CRF Best Employers index released

SA Best employers named

Samantha Crous: CRF Institute Country Manager
Samantha Crous 1.jpg
It’s official, Old Mutual, Microsoft SA and MTN are the best employers in South Africa, according to the CRF Institute’s annual Best Employers Certification Index for 2012/13.

This is the first year that the Best Employers rating has certified three top category leaders, each one heading up its size category: Old Mutual in the Giants category (for companies with more than 10 001 employees); MTN in the Large category (for those with 1001 to 10 000 employees); and Microsoft SA in the Medium category (up to 1000 employees).

A total of 73 organisations were certified in 2012 – the largest number since the Best Employer campaign began in South Africa in 1997. “This increase in certifications indicates a promising rise in awareness that excellent HR practices can give companies a competitive advantage, particularly in the context of a combative labour market and increasingly complex business environment,” says Samantha Crous, the CRF Institute’s Country Manager.

Certification standards are rigorous and not all companies who apply are successful. About 12% of participants this year did not meet the criteria after a thorough, objective assessment of key drivers, practices and policies. 

“The review considers general criteria such as financial and non-monetary benefits, working conditions, training and career development, and company culture,” says Crous.Specifically, employers were scored in the following areas: organisation strategy; the HR function; communication; diversity management; corporate social responsibility; knowledge management; talent management and engagement; performance management; and rewards and recognition. 

With the findings independently audited by Grant Thornton South Africa, the results were announced in Johannesburg on 29 August 2012. “In a climate where companies expect more than ever from their employees, it is gratifying to see that top employers are realising the value of and investing in their relationships with employees, and the people component of the triple bottom line,” says Crous. “Developing and growing potential is one of the primary features of a Best Employer.

”At the top of the Giants category is Old Mutual. “Our people strategy enables our business strategy; built on a compelling vision that Old Mutual is a great place to work with people who do great things," says Anisha Archary, Human Resources Director. Home-grown, and now operational across six continents, Old Mutual employs 21 500 people, of the total global workforce of 50 000, in emerging markets. 

The secret ingredient for Old Mutual is that it is a values-led and customer-centric business. The employee value proposition ranges from global career opportunities, competitive reward offerings, developing talent, focusing on building future fit leaders, and a winning culture to achieve as one committed team.Microsoft South Africa stood out again (the company took top honours last year) from an outstanding group of participants in the medium-sized company category.

“We face the same economic or market circumstances as our peers. Where we can differentiate ourselves is in the way we focus on our people strategy,” said Mteto Nyati, Microsoft SA’s Managing Director. “Our aim is to create an organisation made up of people who realise their full potential and who are motivated to perform beyond just their usual duties. When people are developing and growing, it benefits the organisation, and this is a win-win situation for both the individual and the company,” says Mteto Nyati.

Talent enables innovation, and if there is one word on the lips of every MTN employee, innovation is it. According to Themba Nyathi, Chief HR Officer at MTN, winner of the large-sized business category, “Economic growth can only be realised if the country embraces full ICT technologies that are accessible to all. We live in a modern high-tech world and all our people are encouraged to upskill themselves in order to remain relevant into the future.” Going forward, he says, the economy is all about intellectual property.

Nyathi says this focus on innovation is partly because MTN operates in emerging markets. “As a result, we have to tailor-make our ICT solutions in order to solve societal problems,” he says.With more and more South African companies cultivating emerging market strategies, the CRF Institute is extending its tried-and-tested Best Employers South Africa index into Africa for the first time in 2012.

The following companies were certified as the first Top Employers in Africa, in no particular order: British American Tobacco, Ernest & Young, Microsoft, Old Mutual, Siemens, G4S and Unilever. “As businesses increase their foothold on the continent, it becomes more and more important to develop applicable, relevant HR policies and practices alongside,” says Crous. 

“These policies become essential for managing the massive redistribution of talent that will be necessary to sustain successful business development in the continent’s many emerging markets,” she says. “And it’s for this reason that we have created the Top Employers in Africa Index.”
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