Transformation is on everyone’s lips in 2016 but, unfortunately, it’s for the wrong reasons. Recent headline-grabbing stories of unprecedented racial tension have revealed a greater need to intensify efforts to achieve real transformation in South Africa.

In business, the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) policy is key in economic and business transformation, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Stalwart of the South African business solutions industry, Nashua, has made great strides not only towards meeting compliance criteria but also making a concerted effort to achieve true transformation beyond a scorecard.

Nashua’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Lindelwe Kunene says, “We acknowledge the need to constantly help employees accept and embrace change, while staying motivated and engaged in the process. It’s the only way for organisations to succeed and ensure a fair and all-inclusive business environment.”

Making inroads

Nashua appointed its first Transformation Manager in the company’s 43-year history four years ago. Since his appointment, Bhavik Khoosal and his team have worked to increase the number of Employment Equity (EE) candidates in the business, upskill employees and go beyond simply complying with legislation to properly embed change in the business.

“Businesses need to look beyond short term fixes and invest in longer term strategies. Developing current employees, for example, is one way to ensure a more sustainable transformation trajectory,” says Khoosal, adding that skills development and recruitment are a key focus for Nashua in 2016.

johannesburg sunsetOvercoming challenges

According to Kunene, the first step towards transformation at Nashua was simply recognising the need to change and gaining consensus amongst stakeholders.

“Support from the Executive has been and continues to be key in the process,” explains Kunene. “I’m pleased by the progress made to date and the direction we’re going. It’s heartening to see how the company structure has changed from where it was five years ago.”

In the last year alone, Nashua appointed three African women to senior management positions. “The process must be led by example. If management isn’t seen to drive change, nobody else will believe it’s real,” says Kunene, adding that setting a reasonable pace that the company is able to follow is equally important.

Steadfast commitment

While Nashua currently has a level three B-BBEE rating – one of the higher ratings on the system – Khoosal says the business is intent on achieving an even higher rating in the years to come.

“Transformation is about moving and looking forward. As a proudly South African company, creating a business landscape that drives real change is our responsibility, and we’re fully committed,” concludes Kunene.

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