SA Canegrowers is driven by strong values. The approach adopted by the SA Canegrowers Human Resources department is to cultivate a culture of belief in the organisation’s core values, and for staff to feel empowered and valued by the leadership and each other as they go about their daily tasks. This is done through performance review discussions, talking about values at staff conferences, and promoting open and constructive conversations whether behind closed doors or in our common gathering areas. Fundamental to the daily operations at SA Canegrowers is to do business ethically and with integrity. This is evidenced through our Code of Conduct and Business Ethics Policy, a Fraud Prevention Policy, and to further assist with the elimination of unethical behavior, some years ago SA Canegrowers appointed Whistleblowers (Pty) Ltd to run a 24-hour anonymous ethics and fraud hotline. Ethical Leadership remains foundational to the values-based ethical culture of SA Canegrowers meaning the grower leadership and executive management consistently promote a culture of ethics through clear and open communication, through keeping staff informed on industry matters and supporting employees who uphold ethical standards. Open and honest communication between staff and management is essential for employees to believe they are cared for and valued. Internal staff meetings and staff conferences allow the team to contribute to work plans and the direction of their specific divisions while in return keeping them up-to-date on current industry matters. These are fundamental principles for staff morale and commitment to the organisation.
During the last season, SA Canegrowers experienced a high staff turnover due to changes in the industry’s grower representation structure. This created the opportunity to employ new and promote existing dynamic people to our staff complement. It is a priority for us to develop staff into great leaders which requires financial and personal commitment. This season we will continue to focus on coaching skills, and in addition to develop our senior and junior management staff with programmes in leadership and to reinforce their management skills and business acumen.
For the first time, SA Canegrowers implemented a Graduate Internship programme. Two graduates were appointed on 6-month contracts. One of the graduates was absorbed into the staff complement as a permanent employee after serving only four months of her contract. The second graduate was given an opportunity to further his studies abroad by the University College of Cork in the Republic of Ireland. The opportunity will again be extended to two graduates for this season for a period of 12 months. In addition to the graduate programme, SA Canegrowers will again partner with the Signa Academy to provide two unemployed and disabled African youngsters with an opportunity to participate in a 12-month learnership program.
Early in 2018, SA Canegrowers completed its “new look” offices, which were designed specifically to promote and endorse our values-based staff retention and promotion policies. The focus of the re- design was to allow for better collaboration between people, the incorporation of a ‘pause’ area to allow staff to relax on their breaks. The interior decor aimed to bring the outside in while creating an airy and open plan environment which has resulted in improved ideas sharing and communication between our people.
SA Canegrowers believes strongly in equality of opportunity and as such is a gender equality employer and strives to achieve a representative workforce in line with its core values and ethics and in adherence with the country’s legislative framework. Further, in considering the interests of the children and the financial wellbeing of our staff, SA Canegrowers reviewed its maternity benefits policy this year. Now staff members continue to earn their full salary for the specified duration of their maternity leave. In line with the recently approved Labour Law Amendment Act, we also apply the same philosophy to parental leave which means staff who qualify are on full salary when they are off work to support their families. Our current employment complement reflects a 53% female representation and 47% male representation. African staff represent 50%, white 41%, Indian 6% and coloured 3% of the organisations statistics. As at March 31, 2019 our staff complement was 32 employees.