Mulberry Mongoose is committed to upskilling our all-Zambian team. Clera’s promotion to Operations Manager has inspired our team; furthermore, her input ensures we tailor training to our rural teams' needs.
Rewardingly, when we invest in our teams' soft skills at work, they report their home environment improves. For instance, we focused on encouraging push back and asking questions to be clear on project goals. This led to more confidence to ask the Dr questions at the clinic.
Our training can be unconventional and we always believe adding humor helps the learning process... especially if it involves laughing at me!
We identified mistakes often happen through fear of failure which leads to avoidance of starting. Clera recommended I explain some of my own failures; the team don't realise I make a lot of these and they rather put me on a pedestal. This idea led to me sharing the story of my job at the Rainbow Supermarket Café.
It was before university and my second day working at the Supermarket café. I hadn’t focused during the training. Sadly the manager on duty was sick, so I found myself both clueless and running the café. The orders came in thick and fast, and as I was scared of being told off, I didn’t ask for help. Adding to the stress I couldn't find the sausages. I left my station and clients and did a supermarket sweep to find said sausages. I then politely queued to buy them (rather than proactively going to the manager and asking for help). Upon returning to my station one man couldn’t take it anymore. He leapt up and shouted ‘Where the hell is my breakfast’. He was very recognizable due to wearing a toupee that moved when he shouted.
Another man stood up in my defense ‘You can see she is trying her hardest don't yell at her’.
Mr Toupee was now incensed ‘Don’t shout at me, you rude man’.
This back and forth intensified until Mr Toupee lost it completely with a rather dramatic...‘I am calling the police’.
At this point I was sobbing, utterly incapable of managing the situation and baffled as to how sausages was leading to a potential incarceration situation. Thankfully the Rainbow Supermarket Manager appeared and sorted things out.
My team had tears of laughter rolling down their faces; their enjoyment of this story was charming and disconcerting! Clera was right, this example helped them understand learning is a process built through experience.
Cultivating this culture is both rewarding and essential in growing our rural Zambian business.
Thank you for your support as we navigate it all. You are forever recognizing the effort, passion and challenges of our work and we are always grateful and inspired by your support.
We hope you enjoyed this fun anecdote from the Zambian bush! For more stories click here to sign onto our newsletter.
Until the next installment.
Kate and The Mulberry Mongoose team x