The South African accent
Accenture employs about 289 000 people across 200 cities in 56 countries. The company covers four areas (strategy, digital, technology and business process outsourcing) and is well known in the South African business community. A global presence, alongside a strong understanding of the value of technology, has seen the organisation place a strong emphasis on the role of technology in developing and managing its employees.
“Accenture is a services business and we believe that people are our most important asset,” says Sandy Mohonathan of Accenture. “People are the heart of the Accenture business and we hire, develop, grow and deploy high potential talent. Employees have access to technology, social media and the internet and can connect no matter where they are in the world, in both their personal and professional capacity. We ensure that they have ipass access so they can be a part of the organisation whether they are in the office, on the road or at home.”
The organisation puts a lot of emphasis onto the people factor and has developed HR systems that give employees greater control and flexibility. These HR implementations use both mobility and the cloud, thereby providing employees with access to a variety of functions while out in the field. These include job searches, interviews, competency assessments, mobile learning and engagement, plus the management tools for time, leave and expenses.
“We provide execution capabilities at the point of need for mobile workers and production facilities where access to PCs is very limited and time at the station drives productivity,” says Mohonathan. “Technology for all employment practices is the norm at Accenture. Information is available to empowered managers when they want it and Talent Data is accessible by mobile and at point of need for quick decision making.”
Accenture uses HR information and analytics to combine structured and unstructured data to determine expertise tracks, sentiment and other information that can be used to support employees and the organisation. Reports for business scenario and workforce planning are accessible online and provide insight into influencers, know-ledge holders and potential attrition issues.
“We invest in a continuously evolving EVP - Employee Value Proposition that is constantly enhanced to remain relevant for today and tomorrow,” says Mohonathan. “We focus on the pillars of brand, leadership, total reward, training, careers, diversity and corporate citizenship. Accenture has a learning culture where every person learns and grows to be better than they were the previous day. This drives the high performance culture that we are proud to have. People love working with others who have both high IQs (intelligence quotient) and EQs (emotional quotient) and this is in abundance at the company.”
The organisation uses technology to implement its people management policies and to nurture staff careers and growth paths. This has been established to ensure that employees understand their objectives and how they can be managed through training and development plans.
“People get feedback continuously and have discussions with career counsellors and performance counsellors through mid-year and annual reviews,” says Mohonathan. “In addition, staff are provided with insight into their performance after projects and can even do their own self-assessments using the systems that are in place. Promotion and rating decisions are electronically available and employees know upfront what skills and competencies are necessary for promotion to the next level.”
Staff have access to Accenture’s career paths and the objectives or abilities required to achieve them. This allows staff to grow their skill sets and roles towards the positions that they want and provides a clear map to the future. The system gives the employee greater control over how they want to progress through the company.
“Employees are recognised through performance points or recognition notes electronically and throughout the year,” says Mohonathan. “People are highly energised and drive high performance on a daily basis and live and breathe the motto - Accenture on its best day - Every Day. This is what differentiates the Accenture employee, both in the personal and professional sense. So much so, that when the new hires join the company we often hear them say that being at Accenture makes other companies feel like retirement homes.”
Mohonathan believes that the commitment to performance and company, alongside the robust HR systems and practices, encourages a positive working environment.
“Whenever someone leaves Accenture and is asked what they would miss the most, the answer is always the people,” she says. “There is an abundance of committed intelligent and emotionally mature people at Accenture, which creates a happy environment.”
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.