The Herald (Harare)

20 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Plan International Scoops Award

Plan International Zimbabwe has been voted the Industrial Psychology Consultants best employer of the year and best non-governmental organisation for 2012 while Ernst and Young chartered accountants emerged the best employer in the private sector.

It was the second year running that Plant International has won the award while Trocaire Zimbabwe and World Vision Zimbabwe came second and third respectively in the overall category that combines NGOs and the private sector.

The results of the best employer survey were derived from employee engagement surveys that were carried out by IPC within the respective organisations countrywide. Aspects considered included commitment and loyalty, communication, strategic direction, job satisfaction, supervision and remuneration structures.

Other companies in the top 10 included Transparency International, POSB, First Mutual Reinsurance and Speciss College.

Speaking at the awards ceremony held in Harare yesterday Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Mrs Monica Mutsvangwa encouraged organisations to have carefully integrated mechanisms that include recruitment and training, remuneration safety health and labour relations in the structures.

"It is important for the employer to inform the employee on the goings on at the workplace so that trust is built between the two and any arising issues can be dealt with amicably," she said.

Speaking at the same event IPC managing consultant Mr Memory Nguwi defined employee engagement as a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his organisation that influences him to exert greater discretionary effort to their work. He said the national engagement Index for 2012 was 60,21 percent, a decrease from last year's figure of 64,26 percent.

He said engagement research suggested that employees have a high knowledge and understanding of their organisations' strategy, with the strategic direction index at 84,93 percent suggesting that eight in every 10 Zimbabwean employees are well versed and appreciative of strategic direction of their organisation and what the organisation expects from them.

Mr Nguwi noted that although the survey had shown that most employees were not satisfied with their remuneration, companies needed to realise that throwing more money at their employees would not solve their problems.

"The challenge was that very few companies and organisations realised the root of the problem. The problem was not obsolete machinery or lack of working capital per se. The problem was more into management practices, a growing reluctance and incompetence across the spectrum of directors, management and general staff," Mr Nguwi said.

He urged leaders to be more proactive in employee engagement as results had shown that employee engagement is high among managerial employees than in non-managerial employees.

"The employee engagement index for managerial employees is 67,55 percent compared to the employee engagement index for non-managerial employees 59,64 percent. This revealed a rather disturbing paradox: Managers are confident and happy with employment at their companies but their subordinates do not share the same optimism," he said.

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