Sanlam sustainability report 2010  
Message from the chairman
of the Board Sustainability Committee
Message from our Group
Chief Executive
Board Sustainability Committee members About this Sustainability Report How we manage sustainability
at Sanlam
Our material issues
and highlights
Sustainability governance
and leadership
Engaging our stakeholders Sustainable business Motivated employees Dependable products
and services
Responsible investment Responsible procurement Prosperous society and
Healthy bio-physical
Assurance statement Alignment with the Global
Reporting Initiative (GRI)


Conducive working environment

Sanlam’s makes a considerable effort to ensure that our working environment is conducive to attracting and retaining high-performance individuals, while also identifying initiatives that develop a culture that embraces diversity and a working environment that is enjoyed by all our staff members.

Management approach and actions  

Upon appointment, Sanlam RSA employees participate in the Group Orientation Programme which is followed six months later by a meeting with the Group CE. This offers employees a valuable forum in which to share feedback on their experiences, and provides the Group CE with the opportunity to obtain insight into the culture of the organisation. The Group CE personally addresses the issues that arise. New employees also attend business specific orientations, which are evaluated six months after completion by way of a survey. Based on survey feedback, we determined that employees often do not understand many of the agreements they sign upon their appointment. To rectify this, the level of detail shared at these orientation sessions has been improved.

We are also improving employee understanding of the company's benefits structure and we held training sessions throughout the year on this topic. The Sanlam Group offers a comprehensive range of benefits in the form of retirement fund, medical aid and group life cover, so it is important that our employees understand the value and the conditions of these correctly.

There are numerous other day-to-day benefits offered to Sanlam RSA employees, including a countrywide employee assistance programme (EAP) for employees and their immediate families, shops and conveniences at our head office, access to loyalty programme discounts, and focused wellness interventions.

During 2010, senior managers and staff members identified as ‘future leaders’ in the Sanlam Group completed an organisational culture survey, called the Beehive Survey. The results  indicate  the extent to which an organisation has developed in moving towards a culture that is more inclusive, people-driven and client-centric. This shift increases employee engagement and therefore, performance.  The survey has been conducted since 2004 and shows a steady improvement on all parameters.These improvements  ensure a more engaged workforce leading to better performance of the company.

We are seeking to develop ways of improving participation, and our Sanlam for Sanlam initiative is focused on facilitating collaboration between business units. 

A number of other surveys were conducted during the year, on the following topics:
  • Wellness
  • Remuneration and benefits
  • Employee perceptions
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Climate & Culture
  • Investors in People

The Group manages its own grievance procedures by facilitating consultation between our employees and our organisation through various formal and informal mechanisms. This procedure is communicated to all employees via the intranet. Grievances are monitored by HR in terms of frequency and level of escalation. At Sanlam RSA, the incidences of CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) cases are minimal (44 for the year), and therefore we do not see them as materially significant.

In our federated business model, employee interaction and engagement tend to be decentralised, but we do have Group-wide communication channels including:

  • Our internal newspaper Sandaba (lauded as one of the Top Five Corporate Publications of 2009 in the SA Publication Forum awards).
  • Monthly Headway communication from the Group Chief Executive.
  • Executive management feedback sessions.
  • Communiqués from the Group Chief Executive.
  • The Sanlam intranet site.
  • Employee satisfaction / climate surveys.
  • Business-specific internal publications.


Group employee turnover statistics: 2010

    Male Female Foreign Grand  
  OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL   A   C   I   W   A   C   I   W   M   F   Black   White  
  Top management   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0  
  Senior management   4   3   2   23   2   2   0   6   0   0   42   13   29  
  Professionally qualified and experienced specialists and mid-management   9   5   14   41   8   3   7   30   2   0   119   46   73  
  Skilled technical and academically qualified workers, junior management, supervisors, foremen, and superintendents   133   53   31   174   95   58   23   164   3   2   736   393   343  
  Semi-skilled and discretionary decision making   774   71   22   23   1158   117   24   78   1   0   2268   2166   102  
  Unskilled and defined decision making   27   9   6   7   66   16   1   6   0   1   139   125   14  
  Grand Total   947   141   75   268   1329   196   55   284   6   3   3304   2743   561  

The overall termination rate for Sanlam RSA was 28.65%.  While this figure may appear to be high, it is due to high turnover amongst the commission-based staff, which is a normal trend in our industry.  If they were excluded the turnover rate would be 15.42%.  The rates for black and white staff turnover are 20% and 10% respectively – excluding the commissioned staff.

Employee turnover has increased by 5.34% since 2009 (23.31%). This is partly due to the inclusion of employee statistics from Coris Capital, MiWay and Blue Ink, which were not included in 2009, and partly due to the inclusion of temporary staff in the employee headcount.

Sanlam RSA spent approximately R1,924,922 on the Employee Assistance Programme in 2010. Over the year, the Sanlam Group distributed 13,685 copies of Sandaba (an in-house magazine) and 8,990 copies of Tempo (an intermediary magazine).

Plans for 2011 and beyond

During 2010, Sanlam RSA undertook a process of re-educating staff on the medical benefits offered, in order to address common misperceptions about these.  During 2011 there will be a Group-wide focus on further entrenching our business culture in order to further align this with our business strategy.