The best of both worlds

Old Mutual’s Anisha Archary

Old Mutual’s Anisha Archary

Old Mutual is in the enviable position of having a formidable, 169-year-old heritage, yet fielding a young, energetic and innovative workforce. This best-of-both-worlds advantage is attracting and keeping top talent, and earning the company regular accolades in employer of choice awards.

Old Mutual, founded in 1845, is part of the Fortune 500 Old Mutual Group, which operates in 24 countries. In emerging markets, it has over 24000 staff members in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Columbia, Mexico and Asia. The company also partners with an extended broker community. 

While Old Mutual has a long and proud history of helping to shape South African financial services offerings, it manages to stay innovative, harnessing advanced technologies and modern approaches in the quest to attract and retain diverse and enthusiastic young talent. Old Mutual has been rated South Africa’s Graduate Employer of Choice in the financial services sector, which underlines its success in securing top young skills. 

Adding to its appeal to ambitious Millennials are its positioning to offer strong career progression opportunities, and that it goes to great lengths to deliver work-life integration through a provision of a broad range of facilities including a shopping mall, gym, canteen, a number of restaurants, a medical suite, hair dresser, post office, crèche and sporting facilities at the Cape Town offices. The company also invests heavily in social development and its large global footprint enables staff international opportunities.

Anisha Archary, human resources director at Old Mutual Emerging Markets, says: “Old Mutual’s philosophy is about driving excellence in all we do. This guides our focus on customers, people and communities. Our success is due to the positive and collaborative efforts between our leaders and employees. In essence, our people strategy is directed at delivering on our brand promise to employees to be ‘a great place to work with people who do great things’. 

“This is the starting point for aligning the people and culture to our purpose and promise to customers and communities. The role therefore that HR plays is focused on delivering a solid employee value proposition for talent, learning and development, reward and culture. 

“Our secret sauce is that we are a values based business and our leaders are focused on creating a great place to work and winning through people. Through this focus on culture and values we engage employees to drive performance excellence. The value of accountability and integrity is key in all we do and we hold our employees to this in making sure they contribute to their own growth.”

Archary says Old Mutual believes there are three key attributes that contribute to building an employer of choice.  “First of all, it is important to build the foundation through well benchmarked HR practices. At Old Mutual we do this through multiple surveys and diagnostics that give us intelligence and strengthen our employer brand in the market place. This way we know how we compare against industry leaders across the world. The second attribute is that our business leaders play their role in driving accountability, leading change and building organisational renewal to enable our employer of choice efforts. The third attribute is a sound employee engagement strategy leveraging multiple communication channels,” she says.

Old Mutual’s HR strategy is enabled by a solid employee value proposition (EVP) that is linked to its corporate aspiration “to do great things”. The pillars of the EVP are: Great Global Brand; Great Leadership; Great Culture; Great Careers; and Great Compensation and Benefits.

Archary says: “This is the foundation for how we engage and care for our employees. We have a multi-modal approach made up of contacts through both face to face and technology enabled HR to build our relationship with both current and prospective employees. Old Mutual’s culture of fostering greatness touches every individual’s career, creating a working environment that empowers employees to do great things for our customers and communities.”

This article is part of a larger supplement which can be found here
The supplement has been made possible by the Mail & Guardian’s advertisers and the content has been vetted by the Top Employers Institute.