06 Apr Lindani Staff
I read the other day that in a survey of employee attitudes, it had been found that eight out of ten employees on average are disengaged from their work. I would not have the courage to run our Game Lodges in the Waterberg in South Africa if that were the case here.
Our staff receive so many compliments, direct and indirect. We are often asked how do we keep nine lodges always sparkling clean, our extensive Waterberg Mountain biking and Hiking trails in such good condition and ensure someone is always available when needed. This may be an employer’s view but our staff seem completely engaged with their work and determined to offer the best possible bush game lodge experience.
When we arrived in the Waterberg, Limpopo as complete outsiders 24 years ago, we soon realised that the people here are special – they have considerable self respect, deeply embedded ‘old fashioned’ values, strong family ties, a never ending thirst to learn and a willingness to work hard and take responsibility. Despite them not having received the education that they deserved, it has been easy to build on this foundation.
We have simply added the bricks. Every employee is of equal value to Lindani, no gender or age discrimination, staff who make mistakes are helped to avoid making it again, young guys who miss Monday after a pay week-end binge are not fired but counselled to help them overcome the temptation, operating results are made known, plenty of consultation takes place when changes that affect staff need to be made.
And it all seems to pay off. We have 27 employees with a total of 341 years service, they come from eight families, there are eleven second generation employees, our staff turnover is virtually nil despite remuneration being much lower than we would wish.
With two or three exceptions, none of these staff had hospitality experience when they joined Lindani. They have developed an amazing range of skills, are increasingly running Lindani and are very proud of it.
– Sam van Coller