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Have you ever wondered why employees involve themselves in private practice (popularly referred to as “PP”)? Comparing employees in multinationals such as GE, Shell, Coca-cola and Mobil, and their contemporaries in African firms, especially Nigeria (kindly help insert their names here…LOL.), you will realise that most (if not all) in the multinational organisations tend to be dedicated to their job without any room for private practice. On the other hand, in the typical Nigerian firm, almost every employee seeks private practice at every opportunity. The latter even believe that those who are not involved in private practice are not smart enough and at higher risk of financial loss because of the lack of multiple streams of income` to meet ever-increasing financial obligations.

Although there could be several reasons why employees in indigenous firms engage in PP, these 4 broadly cover a number of them:

No Clear Career Path

When it is difficult for an employee to have a clear picture of a career path in any organisation, the employee will seek direction elsewhere. It is quite funny when some organisations speak of job rotation as a career path for employees without a clear picture of the level the employee can attain in the organisation at any specific future time. This often leaves employees dissatisfied.

Low Capacity Development

Capacity development should be key in every organisation in order to empower employees to attain optimal performance and achieve career growth. However, when organisations fail to fulfil this obligation, employees tend to spend extra time and resources finding other avenues in developing themselves for better opportunities elsewhere.

Non-competitive Remuneration

Although there is no standard for remuneration but employees expect their pay to be competitive when compared with those of their contemporaries. In some organisations, there are no rules and what you get is based on your negotiation skills. This often leads to a system where workers might be on the same level but earn incomes that are miles apart. In addition, this provokes enmity among employees and, as such, appraisal will be subjective rather than objective. As a result, employees look outside for better remuneration to meet financial obligations.

Imagine when last some workers’ salaries were increased, although the prices of everyday commodities are on a constant rise.

No Retirement Plan

In many organisations, there is no retirement plan for workers and anyone can be let off employment at any time. No job security of any sort! Surely, such organisations do not have any exit plan for their workers. This plan is not just about pensions but an implementable assurance, through an organisation-wide policy, for a better life after many years of dedicated service. Without a system of this kind, workers believe their organisation only wants to suck their productive life out of them and dump them at the last moment – when the juice is out and dry. And for them, the only wise thing to do is to secure their own future, since their employer cannot help them.

There is no need to deny that “PP” is very much in many indigenous organisations. It is everywhere and most employees are involved. This can have a number of downsides on certain organisational goals.

So, let’s talk: how do you think employees and employers can assume a common ground? Why do employers fail in their obligations to employees? At what level can employees be satisfied and not to consider “PP”? Or is satisfaction at work impossible? Is it possible to eliminate “PP” completely? Do you practise “PP” too? Let’s talk!

Oluwaseun Adesanya

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About author
Oluwaseun Adesanya graduated from Bowen University where he studied Economics and he holds a MBA in Management from University of Lagos. He is a dynamic young man with strong passion for professionalism and attaining set objectives. He possesses excellent leadership skills with competence in business analysis and experience in international business. Oluwaseun worked as Manager, Strategy and Performance Management before he later became the Group Head of Strategy and Innovation at SystemSpecs (with oversight on the International Business of the organisation) He built his years of experiences across over 35 countries, with reputable organizations such as FBN insurance, Capital Express Assurance Limited, Petroleum Projects International, SIAO Chartered Accountants, Access Bank Plc and he is currently at SystemSpecs Limited (owner of the popular electronic payment platform, "Remita"). He has helped several organizations in total transformation, business process reengineering, strategy development and implementation, business expansion, and innovation. Amazingly, he is an associate of Certified Institute of Cost Management of Nigeria (CICMN), an associate of Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management, Graduate member of Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) and also an Associate of Chartered Accountants (in view). He is passionate about Financial Inclusion, FinTech, Financial Services and Social Development.
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