For creating and maintaining conducive workplace for employees, some Nigerian firms were honoured with the prestigious Top Employer Award in South Africa recently, writes Peter Uzoho
A heightened understanding of the correlation between the work environment and productivity could not be more important at any other time than now. Globalisation, the rapid pace of technological advancement and an increasingly turbulent environment, among other critical factors, have compelled the need for organisations to focus more attention on the management of their employeesâ€™ performances.
In strengthening the brand equity, a conversation around excellence in employee productivity has aroused considerable consciousness among organisations and employers about creating a conducive workplace for employees to enhance output and efficiency.
However, it was against this background that a leading global certification company, Top Employer Institute, established the internationally acclaimed â€˜Top Employer Awardâ€™, an initiative that recognises and celebrates world-class employers for entrenching enviable working conditions for their employees.
The awards, usually given during the Top Employer Certification dinners held at various times in the year across continents, are arguably the most prestigious Human Resources awards and one of the most trusted by leading employers around the world. The ceremony hails excellence in employeesâ€™ working conditions. The formal presentation of the 2018 country and continental awards was made at a gala night held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on October 12, 2017.
According to the Institute, â€œ164 organisations from across Africa were certified as Top Employers for 2018 after individually participating in a rigorous research programme covering 100 questions and 600 practice areas based on an HR Best Practices Survey.â€ Interestingly, eight Nigerian companies operating in various industries, ranging from consumer goods and services, financial services and insurance to professional services, were decorated with the Top Employer certification. They included BASF West Africa Ltd., British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), DHL International Nigeria Ltd., Old Mutual Nigeria, Dow Industrial Chemical Products Nigeria Ltd., Philip Morris, EY Nigeria, and G4S Nigeria.
Stating its reason for according the companies the honour, the Institute noted, â€œOur comprehensive independent research revealed that the awardees provide exceptional employee conditions, nurture and develop talent throughout all levels of their organisations and have demonstrated leadership status in the HR environment, always striving to optimise their employment practices and to develop their employees.â€
Speaking on the importance of the award, Managing Director, BASF West Africa, Dr. Jean-Marc Ricca, described the certification as a testament and consolidation of the fact that the firm operates at optimum standards.
Ricca noted: â€œOur focus is on fostering the individualâ€™s unique talents and meeting that personâ€™s development objectives in the best possible manner, thereby allowing BASFâ€™s corporate objectives to be fulfilled at the same time. Considering that we are getting this recognition for the third consecutive time in the five years of our existence as a legal entity is a great reinforcement that we are doing well with our people management. As we continue to expand our operations, we will optimise our employee conditions, and continue to recruit, retain and attract the best employees.â€
In a similar vein, BATN Head of Human Resources, West Africa , Tope Akinsanya, remarked: â€œIn Nigeria and West Africa, we consciously invest in and celebrate our employees and, for this reason, we are very proud of this certification. This success is driven by our people who bring their difference every day and this award confirms that we have all the necessary tools for our people to develop and succeed. It is indeed a great delight to be recognised at the most prestigious HR awards event on the African continent and to get this at our very first entry.â€
For the decorated Nigerian companies, the award recognises commitment to people and their professional and personal development. It also confirms the companiesâ€™ leadership position in the various HR practice areas of Talent Management, Workforce Planning, Learning and Performance Management, Leadership Development, Career and Succession Management, Reward and Culture.
The Top Employer award ceremony creates an opportunity for organisations to showcase to the world that they are exceptional employers. On the benefits that accrue to employers interested in enlisting in the award, the Top Employer Institute notes that â€œYou will get access to a comprehensive range of easy-to use tools and exclusive communication channels to strengthen your employer brand.â€ It notes further that â€œThe evaluation process is stringent as it includes a critical review of answers and documents provided; a third-party audit on processes and data and the rating of participantsâ€™ performance scores against an international standard.â€
It is hoped that this illustrious platform that the Top Employer Institute provides will enable many other companies in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, to benchmark their HR practices and reinforce their employer brands.