Skills and experience will assist with successfully implementing a strategy for growth
KAP’s focus on sustainable growth in revenue, operating profits and returns on capital employed is underpinned by a requirement to grow leadership skills within its operating divisions. Although KAP has a team of high-performing managers across all its businesses, it has identified certain areas of leadership growth.
These areas of growth are being addressed in a way that will motivate management, retain skills and talent, provide participants with the tools to grow within their areas of expertise, and to contribute to the larger group strategy and influence and grow their own teams through participation.
The KAP executive management team, in collaboration with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) business school, initiated a customised Executive Development Programme (EDP), as well as a Senior Management Development Programme (MDP) through the University of Stellenbosch Executive Development (USB-ED).
The programmes were developed with the following objectives:
- Attract, motivate and retain a competent workforce
- Creating a solid employee base for technical businesses
- Upskilling to benefit performance in new markets, products and services
- Enhancing and retaining specialised skills in highly technical industries
- Protecting the knowledge base that comes through years of experience
Attract, motivate and retain a competent workforce
Investment in technology requires highly skilled operators
Inter-divisional employment provides for diversity of skills
Enhancing and retaining specialised skills in highly technical industries
‘One Unitrans’ structure provides for skills utilisation in rest of Africa
Twenty of the group’s executive managers were enrolled in the EDP to master their strategy development skills and broaden their business understanding with a focus on identifying opportunities for business development within their respective industry sectors and fields of expertise.
One hundred managers from across the KAP group have also participated in an annual MDP over a four-year period, with the objective of instilling commercial and business skills into their line management responsibilities.
Results and benefits
The customised leadership development programmes have assisted KAP in proactively embedding its strategy and long-term goals in the organisation across various levels of leadership and line functions. At the same time, these programmes have equipped management with new skills to creatively address the challenges of the evolving business environment.
Research projects conducted during the EDP focused on the business, economic and political environment within which the group operates. Four relevant projects were presented, of which two were chosen to be implemented during the year. The first of these projects was focused on the socio-political environment and the associated trends developing in labour markets and has formed the basis of the group’s stakeholder engagement strategy.
Relevant research projects were also completed during the MDP and presented to management. Some of these projects were chosen as projects to be implemented either within the divisional businesses where applicable or at KAP group level.
Despite the specific nature and focus of the research projects, EDP and MDP participants also gained general business acumen and leadership skills. KPIs were re-evaluated and now include measures that consider the impact these managers have on their teams and strategy development and implementation.