Human resources

People are at the core of delivering a Tsogo Sun experience, both front and back-of-house.

At the guest level, Tsogo Sun does not sell a system or manufacture a physical product for resale. Every aspect of the business, from the gamer’s experience at the roulette wheel to the dining experience in the restaurants, to the check in and check out at the front desk, requires an interaction with people of the group. A pool of qualified, trained and talented people is required to deliver these experiences, supported by empowered management and relevant support services.

At the corporate level, the group is reliant on executives and managers who can identify and manage both risks and opportunities and implement appropriate responses. These individuals, both senior and junior, need to apply long-term thinking and avoid quick and unsustainable fixes.

In order to attract and retain the appropriate talent pool, the group needs to ensure that all aspects of the employee’s experience, including but not limited to remuneration and incentivisation, is properly structured.

Key performance indicators

  2015   2014  
Employment equity score   11.0/15   10.9/15  
Training spend as a % of payroll   4.2%   4.1%  
Staff resignations   11.2%   8.7%  

2015 performance

Human capital management

We believe that the sustainable growth of our group depends as much on our people as it does on our operational expertise. Our employment policies are designed to empower and develop employees, and create an environment in which each employee can perform and grow to his or her fullest potential regardless of ethnic background or gender. We also strive to attract and retain the highest calibre staff while at the same time redressing historical imbalances, where they may exist.

Job creation and employee stability

The group contributes approximately 12 800 direct jobs and approximately 20 800 combined direct and indirect jobs (including contract staff employed by third-party service providers) within the communities in which our operations are situated in South Africa.

Staff resignations at 11.2% remain low for the hospitality industry and are testimony to the favourable employee engagement and values-based leadership process within the group.

Employee development

Training spend for the year at R107 million, which is at 4.2% of payroll, has increased from the prior year. The group spent R95.1 million on training and development initiatives provided to its black staff during the year, which is 3.4% of payroll in accordance with the DTI’s BBBEE targets. The group’s BBBEE score for skills development is 12.8 out of 15 and decreased from the prior year due to reduced training of disabled people during the year.

All training and development activities within the organisation have been integrated through the new Tsogo Sun Academy in order to enhance their impact and results, further demonstrating our commitment to investing in the education, training and development of our employees which we recognise as being critical for our long-term sustainability and growth.

During the year, Tsogo Sun applied for, and was re-awarded accreditation as an official training provider for both gaming and hospitality qualifications and the Academy’s recent focus has been on integrating training to maximise resources and expertise across the group. Following business needs analyses and talent searches, specific interventions have been identified, developed and implemented to build the skills, knowledge and ability of employees. These include formal qualifications, business school programmes, and customised and in-house courses. Annual celebrations of learning across the business have seen more than 500 employees receive certificates. Learnerships, work integrated learning and unemployed graduate programmes have also supported government initiatives.

The Tsogo Sun Academy is now fully integrated, providing a development and skills training service to gaming, hotels and corporate office, but at the same time providing specialist gaming, hotel, and food and beverage and other functional skills training where required by the business. This integration strategy has borne fruit during the year with a more focused and efficient approach to learning and development, specifically linked to identified business needs and challenges. A new e-learning portal was launched during the year, making learning more accessible to all staff and resulting in more ‘just in time’ learning, linked to immediate business needs.

Satellite academy facilities are now fully functional in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, providing integrated learning and development opportunities and skills transfer across the country.

Employee engagement

Further to the implementation of a single engagement programme for the group, reflecting the values, culture and behaviours common to the business, an engagement survey was undertaken during the year.  The purpose of the engagement survey was to establish the efficacy of the livingTSOGO values. 7 561 employees submitted completed questionnaires. The overall outcome of the survey was positive and well received.

livingTSOGO is simple and straightforward – from the concept of attaching values to our company name to the values themselves. Employees participate enthusiastically in the different components designed to bring them to life. The components include: livingTSOGO World which incorporates the group’s induction programme and livingTSOGO Moments which includes recognition and rewards.

Employee wellness

Tsogo Sun is committed to the wellness of our employees and provides services to them through employee clinics in Tsogo Sun gaming, an employee assistance helpline, wellness days and executive medicals. During the year, a total of 48 000 primary healthcare consultations were provided at our employee clinics located at our casino complexes and this has contributed positively to the management of absenteeism within the group. Meals are also provided to our employees in canteens at our hotels and casinos.

As part of the wellness programme, HIV/Aids has been a focus area for many years through awareness campaigns, voluntary testing, counselling and clinical management, which has positively contributed to a lower prevalence rate than anticipated.

Health and safety

The gaming and hospitality industries are safe environments relative to many other industries. Tsogo Sun properties undergo rigorous safety inspections as part of the Organisational Resilience Management Standard audit process, and deviations from the agreed standards, as well as incidents and events, are reported and resolved.

No employee fatalities as a result of health and safety incidents occurred at any of our properties. The group maintained an average lost-time injury frequency rate of 0.03. This equates to the number of injuries which rendered an employee unfit for duty for one shift or longer per 200 000 hours worked.

Employment equity

The principles of empowerment and diversity are entrenched into the ethos of Tsogo Sun. The table below includes South Africa only and excludes the approximately 8 000 contract staff employed by third-party service providers and 1 389 staff employed outside South Africa:

  South African male   South African female   Foreign nationals  
Employees   African   Indian   Coloured   White     African   Indian   Coloured   White     Male   Female   Total  
Permanent   3 023   500   380   603     3 067   360   444   611     60   31   9 079  
Executives   4   4   –   32     2   –   2   1     2   1   48  
Management   379   187   91   367     296   107   87   329     29   16   1 888  
Supervisors and skilled   1 215   191   167   149     1 119   165   209   234     17   11   3 477  
Other employees   1 425   118   122   55     1 650   88   146   47     12   3   3 666  
Operational support   1 401   48   86   35     1 921   55   134   65     10   13   3 768  
Executives   –   –   –   1     –   –   –   –     –   –   1  
Management   –   1   1   6     –   –   2   6     2   3   21  
Supervisors and skilled   620   26   28   20     852   37   55   42     4   6   1 690  
Other employees   781   21   57   8     1 069   18   77   17     4   4   2 056  
Total 2015   4 424   548   466   638     4 988   415   578   676     70   44   12 847  
Total 2014   4 538   567   451   697     4 925   440   551   683     75   45   12 972  

Permanent employees work full time or on a flexible roster basis according to business levels and are guaranteed a minimum number of hours per month. Operational support staff work on a flexible roster basis according to business levels and have no guaranteed hours.

While there has been no change of significance to the group’s headcount since last year, the percentage of female employees continues to increase, representing 52.2% of the workforce in 2015 (2014: 51.2%).

We ensure that our workforce reflects our focused employment equity philosophy. In this regard, in accordance with our verified employment equity results, presently black representation at senior management level is 33.3%, at middle management level it is 60.5% and at junior management level it is 85.6%. The representation of black employees throughout the group is currently 89.2%, which is slightly below the updated economically active population (‘EAP’) percentage of 89.4%.

The main challenges in employment equity remain in the areas of executive, senior management and black disabled employees. The Tsogo Sun Academy assists in facilitating and fast-tracking the development of our employees’ skills, enabling our development pipeline.


Tsogo Sun recognises the right to freedom of association of employees and we recognise that collective bargaining forms an integral part of labour relations. The group has recognition agreements with five unions in South Africa and 2 468 (27%) of our permanent employees are union members. There has been a 4pp reduction in union membership from the 2 912 members in the prior year.

We endeavour to maintain transparent and constructive relations with our employees and to encourage a culture of engagement within the business. In addition, the consistent approach we have applied to determining annual increases over many years, including during times of economic downturn, has resulted in a low level of industrial action over the past decade.

Looking ahead

Employee development

With the fully integrated Tsogo Sun Academy now up and running, continued focus will be placed on the ‘back to basics’ approach to learning and development for line staff, as well as ensuring a steady pipeline of management talent throughout the business, with the ultimate objective of creating a differentiating factor of superior guest experiences at all of our properties. Specifically, a gaming skills training facility is planned for the Academy. Initially, this will concentrate primarily on the labour-intensive area of casino tables. This facility will also provide a centralised service for recruitment and assessment of gaming staff throughout the group.

The Tsogo Sun Academy strategy of building a productive learning culture will be accelerated, focusing on three key performance areas, namely learning opportunity, learning capability, and the creation of an optimal learning environment throughout the business.

Employee engagement

The findings of the employee engagement survey conducted during the year were communicated throughout the business and action plans have been formulated to address issues arising out of the survey. The focus during the year will be on implementation of the action plans arising out of the survey as well as on the employee rewards programme which recognises employee behaviour in line with the values.