Windhoek — Ernst and Young and Old Mutual are of the top African employers, according to the just released annual Top Employers Africa Certification Programme. The programme is carried out by the Top Employers Institute and independently audited by Grant Thornton. The programme shows that good people management can mean the difference between success or failure on the continent.
The Top Employers Africa 2014 Certification results published on Saturday show that leading employers in Africa continue to invest heavily in developing their people and that this is a key part of their growth strategy on the continent.
The Certified Top Employer Africa 2014 include Ernst and Young for South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Nigeria. The other company is Old Mutual in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Other companies are British American Tobacco, information and technology company SAP, security company G4S, Microsoft, and the fast consumable goods company Unilever.
A statement from the company says the African economy is growing faster than any other continent in the world, with one-third of African countries having a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of more than 6 percent. According to the African Development Bank, the costs of starting a business in Africa have fallen by more than two-thirds over the past seven years while delays for starting a new business have been halved. "Yet many big companies and corporations extending their reach into Africa still stumble because they fail to adapt business strategy and operational models to uniquely African circumstances," says the Top Employers Africa Certification Programme.
"Globally, there has been a shift in the importance businesses place on talent and people management within company structures - and this is very evident in businesses operating in Africa," says Samantha Crous, Top Employers Institute Regional Director for Africa and Benelux.
"There is a great demand for talent and human capital and companies find themselves competing for the most experienced and skilled staff. We are seeing companies spend more on developing local expertise through employee training and education. Benefits like child care and special working conditions as well as internal communication platforms are also evident," says Crous.
Aligning people and brand can be challenging and it helps if a corporate culture dominated by good HR practice is in place. This is often what separates a top employer from the rest of the crowd, a company that realises that people are the backbone of the business. "Companies are increasingly merging the notions of company branding, strategic business decisions and human resources. Companies are realising that looking after their employees is not just vital to employee satisfaction, but to business success as well. Good HR practice quite literally makes good business sense as well," says Crous.