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A company’s corporate culture can be quickly identified by how they communicate with and reward their staff at the end of the year. South African companies looking to cut corners when it comes to showing gratitude, engagement and vision for their employees will be the first to lose top performers to the competition with as much as 91% of employees saying unsatisfactory communications are crippling the workplace environment.

A wise man once said, ‘when you reward upstats, you get up stats – when you reward downstats, you get down stats’. Brand leaders with high-profile customers understand the need to reward top performing employees with the same investment required to engage and retain their best customers.

Comments Hayward’s Grand Safari Tented Events trailblazer Peter Hayward: “The happiest companies to work for in 2016 were listed as KPMG, Deloitte, Transnet, SA Reserve Bank, PwC, Investec, JSE, Ernst & Young, SARS and Google. Myself and my team have worked with many of the country’s leading blue chip and top profile corporations and their in-house event management teams because they understand that employees are their company’s real competitive advantage. They are willing to do what is required to acknowledge, thank, incentivise and retain the value of their employees for the year ahead, no matter the cost.

“It’s a huge challenge motivating one’s top performers as you need to provide them with incentives they themselves don’t have access to, such as Hayward’s.”

“We all know that retaining talent is more cost effective than hiring. If you think booking an end of year Christmas lunch in a city restaurant is going to get your staff loyal and motivated for another year of focussed work you may need to rethink your strategy. Unfortunately, companies try and bypass this by cutting corners all the time.

“After twenty years of delivering strategic group events and unique product launch experiences we know that our team is our most valuable resource and the companies we work with, understand this as well. Production is the basis of morale, not money as any Millennial today can tell you,” says Hayward.

Putting employees before customers

High employee turnover costs may be more than you think, especially when it comes to the company’s sales departments. Add unsuccessful recruitment techniques, lack of fit with the company’s corporate culture and a need for additional training, and costs have already skyrocketed, and you still may not have a motivated and effective employee in hand.

With competition for skilled talent increasing, blue chip companies wanting higher sales, greater revenue and more profitability will need to engage more meaningfully with their work force. This means checking in with their top performers as you would with your top customers. Understanding them, connecting with them and dealing with the red flags before the problem intensifies and causes them to leave.

“Work environments have become more team focussed and less hierarchical today. We integrate corporate events, incentives and awards dinners which combine both strategic planning and 5-star thank you which treats each employee like the individual they are. When employees trust you to see them, hear them and communicate more deeply with them, they produce more, they want to learn and grow, and better themselves to a communicated standard whether it is a new business vision or the overall corporate mission. These are the employees which will stick with you through tough times. You can learn more about a performer around the camp fire in one hour than you can in a year of boardroom discussions” says Hayward.

Don’t fool yourself either, continues Hayward, employee retention doesn’t mean your workers are happy and motivated. They may simply be sticking around because it is convenient to a more personal aspect of their lives, such as income security or travel distances to work or perks such as health insurance or pension which is keeping them hanging around. It may be they are staying simply due to inertia, widening the gap between employee motivation and company profitability.

“We believe you have to take employees out of their normal environments and extract their true personalities, their desires and needs. We believe you have to put as much time, effort and financial buy-in to understanding and rewarding your employees as you do your best clients.”

The cost of poor communication
As a CEO or managing director, unless you are monitoring the temperature of your employees, you are not in the driver seat as to where you are headed. Just one toxic employee can cost you more in revenue than a top echelon employee hire with as much as 54% of good employees likely to quit when they work with a toxic employee.

“Employee job satisfaction comes down to four factors: Achievement, recognition, responsibility and growth. Deliver these four objectives and in return your staff will offer you confidence, trust and endeavour. If an employee is experiencing burn out, the problem lies with the company and not the person,” says Hayward.

Today’s modern leader – especially those in the business of high-end customers – understands the return on investment of uplifting and incentivising his or her staff. We have seen it is the leaders who see their primary purpose as serving the employees on their teams are the leaders able to create sustainable, high-performance cultures over the long term.

We are in the business to help those companies strengthen ties with their employees and provide creative, awe-inspiring ways to emphasize and deepen the corporate culture through unique experiences and professional year-end events. Pick your playing field and we can manage your group of between 40 – 200 people, for day events; week-long think tanks in the bush with or without the luxury of your own butler, or rewards events to celebrate the accomplishments of your team, discuss past challenges and look ahead to quality outputs that set the standard in your industry.

“We deal with some of the best corporate leaders who operate along the most strategic employee retention principles in the world; we believe it is the only way to work in today’s burgeoning work forces that encompass multi-generational workers over Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y.”

Photo Credit: All photographs used courtesy of Forever Living Products taken at their 2016 Global Rally South Africa

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For media interviews or images contact Mercedes Westbrook of Firehorse Media C: 0789707633 E:

About Haywards Grand Safari Company:
Peter Hayward ran The Power Of One Team Adventure Challenge and Executive Management Solutions Pty LTD for close on 10 years specialising in Productivity Evaluation Team Building. This led to the creation of Haywards Grand Safari Company – providing private groups of 40 to 200 VIP guests with an authentic 5-star mobile adventure safari camp experience in pristine wilderness reserves across the African continent. Today, 15 years later, each bespoke luxury camp guarantees clients total event exclusivity and superior guest comfort.

Rated as the only 5-star mobile Safari in Africa, hosts Peter Hayward and Celia du Preez, are appointed by leading multinational blue-chip companies, royal contingents, presidents and renown celebrities alike for their award-winning brand launches, internationally acclaimed celebrations, weddings and superior conferences and events, ensuring Haywards remains the epitome in authentic, Out of Africa style and luxury.

With headquarters based on a 2 500-acre private game reserve north East of Pretoria in the all new Dinokeng Region of the Gauteng Province South Africa, Hayward’s have been creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for global clients for well over 20 years.

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