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10 tech trends transforming HR landscape in Kenya
Tech

10 tech trends transforming HR landscape in Kenya

Pearl Remedios
February 9, 2024
6
mins

Introduction

Kenya – where tradition meets innovation. With over 50 million people, Kenya's potential is boundless. The HR landscape in this dynamic nation is undergoing a remarkable transformation. 

From the bustling streets of Nairobi to the wild plains of its national parks, Kenya's spirit is unmistakable. But what's driving this change, and how can it impact your role as an HR leader?

Traditionally HR departments in Kenya were associated with paper-heavy processes and conventional practices, focused on wage decisions, team-building events and personnel management. However, today's HRM in Kenya is embracing technology in a revolutionary way, departing from these traditional norms. HR leaders in Kenya are recognizing the immense potential of digitizing extensive HR operations through innovative platforms, reshaping the entire landscape as we know it. 

10 trends in Kenya that HR leaders should take note of:

1. Employee well-being and mental health support:

The latest HR technology trends are shining a light on the well-being and mental health of employees. Cutting-edge tools and apps are crafted to keep an eye on and support employee well-being, providing resources to handle stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This growing trend highlights the acknowledgment of the importance of taking care of employees in a holistic way.

2. Flexibility of work models:

Adjusting to the changing landscape of work, shaped by pandemic-driven remote policies and a growing embrace of flexible models demands a proactive approach from employers and HR teams. The shift toward remote and hybrid work necessitates the establishment of a consistent work environment that prioritizes connectivity, engagement and productivity. This involves the implementation of collaborative tools, streamlined onboarding processes, and effective communication channels between employees and HR. Additionally, the adoption of remote, hybrid, and flexible scheduling stands out as a key factor in talent acquisition and retention. Embracing these models not only broadens the candidate pool but also ensures a talent-rich workforce, providing a competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent. 

3. Upskilling the talent pool:

In the coming year, HR teams in Kenya will prioritize learning and development, focusing on the crucial aspects of reskilling and upskilling. These initiatives offer organizations multifaceted benefits including fostering agility and adaptability, identifying and nurturing early leaders, boosting engagement and productivity, enhancing retention rates, and motivating employees to take ownership of projects. Looking beyond 2024, investing in training programs becomes imperative for organizations implementing new systems. The emphasis should be on creating a seamless user experience, with in-app walkthroughs, content recommendations, and interactive elements integrated directly into software systems to ensure a smooth transition and effective application of new knowledge.

4. HR management software adoption:

The increasing adoption of HR management software in Kenya plays a significant role in enhancing the HR landscape by simplifying tasks like workforce management, payroll and recruitment. This technological shift streamlines processes, improves efficiency and ensures that HR leaders have a comprehensive tool to navigate and optimize their responsibilities effectively.

5. Navigating talent dynamics in Kenya:

In Kenya's competitive job market, there's a shift from just recruiting talent to nurturing internal growth and promotions. Depending solely on external talent acquisition can make organizations vulnerable to market changes. In 2024, a strategic and sustainable approach emphasizing internal talent access is vital. This doesn't downplay the significance of acquisition; in fact, we believe enabling access enhances acquisition. Today's talent values more than just an appealing offer; they seek opportunities for growth and development within the organization.

6. Blockchain for employee data security:

Blockchain technology is revolutionizing HR by ensuring unprecedented security and transparency in key functions. It streamlines critical processes, including recruitment, onboarding, credential verification, payroll automation, and employee benefits, particularly when integrated with advanced technologies like AI, ML and VR. Unlike traditional HR databases prone to limitations and data manipulation, blockchain offers a proven strategy with immutability and cryptographic security. Talent managers in Kenya can securely store confidential records on a blockchain network, ensuring each piece of data is tamper-proof, preventing unauthorized access or alterations. The decentralized nature of blockchain adds an extra layer of security, providing a valuable advantage for talent management teams in the entire employee recording process.

7. Performance management and its evolution:

Performance management is undergoing a shift towards continuous and real-time practices. In the past five years, organizations have revamped their approaches to assessing and acknowledging employee performance with continuous performance management which has gained broader acceptance after initial experimentation. These practices are now more defined and standardized, featuring flexible goal management, regular check-ins, and ongoing feedback along with new evaluation and reward models. The adoption of a real-time feedback culture is expected to surge, especially with a zero GUI approach incorporating voice-based inputs, signaling a significant move towards more dynamic and responsive performance management strategies.

8. Gamification in employee engagement:

Elevating employee training through gamification adds an engaging and enjoyable dimension, fostering better knowledge retention and skill development. This involves game-based learning and subtle techniques like progress bars and rewards in traditional training materials. Particularly beneficial for remote teams facing unique challenges, gamification proves valuable in overcoming feelings of isolation and communication difficulties. For sales teams, tapping into their competitive nature, gamification introduces leaderboards, performance-based rewards, and regular contests, offering clear goals and incentives to achieve higher targets. This strategic use of gamification not only enhances learning but also motivates teams, creating a dynamic and engaged workforce.

9. RPA for better HR efficiency:

RPA tools are great for automating HR processes that involve repetitive interactions with IT applications. They work well for tasks that don't need a major overhaul of core systems. These tools, operated by software "robots" mimic human actions on interfaces making decisions based on simple rules. They can handle entire processes with minimal human input, improving efficiency without changing the underlying systems.

10. Driving data led decisions:

Embracing data-driven decision-making is essential for businesses of all sizes. Despite the slower adoption by smaller companies, investing in HR analytics empowers organizations to make informed choices from addressing staffing needs to optimizing employee benefit utilization. The Paychex Pulse Survey highlights that smaller businesses with five to 19 employees, prioritize concerns like productivity and retention over data insights. However, incorporating data analytics technology not only enhances decision-making but also underlines the value of human resources as a crucial component of a modern and effective human capital management strategy.

Investment opportunities in Kenya

Kenya offers promising investment opportunities as the 4th largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa with a USD 60 billion GDP. Ranked first in Africa for human capital quality and research and innovation availability, Kenya's strategic location, high internet access (72%) and a growing population of 50.6 million make it an ideal destination for investments in the internet-driven and knowledge economy. The country's rising middle class, increasing urbanization and a forecasted 50% urban population by 2050 contribute to a rising demand for high-value goods and services. 

As the dominant economy in the East Africa Community, Kenya provides investors access to a broad consumer market of up to 400 million people in the EAC/COMESA region. With a 2% Compound Annual Growth Rate in income per capita over the past decade, Kenya showcases economic resilience and significant investment potential.

Conclusion

Kenya's rising middle class, urbanization trends, and economic resilience make it an attractive investment destination. As the dominant economy in the East Africa Community, Kenya provides access to a broad consumer market of up to 400 million people in the EAC/COMESA region, showcasing significant investment potential. HR leaders and CEOs globally should take note of these trends, considering the robust employment market, sectoral shifts, and the transformative power of technology in shaping Kenya's future.

People Also Ask

What is employment like in Kenya?

In 2024, Kenya's employment rate is projected to reach 66.42% (as per statistica.com) indicating a robust labor market and active workforce participation. This positive outlook suggests ongoing job creation and economic growth. However, it's crucial to delve deeper into factors like job quality, government initiatives, and industry distribution for a comprehensive understanding. HR leaders and CEOs globally should take note of these dynamics, considering the potential challenges of underemployment and disparities. The forecast provides a snapshot, prompting a closer look at long-term trends, the impact of global factors, and the effectiveness of policies shaping Kenya's employment landscape.

What is the largest employment sector in Kenya?

In 2020, agriculture dominated Kenya's job market, comprising 53.8% of total employment. However, the services sector is steadily expanding, making up 38.7% of employment, showcasing notable growth. A parallel trend is observed in the manufacturing sector, contributing 7.4% to overall employment during the same period. This dynamic shift in employment distribution underscores the evolving landscape of Kenya's economy, and CHROs and CEOs worldwide should take note of these sectoral trends for strategic workforce planning.

Is HR analytics gaining popularity in Kenya?

When paired with a well-crafted HR strategy, technology becomes a formidable force, elevating operations, fostering workforce engagement, pinpointing top talent, and offering timely, impactful insights to business leaders. These advantages can be harnessed while simultaneously trimming operating costs and boosting productivity over a sensible timeframe. CHROs and CEOs worldwide should recognize the transformative potential of this combination for sustained organizational success.

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