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Sanlam: How to be a top employer in a time of Covid-19

Sanlam: How to be a top employer in a time of Covid-19
21-01-22 / Jeanett Modise

Sanlam: How to be a top employer in a time of Covid-19

Cape Town - The recent global pandemic has presented several new challenges and opportunities for all businesses, with a good number of employees now working in remote or hybrid environments. The talent landscape has essentially flipped from an employer-driven market to a candidate-driven market. Overnight, agility, a resilient talent management approach, and the ability to adapt to the rapid pace of change became critical.

Sanlam – a certified Top Employer for the seventh consecutive year – focused additional attention on purpose, values and culture to stay competitive. We listened and acknowledged the voice of the employee (VoE) in shaping our Human Capital (HC) agenda. Recent studies like those conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) confirmed that the pandemic has permanently reshaped “how we work”. The research found that employees expect more frequent, contextualised, and personalised experiences, and greater flexibility, which includes the choice to work remotely. These factors directly impact people’s decision to stay or leave an organisation.

There’s no question that work will be different. Sound decisions and actions taken in 2022 can lead to a future that works well for everyone.

Digital transformation has changed the way we work, and talent already faces a different business landscape as they transition to leadership roles. Therefore, it is important for businesses to also manage the always switched-on culture and prioritise work-life integration. With the transition to remote and hybrid arrangements, expectations around ways of working have drastically changed. Below are some ways we believe corporates can be top employers in this new world of work.

1. Align through a shared purpose

Sanlam’s purpose is to empower generations to be financially confident, secure, and prosperous – this also applies to our employees as our key stakeholders. This confidence and security empower our employees to bring their “best selves” to the workplace and to fulfill their potential and aspirations. Receiving the Top Employer certification is testament that we are continuously innovating our employment partnership and value proposition in line with the evolving expectations of our people.

2. New ways of working

Humans are social by nature and require meaningful interactions. As we move to hybrid models, we have a unique chance to co-create the new world of work alongside our teams, to support greater inclusivity for all employees irrespective of where they work. Evolving our desired culture means more engaged employees, better productivity, higher employee retention, and ultimately better company performance. It’s imperative that we invest in empowering our leaders to focus on what it will take to sustain a company culture that unlocks our people’s potential and enables flexible, inclusive and supportive work arrangements.

3. Employee experience with humanity at the centre

We continue to prioritise our people and their holistic wellbeing. That means understanding our people and their expectations and co-creating solutions together. How can we best enable them to grow and thrive? How do we bring structure and the ability to navigate constant change? How do we evolve our culture as we grow and transform our business? How do we drive our shared purpose in the hybrid working environment? Digital transformation is the bedrock of our people-centred practices, enabling swift responsiveness and an evolving employee experience. We’ve also enhanced our proactive wellbeing offering to be a digitally enabled, integrated solution focused on emotional, mental, financial and physical wellness.

4. “Winning as One”

Sanlam is a large group with differentiated businesses, and we have been working collaboratively all along. However, after the advent of the pandemic, we recognised an amplified need for collaboration, given requirements for higher levels of client-centricity and the need to leverage on synergies for the success of the whole group. As part of our “Winning as One” culture transformation journey, we worked with our senior leaders and employees on enhancing strategic agility and execution. We also focused on rapidly integrating our new joiners, employee engagement, as well as identifying and recognising effective collaborators. We will continue embedding these factors going forward. We believe open communication is crucial to a thriving culture. Including making space for people to feel safe and included.

5. Talent for the future

One of our core pillars is building talent for the future through deliberate investment in strong development and succession practices. Our “Future Fit Me” platform, underpinned by our people development strategy, enables our culture of continuous learning; all our people can access development opportunities anytime and anywhere. This is critical for ensuring that we build the required critical capabilities.

6. As an organisation, we are as strong and as resilient as our people

We will continue to partner with our people to ensure that we sustain a culture conducive to the success of all our stakeholders. COVID-19 has changed the world, however, the factors that make for a Top Employer remain the same. It’s about listening, respect, empathy, and a real desire to help people be the best versions of themselves, contribute to the success of the business with work-life integration, and celebrate successes together.

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