Human Resource Development Award-Success depends on a competent workforce


23-November-2011

The success of the best laid plans and policies depends on a competent workforce to put into action what is conceived by both the public and private sectors.

The vision of the National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC) through the HRD Award is to establish a strong culture of effective manpower development practices in both public and private organisations. The award has been launched at an opportune time – after the National Careers Week and a series of meetings organised in all districts for job seekers.

Involvement in this award offers organisations the opportunity to evaluate the benefits of their training and demonstrate their commitment to invest in their workforce as they strive to improve their productivity. It will promote their achievements, and hence gain recognition from the leading lights of the training profession, and more importantly from their peers and talented job seekers.

In a bid to find out how some employers are managing their personnel and human resources, Seychelles Nation contacted about a dozen of them for a survey of how the organisations – big and small – are training their staff and the incentives in place to retain them.

Today, we will profile two of the organisations – Seychelles Breweries and State Assurance Corporation of Seychelles (Sacos). Other profiles will feature in future editions.

Profiles of organisations:

State Assurance Corporation of Seychelles (Sacos)

State Assurance Corporation of Seychelles (Sacos), previously a parastatal company but since privatised, is making a serious effort to adapt to the new competitive environment. It has a staff of around 100 and all, except three, are Seychellois.

According to Jane Joubert, Sacos’ marketing and public relations manager, it starts with the induction programme, where recruits learn the ropes. All new recruits are introduced to customer care and learn how the company is run so that they are in a position to know “their place” at Sacos. There is a clear “succession plan” and employees are groomed to take over new positions as vacancies arise.

Sacos also sponsors Seychelles Institute of Management and overseas training, leading to internationally recognised diplomas, such as the Chartered Insurance Institute. Employees are also encouraged to pursue continued education e.g. improving their language skills.

Incentives

Sacos staff benefit from discount on premiums. In the case of health insurance, for instance, staff pay 10% of premium while their immediate family members pay 50%. There is also a bonus scheme and employees can earn more than double their salaries as bonus after their appraisal.
 
Most Sacos staff are now shareholders and have a direct stake in the company. Ms Joubert believes that privatisation has given most staff a sense of ownership, prompting them to be “one step ahead all the time”.
 
Sacos also encourages staff to make voluntary contributions into the National Pension Fund by matching every rupee paid by an extra two.

Involvement in community activities

Sacos sponsors the schools age group swimming championship, other national sporting competitions, Festival Kreol and the Sports Awards of the Year. It also involved in charities and give out awards during many graduation ceremonies.

Seychelles Breweries Limited


At the Seychelles Breweries, all 119 staff members are Seychellois. The HR director, Jaffa Ally, says 80% of the workforce is involved in production. The company’s human resource policy is “partnering” which is a relationship to bring out the best in people.

“We do not hire to fire,” he stressed. Seychelles Breweries believes in a safe working environment, where services are fast, efficient and in compliance with the regulations. It is also Seychelles Breweries’ policy to foster mutual interests and teamwork.

Once an applicant has satisfied the job profile, emphasis is laid on perfection. Salaries are flexible and reviewed every year based on performance, cost of living and company profitability.

Incentives

Seychelles Breweries has bonuses based on target achievements. Employees are encouraged to be ready successors for key roles, with a firm commitment to achieving growth. Graduates benefit from a special programme, preparing to take up leadership roles. Five graduate employees are currently on overseas courses and attachments, including one with a brewery in Ghana, run by DIAGEO – the parent company of Seychelles Breweries.

Involvement in community activities

Seychelles Breweries contributes financially to projects deemed to have merits. Its soft drink –Sey Pearl – was the official beverage of the 8th Indian Ocean Island Games.

 

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