At the heart of all of our strategic and operational success, our employees are the engine that drives our growth and ensures that we achieve our objectives.
Overall, our employees are still young, dynamic Kenyans, with 67% of our workforce in their 30’s, 13% still in their 20’s and 85% of our workforce employed in Nairobi.

On the whole, our staff complement is evenly split between men and women, although the number of women in senior management positions remains relatively low.

Overall, employee morale is high and stable, despite a year of significant internal reorganisation and change in response to the new company strategy. According to our most recent our ‘People Survey’, the overwhelming majority of our colleagues (approximately 75%) are happy with employment conditions at the company, in general, and reasonably motivated or engaged with their work.

This overall perception of morale is supported by a staff turnover of only 5.6%, which has been pretty much the same for the last two years. The character of our workforce changed little during the year as well. Our staff complement increased slightly, but not significantly, to 4,287* permanent employees and the gender ratio remained stable.

* The Annual Report disclosed 4,258 employees. Subsequent to its publication the number was assured as 4287 employees.

What are their needs and expectations of us?

Staff are able to voice their needs and expectations through a variety of channels, including the annual People Survey, the Staff Council and the Semana CEO (“speak with the CEO”) chat room.

Among the specific issues raised by employees during the year were concerns regarding the effectiveness of the new approach to Performance Development Reviews (PDRs) and the small number of mortgage schemes with low interest rates negotiated by the company. Both issues have been reviewed and appropriate solutions are being sought.

Maintaining a safe working environment

We take our responsibility to maintain a safe working environment for staff and contractors very seriously and regret to report three fatalities this year: two contractors and a third party. The two contractor deaths were caused by falls while working at height and the third party death was the result of a road traffic accident. The two Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) reported during the year were injuries sustained in road traffic accidents as well.

How did we deliver value to our staff during the year?

We are committed to being a world-class employer of choice and take our responsibility to maintain a productive, supportive and safe working environment seriously. Our vision of transforming lives begins with transforming the lives of our employees and a key aspect of this vision is to create a supportive working environment that allows us to attract, develop and retain the best staff.

For the sake of brevity and interest, the focus of our report this year is on our highlights — the major initiatives and programmes that have been launched or signifi cantly evolved during the reporting period — rather than the established, ongoing ways in which we support and empower our staff that have been in place for several years.

The ‘Head to Hearts’ Campaign

While it is gratifying to note that the view of employees, expressed in the People Survey, is that the company takes health and safety seriously, the prevailing attitude among staff appears to be more of a ‘mechanical’ observation of the rules, rather than a personally invested, proactive approach to health and safety.

This state of affairs inspired us to launch the ‘Head to Hearts’ Campaign during the year. Introduced in the town halls held during the launch of the Regional Operations Structure, the Head to Hearts campaign calls for the observance of safety rules and requirements in all facets of one’s life, whether at home, at work or elsewhere and not that Safety begins and ends at the gates of Company premises or under the watch of Line Managers and Leaders.

Acoustic shock management

As a result of our interventions during the year, acoustic shock cases reduced from 278 in FY15 to just 70 cases. Acoustic shock is a hearing condition that can affect call centre staff and, having monitored and assessed the situation closely for three years, we implemented a new policy this year.

Road safety initiatives

Although the total number of Road Traffic Accidents increased from 94 to 104 during the year, this can be attributed to the growth in the number of vehicles in the fleet from 340 to 378 and an increase in the distances travelled, which rose from 720,000km/month to 960,000km/month during the period under review. We also addressed the issue of road safety by offering all staff authorised to drive company vehicles a Defensive Driving Course, which offers practical drills to condition employees to drive safely despite the conditions around them. To date, 450 members of staff have undergone this training.

As part of our response to road safety, we have also shared videos and e-shots, including a road safety video by CEO, Bob Collymore, together with weekly departmental engagement on driving behaviour (using data downloaded from fleet management system) and accident statistics reviews, as well as instituting disciplinary action for breaches of the Safaricom Fleet Policy.

Safaricom Discover Programme

Although not a new initiative, the Safaricom Discover Programme has been a tremendous success and we placed all 16 graduate management trainees who joined us in 2014 in permanent positions during the year. A response to our need to accelerate the development of our talent, the 18 month programme is designed to forge our future business leaders by preparing them to assume challenging responsibilities and roles. The program creates an accelerated learning environment by rotating trainees within and across diverse business functions during its application.

Expediting career development

The Career Path Framework (CPF) was enhanced during the year and now includes self-assessment ratings against various skills and competencies. These ratings are then used by the system to suggest remedial interventions to close any gaps that are identified. The CPF has been used by 79% of employees to date. Officially launched in FY15, the CPF is available to staff through the intranet and the Safaricom Academy Portal and helps them to identify the career paths available to them and the skills gaps they need to close in order to fast track their career development.

Our new virtual knowledge learning centre, the Safaricom Uni, presents a platform where all staff have access to learning content that focuses on building their leadership, functional and business skills. Currently, the Safaricom Uni houses 11 academies, with an uptake of 69% across the business. In line with the business pillars, on customer first drivers, courses like new ways of marketing, solution selling, customer experience excellence, emotional intelligence and team effectiveness recorded an improved uptake.

Level Up Campaign

An exciting new initiative launched during the year was the Level Up campaign. A ‘Business Know-How Knowledge Week’, the initiative is a response to the 2014 People Survey feedback workshops revelation that many members of staff do not understand the functions and roles of other business units and divisions.

The inaugural event took place in March 2016 and consisted of a week of different ‘business hubs’ and networking occasions, during which staff members from specific units and divisions explained what they do to other employees through presentations and discussions. Over 700 members of staff attended the event and the feedback was positive, with many expressing not just a far greater knowledge of the organisation, but also a better feeling of togetherness as a team afterwards. The campaign is now being rolled out to the regions.