The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) and #cocreateSA, an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, have launched TenaCiTi, a programme aimed at helping small business owners develop highly productive employees that contribute directly to the bottom line.
“PWC and Silicon Cape’s Emerging Companies’ survey identified, again, that access to skills remains one of the top three inhibitors to growth,” says Bonnie Horbach, Netherlands Consul General. “And while there are many successful programmes such as CiTi’s own CapaCiTi looking at developing hard skills like computer programming, there are very few that focus on the people development side of running and growing a business.”
TenaCiTi was developed in response to a roundtable run with Dutch and South African business owners earlier this year, which identified finding and keeping the right staff a massive challenge. “Our view is that it’s not just about finding and keeping staff, but about learning how to equip them that can transform the potential of small businesses,” says Horbach.
TenaCiTi works in two learning streams. It provides HR support to the business and essential workplace skills to junior staff.
“Being able to practically do the job is half of what it takes to be an employee,” says Alexis Pillay, programme manager for the TenaCiTi programme.
“You need to be able to work in a team, take initiative, problem solve and manage conflict all within a largely unstructured work environment. Most of us don’t come into the working world with these skills, and most small business owners don’t have the time to nurture them. That’s where TenaCiTi comes in.”
CiTi has brought in the services of strategic facilitator, Mignon Keyser and redTrainingAcademy to provide the employee development stream, and LaytonMelville to offer HR and people management for business owners.
“By the end of the seven-month programme we want the businesses to have implemented people management processes that create an environment where competent, motivated and engaged employees can thrive and we want the junior recruits to have grown from ‘young recruits-with-potential’ into indispensable members of the team,” says Pillay.
The first cohort of seven businesses started in mid-October with the second intake happening in January 2017. Applications are now open at www.tenaciti.org.za.