Making business success personal
Organisations should empower employees to be in the driving seat of their own careers
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