The Germiston site in South Africa has built up a powerful tradition of social responsibility, towards both employees and the wider community...
The Germiston site in South Africa's Well@Work programme, launched in June 2008, has gone from strength to strength, adding new elements each year. At the same time, employees are encouraged to take part in local activities to help good causes in the community.
Some campaigns are run regularly every year. They include wellness days (with health screening options for employees), cancer awareness days, a World AIDS Day commemoration event and workshops offering financial advice and coaching. In 2012, a new event was introduced, the in house 'industrial theatre' where employees staged and performed an educational play that was intended to market the Well@Work programme and services offered. The event, which took place in an open area of the site's warehouse, highlighted the wellness services provided and the financial problems experienced by some employees. The event stimulated uptake of the services available inside and outside the company.
Working with Young People
Another new initiative during the year was a workshop for employees' children who are in their last two years at school. The children were invited to visit the site and were shown around different departments to see what careers are available at Johnson Matthey. The event emphasised the company's interest in the next generation of prospective employees and boosted morale generally.
Since 2011/12, Germiston has been supporting a local charity – Kids Haven – that helps street children. In addition to donations, a 'workday' was held in November 2012, when staff volunteered to repaint one of the children's homes. A further workday, again involving painting one of the homes, is planned for 2013.
Another community event took place in July 2012 on Mandela Day. To commemorate the 67 years Nelson Mandela gave to fighting for social justice, people are asked to do 67 minutes volunteering. The site's Wellness team visited an old people's home to spend their 67 minutes with elderly people, giving them a manicure and pedicure and listening to them talk about their lives.
This strong sense of corporate social responsibility is an important element of sustainability, building a committed workforce and showing the community that the company is a responsible and concerned corporate citizen.