- Posted on Monday 24 June 2013 - 19:42AfricaNews Monitoring Team with files from African Press OrganizationLong service awards, bring your kids to work day, family picnics and an initiative to uncover employees' personal dreams. These are just some of the elements that featured in DHL's Employee Appreciation Week, an Africa-wide initiative that was run across over 50 countries touching over 4,000 employees.The initiative which aimed to recognize and reward its employees across the continent, saw thousands of employees across DHL Express’ Sub-Saharan Africa network celebrated for their achievements, whether extraordinary or every day, showcasing the importance of employee engagement and recognition when looking to create a great place to work.
According to the most recent Gallup survey in 2012, which included 1.4 million employees in 192 organizations around the world, employee engagement is crucial to business success, most notably within challenging economic times. The report highlights that companies that focus on employee engagement enjoy lower absenteeism, lower staff turnover, higher productivity and higher profitability, to name a few.
“It’s more than lip service when we say that we put employees at the centre of our business,” comments Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa. “While we are a customer-centric company, we can only have satisfied, engaged customers if we have the most passionate staff. Whether it’s learning and development, or simply activities like Employee Appreciation Week which celebrates our staff, it’s important that we always try to groom and then retain the best talent in the industry, and employee engagement is fundamental to this.”
The week saw numerous activities take place in the logistic operators’ 54 countries within Sub-Saharan Africa. Notably, staff were rewarded not only for long service and commitment, but for adhering to the company’s values of passion, speed and a positive, proactive attitude. In some countries, like Kenya, the Managing Director of the local office went ‘back to the floor’, serving breakfast to the couriers or spending the day as a customer service agent. In others, like Zambia and Senegal, employees’ families were encouraged to join in the festivities, to promote a good work-life balance and thank the families for their commitment to the company.
“For me, this initiative has reinforced the importance of employee recognition and motivation,” says Adelaide Ngayo, head of DHL Express’ Customer Service department in Chad. “It’s given our team the drive to move from ‘good to great’, and has really motivated us.”
“Our operations staff work tirelessly every day, with couriers starting their day when the sun is still rising, and delivering thousands of parcels every day,” says Stephen Inegbedion, Country Operations Manager for DHL Express Nigeria. You need to keep them motivated and passionate everyday to deliver their best.”
For DHL customer, Adrian Walker, the owner of Max4Data South Africa, the week showcased not only employee recognition, but how an engaged workforce adds value to his business as a client: “We are a small IT company based in Cape Town and, when I heard about Employee Appreciation Week, I was really impressed,” says Walker. “As a small business, I need a strong partner to ensure I’m competitive and, with partners like DHL and the committed, passionate staff they have, I can deliver on my promises.”
And, while the company will definitely reap the benefits of the programme in its financial performance, the drive for employee recognition is not just about staff retention and profitability. “Engaged employees mean better revenue, profit, customer engagement and safety,” notes Brewer. “But it’s about more than a bottom line – it’s about actively sharing the fantastic work that our employees do every day, and creating a great place to work.”