Pragma voted sixth best small company to work for in South Africa
Leading asset management company Pragma was voted sixth best small company to work for at the recent 2013 Deloitte Best Company To Work For awards function held in Johannesburg.
Says Stéphan Pieterse, People and Organisational Development Manager at Pragma: “This was our 7th year of participation and our 6th place is again the result of amazing team work and great senior management support. There were 33 companies that entered the Small company category, which includes companies with between 50 and 300 permanent employees and fixed term contractors that have been with the company for more than 12 months.”
Continues Pieterse: “When we first took part in 2003 we were shocked to see how low our employees rated us. Over the last decade, Pragma’s leadership realised the importance as well as benefits of an engaged workforce, demonstrating discretionary effort as a rule. A number of initiatives including but not limited to leadership development, mentoring opportunities, training and development matrixes, a new way of doing performance appraisals, leadership team development sessions, strengths analyses, innovation days, a value ambassador programme and very frequent engagement checks were implemented as part of a drive to improve Pragma’s organisational development. I was appointed as People and Organisational Development Manager to drive all of these and other initiatives with a team of very competent leaders.”
Adds Pieterse: “In a nutshell, we want to be a company fit for human beings. Pragma is a place where our employees can thrive, make the most of their strengths and contribute actively to the success of the company and its clients. Being one of the Best Companies to Work For means that we attract the best talent out there. Pragma’s world class engagement levels mean that we can bank on the extra effort needed from our employees when the going gets though, a great position to be in for any company striving to be and staying the best service provider for our clients.”
To the questions of how the company intends to improve on their sixth position, Pieterse says that they will never sit back and relax. “One of the ways in which we’ve become so successful was to consistently keep on doing the kind of things mentioned earlier. One of my mentors, Louis Fourie, recently said: ‘Grandmasters are masterful at repetition!’ Pragma is fast becoming a grandmaster in the way we approach organisational development. We’ll continue with what we have, improve, change, take away and add where needed and always listen to our employees’ opinions and make a concerted effort to change the way in which we operate where needed.
“We would like to target the no.1 spot in 2014! This will not be an easy task but with our colleagues’ help and feedback, I believe it will be possible. As a company we’ve shown over our 7 years of participation that we are doing this for the right reasons. We’re also still the Best Engineering Company To Work For and therefore I’m confident that our clients will continue to experience us as the Best Engineering Company To Work With!”
In conclusion, Pieterse says: “It was the well known Peter Block who said this about organisational development: ‘OD is the practice of restoring humanity to environments that have so dehumanized us in the pursuit of process, performance and profit.’ At Pragma, we will always aim to keep this in mind in everything we do. We’ll try our best to become even better. Often we will succeed but along the way we’ll also make mistakes … we’re human after all.”
The Top 3 small companies to work for in South Africa are The Unlimited, Strate Ltd (1st in 2012) and The MSA Group.