Gauteng Business News

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: Best Company to Work for Awards Results Announced


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Results from the Deloitte Best Company To Work For Awards Function saw three companies emerge as South Africa’s best employers as rated by their employees. Santam was placed first in the large company category (>2500 full time employees), McDonald’s was placed first in the medium company category (301-2500 full time employees) while the Automotive Industry Development Centre was placed first in the small company category (50-300 full time employees).

Although the size category winners have all been multi-year, top performing participants in the Deloitte Best Company to Work For Survey this is the first time that any one of them has achieved the accolade of Best Company to Work For.

“In conversations with the CEO’s, MD’s and HR Directors of this year’s participating companies, it became clear that the prevailing rationale for participation was the fundamental belief that engaging with their employees, understanding what was important to them as well as how they were experiencing the workplace was more – not less – important in an economic downturn given the direct influence of employee commitment on business performance and sustainability," says David Conradie, Director of Human Capital at Deloitte. “This shows that despite the tougher economic conditions, talent savvy organisations have continued to invest in the development and retention of their talent. It is therefore not surprising that rather than running the risk of losing key resources while waiting for an upturn in the business cycle top performing companies in this year’s survey have used the economic downturn to upgrade their talent, and are likely to emerge being more competitive with stronger employer brands.”

The impact of the current economic climate is sure to be evident in the results that emerge from the detailed analysis of the survey data. “We expect to uncover some very interesting trends in the coming months; during hard times when finances are tight companies need to explore non-financial rewards particularly in areas regarded as important by employees. The challenge confronting business leaders is to find the right balance between improving operational performance and reducing workforce related costs on the one hand and focusing on strategic talent issues on the other.”

“Over the past year we have noticed a significant increase in the time and effort survey participants are devoting to building and refining their employer brands – that combination of factors that differentiates each company as an employer and shapes the perceptions of past, current and even prospective employees. In most instances this investment decision has been based on the need of these companies to clearly set themselves apart from their competitors by making explicit the employee value proposition they have to offer. Many have already experienced a dual benefit, namely, an increase in the number of high quality unsolicited job applications, in a market where key talent is not actively looking for alternate employment opportunities, and increased levels of reported motivation and commitment from existing employees.”

Apart from the employer brand eminence achieved from being recognised amongst South Africa’s top companies to work for, participation in the survey allows companies to gain valuable insight into what drives their employees, in particular their critical talent – what attracts them, what motivates them, and ultimately what retains them. “While policies and procedures are an important factor their existence alone is not the driving force behind the engagement and retention of key talent. Rather, it is the quality of employment experience offered by the organisation and how this aligns with employee needs and expectations. This year Management Style emerged as the top ranked survey dimension across all company size categories. This clearly highlights the critical influence that managers have on the overall employment experience of their staff.”

Those companies who excel in this survey tend to view their participation as a journey rather than a once off event. They use the insights gained during the process to create more effective attraction and retention strategies, involving their employees in the process as both key stakeholders and active participants. It is particularly encouraging to note an increase in the number of companies that are requesting in depth business unit and demographic analyses of their survey data. This confirms a more strategic basis for participation” adds Conradie.

The Industry Category winners for 2009 are:

Automotive and Components: Automotive Industry Development Centre
Building, Construction and Engineering: Pragma
Business and Professional Services: PAG, the Professional Assignment Group
Chemical and Pharmaceutical: Eli Lilly
Financial Services: General: Cadiz Holdings Limited
Financial Services: Insurance: Multinet Underwriters
Information Technology: Business Systems Group Africa
Logistics, Shipping and Transport: Access Freight Group
Manufacturing: Robor
Public Sector/Utilities: Competition Commission South Africa
Tourism and Leisure: Flight Centre SA

“2009 has without doubt been one, if not, the most challenging year many of us have ever encountered given the financial turbulence stemming from the global capital markets crisis. Nevertheless, and regardless of the prevailing market conditions each of the participating companies in this year’s survey took the decision to participate, some for the first time, some for the tenth consecutive time and the majority somewhere in between. For making this courageous decision we commend all participants especially those size category and industry category winners whose performance confirms their status as South Africa’s best companies to work for,” concludes Conradie.

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