WINNER 1


IEMAS Financial Services

Category: Financial Cooperatives

Iemas Financial Services’ Interpretation of Good Practice in Skills Development

Iemas Financial Services believes that Good Practice in Skills Development is based on the following principles:

  • Assessing skills development needs that are aligned to business objectives, short and long-term plans and strategie
  • Its training and development philosophy describes the company’s attitude towards training and development and stipulates the following:
    • Training is a shared responsibility; every stakeholder will be held accountable and responsible in the learning and development process
    • All employees will have equitable access to training and development opportunities, be it formal or informal
    • The company will promote a variety of training methodologies and capitalise on sustainable, informal learning in the workplace
    • Competencies acquired during all formal training interventions must be assessed to establish competence

Iemas Financial Services endorses its value of ownership and accountability by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the learning and development process. Although employees must be held responsible and accountable for their own development, so should managers who are appointed in positions of influence and power. Managers must be knowledgeable of training and development opportunities in the organisation, and promote and encourage staff participation. As such, roles for the Human Resources Department, Line Managers and Employees are clearly defined in the Iemas Skills Development Strategy. from that programme led the company to prioritise Learnerships as one of the avenues in meeting its training and development strategy. Over the years, Iemas has implemented more Learnerships, and 77 employees have participated in Learnerships to date. Of these 77, 37 are still in Iemas’ employment. This indicates that an investment in employees allows the employer to reap the gains. The company has achieved a retention rate of 49 percent to date.


SKILLS DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTIONS (UNEMPLOYED ONLY)
Iemas believes in the development of young people as an investment in the community and South Africa’s future. Learnerships provide the opportunity for unemployed people to obtain a tertiary qualification while gaining valuable work experience in a corporate environment, and earning a monthly allowance. Iemas has been hosting Learnerships since 2002, and has hosted 166 learners. Of the 166 learners, 98 secured permanent employment at Iemas and many built successful careers, and some advanced to managerial positions. Twenty-five of the participants did not complete the programmes, and 33 were not offered employment. Ten Learnerships are currently in progress.

The employment rate, calculated based on the number of learners that completed the programme, sits at 69 percent. This success is owed to a stringent recruitment process that ensures that the selection process only allows for competent learners, and candidates that are a culture-fit to the organisation. Apart from entry level qualifications, candidates are subject to psychometric assessments which include; Customer Contact Styles Questionnaire, Verbal Questionnaire VCC1, and Numeric Questionnaire NCC2. The programme has enjoyed a pass rate of 84 percent, on average, to date.

PARTICIPATION IN BANKSETA-FUNDED PROGRAMMES
Iemas Financial Services has been fortunate enough to receive funding for most of its Learnership programmes.

INNOVATION
To get value from Learnerships, businesses must determine strategic plans and define how Learnerships will contribute to the business strategy. Learnerships were identified as strategic element in meeting Iemas’ short and medium term objectives. Therefore, a budget is set aside annually for this purpose. Learnerships have also become an inherent part of the recruitment strategy in its Short Term and Long Term Insurance environment, due to the challenges in finding candidates that meet FAIS compliance requirements.

Much effort is spent on recruitment and the selection process to get the best candidates for the Learnership. This starts with identifying unemployed matriculants, then interviews are held and finally psychometric assessments conducted. Psychometric assessments are critical in ensuring learners meet required learning potential, numerical and communication ability. Once a learner has met the selection criteria, they are enrolled in the programme. Due to the intensive selection process, the pass rate is above 84 percent and, on completion of the Learnership, the permanent employment rate is 69 percent.

MEASURING TRAINING IMPACT/ASSESSMENT PRACTICES
When measuring the impact of training, priority is given to improved competence of employees. This is reflected in the ability to complete the job, meeting sales targets and adhering tocompany policies and legislative requirements. Impact is also measured with regards to achieving full or part-qualification, especially for employees that are required to meet FAIS credits or employees who have received an Iemas bursary for tertiary studies. With regards to Learnerships, the impact of these projects is measured based on the number of learners that have successfully completed the programme, as well as the number of learners that where placed into permanent or contract employment after completing the Learnership programme.

SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES (PWD)
In 2012 a project was implemented in Iemas’ Centurion office to renovate offices to accommodate more PWDs. As a result, the company recruited more PWDs in its contact centre. As part of its EE Plan, Iemas always aims for representation for PWDs in its Learnership projects. Awareness training is provided when required.

CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES
Iemas Financial Services’ brand promise is “Your caring partner”. During 2014 to 2016, the company lived this value by contributing to the following communities:

  • Western Cape February 2014 – Sponsored Parkdene Primary School with R3 175 for the kids to attend camp
  • Centurion Mandela Day 2014 – Iemas participated in the event and donated kids clothing to Eersterust Child Welfare and the Oduetsi Nhloso Organisation in Bronkhorstpruit
  • Centurion Shavathon 2014 – A total of R12 970 was raised and donated to CANSA
  • 5 September 2014 - Five computers donated at Khomanani High School, Tribal Community under Chief Majosi
  • Bergenek Combined School in collaboration with Polokwane local municipality
  • 2014 - Forty computers donated to Mavuso Primary School in Mhluzi, Middelburg
  • 20 February 2015 - Fifteen pairs of shoes donated to Tshidongololwe Primary School in partnership with Mutale Local Municipality
  • February 2015 - Ten pairs of shoes donated to Sebotsi Combined School in partnership with Polokwane Local Municipality
  • February 2015 – Twenty-one pairs of school shoes donated to Nwa’Risenga School in collaboration with the Ba-Phalaborwa municipality (who donated 29 pairs of school shoes)
  • 6 March 2015 - Large number of Iemas branches showed their support for cancer; employees shaved or sprayed their hair for R50 and Iemas sponsored a complimentary lunch, raising R10 500
  • 2014/15 - Short Term Insurance Learners Partnered with Octomate Training Provider and visited the Fountain of Love Orphanage in Katlehong, East Rand, which Iemas supports via money sponsored by Spaza 4 a Cause (initiative by Corporate Marketing) and a large number of Centurion employees donated food and toys
  • 23 March 2015 - Pretoria branch distributed 100 Dignity to Dreams Packs to the Matric girls at Olievenhoutbosch Secondary School in partnership with Alexander Forbes, Acctech Systems and the City of Tshwane
  • Mandela Day Celebrations for 2016 -
    • The Carltonville branch visited the Zanele Mtshali Disability Home in Khutsong Location and donated boxes of soup and nappiesfor the children
    • Vanderbijlpark branch partnered with IFM 102.2 radio station to host a soup project for those in need
    • The Pretoria team provided the ladies at The Potter’s House shelter with care packs, items of jewellery and clothing
    • Iemas Phalaborwa donated 50 pairs of school shoes to Mabine Primary School in collaboration with Foskor Phalaborwa and Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality
    • Newcastle branch visited Nokukanya Primary School and provided food for 280 Grade R children
    • Iemas Head Office donated bedding, curtains, clothing and snacks to the girls at Lerato House, a place of safety for 17 girls (6-18 years)

OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS DEVELOPMENT
Iemas Financial Service contributes to skills development through participating in various committees including:

  • 2014 - Bursary and Work Integrated Learning Information-sharing Forum at BANKSETA
  • 2014 - Writing Workplace Learning Standard with SABPP
  • 2014/2015 - Compliance Officer Programme at BANKSETA
  • 2015 - Seventh BANKSETA Business Boardroom Collaboration Workshop
  • 2015 - The Banking Association South Africa Consumer Education Project




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