About Vusulela

Vuselela was conceptualised, designed and implemented to address the CEO's stated desire to see the workplace become a place of personal fulfilment for employees. The intention is to transform the work environment into a place where our employees want to spend their working lives. This is based on the premise that over the last 100 years or so the mining industry with its very autocratic and transactional management style has to a large extent eroded the self worth and sense of meaningful contribution of many of the employees. This was founded on an unstated principle that employees bring only their physical effort to the workplace and leave their thinking at the gate! Vuselela is therefore a strategy to try and start a process of designing a values based management ethos whereby personal and corporate value systems can be aligned in the workplace. Fundamental to this process is the understanding and acceptance of the need for personal and organisational renewal.

To this end a process of engaging all stakeholders in the design and implementation of the strategy was implemented. In doing so the logo or mascot of a parrot was selected to portray the key message. The parrot was selected simply because it preens itself and plucks out old feathers and grows new ones annually.

The following steps were implemented:

  1. Concept discussions with key stakeholders
  2. Finalisation and approval of concept design
  3. Preparation of workshop material
  4. Training of trainers, including members of organised labour
  5. Implementation of workshops for all employees
  6. Follow up focus group interviews with all employees at which the impact of the workshops were assessed and employees were given coffee mugs to help them visualise the need to maintain the momentum
  7. A panel representing all significant stakeholder groups met and considered the input from employees during the workshops and then finalised a set of values for DRDGOLD
  8. A process of bedding down and sustaining these values was then agreed upon by the panel and the accountability for this was then handed over to operational HR. This is currently being implemented

The workshops themselves were structured to suit audiences with limited literacy levels. Consequently a lot of pictures and small group discussions were used. The content covered two main sections:

  1. Assessing and understanding the need for renewal at both a personal as well as at an organisational level
  2. Discussing the role of values and identifying possible values that would be applicable to DRDGOLD and its employees

Regarding the first of these sections, the delegates at the workshops were taken through three key concepts, and they were asked the question whether personal as well as organisational renewal was required in line with each concept: These were:

  1. Alignment

    This was represented by a picture of birds flying in formation. Points discussed under this section covered leadership, structure, understanding of roles and duties, rules and regulations that dictate alignment. So typically delegates were asked how aligned is your family? To what extent is there alignment and teamwork in the workplace? etc

  2. Empowerment

    Here we looked at three subsets of information as follows:

    1. The need to be informed and to stay informed in order to be able to take the right decisions
    2. The need to have the right skills to act appropriately
    3. The need to be accountable for your actions once you have acted

    The same approach of questioning the employees was used in order to get them to awaken regarding the need to renew!

  3. Working smartly

In this section we covered the following:

  1. The need to work on the right thing ie to be effective and to be goal directed in what you do
  2. The need to work efficiently in achieving the goal

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