There has been a surge in organisational focus on talent management and it continues to gain momentum. This is confirmed by all the large management consultancies’ reporting and business leaders will tell you that their greatest challenge lies in finding the best people. Indeed, in the CRF Institute’s 2012 research the Index of Best Employers cites talent management as the number one human resources priority. The question is why.
If it is supposed to be obvious, we would have far fewer stressed HR executives and financial directors would happily be approving plans for company gyms and hiring chefs for the buffet in the canteen. In reality, though, every penny required for investment in human resources has to be negotiated and the return on investment reported on in excruciating detail.
This begs the question: If there is no correlation between solid HR and a company’s financial performance, what exactly are well over 400 000 HR professionals doing in the field and why is it necessary for them to be members of the senior executive team, as is the case in 96% of the Best Employers listed in these pages? They will tell you that they are running businesses more efficiently, delighting customers, growing market share and pushing top- and bottomline results.
And they know this because they have experienced the direct link between organisational performance in these areas and a strategic HR policy framework working to support that performance. Their ability to set sail, steady the ship or stay the course depends on It should come as no surprise then that two-thirds of the 2012 Best Employers are multinationals operating in, on average, 62 countries across the globe. Of these, 33% are locally listed on the JSE. Over the past two years we have tracked the performance of the listed Top or Best Employers in South Africa and across our international projects to understand and quantify the link between HR and financial performance.
Consistently, our international data across the 40 countries in which the CRF Institute certifies HR policies shows that the Top or Best Employers, on average, outperform the rest of the companies in the stock markets on which they are listed. The most recent study of Best Employers on the JSE All Share, conducted between January 2010 and 2012, shows that they have outperformed the stock market by 12.09%***.
So yes, good HR and a solid or even exceptional financial performance are indeed linked. Of course, a sound HR policy framework is not the only lever in financial performance, given the complexities of the marketplace, but certainly excellence in HR is one of the key levers that support the triplebottom line of people, planet and profit, as evidenced through the CRF Institute’s Best Employer research.
This year, the CRF Institute proudly certifies 73 leading organisations as Best Employers based on our proprietary research methodology that unpacks their HR policies in the
following dimensions: primary benefits, secondary benefits, training and development, career development and working conditions. We congratulate these organisations that have achieved an international standard of HR excellence and thus have been certified as choice employers — working in partnership with the CRF Institute to build healthier and improved workplaces in South Africa.
*Best Employer South Africa Certification Research; CRF Institute August 2012
** The following organisations performance of the JSE All Share could be tracked over a period of two years, August to August, as they were certified as Best Employers in
all years of the study: Absa, Basil Read, British American Tobacco, Clicks Group Limited, Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium Limited, Group Five, Liberty Group Limited, MiX Telematics, MTN SA, Netcare, Old Mutual, Tsogo Sun Group, Vodacom
*** Best Employer South Africa Certification Research; CRF Institute August 2011/2012 annual HR research and auditing process