Posted in Bookish

Managing & Developing People: A Workplace HR Guide for SME


You may agree with me that the number of Human Resources books authored by Kenyans are few and far between. It was therefore refreshing to have gotten an opportunity to read the recently published book by one Kevina Nyambura.

While the book targets Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), it is also written for all HR practitioners and business owners who would want a simplified understanding of the Human Resources function.

The book contains eight chapters addressing the following areas:

  • What SMEs are and their impact on the Kenyan economy in relation to employment.
  • People at the workplace: breaking it down to the level of skills, education, the characteristics of generational groups e.g. Millenials and what to expect in their work stints, and what the employment scene looks like for competency purposes.
  • A breakdown of the HR function and how each area affects the overall success of the business such as Job evaluation, processes & procedures, health & safety, and Unions.
  • HR Administration: explains in detail the importance of paperwork (Records Management) and the correct documentation to have in place as a way of being effective in addition to protecting your organization from compliance related issues.
  • Employee retention: “You should hire slowly and be quick to let go” pg.34.
  • Outlines the steps to attracting the best employee through recruitment, induction, and probation. The importance of preparing well in advance to ensure that each employee who comes on board has a memorable experience that is value adding to their new role. Additionally, what probation periods are acceptable. This is one of the most important chapters because it addresses the reasons that keep the employees on the job and those that make them leave as is commonly said: “employees leave their managers, not the organization.” Lastly, it addresses the cost of replacing employees because of high turnover.
  • Performance Management: There is a difference between performance management and appraisals as explained in the book; the importance of a good performance system that meets the needs of your business and helps employees understand the goals to be met as well as for the manager to effectively guide their staff. Learning and development are briefly addressed emphasizing that one should hire for attitude and train for skill.
  • Letting go: At some point, there will be an employee exiting the business. This chapter addresses the various forms of separating employees. How to ensure due process is followed be it a dismissal, contract lapse, redundancy or retirement. It also takes into consideration clauses from the Employment Act that serve as a guide in the termination process.
  • The last chapter addresses actual cases ruled in the Industrial Court and how the issues determined the judge’s verdict. It is very clear that the Act is Pro-employee and therefore all employers have to be very careful in the termination process by ensuring it is rightly done to protect self from legal suits.

In conclusion, it is a quick read (78 pages) and a convenient Go-to reference, at a time practitioners, are involved in a lot of administrative processes. It is therefore ideal for every HR professional especially those new to the industry as well as entrepreneurs who may not have the capacity to hire an experienced practitioner.

To grab a copy for yourself, you can reach Kevina on:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s