Tiger Brands Limited

Integrated annual report


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For Tiger Brands to perform, innovate and grow, the "Future-fit Tiger" employee must be consumer obsessed, an excellent executor, collaborative, agile, innovative and resilient, centred by our purpose, values and winning behaviours.


Our people strategy is designed to ignite a culture of consumer obsession, agility, and a risk-embracing growth mindset that will accelerate innovation and enable us to win in the market. Through our three strategic pillars of talent, leadership and great place to work, we are building a diverse talent base, developing leadership capability, and creating a work environment that liberates people to focus on the consumer, and deliver on our purpose.

Building a diverse talent pipeline

Over the last three years we have built a strong foundation for our talent management process across the organisation, identifying the critical commercial and technical capabilities needed to execute our strategic agenda and improving our internal rate of leadership appointments to above 40%, up from 20% in 2018. Unfortunately, as with many of our peers locally and internationally, our talent management efforts have been impacted by higher post-Covid-19 attrition rates, compounded in South Africa by a general skills shortage in some technical areas critical to our business. This year, our attrition rate in key technical roles and at senior leadership levels averaged 13%, down from a peak of around 17% over the prior two years, and below the South African average of 16%. This challenging attrition rate, together with the internal moves that we have accelerated over the last three years, has seen us depleting our talent pipeline in middle to senior leadership levels, necessitating an urgent focus on talent acquisition from external sources and a renewed focus on developing capabilities internally.

We have taken various actions to address these challenges, creating a talent acquisition hub in March 2022 to accelerate targeted resourcing and talent pipeline building for the whole organisation, with a focus on critical roles. We have undertaken targeted engagements across the business, implementing learning plans to address core competencies, strengthening proactive career development opportunities through targeted programmes such as our WINGS accelerated development programme and refreshed learning academies, and refining our reward and recognition strategy to attract and retain high calibre talent and motivate winning performance. More specifically, the remuneration committee approved once-off retention awards for Exco members (excluding the CEO) to manage the retention of Exco members, which is imperative to the stability of our strategic and operational support teams. Although our efforts have started to yield positive results, the sourcing of critical skills remains a top priority. To fill roles more quickly, we have widened our talent mapping and sourcing efforts beyond our immediate peers in the sector, particularly at senior management levels.


Positive developments

  • 40% leadership vacancies filled internally to date against our target of 50%
  • Accelerated core capability in manufacturing, customer, marketing and R&D
  • Launched an accelerated leadership development programme to improve succession planning
  • Further improvements in diversity metrics
  • Voice of Tiger employee engagement process informing actions to improve culture and engagement

Opportunities for improvement

  • Industrial action at two of our facilities including a prolonged strike at Snacks & Treats
  • Filling of vacancies and developing bench-strength
  • Deepen commercial capability of the marketing team
  • Reduce senior management attrition rate

Learning and development

Our foundational talent development programmes for each employee segment are designed to ensure the steady development of capabilities needed to drive performance now and fill our talent pipelines for the future. We have refreshed our learning academies this year, focusing on Supply Chain, Marketing, Customer, Bakeries and R&D, and accelerating the focus of the academies toward developing identified fit-for-purpose capabilities. We have taken advantage of the opportunities presented by remote-working arrangements to embed the use of just-in-time digital learning to accelerate the integration of learning into day-to-day work across the organisation. This year, we spent R97 million on learning and development across all sites and businesses. We had a total of 278 employed learners and 96 unemployed learners actively participating in accredited skills development interventions, such as learnerships, apprenticeships and internships. In addition, 34 people with disability learnership candidates joined our organisation to further build our talent pipeline and address our diversity, inclusion and transformation objective.

Diversity and inclusion

We are continuing to execute our diversity strategy to strengthen African, Coloured and Indian (ACI) representation in our workforce, champion women in the workplace, and make progress with the inclusion of people with disabilities. In 2022, 94% of our workforce is ACI, and on average 81% of internal leadership placements were filled by ACI employees. The representation of ACI employees at management level is 65% in middle management, 58% in senior management, and 60% in top management. Our management trainee intake in 2022 was 100% ACI. Our gender equity agenda is addressed through various targeted talent and leadership development programmes, while the Tiger Women's Network provides a forum for female employees to network, dialogue and have access to tailored mentorship, coaching and development opportunities. We have integrated dialogues about unconscious bias into our leadership development programmes and culture transformation engagements. In 2022, 31% of our workforce is female, with female representation at management level being 41% in middle management, 42% in senior management, and 30% in top management. Our management trainee intake in the last year was 66% female.

Developing leadership capability

We have a longstanding focus on developing leadership capabilities across the organisation to drive performance, support the wellbeing of employees, and lead the transformation of our culture. This year, to further accelerate the building of leadership succession pipelines, we have established and are piloting a high potential accelerated development programme (WINGS), for internal and external talent, that will enable us to rotate key talent across our businesses and prepare them at a faster rate for key leadership positions. This programme is open for internal and external talent, and our first cohort of WINGS delegates are participating in the programme. Our existing flagship leadership development programmes, Game Changer and LIFT, remain effective at embedding core leadership competencies, and work well in combination with mentorship and coaching through our Leader-as-Coach programme. This year, 92 employees participated in the LIFT programme, and 46 completed the Game Changer programme.

We measure the progress of our leaders using a 360° MultiRater feedback platform that captures feedback on their ability and behaviours directly from their teams, peers and line-leaders. Our targeted leadership rotations are designed to strengthen our leadership pipeline and stimulate innovation and a growth mindset across our leadership talent pool.

Looking ahead, we will continue executing our future-fit leadership development programmes and rotations to strengthen our leadership pipeline, as well as to stimulate innovation and a growth mindset across our talent pool.

Creating a great place to work

Transforming our culture and creating a great place to work remains a critical focus for the organisation. The culture we aspire to has been clearly articulated – agile, innovative, collaborative and execution-focused – and our culture transformation roadmap guides us towards realising this vision.

Our Voice of Tiger (VoT) employee experience and engagement survey is a key tool that informs the work of transforming our culture. Our last VoT survey was conducted in November 2021, and our activities this year were focused on addressing the key employee engagement opportunities identified. Employee participation in the survey remained at 73%, with the overall employee engagement score declining slightly from 70 to 66, in line with global trends. This indicates a generally positive work experience among employees, yet with definite room for improvement. We will conduct the next VoT survey in November 2022 to gauge our progress, and inform further actions in 2023.

Employee wellbeing

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally reshaped the employer-employee relationship, with acknowledgement and respect for the unique lives and experiences of different employees becoming critical to success. We have further humanised the employee-employer relationship in ways that are starting to unlock value through increased performance, engagement and talent market attractiveness. We have embraced hybrid and flexible work arrangements to meet the need of employees for personalised work conditions and autonomy in choosing where and when they work. Our employee wellbeing programme, THRIVE, is playing a critical role in enabling our people and their families to seek help, find safety and support, and build the resilience needed to navigate work-life integration issues, and address physical, emotional and mental-health challenges.

Reward and recognition

We reward winning employee performance to motivate excellence and enhance our ability to attract, develop and retain high-calibre talent. We review and refine our reward and recognition strategy annually to stimulate performance, align with market benchmarks, and meet the interests of our employees and shareholders. We reward performance fairly and responsibly, in accordance with the reward philosophy outlined in our remuneration policy, and in alignment with International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions and relevant national legislation.

Our remuneration strategy is aligned with the key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure and reward performance against our strategy. Our reward framework follows a “total reward” approach, consisting of guaranteed pay and variable pay, and a range of market-relevant benefits and professional growth opportunities that recognise individual and team performance. Our short-term incentive (STI) scorecard has been revised to strike a better balance between a focus on financial and non-financial strategic aspects of performance. Remuneration incentives are indirectly linked to sustainability performance via weighted measures for achieving strategic objectives in efficiency, quality and safety. Further details are provided in our remuneration report.

In recent years, the rewards issued to employees through our LTI and STI schemes have been less attractive due to lower levels of business performance and the impact of Covid-19. However, this has started to change in the last two years, as business performance has started to improve. Eligible employees received STI payments in 2021, and will receive further payments in 2022 based on the achievement of performance KPIs. Our in-person employee recognition ceremonies and channels also took a hit as Covid-19 kept employees at home and away from the office. Our refreshed recognition platform, Tiger Stripes, has reinvigorated the practice of giving regular recognition for a job well done. These incremental votes of recognition, culminate in our annual Tiger Stripes Awards ceremony.

Employee relations

We aim to build and maintain meaningful collaborative relationships with employees and representative trade unions. Our employee relations partnership framework guides our approach, and we work continuously through direct engagements and site partnership forums to maintain a stable employee relations environment across all our sites. Our CEO and executive team are involved in employee relations engagements on strategic issues, including engagements with trade union partners. We align and comply with all labour-related legislation and ILO conventions relevant to the countries where we operate.

In 2022, we invigorated more regular engagements between site leaders, staff and union partners on matters of mutual interest. Our intention is for increased interaction to support relationship building, and thereby help us address challenges more proactively together before they become disruptive conflicts. We have improved our management of non-compliant overtime, and we have seen a reduction of cases across our sites. There have been no instances of non-compliance with labour standards.

This year, we successfully concluded 27 planned site negotiations without industrial action. Regrettably, we experienced one protected strike at our Snack & Treats site in the first quarter due to a wage dispute. The strike commenced on 8 November 2021 and employees returned to work on 20 December 2021, with a total of 279 079 manhours lost. Our efforts to stabilise the situation at this site are starting to yield positive results, and we are leveraging the recent challenge as an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with our employees going forward.