Organisations are shifting from manager-driven development plans to empowering employees to take ownership of their own careers.
African Certification Programme, facilitated by global HR Certification company
the Top Employers Institute, show that when it comes to honing competitive
advantage on the continent, putting people first is key.
retaining and developing talent has always been a priority for employers, says
Billy Elliott, Top Employers Institute Country Manager: Africa. Growing skill
shortages, brain drain and a restlessness amongst a new generation of younger
workers makes this a perennial challenge.
But what sets Africa’s
Top Employers apart is a growing recognition that people development is not
a top down strategy, but a partnership between the employer and the employee.
development is a joint effort,” he says. “Over recent years, we have seen a
tremendous growth in the maturity of HR practices that these employers deploy.
We have seen how African employers are continuously working to optimise their
employee conditions and put the development of their people first.”
Employers Institute highlights three trending strategies from Top Employers
that are keeping employees engaged, and increasing the probability they will
remain with the organisation.
1. Managers as
are shifting from manager-driven development plans to empowering employees to
take ownership of their own careers and development, says Elliott. “Ideally
employees should have the intrinsic desire, drive and aspirations to
continuously develop themselves. But to empower employees, the organisation
must provide the right processes and structures, including people development
practices and technological support,” he says. “Managers are still integral –
in fact 96% of Top Employers hold line managers accountable for talent
management practices – but they must lead by example and coach their team.”
things you need to do now to accelerate your career growth
HR Manager of Microsoft, a certified Top Employer in 2018, agrees. “One of the
most important roles of our managers is to create an inclusive work environment
where every employee can effectively engage, learn, grow and develop. Line
managers work to provide timely, actionable feedback that enables each employee
to learn, adjust, grow, and deliver increasingly greater impact,” she says.
92% of Top Employers line managers are instructed and trained to provide
employees with open and constructive feedback on their performance on an
on-going basis. And 100% ensure that employees, in their turn, play an active
role by providing input for their performance evaluation.
2. Inspiring a
thirst for knowledge
feedback and clear communication is key, says Elliott, who believes that many
employee development initiatives flounder because of a lack of clarity over who
is responsible. He cites a joint research study conducted
by EdAssist and
the University of Phoenix that found, alarmingly, most employees
think that it is the responsibility of their managers to ensure they are
this inertia, employers need to find ways to inspire their people to want to
learn and to let them know that the opportunities are there for the taking,” he
comments. A great workplace must offer employees the opportunity to access and
engage in learning and development and it must make it easy and aspirational
for them to access these.
have found various creative ways to do this. Old Mutual, for instance, gives
employees access to online Harvard tools and an online learning platform where
they can book learning workshops. This is linked to performance and talent
management online processes, which prompt employees when they need to take
action with respect to their learning and growth.
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Old Mutual is
not alone, 91% of Top Employers on the continent provide guidelines and steps
for entry criteria on how to apply for training. A further 88% help employees
identify their learning needs, and 66% support learning programmes digitally.
succession management is also a key concern for Top Employers, with 95% holding
personal career development discussions between employees and their managers.
It is crucial,
says Elliott, that development initiatives have an explicit emphasis on career
advancement. “The best and brightest employees will be drawn to where they can
shine, and Top Employers provide that environment,” he says.
this, all Top Employers promote and encourage employee mobility across the
organisation. Some have taken this to new levels. Top Employer Orange Business
Services, for example, has launched a novel group-wide platform for internal
collaboration called Plazza. To make doubly sure employees are playing
to their strengths, the company has developed a digital tool called Skills Drive,
which combines skills anticipation with data intelligence to ensure the company
has the right people, with the right skills, in the right location.
At Top Employer
EY, the performance management programme is continuously evolving. “In
September, we launched LEAD, our transformed approach to performance
management. LEAD focuses on frequent, quality conversations that drive career
conversations and personal development rather than idealistic performance
expectations. Employees use continuous feedback in their day-to-day work to
grow and develop,” says Johanna Mapharisa, Africa Talent Leader.
gain - and retain
This year, a
record 200 African employers spanning 33 countries and 24 industry sectors
Employers Certification status. Collectively these world-class employers
positively impact the lives of approximately 541 000 employees on the
“It is hugely
exciting to see how executive management and line managers in these
organisations are committed to creating the right environment by promoting a
culture of development and ownership that is impacting meaningfully on the
lives of so many people.” says Elliott.
relationship will lead to better
employee engagement and improved business performance,” he says. “And with
growing focus on developing their workforce, Africa’s Top Employers can expect
to reap the rewards of a brain gain – and retain – rather than a brain drain.”
Top Employers institute helps leading employers around the world adapt to the
rapidly changing HR environment. To gain more insights, visit www.top-employers.com.