A company’s core values remain the building blocks of employee retention and profitability as witnessed by GrandWest’s effective implementation and retention of its 1 300 staff and their long service achievements, which will once again celebrate 140 staff members with a long service award, including a 25 year service recipient, at its highly anticipated 2016 Annual Staff Long Service Awards on the 15 November 2016.


Implementing a variety of engagement strategies, including the use of local and international recruitment agencies and trending social media platforms, GrandWest imparts its success to acknowledging the development of Millennials at entry level, while balancing this with a toolkit for their longer serving employees.


“When recruiting, we look for energetic, passionate individuals, focusing on providing opportunities for those who have been previously disadvantaged, with the criteria for all appointments being a matric certificate. Competition in the market for skills is vigorous and it was only by keeping our ear to the ground that we were recently able to track down and secure our new Executive Chef Wynand Schoeman where he was working in Mongolia,” says Liesl Sivertsen, Human Resources Manager for GrandWest.


During the hiring process, shortlisted candidates are required to complete a job specific personality assessment, of a role specific test since a fit with the GrandWest culture is important. Once part of the GrandWest contingent, employees are guaranteed opportunities for learning and development in order to advance through the ranks, over and above the required compliance and legislative training.


According to Sivertsen, Human Resource planning has moved on from mere process policy and the management of procedure. Instead it requires targeted strategies that make up a bigger picture for success. “It is no longer just the ‘soft and fluffy’ as before where human resources were there just to hire and fire. Today, we engage with employees as strategic partners in the business.


“We assist each employee in finding their place within the larger structure and allow them the space to overcome challenges towards achieving their own goals. Just like with a family, there is reciprocity; what you put in comes back to you and so everyone benefits from the resulting positive attitude and high work ethic. We have had a number of individuals who, within a short space of time, have embraced the opportunities afforded them to move through the business. Many of the employees in managerial roles at GrandWest commenced in an entry level role and now lead and manage their own teams, generating a continuum of the sharing of skills and communication of the core ethos of the business.”


Career progression at GrandWest is managed by a defined performance management system. Each employee has the opportunity to discuss and agree on their development strategy as part of the framework of talent management and succession planning within the organisation. Employees are encouraged to attend the varied learning and development interventions on offer which enable them to upskill and remain relevant within the changing professional landscape. The gaming environment is unique and specialised skills are required to deliver on the technical side of the business. Future planning initiatives encompass development and interventions in leadership, business analytics, strategic management and decision-making competencies. At entry level and in junior management, Emotional Intelligence and Personal Mastery are addressed.


GrandWest also partners with an Employee Wellness partner, LifeAssist, where services and offerings extend to immediate family members and include financial advice, management of absenteeism, change management, trauma response, leadership development and health and wellness to name some of the focuses.


“Learning and development has been identified as one of our core strengths within the GrandWest environment. As indicated, employees are encouraged to take ownership of their own development and are supported throughout the process by the relevant stakeholders.


“Considering the uniqueness of this environment, GrandWest might not be the easiest place to work as one cannot simply buy the skills needed to work within our customer centric environment. However, once employees enter into the energy and passion that is the GrandWest environment, we make sure they feel safe and appreciated. There is a lot of value to feeling you are part of a large family. We have had a number of employees leave for various reasons, only to return to work here again, simply because it is such a great work environment.”


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