Microsoft rated as SA’s Best Employer by CRF Institute

Microsoft SA has been rated as the Best Employer in South Africa for 2011/12 by the CRF Institute in its annual Best Employers ranking

August 25, 2011

The ranking, released today in Johannesburg, is a unique international HR policy and practice benchmarking project conducted by the CRF Institute South Africa and is the culmination of months of rigorous research with findings independently audited by Grant Thornton South Africa. Organisations are rated in the following areas: organisation strategy; the HR function; communication; diversity management; corporate social responsibility; knowledge management; talent management and engagement; performance management; and rewards and recognition.

Following Microsoft SA (Pty) Ltd in the overall top ten in descending order were: Accenture SA (Pty) Ltd, SAP South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Unilever SA, Ernst & Young, Vodacom Group Limited, Netcare Limited, Peninsula Beverage Company, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. and Procter & Gamble SA (Pty) Ltd. A total of 69 organisations have achieved certification this year – 14 more than in 2010.

According to Samantha Crous, the CRF Institute’s Country Manager, the importance of the Best Employers campaign is that it recognises that, in a competitive labour market like South Africa where the business landscape has changed considerably over the past few years, success lies more than ever in an organisation’s ability to distinguish itself by establishing and promoting excellent HR strategies and practices that can attract, retain and engage the right talent.

“The companies that are featured in this year’s Best Employers campaign have shown innovation and creativity in addressing some of the challenges they face in the changing business arena. Adapting to an era built on a lean structure, the corporate world has realised that it’s the value of relationships with employees, rather than the traditional bottom line that counts.

“The latest research shows that more and more companies are turning their attention to engaging employees and have grasped the fact that engagement is about more than simply sticking a few posters on the wall in order to draw attention to certain aspects of an employee proposition. It’s about getting people to believe in the vision of the company and how it does a difference in South Africa and the world,” said Crous.

She added that this is where Microsoft stood out.

According to Jabulani Ndhlovu, HR Director of Microsoft SA (Pty) Ltd, the company’s vision is to contribute to the economic success of South Africa and everyday living of the average South African. “Consistent with the ideals of our founders, to bring technology to as many people as possible, Microsoft South Africa’s focus is that of enabling businesses and South Africa realize its full potential through innovative technologies.

Our people and their potential are key to our vision. We look for people who are extremely passionate about technology and its ability to change the way the world lives and works. We have been incredibly successful in keeping our people vigorously engaged in this purpose.”

He added that Microsoft SA (Pty) Ltd has been able to instil a culture of performance excellence in its employees. “We have big goals, dreams and aspirations for the future. We have great products and services, but our great people are what makes it all come together so successfully,” he said.

Steven Veenendaal, CEO of the CRF Institute commented that the companies certified as Best Employers are establishing themselves as organisations that are forward-thinking and geared towards the future.

“The implications for the employees of such companies are obvious: who doesn’t want to reap the rewards of a carefully thought-out HR strategy, which considers each aspect of the individual and encourages them to give of their best. With such employees on board, success for these organisations is inevitable,” he said.

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