Our people


Group talent processes entrenched

Top Employer status retained with improved year-on-year score

Again ranked in the top three of FMCG sector by graduates (South African Graduate Employers Association survey)


The current operating environment demands the right calibre, capability and capacity of human resources (HR). Accordingly, in 2016, we continued to implement our strategy on transforming the HR function to be more responsive to business requirements underpinned by implementing a different HR operating model and integrated HR information management system

Strategic intent
Winning through people, organisation and being a great place to work
Talent management Leadership development High-performance and
engaging culture
Skills and capability
development and
  • Workforce planning
  • Enhance employer brand
  • Management trainee programme
  • Embed integrated talent management process and practices
  • Talent acquisition and integration
  • People management capability
  • Career management and development
  • Leadership development model
  • Leadership development programmes
  • Leadership pipeline benchmarking
  • Key roles and key people alignment
  • Enhance performance management approach
  • Drive plans to address key findings from employee Pulse survey
  • Implement culture change programme
  • Build a great place to work
  • Deliver valued reward and recognition programme
  • Impactful industrial relations/employee relations approach
  • Implement capability-building framework
  • Build business-critical capabilities
  • Refine functional academies
  • Build mission-critical skills
  • Organisational design to enable business performance
  • Drive benchmark productivity
  • Enable collaboration and teamwork
  • Role and responsibilities clarity
Brilliant HR basics and one aligned HR team
  • Enterprise-wide HR information management system in support of HR value chain
  • Harmonise, standardise and simplify HR policy, processes, systems and HR data
  • HR operating model and structure, ie focused HR business partnering, centres of expertise and shared services teams
  • HR governance
  • HR roles and skills, capabilities and knowledge management
  • HR environment (great place to work)


In 2016, the group employed 11 109 permanent staff and 3 689 temporary staff in South Africa, excluding 1 059 seasonal and casual workers. Outside South Africa, we employ 2 012 permanent staff and 4 664 temporary staff, bringing the total group workforce to 21 474 (excluding seasonal and casual workers) (2015: 20 591). The total salary bill for the year was R3,7 billion, compared to R3,4 billion in 2015.

Our businesses use seasonal and casual workers for expected increases in production. For example, when peaches ripen, we employ additional staff to assist in picking and processing the crop timeously.

In other instances, we face unanticipated spikes in demand from large orders or other less predictable events. To meet these customer requirements, we hire the necessary temporary staff. In 2016, our temporary workforce represented 39% of our total staff complement.

Long term, we intend to convert temporary workers doing regular and ongoing work to permanent positions in the group.

While no formal commitment to local hiring is in place, in practice the vast majority of our workers are drawn from areas around our operations.

Key indicators 2016     2015   2014  
Employee headcount* 21 474     20 591   19 134**  
Female employees 3 910     3 696   3 555  
Learnership participants 324     264   285  
Total training spend (Rm) 24,7     10,8   7,7  
Overall staff turnover rate 7,1     7,9   9,6  
Retention rate of key talent (target 80%) 91%     87%   86%  

* Includes international operations but excludes seasonal and casual workers.
** Restated.

Talent management

Our goal is to be able to deliver qualified talent to the business ahead of demand. This means finding the right people with the right capabilities, sourced internally.

Tiger Brands is building talent sustainably by concentrating on internal appointments and promotions while increasing the investment in training and development to build capability and strengthen the talent pipeline. Key initiatives include a focused management trainee and leadership development programme. During the reporting period, 15 graduates joined Tiger Brands as trainees in various disciplines.

Regular talent reviews at appropriate levels ensure high-potential individuals are identified, development plans are agreed, and progress against agreed targets is tracked.

In 2016, we continued to embed our approach to enable Tiger Brands to outperform competitors and to strengthen our talent pipeline and leadership pool via the talent framework and high-potential process. This includes a group talent policy and review process for a group-wide view that will also identify any gaps and focus on development plans to address these. These reviews take place at a business, functional and group level where talent is identified, development plans and actions are agreed and then tracked.

Identified high-potential employees, whose talent Tiger Brands can leverage for business-critical issues, receive commensurate benefits.

Leadership development

Our aim is to have leaders in place with the right capabilities to inspire people to deliver exceptional performance.

In line with our revised approach to talent management, and to ensure we have leaders who can drive our strategy, a new leadership competency model was introduced in 2015. Leaders are assessed against this framework to ensure we set the correct parameters for development programmes. Four flagship leadership programmes were launched in 2016 and the offering will be enhanced in FY17. In total, 11 flagship programmes were held in 2016 attended by 120 leaders.

High-performance and engaging culture

This pillar of our strategy aims to drive high performance through careful performance management, paired with strong rewards and recognition structures. We believe this drives an engaged and committed workforce and contributes to our success.

In 2016, our turnover rate was 7,1% (2015: 7,9%), marginally lower than the previous year. We are pleased with the progress and are developing metrics to track and reduce the loss of key talent.

Employee benefits

Given our strategic intent to attract and retain talent, we regularly track market trends, legislation and best practice to ensure our employee benefits are relevant and competitive to support our people strategy.

Labour relations

To ensure a constructive, safe and fair working environment for all our people, we work closely with employee bargaining units to ensure that everyone has a voice in matters that affect them daily.

Our employees have full freedom of association. Some 62% of employees belong to 18 unions (including three1 major unions), with site management and shop stewards meeting monthly. The three biggest unions collectively represent 66% of unionised employees.

1 South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU), Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and African Meat Industry and Allied Trade Union (AMITU).

At each site, unions are represented on forums that monitor employment equity, skills development and other issues requiring management’s attention. We continue to work closely with the unions to build productive relationships.

Clear communication between staff and management helps ensure disputes are resolved and grievances dealt with appropriately by all parties. Our disciplinary code is a guideline for all managers and employees to:

  • Create a fair and equitable structure for dealing with misconduct
  • Encourage timely corrective action if an employee’s behaviour or conduct is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.

As part of our workplace culture, scheduled meetings are held daily at production sites. These focus on pertinent issues that improve productivity and safety, and provide an opportunity for feedback from our employees.

Tiger Brands complies with South Africa’s Labour Relations Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the International Labour Organisation conventions, and all relevant regulations in the areas where it operates. In 2016, there were no instances of non-compliance with labour standards.

Skills and capability development

Training and developing all employees is a prerequisite to creating a competitive advantage. Our people have the opportunity to continually develop themselves through workplace qualifications and shorter, function-specific programmes. Documented objectives and targets are submitted to the sector education and training authority (FoodBev Seta) in our workplace skills plan and annual training report.

In 2016, we invested R24,7 million (2015: R10,8 million) on in-house training in South Africa, led through the Tiger Brands Academy, as well as learnerships. A total of 1 151 employees (2015: 524) participated in over 11 733 (2015: 4 036) training days during the year.

Tiger Brands Academy

This internal facility comprises separate academies for the disciplines of supply chain, leadership, finance, customer, human resources and marketing. It also offers learnerships in relevant fields for the group such as manufacturing, logistics, supply chain and management.

To ensure we develop the right strategic skills, we recently revised the course content of two key academies:

  • Supply chain: After the required skills were profiled and harmonised across the group, new learning plans were rolled out. In 2016, 29 unit managers were trained in a manufacturing excellence programme, four planning managers and 11 planning specialists were enrolled for the APICS2 (CSCP) (Certified Supply Chain Professional) and APICS (CPIM) (Certified in Production and Inventory Management programmes), respectively. In procurement, six employees were enrolled for the Chartered Institute Procurement and Supply (CIPS) diploma. The shopfloor development project is well under way: two sites have launched formal learnerships and another three sites have completed assessments with learnerships planned for launch in early FY17. At other targeted sites, assessments continue ahead of implementing the next phase of learning plans.
  • Customer: Our School of Mastery completed its fifth and final year in the current format in 2016. To date, 201 learners have completed three-year programmes as sales representatives, field sales managers, customer managers or shopper managers under this programme. The second intake of 70 learners received national qualifications in 2016, and the third intake will complete their national qualifications at the end of 2016 and will be awarded their qualifications in FY17. In the review period, professional customer skills were reviewed and a new skills dictionary developed. Following assessments against revised skills criteria and external benchmarking, a new customer academy curriculum is being developed to advance skills to the next level.
2 APICS – premier international professional association for supply chain management.

Workplace experience project

Unemployment is a significant challenge in South Africa, particularly among the country’s youth. Tiger Brands is committed to creating opportunities by providing workplace experience for selected candidates in food technology, engineering, marketing, production and operations. These students become a feeder pool for the graduate programme and other entry-level appointments. Around 384 people have completed the programme since 2008 and, where possible, are employed by the business.

Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET)

We have an established ABET programme to promote literacy in the group and in 2016 we spent R0,3 million (2015: R0,9 million). As existing employees complete the ABET programme, the need for this training is diminishing.

External programmes

Thusani Trust provides bursaries to qualifying black employees’ children. In 2016, we spent R3,5 million on bursaries for 291 students (2015: R3,1 million and 158 respectively). A total of 371 students have graduated from tertiary institutions since 2007 with the trust’s support, and 26 graduated in 2015.

We provided bursaries for seven (2015: nine) engineering students. After graduating, they are incorporated into our talent pool.

Organisational development and effectiveness

Tiger Brands is striving to create an organisational environment that enables performance, motivating employees to contribute to the group’s success.

Human rights

As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, Tiger Brands supports the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and endeavours to ensure the group is not complicit in any related abuses. Our human rights policy outlines our stance, namely that we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, nor any form of forced or child labour. This policy is overseen by the HR department and reported to the social and ethics committee. There were no reported incidents of human rights violations in 2016.