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Saturday, November 1, 2008
Staff advantage

Santam has been rated the second best company to work for in South Africa in the “large companies” category, in the annual Deloitte ‘Best Company to Work For’ survey.
Receiving the award in Johannesburg beginning October, Chief Executive, Ian Kirk said that it was an acknowledgement of the importance that his company places on members of staff and a tribute to their hard work and dedication.
“It proves once again that our staff members remain our strongest competitive advantage – helping us to achieve our goal of being the ‘Best of the Best’ and retaining our position as the leading short-term insurer.
“We are a truly South African company that has evolved and transformed over the past 90 years to become the diverse and dynamic success story we are today.  Putting people at the centre of our strategy, and adopting a client centric approach, has allowed us to prosper in many ways. It is only by recruiting and retaining the very best that we will remain the short-term insurance leader in South Africa.  We’ve worked hard at changing perceptions of the industry, and it is extremely gratifying therefore to receive this acknowledgement.
“In addition, I would like to believe that Santam is the right place where people are not afraid to Think Big. Santam is also a place where we place a high value on trying to Inspire others, a place where we Embrace challenges and a place where we act with care and show integrity in everything we do,” he said.
Noting that Santam’s rating in the Deloitte survey had steadily improved over the last few years – the company was rated third in the large companies category in 2007 – Kirk said that the company took the survey feedback seriously and endeavoured each year to effect improvements in all areas.
“Whereas a number of companies pay lip service to the concept of staff as ‘brand ambassadors’, we’ve actually combined ‘brand and people’ in one department under one Executive Head. We’ve also shared every element of our strategy with our staff, and we’re committed to developing all members of staff as individual leaders, free to express their views in innovative and unique ways, to challenge conventional wisdom and to be the best that they can be.”
Kirk noted that the company had introduced a number of personal development and convenience programmes into the workplace.  These included the “Yell for Yellow” programme – a free service available to staff 365 days a year to assist with emergencies and a range of domestic activities that are difficult to fit into daily work schedules.
In congratulating staff on the company’s achievement in the Deloitte survey, he noted that Santam would continue to find ways of positioning the company as an employer of choice. “I would like to congratulate and thank all 2 770 people who work for Santam and for our subsidiary companies. They’ve proved once again that our people are our strongest competitive advantage. In turn, we will continue to do everything in our power to be a better employer and to offer members of staff opportunities to make a real difference,” he concluded.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:21.10 1st November, 2008
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