Mozal Aluminium actively strengthens employee wellbeing
Mozal Aluminium is the largest industrial employer in Mozambique, making a significant contribution to the local economy. Integral to its purpose is a commitment to improve people’s lives, a commitment Mozal takes seriously.
In line with their value of CARE, the company did not turn a blind eye when the impact of Covid-19 became increasingly visible early in 2021. Team cohesion, employee engagement and employee wellbeing were starting to suffer. Management was concerned that this could, if not addressed, negatively impact the culture that they have been working hard to create for several years.
Free To Grow, a specialist in employee wellbeing, growth and engagement, was selected to partner with Mozal in their journey to support their people through this challenging time. With employee wellbeing and employee engagement closely intertwined, the focus would be on retaining and strengthening both.
Feeling the pulse
The journey commenced with a series of focus groups with representatives from all job levels in Mozal to ensure that the voices of all its people would be heard. The information gathered in these sessions enabled Free To Grow to provide the management team of Mozal with a clear picture of the employees’ perceptions of organisational wellbeing, leadership support and the state of the key drivers of engagement. This will be used to scope applicable and supporting interventions going forward, to ensure an engaged and committed workforce at Mozal.
Rollout of Staying Strong
As a second phase, Mozal has started rolling out Staying Strong, Free To Grow’s resilience and wellbeing program, which all employees will be invited to attend.
The response of the first four groups of managers and superintendents who attended exceeded expectations, with around 90% evaluating the programme as ‘excellent’. A sincere appreciation was expressed for the opportunity to connect on a deep level with colleagues after they have been feeling isolated for so long. What was also highly valued was the fresh way of presenting the information and the practical and relevant tools that were shared – participants felt that they would definitely be able to apply these in their work and personal lives.
With training running from September 2021 to June 2022, the project poses logistical challenges at a time when strict Covid protocols are in place; numbers per session are limited, the venue needs to make provision for social distancing and all who attend are required to undergo daily Covid testing. “The fact that Mozal is prepared to give all their people the opportunity to attend Staying Strong in spite of these challenges demonstrates their commitment to their people’s wellbeing,” says Alinda Nortje, Free To Grow’s CEO.
Competitive advantage for Mozal
Samual Gudo, Vice President Operations, attended the first programme. He believes that this programme comes at exactly the right time for Mozal and that both employees and the organisation will be reaping the benefits.
After having completed the programme, Sam commented:
“We are inclined to address people problems with engineering solutions. Staying Strong is a people solution that I believe can create a competitive advantage for Mozal.”