Human capital: employee development

Our people are key to our business performance. Our human resources strategy therefore focuses on attracting and retaining talented people who have the skills and leadership required for sustainable value creation.

We strive to be an employer of choice by encouraging our employees to reach their highest potential in an engaging, professional work environment. We reward performance excellence and address non-performance. While our employees are accountable for their individual actions, we support teamwork and the mutual exchange of knowledge, regardless of cultures, genders and background. We foster a culture of respect with zero tolerance for discriminatory behaviour.

We offer competitive remuneration, comprehensive training support and skills transfer. Performance targets, training and skills development are reviewed annually and aligned with the group’s strategy.

Hyprop complies with employment laws and is committed to protecting human rights, ensuring that our code of ethics and disciplinary code are communicated to all employees.

Workforce breakdown

Total number of employees 2016     2015  
Hyprop Investments Limited          
Permanent employees 232 *   199  
Contract and casual employees (mainly information kiosk and event staff) 47     43  
Total Hyprop workforce 279     242  
Employees who are permanent % 83     82  
Employees belonging to a trade union %      

* Marketing function brought in-house from 1 November 2015

Employment equity (EE) and transformation

Our EE policy codifies and stipulates the promotion of equal opportunity and fair treatment by eliminating discrimination and implementing measures to redress disadvantages experienced by designated groups and ensure their equitable representation in all occupational categories.

Hyprop’s five-year employment equity plan was approved by the Department of Labour in 2013, and an annual progress report is submitted in January each year. Hyprop complies with the Employment Equity Act and is committed to organisational transformation to diversify its workforce.

Our challenge is that, due to extremely low employee turnover, very few vacancies become available.

Employee engagement surveys

Annual employee engagement surveys ensure we timeously address any issues on employee morale, productivity and turnover. The 2016 survey indicated that 97% of employees currently feel that the company’s benefits, processes and policies are implemented according to expectations. The survey included our recruitment process, corporate culture, employee policy implementation, HIV and Aids education, remuneration, company benefits as well as the work environment and facilities.

Employee retention

Motivated by an engaging work environment and competitive remuneration, the commitment of our people is reflected in high retention rates, especially at senior level. While low employee turnover ensures continuity and aligns group performance with our long-term strategic objectives, we remain mindful of the value of fresh insight and aim for an appropriate balance between internal and external appointments.


  2016   2015  
Employee retention
Hyprop %   Average service years   Hyprop %   Average service years  
Top management 100   9   100   8  
Senior management 100   7,4   91   7  
Middle management 92   7,5   92   7  
Administration 88   6   91   6  
Maintenance 89   10,5   98   9,5  
91   6,3*   93   6,2  

* Includes employees transferred from Word4Word (197 transfer, with original employment date used)

  Number of employees  
Movement 2016   2015  
Internal placements 19   7  
New appointments 25   16  
Dismissals 6   1  
Resignations 15   13  
Retirements 2   1  
Section 197 transfers due to sale of asset     11  
Section 197 transfer due to cancelled marketing contract 42      
Employee turnover (%)** 9   7  

** The number of people who departed, relative to the total number of employees at year-end

Employment equity statistic

New appointments 48   24   16   12  
Section 197 employment contract transfer into company 10   17   0   73  
Internal placements and promotions 21   32       47  
Resignations 27   40       33  
Dismissals 50   17   17   16  
Retirement   50     50  

Development and training

Our training and development programme considers our own requirements, skills shortages in the property industry and transformation imperatives.

Training needs are identified during the employee review process, while the group-wide skills base is objectively assessed to identify focal areas for training in the year ahead.

The objectives of our training strategy include:

  • Enhancing knowledge and the skills base
  • Enabling employees to contribute to our business and growth
  • Encouraging further education to enhance competence in current positions and increase eligibility for promotion
  • Supporting employment equity initiatives.

One of our primary objectives is to establish a succession plan by developing junior managers for middle management roles.

During the year, a combination of internal and outsourced training sessions covered key areas:

Training spend*** 2016
Leadership 436 087   690 634  
Business operations 482 633   536 753  
Graduate programme 54 351   85 250  
Green building leasing principles 59 928   9 789  
Leasing and administration 4 500   63 000  
Health and safety 31 818   6 406  
HIV/Aids health training and information 213 941   52 349  
Total 1 283 258   1 444 181  

*** Actual training spend for the year was in line with budget

Value of training

  2016   2015  
  Cost of training R   Training cost %   Number of people trained   Number of training sessions   Average spend per session
  Cost of training R   Training cost
  Number of people trained   Number of training sessions   Average spend per session
African 218 108   17   94   225   969   152 392   10   83   249   612  
Coloured 116 277   9   59   116   1 002   37 363   3   40   120   311  
Indian 84 829   7   112   349   243   223 063   15   103   51   4 374  
White 850 464   66   18   55   15 463   1 022 378   71   16   309   3 309  
Foreign nationals 13 580   1   3   8   1 697   8 985   1   3   11   817  
Total 1 283 258   100   286   753   1 704   1 444 181   100   245   740   1 952  
Male 421 974   35   113   310   1 361   657 007   45   114   336   1 955  
Female 861 284   65   173   443   1 944   787 174   55   131   404   1 948  
Total 1 283 258   100   286   753   1 704   1 444 181   100   245   740   1 952  

Additional human capital measures

  2016   2015  
Total working days 70 168   55 352  
Total number of person days lost due to absenteeism (sick, family responsibility and maternity leave) 1 177   1 321  
Percentage of total person days lost due to absenteeism (%) 1,7   2,4  
Total number of days lost due to industrial action    
Percentage of total days lost due to industrial action    

Employee relations

The national human resources manager is responsible for employee relations. A disciplinary and grievance policy governs these relationships and is available on the company intranet, in hard copy at each management office, and on the website.

There were 11 disciplinary cases during the year, resulting in six dismissals. No grievances were reported.

Employee benefits

To entrench Hyprop as a preferred employer, we offer a range of employee benefits that exceed legislated minimum standards, including:

  • Membership of a defined-contribution pension fund with death, disability and funeral benefits
  • Four months’ maternity leave pay (paid at 50% of cost to company)
  • Annual leave rises to 20 days after five years with the group
  • Employees qualify for six days’ paid study leave for approved qualifications
  • Free paid parking at all our management offices.


Discrimination is not tolerated. Any reported instances are immediately and appropriately dealt with under our code of ethics and conduct and related disciplinary procedures. Policies are reviewed annually and distributed to employees.

No incidents of discrimination were reported during the year.

Labour relations

Hyprop has no unionised employees and there was no impact on the business from industrial or labour unrest during the year.

Health and safety

Our policy is to create a safe and healthy working environment, with procedures to manage occupational incidents and compensation claims in line with legislation. In brief, we aim to:

  • Provide a health and safety programme that is effective, of high standard, and continuously reviewed and improved
  • Comply with relevant statutory provisions for health, safety and environmental matters that affect employees, customers, contractors and the public
  • Ensure all employees are properly informed of their responsibilities for health, safety and environmental matters and discharge these effectively
  • Encourage employees to participate in preventing accidents and preserving health
  • Provide the resources and training to achieve these objectives.

Each shopping centre is responsible for executing this policy on site through its operations manager. At group level, the national facilities manager is responsible for biannual audit reports, drawing on submissions from each centre.

All centres conduct regular health and safety training for employees, while third-party suppliers perform annual health and safety audits.

All construction projects have health and safety consultants who represent Hyprop and monitor activities on site regularly. On large and complex projects such as Rosebank Mall, the contractor has its own health and safety officer managing contractor teams and subcontractors.

There were no serious casualties or injuries during the year at any of our properties or projects.

HIV/Aids 2016   2015  
Number of employees and contractors who received voluntary counselling and testing for HIV/Aids 533   247  
Number of employees and contractors tested for HIV/Aids 258   200  
HIV/Aids prevalence rate among employees (%) 6   5  
Contracted employees tested for HIV/Aids 115    
HIV/Aids rate among contractors (%) 6    

HIV/Aids remains an issue in South Africa that could affect the wellbeing of our employees, leading to emotional distress, absenteeism, employee turnover and lower productivity. As a formal risk assessment determined the impact of HIV/Aids on the group as negligible, Hyprop does not have targets for addressing its direct impact, nor does it have strategies for addressing indirect business risks (eg effect on customer base/supply chain).

Our formal HIV/Aids policy, reviewed annually, provides guidelines on creating a non-discriminatory workplace, dealing with HIV testing, confidentiality and disclosure, providing equitable employee benefits, dealing with dismissal and managing grievance procedures. It also ensures affected employees’ rights to confidentiality.

Where employees willingly disclose their status, Hyprop offers counselling and encourages openness, acceptance and support.

Every year, HIV/Aids awareness days are held at each centre management office by professional nurses, with an external healthcare service provider conducting voluntary counselling and testing programmes. Employees are offered the opportunity to test for HIV, cholesterol and stress levels.