Following on from yesterday’s countdown specific to South Africa, we take a look today at the businesses who are taking more of a continental approach and especially those who manage to instil a consistent philosophy of quality into the organisation when it comes to employee satisfaction across numerous countries.
In each year’s list for the entire continent, one standout winner is selected, with the other nine receiving official certification in no particular order. For the purposes of this article, we’ve counted down from nine to two in accordance with continental saturation to establish an official rundown.
Regardless of the order though, the global familiarity of the company’s listed and rate of expansion occurring for each of these heavyweight organisations confirms Old Mutual Group Chief Executive, Julian Roberts’ statement that “Africa will be the success story in the next decades…Africa is on the move and it is moving forward”.
10. Becton Dickinson
Split into four subsidiaries situated in the west and east of the continent as well as in South Africa and Zambia, Becton Dickinson’s influence in Africa has flourished since establishing its first office in the latter of those locations in 1995.
The global medical technology company’s dedication not only to its own personnel but to the wider African population has been a pivotal reason for the company’s ongoing regional success.
Having made South Africa’s countdown, Microsoft’s presence in other key economies including Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria makes its continental influence equally impressive.
Similarly to Becton Dickinson, its CSR philosophy through initiatives such as its Microsoft 4Afrika drive is replicated through its employee care and development.
“The world is looking for the next growth pole and Africa is positioned to be exactly that. As investors assess industries and sectors to fund, there is a keen interest in exploring the future multinational companies that will come out of Africa,” said Fernando de Sousa, general Manager of Africa Initiatives at Microsoft.
8. Old Mutual
Old Mutual is another company to bridge the two countdowns and has done so off the back of its recently revealed plans to expand its operations across Africa to the tune of a R5 billion investment.
The company’s ongoing commitment to African prosperity is one that has been engrained into the organisation for more than 150 years.
“We believe that the prospects for growth in Africa are underpinned by sustainable, structural factors,” Chief Executive, Julian Roberts said.
7. SAP Africa
SAP Africa’s recent focus on mobility is primarily being applied to aid the development of all people in optimising new and sometimes complicated technological innovations.
This can stem to independent individuals and businesses but is also very much applied into its internal development, making sure that the company practices what it preaches.
Merlin Knott, SAP Africa’s Director of Business Analytics, said: “The momentum around mobile analytics is increasing exponentially as it has proven to be a critical element to transforming businesses. It is also completely aligned with the current hype surrounding cloud computing, big data and BYOD (bring your own device).”
6. British American Tobacco
British America Tobacco’s vision is to strengthen its position as the leading tobacco company in the EMA region and, since 2007, this vision has certainly reaped rewards from is labours.
Overcoming supply difficulties in some areas, the company’s flexibility has been translated into continuous margin improvements and is also subsequently reflected in the productivity and continuous improvement of its employees.
According to Industry Research Manager, Cornelis van der Waal, DHL’s expansion across Africa has been an aggressive one, epitomised by ongoing commitment via investment and continuous improvement strategies,
He said: “Their foray into the informal retail market, and their partnership with postal operators, has seen the company more than quadruple its retail outlets across the continent in just a few months. It is an impressive story, and one that needed to be recognised.”
Sumesh Rahavendra, Head of Marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, said the key to the company’s success in Africa is due to its customer service and employee commitment.
“Underpinning our ambitious growth strategy and pan-African vision is the understanding that attracting and retaining the best talent to deliver seamless and innovative solutions to our clients across the continent is essential.” These the words of EY CEO, Ajen Sita.
“Our best-in-class HR practices are available to all 28 countries in Africa, from our world-class training across the board, to our wellness strategy, mobility programmes and Africa-wide culture programmes, to name a few.”
Sita’s dedication to maintaining EY’s strong influence in Africa is supported by the company’s overall vision to “build a better working world”.
As one of the chasing pack behind the likes of MTN and Vodacom, Orange can often rely on its employee satisfaction rates to level the playing fields in what is an ever-swinging pendulum of a telecoms industry.
Alongside its people management ethos, the company has also received critical acclaim for its commitment to environmental strategies and particularly the recycling of mobile devices which has been in place for nearly a decade.
G4S is the second largest employer in the world and spans 129 countries so it should come as no surprise that the company’s influence in Africa is also widespread.
Forming a positive reputation for something as individually significant as working conditions is perhaps even more of achievement though and is certainly something that Regional President for Africa, Andy Baker takes great pride in.
“We try to push lead decision making within individual countries; and try to think globally and act locally so that our employees across the region are empowered to make decisions locally and also forge local relationships,” he said.
“Across the global business we have a strategic leadership programme, and this identifies talented, high potential people and brings them into project work.
“We have specific internal and external education for them to enhance their development and that works very well. In Africa we do something similar and where necessary we send people overseas to different institutions if we think that is going to accelerate their development.”
It’s official – not only is consumer goods company, Unilever the top company to work for in South Africa, but this same level of quality is officially replicated across the whole of Africa in the eyes of the Top Employers Institute.
Taking SAP’s mantle from last year – a year where Unilever also made the top 10 certified list – the company was praised especially for its talent strategy, workforce planning, learning and development strategies, performance management, leadership development, career and succession management, compensation and benefits, and company culture.
“Unilever is a global organisation with products sold in over 190 countries. Our HR standards and practices therefore have to be world-class,” said Vice President for Human Resources for Unilever Central Africa, Mechell Chetty. “Africa is no different and its unique challenges and socio-economic landscape should never be a pardon for having anything less than the best HR professional standards.
“With Unilever’s growth ambitions in Africa, it is critical to attract, develop and retain the best talent across the continent. The Top Employer Africa certification helps cement our position as a leading employer on the African continent.”
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