Massmart Annual Report 2008

Further reading

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Life can be testing enough.


That's why we offer our permanent staff free comprehensive health screening.
Impilo wellness programme testing at CBW Store in Soweto

Human Capital


Our employees are provided with the opportunity to earn competitive rewards and continuously develop their talents in a supportive work environment where maximum emphasis is placed on maintaining individual dignity. We have a demanding work ethic and our employees are cognisant of the level of performance required for their own and our Group’s continued success.

Employment practices scorecard [VERIFIED]

Sustainability indicator 2008 2007 2006
Total employee headcount 27 521 26 744 24 754
% permanent employees 63,69 61,0 64,3
% flexitime employees 36,31 39,0 35,7
% unionized employees 40,74 41,2 41,1
% black (ACI) employees 81,81 83,8 83,4
% black (ACI) managers and professionals* 77,9 63,0 61,0
Minimum average group wage (R) 2 040 1 373 1 300
% employees on medical schemes 25,86 22,7 22,6
% HIV/Aids prevalence 6,04 7,1 6,2
% employees on retirement plans 96,55 98,6 93,8
Investment in staff training
(internal and external) (Rm)
23,7 20,9 16,6
Work days lost to industrial action 467 124 119
Disciplinary hearings 2 651 1 781 1 602
Grievance hearings 144 220 144
% staff turnover 18,96 13,1 17,4
% resignations 10,09 9,3 8,2
% dismissals 0,30 3,4 2,5
% other (eg retirement, retrenchment) 3,69 2,4 2,1
* Growth from 2007 attributable to inclusion of supervisory managers

2008 Feedback

Implement affordable health care Engage specialists to conduct programmes for employees.
We launched the OCSA Care exercise to develop an integrated occupational health product which perspective of the development offers affordable company-subsidised needs of our employees.primary health cover to employees by providing access to the CareCross medical practitioner network.

Accelerate the pace of transformation and implement diversity training.
We’ve implemented diversity training at executive and senior management level in all divisions. Transformation highlights included being ranked fifth in the employment equity standings in the 2008 FM Top Empowerment Companies survey.

Improve quality of group-wide human resources reporting.
We initiated an information technology project to standardise divisional personnel reporting systems and extend the scope of our human resources management reporting.

2009 Priorities

Engage specialists to conduct a strategic workforce planning exercise to develop an integrated perspective of the development needs of our employees.

Gain insight into social impacts on employees by conducting an employee social living standards survey.

Pilot test government sponsored TB treatment protocols for employees.


How we ensure a healthy, productive workforce

Our ability to attract and retain the right people to work with us in a challenging, low-cost retail environment is fundamental to our business success. It requires that we offer our employees rewarding retail careers in a safe and healthy workplace where they can develop their talents and progress their careers, and where emphasis on affirmative action practices ensures equality.

At times, we take our human capital management practices further than some of our peers in developed countries, particularly in the area of health care. Our provision of free anti-retroviral treatment for our HIV-positive permanent staff members and their spouses, together with other ongoing initiatives to make affordable primary health care available to our staff, help bridge the gap for employees who need health care support, but find little within their price range available on the market.

Making employee wellness affordable

Our employees drew our attention to the fact that long queues and unreliable diagnosis of ailments at public health care facilities has made access to quality primary health care difficult. This knowledge, together with our concern about the low percentage of staff members who benefit from company subsidised medical aid schemes, led us to introduce more accessible medical cover. The recently launched OCSA occupational health product provides employees, who have historically relied mainly on public health services, with access to a network of private CareCross doctors for basic dentistry, optical care and chronic medication at affordable rates paid in part by Massmart.

Health care issues in developing countries are numerous and any company reliant on a healthy workforce in South Africa must implement additional workplace-based interventions to address the growing pressures of diseases like HIV/Aids.Our Impilo wellness programme has implemented one of the most comprehensive corporate HIV/Aids prevention and treatment programmes in the country. We’re pleased that as many as 17 217* HIV tests (including repeated tests) have been conducted since we launched voluntary testing in the Group.

 Notwithstanding the devastating impact of HIV/Aids on our society, there are other illnesses that can, if not diagnosed and treated early, lead to poor quality of life and lowered life expectancy. It is estimated that one in five South Africans have diabetes**, but many go undiagnosed and without treatment. To help ensure none of our employees become part of these statistics, we’ve extended our Impilo wellness programme to include free annual check-ups for early diagnosis of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, unsafe blood sugar levels, obesity and, at larger sites, eye screening.

Access to these services is optimised through clinics run on location and staffed by external health care professionals. We also provide free access for employees to Impilo’s 24-hour telephone helpline for professional medical advice.

Growing retail knowledge in SA

South Africa’s well-documented skills shortage affects the retail sector in the scarcity of experienced buyers, planners, business analysts and senior executives. To grow our own retail skills pool, we’ve launched a corporate place of learning. The Massmart Corporate University grows experienced career retailers to contribute significantly to Massmart, to the local industry and, in fact, to retailing anywhere in the world. Our training is offered with employment equity in mind, and our equity figures reflect this.

This virtual university consists of the Massmart School of Leadership Development, the School of Retail Excellence and the School of Management Development. Courses are run in conjunction with GIBS, UCT, Harvard, the Centre for Creative Leadership and the University of Stellenbosch, and our executives make annual visits to the Sam M Walton College of Business to learn Wal-Mart mentored international best practice. We believe all our courses strengthen our knowledge base and contribute to Massmart’s distinctive high performance culture.


Balancing our staff commitments against best practice

Retailers globally rely on flextime staff scheduling to minimising store operating costs and meet quiet and peak trading requirements. In many instances, employees working these shifts don’t qualify for the same benefits as their permanent colleagues. While we have not resolved the issue within our own organisation, we are looking for ways to extend permanent staff benefits to semi-permanent employees without compromising the intrinsic operational benefits of flexitime staffing practices.

*   As of June 2008
**   Source: Diabetes South Africa