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Mutual & Federal increasingly becomes popular employer of choice

11 October 2011 Mutual & Federal
Basetsana Magano

Basetsana Magano

Mutual & Federal, a member of the Old Mutual Group, manages talent in accordance with the global talent management methodology of its parent company – making it an employer of choice.

The short-term insurer was recently certified as the Best Employer in the insurance sector by the Corporate Research Foundation (CRF) Institute, an international organisation that identifies top performers in the areas of human resources and leadership.

The Best Employers Survey benchmarks local people management practices against the best in the world in order to certify companies that have adopted human resources practices that are truly world class.

Mutual & Federal regards talent management as key to achieving high performance delivery across all business units. In line with the rest of the Old Mutual Group, it uses three tools for talent management, namely, Talent Grid, Leadership Model and Career Choices Model.

“Mutual & Federal adopts powerful, consistent talent-management practices across the group that are pivotal to our success - giving it access to talent that the group wouldn’t otherwise have had,” says Basetsana Magano, Group Executive: Human Capital.

Employee-manager conversations are one of the key tools the company employs to really understand its talent. These management conversations are typically far more detailed and broader and are recorded in the Group database.

“The dialogues take place at all levels throughout the Company, says Magano.”

According to Magano, management conversations break down engagement barriers, and when used properly, are very powerful. Mutual & Federal managers are equipped to record these conversations online themselves, using streamlined systems.

“The talent management methodology has been five years in the making, and is now starting to yield results,” adds Magano.

The Career Choices model is the underlying framework used by the Group to manage its talent pipeline and is aligned to the Leadership Model.

“We encourage our staff to make career choices; to move into management or become specialists and progress into deep specialist roles requiring technical talent. We allow the architecture of the business to accommodate and be responsive to that choice,” explains Magano.

The organisational culture of Mutual & Federal, its commitment to transformation, skills and leadership-development programmes all played a role in securing the Company first place as an employer of choice in South Africa.

The organisation, which employs 2 200 highly skilled and committed people in a network of branches across South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, has a single company culture, based on sound values and leadership behaviours.

“Our employees are the best barometer of our strengths and weaknesses and we spend time and effort engaging their views and implementing action plans based on their feedback,” says Magano.

The commitment, of Mutual & Federal, to the transformation of the organisation is evident in its workforce which is 60% black - 35% of which are black females. While dedication to skills and leadership development is highlighted by the spend of 3.5% of its payroll on skills development in 2010 – a percentage which is three times the amount required by legislation.

Furthermore, the insurer has an annual intake of talented graduates who are placed on structured programmes for their development.

“Mutual & Federal will definitely be applying for CRF Best Employer certification again in 2012, as the process provides us with an invaluable opportunity to continually improve our policies and attract top talent,” concludes Magano.

Mutual & Federal is one of South Africa’s leading short-term insurers.

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