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Top Employers – Remember, your employees are not psychic!

Top Employers – Remember, your employees are not psychic!

“Unless organisations take specific steps to cascade goals throughout the organisation and align these with employee goals, the best laid plans will come to nothing,” said Billy Elliott, Country Manager of the Top Employers Institute in Africa. “To drive true purpose and effectiveness in the every-day lives of employees, the company strategy needs to be filtered down to each level of staff.”

The Top Employers Institute globally certifies excellence in employee conditions and evidence from its 2017 Certification Programme clearly demonstrates that successful companies in Africa regard the alignment of organisational and employee goals as their number one performance management priority.

“If people understand that what they are doing actually fits into the bigger picture, and helps the company accelerate in the execution of their strategy, then you start to feel a certain kind of recognition and pride,” said Marilyn Rose Chaplin, Group Executive of Human Resources at globally certified Top Employer Dimension Data.

One hundred per cent of the executive management of Top Employers in Africa in 2017 put performance goals in place and assist managers to cascade business goals and strategy to individual employees. Cascading goals is an integral part of managing performance. Some 97% of Top Employers on the continent use a goal-cascading method to ensure individual performance goals and objectives are aligned with the broader organisational strategy.

Communication is critical here: 100 per cent of the surveyed Top Employers in Africa have processes in place to communicate the organisation’s strategy with employees, with 95% ensuring information regarding the organisation’s strategy is freely accessible.
Notably, effective communication typically occurs across multiple channels, with the majority of Top Employers using a blend of ‘Town Hall’ meetings, roadshows, staff meetings, newsletters, bulletin boards, employee magazines, video and TV messages and/ or intranet messages.

Old Mutual, which has 14 certified Top Employer operations in 13 countries across Africa,  including Namibia, combines meticulous goal-setting and clear communication with rewards for good performance to achieve a winning strategy.

Gareth Evans, Head of Old Mutual Emerging Markets HR Integration and Delivery, stated: “Organisational goals are carefully crafted through our strategy planning and are reviewed annually as part of business planning. This is particularly important to ensure the ongoing relevance of goals and to take into account the external business environment and macro-economic conditions.”

Staff at all levels are an essential part of this process, which Evans describes as “highly engaging and inclusive”. “Individual goals are fundamental to the organisation achieving its overall targets and we follow a very thorough process of cascading goals and ensuring calibration and alignment,” he said. “The setting of employee goals through the score-carding process is also highly integrated with the employee development and talent practices. This contributes to ensuring a holistic and impactful talent outcome is achieved with absolute alignment to organisational objectives.”

The Top Employers Institute’s research confirms that employee buy-in is key. A total of 96% of Top Employers in Africa ensure employees play an active role, by providing input for their individual annual goals. Flexibility is equally important – over 98% of the Top Employers certified allowed for the adjustment of objectives during the year, depending on changing business needs.

The process is meticulous but extremely worthwhile, Evans believes. “If line managers and employees do not understand the broader organisational strategy and objectives you will always experience challenges in setting and aligning goals. This is why executives and leaders at Old Mutual spend a lot of time ensuring that our people are part of the business planning process and that there is deep understanding of what we as an organisation are trying to achieve,” said Evans.

Goal-setting can be a challenging process, and Old Mutual continually up-skills HR professionals, line managers and employees. “We provide very comprehensive capability building through our employee on boarding programme, as well as in our management and leadership development programmes,” Evans added.

Elliott said that the experiences from Old Mutual and other Top Employers on the continent demonstrates that taking the time to invest in HR Best Practice Performance Management is an essential part of giving organisations a competitive advantage. “One of the main benefits of participating in the Top Employers Certification Programme is that it aligns organisations with HR Best Practice allowing both them and their employees to function at their best.

“For example, evidence from our Certification Programme shows clearly how the symbiotic relationship between employee and organisational goals is a key driver of business success. Others can learn from this!

“After all, in the long run it is more cost effective to invest in HR Best Practice Performance Management that gives your people the best chance of success” he said.

Top Employers Institute

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.