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During the period under review, Imperial embarked on a concerted talent management process. With the increasing scarcity of key management skills, the growth of the group into new markets and segments, and increasing demands on senior management in a more complex operating environment, talent management and succession have become critical considerations at group level. This implies a pronounced shift in the role of continuous learning and people development – from an operational function to a strategic imperative. Strategy around talent management and succession is set by the CEO in conjunction with the senior management team and implemented through line management.

The group maintains a strong focus on training, with employees at all levels having access to training and development opportunities. Training programmes are aligned with performance management though the creation of personal development plans for employees.;

An internal psychometric assessment centre has been established, to assess potential new recruits and enable high-performance individuals to be identified and promoted internally. This centre is staffed by a number of psychologists and psychometrists.

Psychometric assessments are conducted for recruitment, developmental and promotional purposes. Traditionally, recruitment for senior roles at Imperial has mainly been from within the organisation, but the growth of the group and the focus on new areas of business have meant that a broader skills pool now needs to be tapped. The expansion of the group has also driven a focus on different aspects of human capital management. For example, an expatriate policy is now being developed as a result of the group’s expansion into Africa and beyond.

The primary goal of the group’s transformation initiatives is to ensure the sustainability and societal alignment of the group over the long term and to contribute positively to the development of the South African economy and society. It is also essential for the business to achieve an acceptable empowerment rating in each of its divisions to assure their competitive position within each industry is maintained and enhanced.

Sustainable transformation is addressed in the group by focusing on three areas:

> People development – the training and development of employees across the group with an emphasis on the identification and advancement of black talent. Initiatives cover the spectrum from technical training, through supervisory functions to executive levels
> Promotion and recruitment – ensuring employment equity targets can be met by appointing black people to management positions across the group through recruitment and promotion
> Employee value proposition and engagement – measuring employee perceptions and levels of satisfaction periodically through internal climate surveys.
18 factors were measured during our last survey, including topics such as job satisfaction, organisational commitment, overall evaluation of Imperial as an employer, leadership climate, work team climate, employee engagement, diversity management, remuneration and job stress. The results of the evaluation were generally favourable, with high scores in areas such as job satisfaction, employee engagement and work team climate

While the group has made significant progress in the overall level of transformation to date, the pace of transformation at senior levels remains a concern. In response, we have put in place programmes designed to increase the representation of employment equity groups in two areas – dealer principals (the managers of our dealerships) and experienced finance professionals, specifically Chartered Accountants, who can be deployed in the broader group. The latter programme is known internally as ‘Project 60’.

Both programmes have targets and processes associated with them to ensure an additional 100 black managers are responsibly deployed into our talent pool by December 2015.



For Imperial to be recognised as a leader in the development of human capital at all levels, with the prime objective in South Africa, being the closer alignment of the group’s employee and leadership profile with the national demography


To develop employees and prepare them for promotion whilst ensuring cultural readiness for changes throughout the group

To attract and promote talented black employees to suitable positions


> Imperial Technical Training Academies
> Middle management leadership programmes
> Branding


> Target black appointments for group executive committee
and divisional boards
> Employment equity targets per division
> Executive oversight and veto over senior appointments
> Attention to board profiles at group and divisional level
> 20% weighting in senior incentive structures




Imperial’s value proposition for employees centres on the ability of the individual to succeed in an empowered and performance-driven entrepreneurial

Tangible benefits for employees are however no less important. One such benefit is the consistently high quality of training programmes which employees can access and the sustained focus on personal development.

In addition, as a result of the tremendous diversity of operations across the group, we have been able to create a scheme whereby employees benefit from valuable rebates on in-house products and services – the ‘Imperial
Mall’. The group’s buying power is further harnessed to enhance this employee offering.

Currently 14 952 employees, or 32% of our workforce, are members of the Imperial Mall and over 5 880 employees signed up as members during the financial year under review. We estimate that employees have saved at least R2,7 million during the financial year by using the Mall, benefiting from the 330 product brands which are available on the site. An element of excitement is added by regular competitions, with prizes including a scooter, car and weekends away.

The Mall continues to enjoy a consistently high rate of usage. Each month there are on average 500 employees signing up, 17 500 logging onto the site and close to 4 500 voucher requests.


Imperial subscribes to the highest international standards when it comes to the protection of human rights. These include principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in the South African constitution.

We encourage all entities with which we do business to observe laws and internationally recognised labour rights standards, ensure training and education on labour rights for employees and to refrain from knowingly employing anyone who has contributed to the violation of labour rights. We will not hesitate to terminate agreements and relationships with contractors or suppliers who contravene international human rights standards and, in particular, use forced labour or prohibited child labour.

All cases involving discrimination complaints that were received during the year were investigated, disciplinary hearings held if appropriate and, where allegations were substantiated and the circumstances warranted it, the offending employees were dismissed.

No instances have been identified where freedom of association or collective bargaining have been found to be at material risk. None of our operations have been identified as having a significant risk of child labour or forced or compulsory labour.



The vehicles businesses depend on the availability of skills and the ability to attract a sufficient number of qualified people for the diverse roles required.

In South Africa, competencies in the areas of management, technical and administrative, science and maths skills remain scarce. Strategy in respect of people management has the following components:

> Recruitment of appropriately-skilled employees
> Extensive training and development of existing employees, including graduate programmes to support employees without qualifications or who want to improve the level of their existing qualifications
> Specific programmes covering chartered accountants, executives, management and artisans

Performance is measured through the outputs achieved through these programmes, primarily the number of employees who successfully completed the courses concerned.

Artisan training is undertaken through the Imperial Technical Training Academy (ITTA) network, which has operated since 2008 in the Western Cape and 2009 in Gauteng, and is recognised as the largest private technical training provider for trades in South Africa. The ITTA employs a mix of practical apprentice training and theoretical training
combined with on-the-job experience. Advanced technical training to technicians throughout South Africa is also provided at Hyundai South Africa’s training centre in Boksburg.

The Vehicle Retail, Rental and Aftermarket Parts Division nominates a large proportion of the student intake of the Imperial Technical Training Academy. Franchises send auto mechanic apprentices for training through the apprentice programme. Since June 2013, the division has received revised employment equity targets which must be achieved by all franchises.

Divisional targets relate to the number of apprentices attending the academy and achievement of equity targets. The division has made steady progress towards achieving these internal targets.

As well as providing essential training to Imperial group employees, the academy assists public colleges in producing pipelines of correctly-skilled and employable youth through a bridging academy designed by Imperial, which is now part of the National Development Framework for trades. It is also involved in the technical high school turnaround strategy in two provinces.

The Car Rental business is centred on service delivery, with people and people development critical to achieving business growth, transformation and sustainability

The car rental business’ people development strategy for 2014 covered a range of areas reflecting the diverse requirements across the business, including:

> The shortfall of employees in critical skills sets at junior, middle and senior management level
> Basic numeracy and literacy deficits, which impact on further growth and development of many employees. This need is met through the Foundational Learning Competence (FLC) learning programme in English Communication and Maths Literacy.
> Improving administrative proficiency – an issue which affects almost every business area
> Internally-delivered training on new operating systems under the new reservation and accounting system, Project Evolve

One key challenge faced in implementing these programmes was the lack of available, experienced and willing workplace mentors to assist with practical application of the knowledge gained. This is being addressed through mentor development programmes.

In 2015, existing initiatives will be continued and a learning programme specifically for people with disabilities will be introduced.

Auto Pedigree, which sells pre-owned vehicles, provides employees with ongoing support to perform at an optimal level. Talent management programmes identify high-level performers who are then earmarked for future promotion and receive further training in accordance with individual development programmes.

In 2014, four of Auto Pedigree’s employees went through management development programmes to prepare them for senior positions. Our experience is that there is a noticeable change in the behaviour of employees who undertake these programmes. To satisfy demand for competent motor vehicle sales employees,
a sales cadette programme has been introduced at Auto Pedigree.

The Aftermarket Parts business has designed and developed a Leadership Development Programme and, during 2014, concluded the first course under this programme. It is embarking on a second programme for junior and middle management in July 2014, in an attempt to build a succession pipeline and retain key
skills. A supervisory programme will be introduced in July 2014 to ensure that supervisors can develop the requisite leadership and management skills.

In the logistics businesses, the talent pipeline is crucial for sustainability and to support business growth objectives.

In Logistics International, an expert in talent management and skills development was recently appointed by the business. The ageing workforce in Europe poses a specific challenge for the European operations. The division participates in regional vocational training and job fairs to attract new labour market entrants.

In Poland, the business has taken on six logistics students for a three-year programme to be offered for the first time from September 2014, which includes both
classroom time and work experience. Also in Poland, Panopa Logistics is offering a programme to bring forklift drivers up to the required company standard. The programme includes four days of classroom work and at least 15 hours of driving experience, as well as mechanical knowledge and an occupational safety component.

In Logistics Africa, people development strategies focus on the areas of people management, skills development and training. Transformation objectives are met through these workstreams and supported through group-level transformation incentives.

Human resource policies, procedures and programmes in Logistics Africa are aimed at ensuring that the division has access to the human resources required to achieve long term objectives and strategies.

A strong talent pipeline is crucial, as is a skilled workforce. The business performance of the division would be impaired if there was no skilled pipeline of talent and if the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) scorecard of the division was not a competitive and morally acceptable level.

A primary focus is performance management. The division has rolled out performance management in all operating units, which has led to succession planning and the identification of High Performance and Potential Individuals (HPPIs), for whom development plans have been generated.

The Logistics Africa framework governing education and professional development includes three elements:

> The Imperial Logistics Academy
> Workplace entry programmes
> Industry collaboration

The latter is focused on alignment with the government’s National Skills Development Strategy III (NSDSIII), where the business works together with industry and
professional bodies to support employees with skills training, career progression and personal development.

Significant achievements during the year included:

> Establishment of the Imperial Logistics Academy and accreditation with the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA), positioning the Imperial Logistics Academy as an Institute for Sector Occupational Excellence
> Acquisition of Ikaheng HR Services to complement education and training provided through the Imperial Logistics Academy. Ikaheng is a commercial training provider to industries in South Africa and the rest of Africa, with a focus on the empowerment of people in various economic sectors through operator and legal compliance training
> Expanding its educational drive to benefit logistics and supply chain industries in Africa through its implementation partner, the Imperial Health Sciences Supply Chain Academy


After three years of development and investment of R3,3 million to date, Logistics Africa established its Imperial Logistics Academy during 2013. The academy aims to provide Imperial Logistics employees with customised training programmes aligned to national qualifications. It also offers a range of short courses and professional development events that complement learnership programmes.

During the year, the academy finalised curricula for qualifications in business management, warehouse supervision, transport supervision, business administration and transport and warehousing fundamentals, customised to reflect the best practice in the division. Subject matter experts from the division contribute to the training programmes by way of content development, guest lecturing and mentorship, allowing skills transfer internally within the group, as well as externally. The academy enrolled a total of 275 students for learnership programmes in 2014. In assessing the viability of the Imperial Africa Logistics Academy, in-depth research was conducted to assess the skills landscape within Imperial Logistics and to ensure that the academy’s offering addressed the most urgent skills gaps within the organisation.


Close relationships are maintained with further and higher education institutions across South Africa by means of sponsorships, guest lecturing and participation in career programmes. A key strategic theme for the Imperial Africa Logistics Academy is building a pipeline of graduates across further and higher education, to feed into bursary and internship programmes. A dedicated graduate development manager is employed by the academy to engage with these institutions and to promote the Imperial Logistics brand to graduates across South Africa. 65 graduates are currently engaged in internship programmes within Imperial Logistics entities.

In the Financial Services businesses, people development is a particularly relevant consideration given the service orientation of the business.

The product value proposition to markets and clients is delivered through interaction with people. Client centricity and unquestionable market conduct are core tenets of the organisational value set and culture.

Our workforce needs to both reflect the demographics of our clients and differentiate our offering through the delivery of sound financial advice, product and excellent service. As we operate in an increasingly competitive and highly-regulated market, we also require strong capabilities in the areas of product development, actuarial skills, pricing, marketing, sales, client relationship management, claims management, technology and compliance. The availability of these skills in the marketplace is low and in some cases very scarce, especially in areas such as actuarial skills.

Talent management is proactively addressed at all levels of management in the business and is given continued focus at the divisional board level, including through the board’s various sub-committees, Regent’s executive committee and other management fora.

Three key objectives of Regent’s human capital management policy are:

> Building a diverse workforce
> Being an employer of choice
> Building human capital excellence

To achieve these objectives, the business is currently deploying the following programmes:

> Enhancement of the division’s performance management programmes, including the introduction of 360 degree appraisals
> The introduction of a leadership pipeline
> Leadership development initiatives
> Regulatory training programmes, including Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) accreditation
> Learnership programmes
> Study assistance programmes
> The deployment of an e–learning platform
> Implementation of a new job evaluation system
> Upgrade of the IT system for human resources

Performance against the division’s human capital management objectives is measured with reference to metrics covering workforce diversity, being an employer of choice and building human capital excellence. The business met targets and milestones as planned in most areas, although challenges remain in meeting the desired level of black management representation at middle, senior and top levels of the organisation.




In South Africa, the low level of educational outcomes presents a number of challenges. Low levels of literacy and numeracy, in particular, are obstacles to the progression of employees’ careers and their own personal development.

In response, the Europcar South Africa business initiated a pilot project in January 2014 to run the Foundational Learning Competence programme (FLC). FLC is a nationally-recognised, one-year learning programme consisting of two six-month modules – communication with a focus on English and mathematical literacy.


The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), an oversight body set up to monitor and regulate training and skills development initiatives, formally recognised the FLC programme in 2012 and encourages employers to run FLC programmes for employees. SAQA envisions that in time, FLC will replace the fundamental unit standards of all qualifications in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Completion of FLC also opens doors for employees to study further. For example, FLC must be obtained before an occupational qualification at NQF Level Three and Four can be awarded.


Our programme has been implemented with a group of ten learners, five of whom are current employees and five of whom are youth participants who have been given the opportunity to join Europcar on a fixed-term contract for the duration of the programme. This allows practical work experience and mentorship for these young people. Europcar has structured the pilot programme to ensure a balance between time spent in formal classroom learning, and time spent in the workplace acquiring practical business skills.

In the selection process, existing employee participants were identified as development candidates and were assessed for programme readiness. For youth participants, a database of learner applicants was screened and promising candidates were interviewed, with shortlisted candidates then assessed for programme readiness.


Employee uncertainty about the benefits of the pilot programme still needs to be addressed, and trust with employees built over time to ensure this is viewed as a helpful and meaningful intervention. Perceptions that FLC is primarily for young and junior employees might potentially limit uptake with older or more experienced employees. This needs to be managed through communicating the successes of the programme and demonstrating the opportunities it may unlock.


Initial assessment results for the 2014 participants reported an average score of 33% for the English and 17% for the Maths Literacy modules. Upon completion of the programme at the end of the 2014 calendar year, we expect the average score for participants to have shifted to 65% for English and 50% for Maths Literacy.

More difficult to measure – but no doubt as important – has been the noticeable increase in personal confidence among the participants, as well as their increased engagement in the workplace. These individuals feel they are now more eligible for occupational development opportunities.

“I’ve improved my English. I know how to use the right punctuation in my everyday language and writing. I feel more confident when using English because it is not my home language, and I always felt a little shy when speaking it.”
– Mmatlala Maupi, Youth Learner
“The FLC programme is very important to me and it helps a lot when it comes to communication skills. It helps me to plan my daily work better. My English has improved a lot and I do not have communication problems anymore.”
– Clifford Zungu, Car Park Supervisor, OR Tambo Airport


The FLC pilot project has cost just over R300 000 to implement, of which approximately half relates to accredited training partner costs and the balance was used for supporting stipends for the youth participants.


Europcar intends to extend the FLC opportunity to a further ten participants in 2015, once again to a combination of current employees and youth participants, should the pilot project prove successful in terms of the targets set.

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