By: Ismael Kasooha
Senior managers at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have been challenged to adapt to skills imparted in them during the 3-day training to improve service delivery in the country. They have been undergoing Leadership and Governance training aimed at enhancing performance in service delivery.
The training took place at the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) in Kampala.
While presiding over the closure of the training Hon. Kasule Ssebunya, who represented the Permanent Secretary at OPM, asked the managers to integrate the acquired knowledge and skills to better serve the country.
“The training has been timely and OPM being at the center of coordination and implementation of Government programmes and policies should integrate such approaches to both planning and implementation,” said Kasule.
He implored the managers to be stronger as they dispense services to the country now that they have been refreshed.
“I think we shall be stronger after this training and let service delivery to our people improve,” said Kasule.
Dr. Michael Kakooza, the lead facilitator who represented the management of ESAMI commended OPM for enabling the managers to undergo such a crucial training to refresh and also share their work experience for improved service delivery.
Kakooza said that sometimes lamentations at work places are good because the workers are expressing their dissatisfactions which helps management to adjust and even address them for better output.
“To me, lamentations are not necessarily negative because they help inform management on issues affecting the workers and if such issues are addressed you are guaranteed of better output,” said Kakooza.
He said that unless OPM assesses itself to address the gaps, it fails in its mandate hence affecting the realization of the 2040 Ugandan Vision which we are all targeting to achieve.
“This training should have a trickle down effect on the other managers and civil servants because the benefits are enormous,” said Kakooza.
The seasoned educationist asked OPM to always consult ESAMI to conduct such training because the expertise is within the country to improve on service delivery. He further advised the communication department not to always rush to respond to media reports because they look defensive and may worsen the situation.
“You don’t have to respond to all social media reports because it is not necessary . In some cases, the more you respond, the more you appear defensive,” said Kakooza.
Patrick Akonyet, one of the facilitators, said that government employees need to appreciate change if they are to improve performance in service delivery.
“Change will be achieved if you set activities that will lead you to better outputs that can transform service delivery,” said Akonyet.
He reminded the managers of the need to understand the role of values, attitudes and behavior in the management of change to improve service delivery.
Some of the topics discussed included leadership and good governance in the public sector, styles of leadership, result oriented leadership and change management, strategic communication and negotiation skills, performance based management and enterprise risk management.
The Commissioner Human Resource Management at OPM Patrick Okello who organized the training however asked managers to stop lamentations but rather be innovative whenever they are faced with challenges. He cited a claim that workers cannot freely talk due to the public standing orders which prohibit them unless with authorization from the permanent secretary.
“We need to embrace the changing trends in leadership if we are to serve our people as expected and be more innovative and accountable,” said Okello.
Okello noted that the multi-sectoral departmental engagements are good to improve performance but added that the junior staff also need to be trained in such skills.