Hollard is a purpose-driven organisation
The purpose of the company is to create a better future for everyone
In his seminal 2009 TED Talk, author Simon Sinek said: “Every single person, every single organisation on the planet, knows what they do, 100%. Some know how they do it — whether you call it your differentiating value proposition, or a proprietary process or your USP [unique selling proposition] — but very few people or organisations know WHY they do what they do. By why, I don’t mean to make a profit; that’s a result, it’s always a result. I mean what’s your purpose, what’s your cause, what’s your belief? Why does your organisation exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?”
His conclusion was that all the great and inspiring leaders and organisations in the world start from this concept of “Why” and then determine how and what they will do. This resonates strongly with a perspective that we at Hollard have held since we opened our doors in 1980. That why we do what we do; it’s at the very heart of everything we do.
Hollard’s purpose is to “enable more people to create and secure a better future” and this is nowhere more evident than in our HR practices. Although we have only recently articulated this purpose, the sentiments that inform it have guided our every action from the start.
Implications for Hollardites
When we refer to enabling more people, we are referring not only to our customers, but also to our partners and suppliers and the communities in which we operate. Our purpose is to enable all of these groups to create a better future for themselves. But most importantly, it is also about our employees (we call them Hollardites).
To enable more Hollardites and their families to create and secure a better future, we have developed a set of “people” goals, as a subset of our broader organisational goals. These goals will help us achieve exceptional, sustainable and inclusive growth by ensuring the recruitment, development and retention of quality talent and by ensuring that Hollardites feel engaged and motivated at all times. The goals are underpinned by the idea of treating everyone with care and dignity, something that resonates deeply with Hollardites.
Learning and Development at Hollard
Agility is fundamental to an organisation’s success, and hence it is no surprise that Hollard has identified “learning on the fly” as one of our core competencies. In addition, we recognise the need for Hollardites to be able to navigate an increasingly complex world of work, and assess and develop competencies such as dealing with ambiguity and paradox.
Hollard also has a unique perspective on leadership, believing that all Hollardites are leaders. As a result, our leadership development programmes are available to all Hollardites, who are each asked “to be a leader and own your actions!” Embedded in the principles of neuroscience, the main leadership programme is appropriately called Synapse, and it teaches Hollardites how to develop new neural pathways to guarantee that new habits are formed.
Hollard believes in the power of diversity of thinking, so creating a diverse and multicultural organisation is at the heart of everything we do. This is reflected, inter alia, through our Women’s “LeadHERship” programme, which is aimed at developing the next generation of women leaders for our business, in line with our aim to ensure equal gender representation at leadership levels.
We also understand the value of leaders playing coaching and mentorship roles. As a result we run a cohort of mentorship programmes, using both in-house mentors (a group of trained executives) and external coaches, who support various requirements of the programme.
Talent mobility programme
In order to enable our ambitious international expansion strategy, we recently introduced a talent mobility program. Our strategy is to develop local talent in each market by placing into these environments seasoned international talent, with the ability to transfer key insurance skills. Employees with aspirations of working internationally are able to put their hands up for the mobility programme and we as Hollard support successful applicants with the transition, orientation and integration into each country. We currently have Hollardites on assignment in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Ghana, Indonesia and China.
The use of technology
In this digital era, consumers generally prefer to transact through mobile devices and online platforms, and our employee base is no different. As organisations search for the most effective and cost-conscious ways of reaching employees, more businesses are leveraging mobile connectivity and virtual working tools such as video conferencing to minimise travel costs.
Hollard has embarked on a journey to digitise employee development and engagement, while retaining the idea that technology should support and enable business decisions, rather than replacing the personal contact that informs better working relationships. We encourage the use of SMS, online channels and tools such as Skype for business communication, in order to improve employee development and engagement across workforces. This also helps with real-time learning, on-the-spot consultation, and on-the-job development. We also have a flagship Massive Open Online Course that we run for all employees where they can undertake any e-learning program.
In closing, Hollard’s recognition that overall financial wellbeing is particularly difficult to achieve for Hollardites at the lower levels of the organisation, means that learning and development interventions must extend beyond employees themselves. As a result, and as part of our quest for sustainable social impact, we have developed a bursary programme, as well as internship and learnership programmes open to the children of Hollardites at certain levels of the organisation.
We have been humbled by the impact of these programmes on Hollardites, on their families, and on their home communities in general. It appears we are truly enabling more people to create and secure a better future.
The company strives to ensure that ‘Hollardites’ are treated with care and dignity. Photo: Supplied