Over 60 companies in major cities across the country have embraced an innovative digital lunch scheme designed to improve staff productivity.
The initiative dubbed ‘M-Kula’ is a low cost arrangement that aims to boost staff productivity, retention and companies’ profitability, and is available on IOS and Android platforms.
The innovative application has been developed by Sodexo Kenya, an offshoot of global benefits and rewards firm Sodexo, and rides on the amendment to the Finance Act 2014, that exempts from taxation food offered to employees for up to Sh48, 000 every year, the equivalent of Sh4, 000 a month.
Companies signing for the service, are given an account with details of the employer, and the amount each employee is entitled to in meal allowance per day. When the order is confirmed and payment made, the electronic voucher is disbursed to the employees.
In a press statement sent to newsrooms, Neil Ribeiro, the CEO of Sodexo Kenya, said employees who have joined the scheme are allowed to eat at any of the over 230 restaurants that accept M-Kula services the same way customers purchase goods and services through M-pesa.
The scheme also allows customers to pay for meals delivered to the office, he added.
He said Sodexo Kenya has partnered with over 200 food outlets, including stalls, Jumia Food, Java, Debonairs, Nyama Mama among others, noting that those enrolled for the service will save up to S4, 000 each year, attributable to tax exemptions.
We settled on digital lunch vouchers because food is a very important component in the labour market, yet it is often ignored. Food helps drive productivity and motivation and ultimately a company’s bottom line, said Ribeiro.
A survey conducted by the company in 2015 indicates that 63 per cent of workers who were not motivated in their jobs attributed it to being unappreciated in the workplace, with another 52 per cent blamed lack of benefits and wrong benefits.
The impact of lunch provision on staff’s productivity documented in the country had shown that when KenPoly Manufacturers Ltd started providing lunch, productivity went up by between 7 and12 per cent.
It also shows that, Subati Flowers recorded a drop in absenteeism from 9 per cent to 4 per cent while the average number of days off also dropped from 2.8 days per sickness to 1.2 days of sick out three months after introducing lunch for staff.
Source: Kenya News Agency