Rebranding Santam

Directing human resources and communications and marketing her way

Executive Head of People and Brand at Santam, Yegs Ramiah
Yegs Ramiah

DM: What are your responsibilities as head of People and Brand at Santam? 

YR: My primary responsibility is to direct the human resources, as well as the communications and marketing functions. 

Santam uniquely positions People and Brand together, as we believe that our ability to deliver on our brand promise rests with our employees.You have recently been appointed to the Santam board. 

How does this responsibility tie in with your vision for repositioning the Santam brand in the marketplace? 

The board works closely with the executive to ensure strategic alignment. 

The board acknowledged the need to reposition the brand around the single-minded message of insurance good and proper. 

The brand is double-edged. 

Not only are we challenging South Africans to take their insurance more seriously, but it is also asking us internally to evaluate our behaviour, systems and processes against our brand promise. 

What is Santam’s value proposition? 

Insurance good and proper is premised on a number of factors that differentiate us from our competitors. We do insurance properly; with stature, integrity, certainty, single-minded focus and excellence. 

These are not aspirations, but attributes that are well grounded in our culture and the way we do business. We believe that the ideal value proposition comprises many elements, of which price is but one. 

In order to offer consumers the best possible insurance solutions, one has to add value in each of these areas, throughout the value chain. 

You speak glowingly about Santam’s Wellness Programme and how this contributes to low staff turnover.

 Could you shed more light on this?

 Our focus is holistic, in that it encapsulates both physical and emotional health. We partner with our medical aid providers to deliver an established programme of preventative health screening to staff. 

We offer screening for lifestyle related illnesses such as HIV/Aids, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cholesterol, and we assist staff to assess their lifestyle choices and make positive changes where required. From our engagements with staff, we pick up on key stress factors and provide workshops to assist with better management thereof.  

Furthermore, we partner with an external provider who assists with both professional care and support, should counselling by an individual (or his/her family) be required.  

A new addition to our offering has been the introduction of heath information on our company Intranet and a Web-based fitness and nutrition programme.  

Our Wellness Programme is a clear demonstration of one of our key values: to embrace and care for our people. 

Staff feedback indicates that this offering is a key part of our value proposition to employees and that it plays a role in staff retention.

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