Treat employees well—Vodafone CEO –

Accra, May 14, GNA – Mrs Patricia Obo Nai, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vodafone Ghana Limited, has entreated managers or leaders of organisations and businesses to treat employees well with respect towards sustainability of businesses.

“If you go to meet people in your organisation, say good morning to the driver, the security man, everybody. You are the CEO and so what? Be nice to everyone, you don’t know when you may need somebody’s help. An ethical leader carries respect and also has respect for all others,” she said. 

She gave the advice while delivering a lecture at the Ashesi University on the topic: “Sustainable Leadership and Ethics.”  

Mrs Obo-Nai said every organisation that drove progress prioritised the welfare of employees as well as their needs. 

“At Vodafone, we give four months of maternity leave, 30 hours of paid free time to new mothers, and they close at 15:00 hours for six months on full salary and we give four months of leave to our male employees who fathers a child on surrogacy, among others. 

“That makes the employees feel you care for them beyond making profit and it encourages them to put in their best for the organisation. A lot of companies are just interested in profit and don’t care about the wellbeing of their employees and that poses a great threat to the progress of the business,” she said. 

The CEO noted that the leadership one provided would be remembered in future, adding: “The impacts you make, the lives you transform and touch as well as the way you show concern to people will be remembered.” 

Mrs Obo-Nai told the students to be visionary if they wanted to become leaders to be able to move their organisations or followers towards greater heights 

“This is necessary and you should also have understanding on why your organisation exists, and drive a sustainable passion,” she added.  

Speaking on sustainability, the CEO said any serious company looked for investors to grow the business and ensured that the company’s operations did not deplete the environment, asking: “In your company, do you encourage the re-use of plastics and do you consciously try to stop polluting the environment?” 

Mrs Obo-Nai entreated leaders to ensure that their organisations fitted into any testing situation of nature, society or the economy not to threaten the organisation.  

“At Vodafone, now some employees report to work twice a week since the outbreak of the COVID-19 but still are very productive. When times are changing, be flexible and change and challenge yourselves in order to remain productive,” she said.

Mrs Obo-Nai asked the students to prioritise the inclusion for all agenda with special focus on promoting gender equality, while including persons with disability and other marginalised groups like refugees should they be in leadership positions one day.

The integrity of every leader was crucial as it was a key characteristic to make subordinates and stakeholders trust the leader, she said.

“Put your moral principles first wherever you are so people don’t get confused about it and let people know what you stand for,” she advised.

She also admonished all leaders to be transparent and desist from telling lies to their employees and subordinates, saying: “Never lie to your workers because if you hide something from them, they will find out one day and won’t trust you again.”

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