MOTORING NEWS - In recognition of its consistent efforts to provide an excellent work environment for employees, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has been certified as a Top Employer for the 10th consecutive year.
This accolade is an internationally recognised certification from the Top Employers Institute, which is awarded in recognition of employers around the world that provide excellent conditions for their employees. Included in the considerations are the company's commitment to employee well-being, continuous improvement and to developing talent within the organisation.
The list of Top Employers for 2021 was announced at the end of January, after the event was postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement released by VWSA the company says the award follows on the heels of a challenging year, where VWSA showed its commitment to its workforce by going above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of employees.
"As the largest private employer in Nelson Mandela Bay, VWSA responded swiftly to the threat of Covid-19. All VWSA sites were prepared during Level 5 of lockdown to ensure the safety of returning employees – a process which included installing extensive signage and sanitising stations, implementing body temperature checks at all entrances, and redesigning workspaces to allow for physical distancing. Returning employees were also re-oriented to the new workplace through a series of information sessions and a booklet detailing all new protocols, and were issued with a digital thermometer and disposable face masks."
VWSA has been running an extensive internal communication campaign since March 2020, aimed at keeping employees safe and informed.
The team behind these efforts, which included over 900 communiqués by the end of 2020, was awarded with a Silver Quill award from the International Association of Business Communicators. The annual event recognises outstanding communication in a business setting across the African continent.
Throughout the pandemic, VWSA's employees have also received medical and psychological support from the in-house wellness centre. The centre also facilitated the testing of 3 734 employees for Covid-19, prior to the company re-opening in January. This included all production employees, as well as office staff that returned to company sites, though office staff are still encouraged to work from home where possible.
In order to achieve its Top Employer certification, VWSA participated in a rigorous assessment, which includes an intensive survey of the company's people practices as well as an independent audit. Criteria for the certification range from learning and development initiatives, company culture and workforce planning to compensation and benefits.
"To receive the Top Employer certification for 10 consecutive years is a milestone, and a testament to our commitment to continuously improving our value proposition to our employees," said Thabo Nkoane, Human Resources director for VWSA. "I am proud to be part of an organisation that has been recognised consistently for its efforts to put people first, by building a culture of excellence and empowerment."