Mak­ing busi­ness suc­cess per­sonal

Or­gan­i­sa­tions should em­power em­ploy­ees to be in the driv­ing seat of their own ca­reers

Mail & Guardian - - Top Employers - Mark Phillips

Abusi­ness’s suc­cess is the sum of the as­pi­ra­tions, knowl­edge and ac­tions of every in­di­vid­ual within it. In a multi­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion such as JTI (Ja­pan Tobacco In­ter­na­tional), where op­por­tu­ni­ties for ca­reer growth are di­verse and cross bound­aries, en­sur­ing em­ploy­ees are con­tin­u­ously de­vel­op­ing is key.

How­ever, it is not enough to rely on line man­agers to in­flu­ence peo­ple’s de­vel­op­ment jour­neys. Em­ploy­ees should be em­pow­ered to own their ca­reer path. When a com­pany ap­peals to em­ploy­ees’ sense of ini­tia­tive and as­pi­ra­tions, in­ter­twin­ing their per­sonal suc­cesses with those of the busi­ness, in­di­vid­u­als are more com­pelled to be in the driv­ing seat of their ca­reer. It stim­u­lates am­bi­tion and mo­ti­va­tion among em­ploy­ees, two es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ents for long-term suc­cess. Ob­vi­ously, man­agers are ex­pected to sup­port and en­cour­age their team’s de­vel­op­ment, help­ing them to im­prove their per­for­mance and achieve their full po­ten­tial through learn­ing, and also by pro­vid­ing ca­reer guid­ance, feed­back and coach­ing.

At JTI, a pri­mary fo­cus of our busi­ness is tal­ent man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ing our peo­ple. The aim is to en­sure in­di­vid­u­als are chal­lenged and, through this, have op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow and de­velop. We do that by not only pre­sent­ing em­ploy­ees with the tools and skills they need to de­velop, but by in­spir­ing them to want to use them.

In the African re­gion, we have in­vested more than ever in tai­lored train­ing pro­grams and ini­tia­tives. Our Global Train­ing port­fo­lio is avail­able to em­ploy­ees on our in­tranet, en­abling them to ac­cess learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties on de­mand. We have also ex­panded our open on­line learn­ing op­tions, al­low­ing em­ploy­ees to take cour­ses that in­ter­est them and to learn at their own pace. We col­lab­o­rate with renowned uni­ver­si­ties, busi­ness schools and train­ing providers and spon­sor the ed­u­ca­tion of our em­ploy­ees in the ar­eas of coach­ing, busi­ness skills, soft skills and lan­guages.

An­other way to em­power em­ploy­ees is to of­fer a va­ri­ety of in­ter­na­tional, short-term de­vel­op­ment as­sign­ments, al­low­ing them to gain ex­po­sure to busi­ness prac­tices across their re­gion and fur­ther afield. Last year alone, 800 JTI em­ploy­ees across the world had in­ter­na­tional as­sign­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. The HR func­tion is re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing the em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ence is mean­ing­ful to each in­di­vid­ual, while also sup­port­ing the com­pany’s over­all suc­cess.

We do this be­cause we be­lieve in de­vel­op­ing and pro­mot­ing our peo­ple from within — one of the key driv­ers of em­ployee re­ten­tion. Across our seven Top Em­ployer cer­ti­fied African coun­tries*, JTI has a re­ten­tion rate of more than 93%. Glob­ally, over 80% of all man­age­rial va­can­cies in the com­pany are filled by in­ter­nal can­di­dates.

In ad­di­tion to our other of­fer­ings, we en­sure our em­ploy­ees are recog­nised and re­warded for their work through a di­verse range of ben­e­fit schemes that en­hance morale and en­gage­ment in the work­place.

Fi­nally, the mo­ti­va­tional im­pact of a renowned cer­ti­fi­ca­tion it­self can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated. Be­ing recog­nised as a Top Em­ployer is proof that a com­pany has state-of-the-art em­ployee prac­tices; it not only ap­peals to em­ploy­ees’ sense of pride and loy­alty, but also to fu­ture re­cruits.

Ul­ti­mately, em­pow­er­ing em­ploy­ees is about creat­ing a work­place where peo­ple feel their con­tri­bu­tion to the busi­ness is a re­flec­tion of their own per­sonal suc­cess. In­spir­ing peo­ple to de­velop by ap­peal­ing to their own am­bi­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion will en­cour­age them to go the ex­tra mile for the busi­ness and them­selves, and to take own­er­ship for do­ing so.

JTI aims to en­sure in­di­vid­u­als are chal­lenged and, through this, have op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow and de­velop. Photo: Supplied

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