Crèche at the call centre

The Jambo call centre in the outskirts of Nairobi deals with almost all customer communication for the telecom giant Safaricom. There is a crèche on-site were staff can bring their children for free. For the company it is an investment to increase productivity and staff retention and part of a larger programme of implementing Children’s Rights and Business Principles. For the staff it means security and peace of mind.

Carol Manzi works in one of the big halls full of staff at desks taking calls, answering questions and solving issues for Safaricom’s customers.

“For me personally the crèche makes a very big difference. I used to work at a place where there was no crèche, so at times when I didn’t have a house help or had to be with the kids I didn’t come to work. I used to miss work a lot of times. Now I don’t really miss work at all.”

Carol Manzi explains that she will come with her child before the shift starts, leave her at the crèche with food and extra clothes.

“When we are done with work we pick the children up, so it is very comfortable. Most companies in Kenya don’t have a crèche. But it would be a good idea for most companies to have one because it shows that you are really taking care of your staff. And staff will increase their output to the company as well. Having your kids well taken care of is just priceless.”

Sanda Ojiambo, Head of Corporate Responsibility, points out the same advantages:

“We have a crèche at our headquarters and at the call centre here in Nairobi. And this is part of our commitment to create a safe and productive working environment, to respect and promote rights to maternity and child care. We also have a clinic with doctors on the premises, so if your child is sick you can bring him or her in – rather than spending time driving to hospital and queuing there.”

For Safaricom the crèche and the clinic are ways to show that the company values employees in their entirety, not just for the productive things you do at work. 

“It is important that you can come to a place where you know your children are cared for and that your health is cared for as well,” Sanda Ojiambo says. “It means you have less hours away from work and that you can focus on work, knowing that your child is taken care of in the crèche or has received the appropriate medical care. For us it means more productivity, so caring about our employees is ultimately good for business.”

Someone that has practically noticed the productivity increase the crèche has brought to the call centre is Belsheba Nyabwa, team leader at the Jambo call centre:

“I am looking at productivity from my staff and when they have peace of mind they are able to concentrate and perform better. Before we had the crèche, a lot of times parents had to take the day off if they didn’t have anyone to take care of their children that day.”

“We have targets to meet every day and if somebody does not come to work it affects the day’s productivity and ultimately the level of service that we offer our customers. Now when parents can come to work and concentrate, they can give me the results I desire at the end of the day.”