion local products and industries in order to empower Basotho entrepreneurs, promote sustainable livelihoods and preserve our heritage for generations to come.”

Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister Sam Matekane said for Lesotho to truly prosper as a serious contender on the world stage, “we need all Basotho to stand united behind Lesotho Nation Brand”.

The Lesotho Nation Brand was spearheaded by the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LDNC), which is mandated to promote trade and industry for Basotho.

Staff Reporter

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Powering dreams!

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STANDARD Lesotho Bank, Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO), and the Revenue Services Lesotho will provide M1.4 million for this year’s Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.

This was announced by the BEDCO CEO, Lemphane Lesoli, at the 2024 BEP launch in Maseru on Tuesday. The fund will be distributed among five aspiring businesses that will benefit from the project this year.

“This is to indicate significant opportunity for individuals to show innovative ideas and turn their dreams into reality,” Lesoli said.

BEP is a joint venture between Standard Lesotho Bank, Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) and BEDCO. It was introduced in 2014 to bring a positive change and create opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Lesoli said with an investment of M8.8 million, they have supported the dreams and ambitions of over 28 businesses while at the same time providing employment to over 103 young individuals.

The call for proposals was opened to all industries until June 28, 2024.

All the industries countrywide are invited to submit their proposals.

“Whether you are passionate about agriculture, tourism or any other sector, we invite you to submit your innovative ideas,” Lesoli said.

“This is your chance to turn your vision into reality to ensure your creativity and contribute to the economy of this country,” he said.

“Your ideas have the power to shape our future and create positive change within our community. Let’s redouble our efforts to empower our aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Manager of Public Relations at the RSL, Tšepang Mncina, said the proposals will be taken for screening to select those who qualify and those who do not.

Then the panel of adjudicators will assign those proposals to shortlist 50 people.

The 50 people will have to draw their proposal because some people know nothing about their ideas and who their markets will be.

After that they will be trained so that they can be good at writing effective business proposals.

The proposals will be back to the adjudicators to adjust the top 15 that will go through pitching and psychologic tests to see if they are real entrepreneurs.

The top five will be selected and awarded a sum of M1.4 million.

Relebohile Tšepe

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The road to recovery

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THE Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Business Development, Thabo Moleko, says cohesion among key stakeholders is critical to the revival of the textile sector.
Moleko was speaking at two consultative meetings held this week as part of the Expanding Enterprises Participation in Textile and Clothing Global Value Chain project.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), the technical partners in the project, coordinated meetings.

The consultations are a critical step towards addressing the concerns and priorities of employers and workers in Lesotho’s textile industry.

Held on Tuesday, the first meeting brought together employers in the sector.

Trade unions met on Wednesday. A joint meeting of businesses and unions will be held today. The textile project is a subcomponent of the Competitiveness and Financial Inclusion (CAFI), a government and World Bank-funded project that seeks to build a vibrant and sustainable private sector that delivers shared economic growth.

Moleko told both meetings that the consultations are critical to the successful implementation of the Enterprises Participation in Textile and Clothing Global Value Chain project which seeks to revive the textile industry.

He said Lesotho’s textile sector is currently in the doldrums as it struggles to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, wars across the globe, supply chain problems, economic challenges, declining consumer confidence and rising inflation.

In addition, Lesotho faces stiff competition from countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Madagascar which have vibrant textile sectors.

Moleko said the growing power of global apparel-producing giants like China, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam has made the prospects of Lesotho’s textile industry bleaker.

He said the project is meant to reposition the sector so it can compete in the global market. The dialogue, he said, creates the platform for Lesotho to “take advantage of new opportunities emerging from the reorganization of GVCs (Global Value Chains).”

The ultimate goal, he noted, is to expand business opportunities to “reach out to new markets, improve enterprise-level productivity and employment conditions”.

His sentiments were echoed by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Palesa Matobako, who spoke at the same meetings.

Matobako said the meetings were meant to ensure that the project achieves its objectives of enhancing productivity, improving employment conditions and enhancing the sector’s overall competitiveness.

“The ultimate goal of this initiative (the project) is to expand enterprise participation in the global textile and clothing value chains,” Matobako.

The project will focus on workplace collaboration, total quality management, resource efficiency and cleaner production, occupational safety and health and better workforce management.

Staff Reporter

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