In an economy where every cent is cautiously and carefully spent, the most important investments become apparent. Companies admit the secret to their success is their employees. Even in a down economy, investments in employee programs are on the rise. Organisations with strong employee engagement initiatives achieve a critical competitive advantage. A global workforce survey conducted by Towers Watson found that companies with the highest levels of employee engagement achieve better financial results, increase customer satisfaction and are more successful in retaining their most valued employees. Southern Sun Hotels
conducted an internal Employee Engagement survey in October and November 2011. The survey was steered by Towers Watson, the leading global professional services company. This is the fourth consecutive year that Southern Sun conducted this survey and, again, received positive year on year results. All measured categories have showed improvement except one category, which remained static.
The objective of conducting the research annually is to track improvements since the previous survey and solicit employee ideas in each brand, hotel and department to discover strengths and opportunities for improvement. The results also identify areas of potential competitive advantages and provide actionable information about the workforce of Southern Sun in terms of attitudes, behaviours and performance.
The results indicated a clear improvement in the average score which increased from 70 in 2010 to 72.8 in 2011. Although employees are feeling the work pressure during these tough times, results shows that that they are pleased with the overall company image and customer service, the performance evaluation and career development processes and the Southern Sun values (innovation, integrity, people centered, reliability, respect and teamwork). When compared to the external global benchmarks, the results significantly outperform the South African Region Composite and Global Retail & Leisure Companies norms.
“Every year we look forward to the results of this survey so that we can identify areas for improvement. At Southern Sun, we know that limitless productivity comes from a challenged, empowered, excited and rewarded workforce. The results provide a starting point for evaluating our efforts to improve the organisation and to monitor the progress towards achieving our business objectives,” says Graham Wood, Managing Director, Southern Sun Hotels.
The survey found that consistent communication and information availability is a key strength in communicating Southern Sun’s values, future plans and performance internally. Employees have a strong belief in the leadership, values and services of Southern Sun Hotels, and they believe the quality of service at the hotels is excellent. This year’s survey was conducted across 57 hotels in 5 brands as well as the Sandton Convention Centre and the Regional and Head Office of Southern Sun Hotels. A total of 106 questions were asked in 17 categories