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We aim to be the financial services group of choice.



Capable and committed employees serve our customers and clients, advance our reputation and drive our commercial success.

This section should be read in conjunction with the remuneration report.

1 Excludes Woolworths Financial Services.
2 Number of employees includes permanent and temporary employees employed and paid by Barclays Africa, including regular contracts, interns, graduates, specialists and brokers (excluding inbound/outbound brokers). It covers operational and non-operational full-time, part-time, two-thirds and commission-paid employees. It also includes the contingency workforce, which is all agency, contractors and self-employed employees paid via a third party for services rendered.
3 Number of terminations as a percentage of average permanent headcount.
4 Percentage of senior female executives at managing director/director level.
5 South Africa only.
6 Independent employee survey administered by Towers Watson. The sustainable engagement metric is expressed as a percentage of favourable responses for nine questions, based on the categories: engaged, enable and energise.
7 Absa Group not restated.
8 In South Africa, this includes reportable spend on learning and skills programmes, leadership and talent programmes as well as associated operational costs, accredited and non‑accredited training programmes, bursaries, learnership-related costs, learning-related travel costs, and informal training as a percentage of line manager costs (excluding line managers on assignment in South Africa). From 2015, we have included reportable spend on learning and skills programmes, as well as leadership and talent programmes for Rest of Africa which are managed from South Africa.
LA This indicator is part of a limited assurance engagement undertaken by PwC and EY. The assurance statement can be found here.

2015 priorities

Progress made in 2015

Further improve our HR delivery platforms with the focus on enhancing the employees’ experience.

We improved our HR systems, including our HR self-service portal, and simplified our processes to drive efficiencies. Self-service use increased significantly to 82% (2014: 27%). Our employee experience increased by 10%, as measured by our internal HR operations client satisfaction survey.

Embed as business as usual and continue to improve the HR function’s capability.

We reshaped our HR function to match increased business complexity. 85% (2014: 32%) of HR business partners are now middle and senior managers and the overall HR headcount in South Africa reduced by 20% to 401 (2014: 481). The HR talent pool was also refreshed. 32% of HR businesses partners are new appointments, of which 73% are black. 80 employees participated in the HR Academy, designed to enhance HR competence, including commercial and strategic capability.

Roll out the new global talent management programme. Track progress of identified candidates. Assess additional potential executive management and critical leadership role candidates. Promote the use of the Colleague Curriculum as a fundamental part of an employee’s development plans.

The number of senior vacancies filled internally is evidence of our commitment to developing and recognising talent. We assessed and established tailored development plans for 72 potential successors for the Executive Committee. 3 241 colleagues participated in the Colleague Curriculum, a fourfold increase from 2014.

Measure and reward performance using the Balanced Scorecard and implement a three-year transition plan to achieve a common approach to the rates of deferral of incentives.

Our performance process has been simplified and reward more closely aligned with business performance as adjusted for risk. 99% of employees’ year-end performance assessments were completed by the required deadline. With shareholder approval, we converted our Share Value Plan to an equity plan to better align shareholder and employee interests.

We continued our transition to a standard deferral approach across our operations.

Reshape the organisation to ensure we are appropriately structured and sized to deliver the One Africa strategy.

We implemented a number of initiatives to further build an environment that enables outstanding performance. Central to this was simplifying the organisation. By removing three layers of the structure, we enhanced decision-making and brought our senior leaders closer to the customers we serve.

Improve employee engagement through targeted plans and initiatives across the Group.

Employee engagement improved to 75%LA (2014: 73%LA) with encouraging progress across all areas. The survey participation rate was 79% (2014: 71%), which gives us confidence to act on the results.

Roll out a formal executive-led mentoring programme for women and black employees.

Masedi, a bespoke coaching and development programme, supports female progression to senior management. 24 female employees participated with an 80% promotion success rate.

During 2015, we implemented a number of initiatives to further build an environment that generates outstanding performance. We invested in the development of our employees to support the continued performance and growth of the Group. This investment is evidenced in the reportable spend in skills development of R2.3bnLA (2014: R1.8bnLA in South Africa), which now includes assured spend from our Rest of Africa operations.

Our Group digital strategy improves how we engage with our employees. For example, our LearningforAfrica portal provides learning access to over 3 000 learning initiatives, anytime, anywhere and on any mobile device.

Special emphasis is placed on developing people with disabilities and over 12 000 individual learning interventions were held for this group. The Disability Learnership was launched in 2015 and 194 participants completed the programme.

Creating career opportunities for employees remains a focus area and we launched our Internals First programme to support enhanced mobility and career development. 63% of vacancies were filled by internal candidates (2014: 61%). This reflects both the strength of our internal talent pipeline and our ability to attract talent across the continent. We continue to attract and develop specialist skills, including IT capabilities, where there is a shortage of supply.

As a Pan-African financial services organisation, we have an opportunity to provide career development through mobility assignments across the continent and globally. In 2015, 200 employees participated in development assignments across Africa and in the UK, US, India and Singapore.

We also benefit from the contribution of 65 employees from across Barclays PLC who are on assignment in Africa and who bring international experience and diverse perspectives to the Group.

Our New People Potential programme provides high-touch career and transition support to employees whose roles are impacted by changing workforce requirements. This includes career coaching and extensive opportunities for employees to multi-skill so that they are best prepared for future demands, including digitisation.

The importance of living our Values is reinforced in our performance management approach, which places equal emphasis on our objectives (‘what’) and behaviours (‘how’). Our approach to remuneration considers a variety of internal and external factors, such as affordability, underlying risk-adjusted business performance, international remuneration trends and regulatory developments.

Employee turnover increased to 12.0%LA (2014: 10.8%LA) due to the outsourcing of our cash management business (444 employees or 1% of permanent headcount). Voluntary attrition decreased to 8.0% (2014: 8.8%). The outsourcing of cash management is also reflected in the decrease in the retention of high performers rate, as 31.0% of these leavers were rated high performers.

The expertise and dedication of our leaders is fundamental to a high-performance culture. A number of programmes exist to enhance leadership development. Our Global Leadership Curriculum, launched in 2014, reached 3 900 emerging leaders and our Management Arts Programme is developing core managerial and commercial capability.

We launched a senior talent identification and development programme and identified and assessed 72 potential successors for our Executive Committee. The appointment of Nomkhita Nqweni as Chief Executive: Wealth, Investment Management and Insurance and Arrie Rautenbach as our Chief Risk Officer reflects the strength of our executive talent pipeline and our commitment to recognising internal talent.

Since 2008, over 1 000 talented young people have participated in our Barclays Africa Graduate Programme. We employed 116 graduates in 2015 (2014: 207), of which 42 (2014: 77) were from our Rest of Africa businesses.

R114m was spent on developing over 4 300 students and learners through youth programmes, learnerships, internships and bursary support. Youth employability programmes provided access to development for more than 3 000 participants, of which 87% were black South Africans and 63% female.

Our objective is to create a culture that encourages outstanding performance. Over 34 000 (79%) employees participated in our employee opinion survey. The sustained engagement score reflects how motivated, enabled and energised our employees are to deliver their best performance. We are encouraged by the 75%LA sustained engagement score (2014: 73%LA), and the positive perceptions of our Values (97%), our culture (81%) and our commitment to developing our people (73%).

To improve employee engagement, we need to continue investing in technology to help our employees to do their best work (57% versus 56% in 2014). Streamlining our processes is another improvement opportunity. While this has improved marginally to 73% (2014: 72%) there is more to do. Enhancing communication is essential to employee engagement and while the score has increased to 75% (2014: 73%) this remains a focus area.

Our employee relations approach is guided by our Values. We recognise employees’ right to freedom of association and we have positive partnerships with multiple trade unions across the continent. Trade unions represent 47% (2014: 49.5%) of our permanent employees.

Barclays Africa has a distinct advantage in the wealth of diversity across our continent and in South Africa. Diversity is core to our Values, key to our commercial success and rooted in our deep commitment to Africa.

We have three colleague diversity networks. Women in Leadership includes an executive-led mentoring programme for high-potential women across the continent. On 8 March 2015, International Women’s Day, we launched the HeForShe campaign. It is a United Nations global initiative to engage 1 billion men in the advancement of women’s rights, focusing on gender equality as an institutional priority, and committing to real change within and beyond the organisation.

Our Reach Network encourages dialogue and disability awareness through training, information sharing and connecting colleagues across the organisation. Our Spectrum Network advances lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) diversity. 150 colleagues attended the Johannesburg Pride event in October, and further Pride events were held in three of our other large operations. Spectrum employees work together, across industry, as part of a wider management forum to support LGBT diversity through facilitating knowledge and resource sharing.

In South Africa, 68% of our employees are black and over the past year our senior black representation has increased from 32% to 36%, against our target of 40%. Senior black attrition has improved to 8.2% (2014: 14.6%). Progress is also being made at middle management levels, which serve as a critical pipeline for senior succession, where 52% of employees are black. Black employees make up 72% of junior management. 73% of learning spend in South Africa was invested in black colleagues. Although good progress has been made, there is much more that we must do, particularly at senior level, to enhance diversity and transformation in our South African operations.

Across Africa, 61% of our employees are women and women in senior management increased to 31% against a target of 26% (over 50% of our middle managers are women). Our Board comprises 21% women, of whom 33% are black.

Looking ahead

Our strategy requires heightened focus on simplifying and digitising our organisation and accelerating a diverse, high-performance culture where talented and committed people can build fulfilling careers. We will:

  • launch our next generation Pan-African leadership programme;
  • strengthen our succession coverage and broaden the diversity of our potential successors list;
  • accelerate progress against our diversity and inclusion agenda with a focus on race and gender transformation in South Africa;
  • continue to enhance HR systems capability and process effectiveness; and
  • leverage HR analytics to enhance employee productivity and engagement.