The ongoing pandemic and resulting disruptions it brought about have helped leading telecommunications company MTN to reshape its employee development tools – from a predominantly in-person, classroom-based training regime to a more virtual approach that has allowed for even more immersive and detailed interactions, its Chief Human Resource Officer, Amma Benneh-Amponsah, has said.
The changes, she adds, are likely to remain permanent as the newer model has proven more effective than the previous in key metrics. “The pandemic has had a positive effect on learning as we have increased our virtual learning options, which allows us to scale. A conscious effort is being made to simulate a physical learning experience for the majority of our programmes,” she explained.
Ms. Benneh-Amponsah disclosed this in an exclusive interview with the B&FT following MTN’s receipt of the Investors in People Platinum Accreditation by the United Kingdom-based Investors in People (IiP) International in the third quarter of the year, when she said the success of the new regime has been anchored on smarter, more efficient content.
“The priority is on ‘bringing learning to the learner’. We adopt a more ‘push-content’ approach to help employees easily access suitable content for their development. More bite-size videos are deployed to facilitate easy and fast learning consumption,” she remarked.
The Platinum Accreditation is the high-performing standard on the IiP accreditation model, and the highest level on the IiP Standard. MTN is the first company in Ghana to receive the Investors in People Accreditation.
The Accreditation confirms MTN Ghana as an organisation that adheres to the Investors in People Standard as well as global best practice in people management. MTN Ghana received the Platinum Accreditation in September 2021 after rigorous evidence-based assessment: including a survey of its employees, a review of the company’s people practices and policies, interviews with a cross-section of selected employees, as well as confirmation of the wide range of evidence that the company provided.
A number of studies, including a 2019 Workforce Learning Report published by business and employment-oriented online service provider LinkedIn, showed that as much as 94% of persons surveyed indicated they would stay at a company long-term if it invests in their learning and development, rather than a pay-raise or any other factor.
According to Ms. Benneh-Amponsah, MTN is acutely aware of the sentiments expressed by employees and the benefits which accrue to the employers; as such, retention is baked into its ethos.
“Attrition of talent is expensive; not just because of the investment in the person, but also the potential contribution lost. At MTN, we prioritise culture as an important enabler for overall organisational success and sustainability.
“A conscious effort is made to create an employee-centric culture and leverage every employee touchpoint to promote the required culture. Continuously sourcing employee feedback and gauging the employee-pulse helps us assess the employee experience and to co-create culture with employees.
“In the past 24 months, we have enhanced our focus on employee wellness, mindfulness in the workplace, and benefits that matter to employees. The priority for every organisation is to retain its talent, and MTN puts in a multi-pronged retention strategy that focuses on both the immediate and long-term.”
The key to retention, Ms. Benneh-Amponsah says, is the company’s position on enabling an ownership culture. She noted that offering stakeholders – customers and employees alike – a sense of ownership evokes a sense of loyalty in them; one that MTN is all too happy to nurture.
“Ownership in a company is good for both the employer and employee in many ways. This not only aligns the interest of employees with shareholders but also motivates employees to be more productive while understanding the fundamental business realities and bases for short- and long-term strategic positions taken,” she said.
This approach has been extended to customers of the company as well, with MTN being the only telecommunications company to be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
Since its listing in 2018, the company has led the market in terms of volume of shares traded. MTN began the year with its share price at GH¢0.64 and has since made a 103% year-to-date gain in price valuation on the back of solid financials, and is currently third on the GSE in terms of year-to-date performance. A total of 49.8 million MTN shares valued at GH¢60.9million have exchanged hands over the last quarter.