The Solar energy space is booming thanks to the huge global demand for energy access, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and an urgent need for skills development and training to support this exciting new sector. Since 2008, the amount of solar energy connected to the grid has increased more than 20 fold. This expansion has resulted in the creation of thousands of new solar industry jobs, with more than 3.1 million people currently employed and projections of major growth in future.
Like many high-growth companies, the most visionary solar firms have realised the importance of quickly and effectively training up new staff as well as the management levels that oversee them. By building a culture of learning and excellence across their teams, it urgently supports their current operations but also prepares them for future growth.
The African Management Initiative has been engaged by many of the leading companies in this growing sector to support and strengthen their workforces with training programs, professional development and career building. This past year we have worked with M-KOPA Solar, Off-Grid Electric, Solar Now, New Light Africa, and GCS, among others. We also formed a strategic partnership with the Shell Foundation to strengthen human capital development across their portfolio of companies working on access to energy.
Some companies approach us to help their senior teams think about the management culture they want to build. Others want to help their managers better empower their teams. While others have an urgent need to help employees develop the critical workplace skills to improve productivity and effectiveness.
Read more about how we worked with Off-Grid Electric during a phase of particularly rapid growth, to train new hires in core skills like communication, customer service, and time management, or how we worked with MKOPA to strengthen leadership among senior managers.
Because of all of AMI’s work in the sector, AMI’s Chief Learning Officer Klara Michal was invited to the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo conference last month to lead a session on why management matters, and what good management looks like for high-growth energy access companies. The conference was organised by the IFC-World Bank Lighting Program and GOGLA and attracted more than 700 people representing 64 countries in Hong Kong.
Klara took the participants through one of her signature exercises, adapted from one of the most downloaded Harvard Business Review articles ever, Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?. This session was a real eye-opener for participants and allowed them to explore what they may be doing that undermines their efforts to build real ownership and accountability in their teams. By providing them with different approaches and tools to engage with staff, we help leaders build a more empowered workforce and management team.
AMI has run this session and many others with great outcomes, both with solar energy companies and more broadly. In our post- programme client surveys, 92% of CEOs or senior decision makers we work with say that engaging with AMI led to improved management and leadership ability in the company. Even more exciting, is that 92% also reported improved productivity and 96% reported improved employee engagement across the whole company, not just among those who participated in the programmes. So investing in management isn’t just about improving the performance of a few senior people, it’s about investing in your whole team’s engagement and productivity.
Do you need support to build the right management culture in your company? Are you struggling with productivity and basic workplace effectiveness among your frontline teams? Or do you need to help your managers better empower their teams? To talk to an AMI learning expert about training and development in your company, visit our programme page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.