|Investors in People Certification is a recognition awarded to organisations that constantly seek to improve performance and realise objectives through the management and development of their people. Recently, MTN Nigeria was awarded with the highest category of the IiP certification, making it the first and only Nigerian company to achieve this feat. In this interview, the Chief Human Resources Officer, Esther Akinnukawe speaks about MTN Nigeria’s people management practices.|
What is the IIP body and what does this award mean for MTN?
The full meaning of IiP is Investors in People. Being awarded a Platinum certification implies that MTN has a robust Employee Value Proposition as an organisation. IiP is an internationally recognised people management standard accreditation program and for us to have attained Platinum standard means that our Employee Value Proposition which I would subsequently refer to as EVP is strong and healthy. It attests to the fact that we are committed to supporting our employees in every facet of their lives. It also means that we are an employer of choice, it sustains the belief and understanding that we’ve had but with awards such as this, it cements the fact that indeed we are an employer of choice. These are some of the significances for us.
In 2013 MTN got the IiP Certification for the first time, moved on to clinch the Gold Certification in 2015 and now Platinum. Can you speak about this progression and how many other organizations in Nigeria hold this certification?
I am delighted to say that in Nigeria, we are the only organization that hold the IiP Platinum Certification. This is also a real testament to the fact that we have effective People Management Practices that have distinguished us. It might also interest you to know that internationally only 2% of organizations in 58 countries that IiP has assessed hold the Platinum certification. What it means is that internationally, including the United Kingdom and USA where IiP has a presence, we are in the top percentile of organisations with the best people practices. Continuous improvement is at the heart of IiP, it is the core of their philosophy so they do not just take your word for it, they interview employees, in fact there are five standards within the accreditation beginning from Standard, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. We started from Standard accreditation years ago in 2013, we got to Gold in 2015 and are now Platinum. It shows we have consistently focused on improving and each time we are re-assessed, the results are clear that we have not remained on the previous level but have sustained that standard and built on it. When they speak to our employees, they are able to share their positive experiences with the organization. There are nine dimensions for the accreditation and each dimension has various elements. Another interesting fact is that to be able to attain the minimum Standard accreditation, an organisation has to meet all the requirements of Standard, to attain Bronze one needs to meet all the requirements of Standard and about 95% of Bronze and continuous. For us to attain Platinum means we needed to attain all the requirements for Standard, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. We continue to meet and exceed expectations because of the doggedness and determination we have to make a difference in the lives of our employees.
The next time they are here to re-validate the accreditation, seeing as we have attained the highest level being Platinum, they may have to create Platinum Plus category for us because we are not resting on our laurels.