Best company to work for

Innovative financial services company takes home the honours in Deloitte annual survey

The Unlimited has scooped top honours for the second consecutive year in the 2014 Deloitte Best Company to Work for Survey. The company has been voted by its employees as the Best Company to Work For in the Financial Services – Insurance category.

Steph Bester, CEO of The Unlimited, is overjoyed with the result as it confirms that everyone shares in the company’s commitment to make a meaningful difference in South Africa. "As a business we have true purpose and this necessitates stretching goals. We know that we will only be able to fulfil our goals if we have people who are empowered, who have the ability to tap into their potential, who are prepared to unlock their very best for both themselves and for others. Our people have always come first. We look after them, we believe in them, and we want to see them succeed."

"To enable this, we’ve gone all out to create a great working experience that is both stimulating and rewarding," Bester says. "It is great to know that our employees really value this. We do not take their vote of confidence for granted, and we’ll never stop evolving our commitment to our people or the critical role they play in our business."

Deloitte has conducted its annual survey since 2000 to identify and celebrate the best South African companies to work for, as rated by their employees, and it is the most respected research of its kind in the country. Bester believes that as an independent means to measure employee attitudes, the survey is in a league of its own: "We are taking part in the Deloitte survey for the second consecutive year as it provides a credible, impartial view of what is in the hearts and minds of our people."

Keeping your staff motivated is no mean task – in fact, a staggering 48 percent of employees are unhappy in their jobs, according to a survey by Kelly Services, a global recruitment agency. Workers cite uncertainty of employment in the face of headcount reductions, and the resulting doubling of tasks as primary reasons for disliking what they do from nine to five. In some countries, more than half the work force changed jobs during 2013, because of this uncertainty.

"There is little doubt that the employment landscape is changing. People want to belong to something that’s important, something that makes them proud. Business today has a greater responsibility than just being profitable. Providing an engaging, recognition-based environment where employees have purpose and the opportunity to stretch and grow is a necessity," Bester comments. "One of The Unlimited’s strategies is to build leaders, which enables our people to develop beyond their furthest expectations. This results in growth for the business and it adds personal meaning to the contribution each employee is making."

This makes for a challenging environment that’s not for everyone. Bester says that recruiting the right talent for The Unlimited is an on-going quest as employing people with the right skills for the role is just as important as choosing the people who are going to fit with the company’s strong values-driven culture.

"We don’t have jobs at The Unlimited. We have a lifestyle," Bester explains.

For example, through The Unlimited Lifestyle programme, the company offers a range of benefits and incentives to employees, including an annual profit share scheme, peer group performance reviews, a wellness programme including exercise classes on site, flexible working hours and a 24/7 counselling service. In fact, everyone in the business has set themselves a wellness goal that’s really going to be a stretch. Combined with e-mail free and meeting-free Wednesdays, it’s evident why The Unlimited is viewed as a progressive business.

Bester concludes: "The results of the Deloitte Best Company to Work For survey show that our entire team is passionate about our business. With everyone behind us, anything is possible."

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