Integrated Report 2021

Our people

Human capital governance

We apply codes of best practice including the UN Global Compact, the OECD guidelines regarding corruption, the ILO's Decent Work Agenda and King IV Principle 3 in the policies and procedures that govern our approach to human capital. Our policies include the Barloworld Human Rights Policy, Barloworld Diversity Policy, Group Anti-Fraud Management Policy, Global Whistle-blowing Policy, Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy (see: as well as a Covid-19 policy to protect our employees' overall wellness during the pandemic. We ensure that we:

  • protect the human rights of our employees
  • do not tolerate gender-based violence (GBV)
  • uphold freedom of association and the right of employees to collective bargaining
  • identify and eliminate any employment barriers, perceived or real, and promote demographic representation in the workplace that closely resembles that of the communities in which we operate.

Our people

**  The 2020 employee numbers have been restated to exclude the companies we have disposed of.
***  The reduction in spend is due to Covid-19
Our people

Women at the top

Barloworld's efforts to achieve gender equality have been recognised through the following awards:


Overall winner of Women Empowerment in the Workplace


Gender Mainstreaming Champions for 2020


Investing in Young Women

We are proud of the progress we have made towards diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation, and to have two black women as chief executives of business units. Ramesela Ganda heads up our Car Rental and Leasing business unit and Linda Seroka heads up the SMD business unit.

The positive impact on the business of the innovative approach of Ramesela’s team during a period when the Covid-19 lockdowns almost brought the business to a standstill is most impressive.

Young women are also a focus of our training and development programme.

To delight our customers, maximise shareholder value and inspire a world of difference, we need to align our efforts at every level through:

  • enhancing talent and diversity
  • optimising performance
  • learning, coaching and developing to unleash our full potential
  • recognising and rewarding winning behaviours and exceptional short and long-term results.

Towards improved employee engagement

The One Barloworld Employee Engagement Survey we conducted during August and September 2021 in which we scored 62.4% (FY2020: 63.7%) provided helpful insights into how our employees are experiencing the organisation. The outcomes of the survey have helped us focus our engagement to address areas for improvement.

Diversity and inclusion

To maintain the progress we have made with regard to diversity and inclusion, which includes both gender and racial representation, our focus is on appointments, promotions and retentions. Outside South Africa, our diversity and inclusion strategy focuses on limiting the number of expatriates in our teams and increasing representation of women at all levels.


Leadership transformation

Our goal: Every Barloworld employee is a problem solver and a continuous improvement champion

We defined our leadership competencies and designed training and development programmes that made sense for Barloworld and that would develop problems solvers and continuous improvement champions. By 2021, through the embedding of the BBS leadership transformation journey, 80% of problems were being solved or decisions were being made at the appropriate level in the organisation.

We also recognised the need to support our leaders with programmes that helped them enhance the skills they could draw on to support the emotional well-being of their teams during this challenging and uncertain time. The General Barloworld Healing Programme, which focused on building the capacity for empathic and transparent leadership, included modules on team alignment and cohesion; managing stress and burnout; and identifying an employee in crisis.

Leadership transformation

Training and development

Group training and development spend in FY2021: R41.2 million

The aim of our investment in training and development is to ensure we have people with the capabilities we require to deliver on our business strategy.

Our programmes that focus on young people include apprenticeships and internships.

Giving people the opportunity to gain the experience they need to succeed

Creating opportunities for employees to gain experience is an important part of people development. We also look for opportunities to promote people when they become available. One such opportunity is the placing of young African women with chartered accountant qualifications in the offices of group executives, which gives them excellent exposure to the business. Some of these young women have worked in the GCEO's office, then moved into the strategy unit and from there into a business unit.

The training focus in our business units is mainly on technical skills. There has been a substantial increase in the number of women training as technicians in Equipment southern Africa.

Talent management and succession planning

Barloworld has a robust integrated talent management programme that includes workforce planning, recruitment and selection processes focused on providing opportunities to our employees first. We use balanced business and individual scorecards aligned to key business objectives to drive the optimisation of performance.

Forward-thinking succession planning, which focuses on strategic, critical and scarce roles ensures stability within our leadership team.

We look for opportunities to promote people whenever opportunities become available and provide them with the support they need to succeed.

Our response to the impact of Covid-19 on our people

Ensuring the overall wellness of our employees during the pandemic was a key focus for Barloworld in the year under review. This included providing immune booster packs. We also encouraged employees in southern Africa to vaccinate by giving them a half-day special leave for this purpose, and held interactive vaccination education sessions presented by medical professionals.

Sadly, we lost 29 of our employees to Covid-19 during this period. To support their families, friends and colleagues and help them cope with the emotional impact of their loss, we offered them counselling sessions. In addition, some of our employees were impacted by the section 189 retrenchment process that took place during the year under review.

To support our employees' emotional well-being during this very challenging period, several employee wellness-focused initiatives were introduced as part of the One Barloworld Group wellness programme, Geared for Living. These included emotional impact sessions presented by external psychologists, which were designed to provide support to employees directly or indirectly affected by the section 189 process and equip them with skills to deal with stress and anxiety, build resilience and prepare them to re-enter the job market. Retrenched employees have been kept on our sourcing database for potential future employment within the 12-month recall period. To assist with the integration of Ingrain into Barloworld we also held emotional impact sessions during this process.

In December 2020, some Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and there was a gradual resumption of economic activity in most of our operating regions. This made it possible for the group to reinstate full salary payments and recommence pension fund contributions for all our employees who had been impacted by the remuneration sacrifice which had been in effected from May 2020.

Reintegration into the workplace support sessions assisted our employees to understand the trauma they had experienced during the hard lockdown and helped ease the fear and anxiety they experienced related to returning to the workplace during the pandemic.

We realised we also need to enhance the skills our leadership needed to support their teams.

Safety performance

Safety targets are set for each business unit and performance against these targets is monitored through the BBS.

Using technology to keep our people safe

Building a hazard bank in southern Africa

During the year under review Equipment southern Africa ran a company-wide hazard identification campaign to increase employee awareness of high-potential hazards (HPH). The campaign resulted in a marked increase in the identification of HPH and an improvement in pre-start risk assessments. A hazard bank was established following the campaign and is being used in training and the induction process.


Using technology to increase safety in our Russian operations

Vostochnaya Technica LLC (VT) is using technology to keep its people safe. VT Safe operates on employees’ smartphones and is used by technicians to perform self-assessments on remote sites. Having identified all the hazards associated with the work they plan to do, they use the checklist on the system, which provides recommended actions to minimise risks associated with particular activities or indicates that it would be unsafe to carry out the work.


Using technology to help keep our VT employees safe

In Russia where VT employees have to travel long distances, often in harsh winter conditions and on untarred roads, travel of more than 500km or seven hours requires approval via an electronic document management system, the VT Road Safety application. The driver has to input a full description of the travel route including drive time, rest and survival equipment required during winter before receiving approval.

VT has also introduced Notify, a smart reporting tool that can be used on mobile devices to report risks and unsafe situations. Notify captures comprehensive data and attaches files, including images and documents and automatically tags the location of the hazard, incident or accident. The information is sent through for inclusion in a central database for analysis and is included in the knowledge base of the occupational health and safety team.


Avis Budget aids in the fight against GBV

As a business unit that employs a substantial number of young women, the Car Rental and Leasing team decided to convert some of its training centres into shelters for women affected by GBV. The team worked with the National Shelter Movement of South Africa to establish the homes. In the FY2021, 10 homes were established and we have identified a home per province. The intention is to roll this out as a group-wide initiative.

Improving road safety with dashboard cameras (dashcams)

To address the increase in motor vehicle accidents, particularly in South Africa, the Equipment division fitted dashcams to a number of its vehicles. An analysis of driver behaviour five months after the dashcamsf were installed showed a significants decrease in unsafe behaviour.

Avis Budget aids in the fight
against GBV

Occupational health

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the four non-fatal conditions listed among the leading causes of the global burden of disease. The hearing conservation programme piloted in Equipment southern Africa in 2020 has been extended to a further five regions. The programme includes the identification of noise sources; tracking the percentage of hearing loss (PHL) for groups exposed to noise; and the implementation of engineering controls such as the installation of silencers to significant reduce noise levels and protect employees' hearing. No occupation-related NIHL cases have been reported since 2020.

Asbestos-containing materials in older buildings were identified in some regions prior to 2019. Plans were implemented to prioritise the removal of these materials from all high-risk areas. In South Africa the materials have been replaced and renovations currently under way in Namibia will include the removal of asbestos-containing materials. The plans include medical surveillance for anyone who may have been exposed to asbestos-containing material. They also include training and awareness and change management plans for any future building work.

Responsible rewards and benefits

A key focus of our human capital team has been to ensure that we remunerate fairly and responsibly, close remuneration gaps by giving our lowest paid employees higher percentage increases than our higher level employees, and also ensuring all our employees are fairly rewarded.