Absa Bank was recently named as the top employer of choice in Kenya and Africa for the third consecutive year by the Top Employers Institute (TPI).  According to TPI, this was due to its excellence in people practices and its impact in enriching the work environment.

The Top Employers Institute programme certifies organizations based on the participation and results of their HR Best Practices Survey. This survey covers six HR domains consisting of 20 topics including People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Well-being and more.

The fact that the bank was named the top employer in the whole of Africa not once but  thrice is quite impressive by any standards. It goes to how much work that they have put in to make bank a better place for their employees.

Truth be told, I was curious to know what made the bank stand out in its employee relations to a point that they were awarded. I took it upon myself to do some digging and this is what I found out.

Wellness Initiatives

As the saying goes, Health is Wealth, as such the bank has invested heavily in various initiatives meant to ensure that their employees are healthy which has had a positive effect on productivity.

To ensure that all facets of their employee’s lives are catered for the bank has also launched various initiatives that engage with their employees on various matters. This includes personal finance, parenting, and education on pension matters. They also cover mental and emotional resilience, lifestyle disease management, cancer facts, prevention, screening, and treatment. Not to mention increased understanding of health metrics such as Body Mass Index (BMI), blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Nowadays, sedentary lifestyles have been noted to be the main cause of some of the diseases which are afflicting people nowadays. To encourage an active lifestyle, the bank holds online workout sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Rewards Scheme

Over the years, various studies have shown that rewards motivate employees to perform at a higher level. Not only that, employees who feel appreciated at their workplace end up being more engaged and committed to their organization in the long run.

Since 2017, Absa has been running a reward scheme with an aim of recognizing the best performing employees. The award covers four main areas that is performance, customer, people and community.

The bank also offers its employees an E-voucher that enables employees to redeem their rewards in the way that suits them. The voucher can be used to pay for any goods or services countrywide.

Learning & Development

The bank offers its staff the ability to learn continuously as a means of enabling them to deliver on their mandate. It essentially aligns their employees’ capabilities with the bank’s mandate to enable them on to deliver on their strategic objectives. While supporting their employee’s personal and professional development and growth.

They do this by providing self-learning portals such as Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, through which employees can attain certification and become multi-skilled.

Key future skills covered include.

  • Digital literacy (advanced computer skills)
  • Analytical and critical thinking (innovative skills)
  • Self-management (the art of execution, remote working)
  • Emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-motivation)
  • Transformative leadership (leaders with the ability to navigate disruptions)

Exchange Programme

The bank facilitates Exchange Development Programmes for their top talent so as to provide them with exposure to the wider Absa Group.

So far 19 employees have gotten the opportunity for exposure, and experience across various countries such as Zambia, South Africa, Ghana, Mauritius and Botswana. This is targeted at developing skills that can then be translated in-country and benefit the bank.

Given the various benefits offered by the bank, no wonder it was rated among the best employers in Africa not to mention being a talent magnet. It is my hope that other employers in the country will take the cue from Absa and make their workplaces better for their employees.