Africa: Technology’s big guns switch to hybrid working model
Businesses are forced to comply with COVID-19 regulations, paving the way for an increase in adoption of the hybrid work model, according to market analysts. Compliance aside, another reason for the shift in HR policy and practice is the opportunity to raise profiles as top employers.
In January this year, Mark Walker, Associate Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said that the hybrid work reality is now embedded in Africa – especially in urban and metropolitan settings.
“During COVID restrictions many organisations were forced to adopt measures to enable continued operations and these measures have now become an accepted norm as the benefits of increased productivity and improved communications are realised. An IDC survey conducted across Sub-Saharan Africa in December 2020 showed that over 90% of CIOs would be continuing or increasing their spending on collaborative applications,” said Walker.
Having introduced a series of HR-focused initiatives, Huawei’s Sub-Saharan African region has achieved Continental HQ Certification for 2022 from the Top Employer Institute after being accredited in Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.
The telco explained that according to the Top Employers Institute certification programme, participating companies are annually assessed, surveyed and accredited based on their HR practices.
COVID-19 remains a priority for businesses and an area of specific attention for evaluators.
To this end Huawei has introduced wellness online workshops with medical experts to discuss the pandemic challenges and stress, as well as online training and motivation “to instill a sense of purpose and work community.”
It also offers free COVID-19 testing for employees feeling unwell or who need to come to the office.
The company added that it adopted the work-from-home model early, and meetings are aligned with preference.
“… staff are not expected to attend in person meetings, team members can choose to on site or online, aligned to national COVID-19 regulations,” it stated.
Huawei Southern Africa Region, HR Director Chen Yu, said, “This is a remarkable achievement for Huawei Africa, in recognition of our commitment and continued focus towards implementing HR best practices within our region.”
“As an organisation, we understand that the intellectual capital provided by our diversified workforce is our biggest asset, so we constantly strive to provide the best people practices.”
Top Employers Institute CEO David Plink said the past two years have impacted organisations across the world. “Huawei has continued to show that it prioritises maintaining excellent people practices in their workplace. In the past year, they continued to meet the challenges of the wider world of work while working determinedly to positively impact the lives of their workforce.”
Mobile Network Operator MTN has achieved recognition by the Institute as a Top Employer in South Africa.
MTN SA’s Chief of Human Resources, Tebogo Maenetja, said, “MTN is deliberate in recruiting individuals and developing our teams in way that best serves our customers as well as our employees and their overall wellness. As a major employer, we have a responsibility to look beyond just our business and to strongly consider the impact of our work and our role as a contributor to South Africa’s social and economic growth.”
Additionally in South Africa, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation, is pleased to be announced as a Top Employer 2022 in South Africa for the second consecutive year.
CSIR Group Executive for Human Capital and Communication, Andile Mabindisa, said the organisation will continue to ensure that it attracts and develop skills that are required to touch lives through innovation.
“The CSIR has implemented a number of interventions to build and strengthen its pipeline in order to ensure sustainability of the business that is in line with the organisational strategy. We have outreach programmes, bursaries, internships, and graduate in training programmes aimed at realising the potential of bright young minds by nurturing and developing their expertise in various STEMI fields. The CSIR bursary programme supports South African students intending to enroll full-time for science, engineering, and technology degrees. Our aim is to attract the next generation of scientists and to educate the general public about opportunities to be explored in the field of science and technology”, says Mabindisa.