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Ohlthaver & List Group wins Deloitte’s Best Company to Work For survey, again

Sven Thieme heads a local conglomerate, the O&L Group of Companies, named last week as the overall winner in Deloitte’s Best Company to Work For survey for southern Africa. Late in September, the Group was named the winner in the Namibian section of the survey.

Sven Thieme heads a local conglomerate, the O&L Group of Companies, named last week as the overall winner in Deloitte’s Best Company to Work For survey for southern Africa. Late in September, the Group was named the winner in the Namibian section of the survey.

Going from their number one position in Namibia as the best company to work for, the O&L Group of Companies also scooped the award for the best company in the entire southern Africa.


At an award breakfast in Johannesburg last week, the O&L Group officially received the award for Best Company to Work For in Southern Africa, for the second consecutive year. Late in September, at a function in Windhoek, the O&L Group of Companies, was named the winner in the category for large companies in Namibia. This was also the second consecutive win in the Namibian survey. Executive Chairman of the O&L Group, Sven Thieme commented about this milestone achievement: “We are a diverse Group with a combination of many qualities: an employer of choice; the most progressive and inspiring company and ultimately truly and wholly Namibian-owned with 5000 reasons enveloped with our seal of excellence and purpose: ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’.”  Thieme thanked the O&L employees at the various operating subsidiaries of the Group. On behalf of the Group’s executive team, he expressed his appreciation for their unwavering commitment, support and contribution to bring the O&L Purpose to fulfilment. “It is through your individual and collective breakthrough initiatives that you have applied to do the O&L brand the honour in earning the Group the outstanding award as 1st place in the 2013 Deloitte Best Company To Work For survey for the second consecutive year.  This is once again testimony that our proudly Namibian Group of Companies with its humble beginnings is truly creating conditions for our valued employees to succeed and deliver breakthrough results”, said Thieme. “This is a way of life aimed at creating excellent employment experiences while the Group’s purpose: “Creating a future, enhancing life” is the driving force behind the Best Company To Work For success stories,” he said. This is the third year, the Deloitte Best Company to Work For survey was conducted in Namibia. The survey was done under the banner “Making Africa a better place to work”. The survey aims to identify and celebrate the best companies to work for across the Southern African region as rated by their most important stakeholder group, namely their employees. In the Namibian survey, Santam was the winner of the medium sized company category with the MVA Fund second and Afrox third.  In the large company category, O&L Group won with Old Mutual second and Agra third. “The results of the survey in Namibia this year and over the past two years indicate that the participating Namibian companies go the extra mile to understand their employees and to provide an employment experience that is on par or even better than the employment experience provided by companies in the region,” said Ramsay Mc Donald, partner at Deloitte and head of the Best Company to Work For survey in Namibia. The survey is the pre-eminent survey of its kind in Namibia and is quickly developing to be the pre-eminent survey of its kind in Africa. The survey, launched in South Africa in 2001, was extended to Namibia in 2011 and has attracted great interest from companies who want to ascertain how their employees view their performance on a variety of criteria. This year the survey was conducted in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Kenya. “Apart from the benefits of Industry, Size Category and Regional benchmarking, each participating organisation gains invaluable insights into the reported employment priorities and experiences of its employees which can serve as the basis to optimise their overall employment experience and thereby enhance the organisation’s performance and status as a recognised employer of choice.” Providing some background to the 2013 survey, Mc Donald said this year’s participation included four new companies, representing the biggest increase in new participants since the survey’s inception in Namibia. In total 12 local companies participated in the 2013 survey, which is two more than last year’s survey. At the Namibian awards, Deloitte recognised Agra, AFROX (first time participant), MTC, MVA Fund, NamPower, Ohlthaver & List Group, Old Mutual and Santam for achieving an average score greater than or equal to the Deloitte benchmark for the standard of excellence. This benchmark score is an average overall score across the ten dimensions surveyed of more than 3.7. Achieving this score means these company employees are mostly positive about all ten dimensions and 44 questions surveyed.  During the 2011 to 2012 survey period Namibia not only scored above the 3.7 benchmark, but also showed an improvement from 3.80 to 3.94 on its overall scoring. The 2013 results surpassed those of last year with the average score achieved reaching 4.0. “This year’s results are excellent but work still needs to be done in closing the gap between employees and employers in understanding what people value,” said Hein Nienaber, Associate Director Human Capital. According to him talent development and management, leadership and employee engagement are as relevant today as it was 10 to 15 years ago.

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