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From the kitchen to the kingdom

07 June 2018Adele Beetge, King Price
Adele Beetge, general manager for training and quality assurance at King Price.

Adele Beetge, general manager for training and quality assurance at King Price.

How a chef discovered she loved people more than pastry, and flipped the switch.

Wife and a mother to 3 teenagers and a 21-year-old, weekend olive farmer and part-time photographer, Adele Beetge is also the general manager for training and quality assurance at King Price. Adele has been with King Price almost since the start of the maverick insurance company, for just over four years.

“I have the best job in the company,” she says brightly. A big claim, for a big role.

Adele manages the King Price academy and is responsible for the induction and on-boarding of all new employees to the king. She heads up on-going training and upskilling for existing staff, but equally importantly, she is accountable for compliance training, which in the financial industry is crucial. Adele also oversees quality assurance (QA) training to ensure that each royal client is treated fairly and equally, as embodied by the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) regulatory and supervisory approach.

“We don’t really do titles... Accountability and ownership for your role are so much bigger than the label,” she says. Adele studied food service management and worked in the culinary field for 15 years, and it was here that she discovered her love for training and teaching, more than the actual food she was plating up. A natural born leader, Adele admits to having a big passion for people development and she seriously loves her job, and the people she works with.

Working with people every day is the best part of my job

“I see individuals walk in to the company, with dreams in their eyes, and it’s my duty to see how we can help them realise their dreams, develop them, and follow a solid career path. On the flip side, if an employee isn’t engaged anymore, we can work with them and help them to find their feet again,” she says.

My biggest brag-factor is my team

“I am nothing without my team. I built a team with attitude, go-getters without formal qualifications but who wanted to do the job, who wanted to work with people, study and further themselves.” And Adele’s team is extensive; the training team is 6 strong, the QA team is made up of 22 employees, with 2 in the projects team.

Every new employee is a new customer

“’Customer is king’ is one of our most dearly held values, and it’s our responsibility to instil this value throughout the business,” says Adele. “We treat our staff the same way we treat our clients, with respect, attention and knowledge. And in return, our staff treat our clients well. It comes from within.”

Our flawsome culture is what sets us apart

It’s not the ping-pong tables and slushy machines, it’s the people and culture, and the smiles on the floor, and Adele attests to that. “Culture is the royal blood that pumps through our veins. We ask a new person to spend at least a day on the job before we hire them, to make sure that there’s a culture fit both ways,” she says. And if it’s not a good fit, King Price does something not many other employers will… “We offer a pretty decent leaving bonus. We can’t afford to have someone on the job whose values don’t resonate with ours,” she says.

It surprises me how much people limit themselves

“Once people realise that someone really believes in them, that we’ve got their back, you see a mind-set shift. We limit ourselves with our own limiting beliefs – especially our younger people today – but actually, you cannot fail anyone, except yourself,” says Adele. “You can do more and be better than you think you can.”

If people give you energy, training is for you

The most important thing is that you must want to work with people. A formal training and compliance qualification helps because you need to have certain accreditations, to be an assessor and a moderator. You must be able to mentor, facilitate, mark tests, work face-to-face, coach, assist with e-learning, and always be available to others. You must be willing to pause what you’re busy with, and give an employee attention.

My job is who I am

“I love my job to the bone, every day. If you have a heart for people and a heart for what you do, you can do it,” concludes Adele.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

Millennials make up 30% of the South African job market; these are your clients and future clients. Do you engage with them?

ANSWER

No, not my target audience
Yes, the same as all my other clients
Yes, via social media
Some engagement but by far the most difficult generation to engage with
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