Increasing workplace safety
The safety of our employees is our top priority. We are committed to doing everything possible to create a safe work environment. We encourage employees and contractors to follow safe practices and make healthy choices in our workplaces and local communities. Our safety programs are vital to our operations – and essential to our people and communities. In 2018, we continued to improve our safety performance, but know we can do better. Our Safety Around Beverages Policy requires that we take responsibility for maintaining a productive workplace in every area of our Company by, among other things, working towards minimizing the risk of accidents, injury and exposure to health hazards for all our associates and contractors. The safety initiatives were revamped with the launch and implementation of the Act10n program whose key message in Safety Begins with ME, a realization of the need for each employee to take responsibility for their own safety. Safety committees are in place throughout the business under the guidance of suitably qualified Safety, Health and Environmental Managers who ensure adherence to the safety and health procedures. Statistics on accidents are collated and evaluated against internationally accepted benchmarks, with safety matters being deliberated at divisional boards and the environmental and safety council under the oversight of the audit committee. The lost time injuries were impacted by the off-site road traffic accidents that sadly claimed the lives of employees including those of our contracted transporters and third parties.
The adverse effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic continue to impact on our employees, their families and the wider community in which the Company operates. The overall objective of our business’ comprehensive Wellness Program is to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS and other noncommunicable diseases on our employees, customers, and suppliers. Our clinics provide free anti-retroviral drugs and are accredited for testing and counseling. The general awareness of health issues has increased driven by the Wellness Program, for which the Company continues to be recognized through various awards. There was a 10.8% decrease in reported lost production time due to illness compared to the same period last year. Health-related issues and off work injuries were the major contributors to lost time. Injuries on duty decreased by 46% to last year. There was a 66% reduction in lost time due to injuries on duty compared to last year.
Hiring and developing diverse talent
Our people are what matters most. They are the ones committed to achieving our goals. We recruit, develop and retain colleagues we believe can make us a better company, a company that will last. We employ on average 4 800 employees of which 75% are permanent. There is a focus on increasing the ratio of female employees particularly at senior levels. As noted in our Values Statement, we acknowledge that our people are our enduring advantage, hence the need to provide a safe and healthy working environment. Our conditions of service stress the need to discourage any forms of discrimination, recognize the right to collective bargaining and the need to promote fairness at the workplace. The Company is conscious of the focus of the new Zimbabwe Constitution which emphasizes the issues of gender balance in all facets of human endeavor. To this end, there are programs that aim to increase the role and ratios of female employees in the organization and therefore address the diversity issues.
Measuring Employee Engagement
The business operates in a contracting economy which has reduced its capacity to create new jobs and offer new promotional opportunities. We, however, maintain focus on career development for our employees, whether in their current or for future roles noting that individual employees have a responsibility to take charge of their own development, albeit with support from their managers. During the last financial year, the Group provided close to 70 days of training to employees. The Group has maintained the annual intakes to the various apprenticeship and internship programs. These initiatives are complemented by the robust performance management system that recognizes and rewards strong performance against specific personal and team goals, which bring alignment to company objectives.
We engage with our employees regularly to appraise them on the Company performance and address issues relating to remuneration, safety, and welfare. We regularly solicit their views and listen to their ideas and opinions through employee engagement surveys. The engagements with employees are through the localized shop floor workers committees or sector trade unions.