Our people

Michele Seroke

Chief People Officer

Our people are at the core of everything we do. Our success depends on a diverse complement of highly competent and experienced leaders and teams. On this basis, we grow our talent and offer equality in our work environments, career development opportunities, and creative initiatives that inspire the best in our people.

Our focus in the past year has been on safeguarding our employees against COVID-19 ensuring continuity of operations and driving the recovery of our business, while at the same time building resilience and agility into our operations and inspiring our people to continue delivering their best. This has meant that some of our people-related strategic objectives may not have progressed as far as we would have liked; nevertheless, while delayed, we remain committed to them.

Motus' people strategy is designed to address our fast-changing business context, driven by digital transformation, and ensures that the manner in which we manage our people supports the Group's business objective to be a customer-centric and innovative organisation. COVID-19 has brought about shifts in two key human capital management areas: the hybrid workforce model and the need for more dynamic skills and talent planning. While our people strategy has not changed, we have taken proactive measures to align the implementation of the strategy to the new realities of our organisation and the impact on our people.

Impact of COVID-19

In addition to the business and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the pandemic has also caused significant disruption for people and their families, taking a heavy psychological toll on our employees. The following initiatives were introduced to support the workforce and motivate our people during this time:

  • We adapted our human capital management practices to support working from home (where practical) and enforce social distancing.
  • We communicated regularly with employees to maintain engagement and motivation, while also being transparent on the impact of COVID-19 on trade. Much engagement took place to reassure employees returning to work that premises were COVID-secure.
  • We extended our Employee Assistance Programmes to support employees experiencing financial and psychological difficulties, and in the United Kingdom (UK) we assisted them with receiving government support.
  • Training programmes were transitioned from traditional face-to-face learning to virtual learning.
  • In South Africa, we launched a toolkit to assist human resources (HR) personnel and business leaders in addressing the people-related challenges of the pandemic. Topics range from providing emotional support, communicating effectively and embedding values and culture, to how to engage with the survivors of retrenchment and manage remote productivity.

From the beginning of the pandemic to 31 August 2021, we have recorded 2 753 positive cases (2 466 in South Africa, 266 in the UK, and 21 in the rest of Africa). It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the passing away of 47 of our people who have succumbed to the virus, and our heartfelt condolences go to their families, friends, and colleagues.

In addition to the business and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, it has also caused great disruption for people and their families, taking a heavy psychological toll on our employees.

Human Capital
Our human
  • Understand, develop and facilitate mobility of critical skills for business and employee growth.
  • Foster and leverage a diverse and inclusive work culture to enhance business performance.
  • Maintain a safe, sustainable and healthy environment that allows our employees to excel in the work environment.
South Africa 12 697 employees
UK 3 033 employees
Australia 523 employees
Africa 389 employees
Asia 66 employees
Total 16 708 employees

Stakeholder engagement

In all operations, good relationships and open communication exist between management and employees. We maintain regular written communication with our people through emails, newsletters and bi-annual virtual presentations to business leaders detailing the strategies and results of the business.

Several surveys were undertaken during the year to gain insight on employee concerns. A departure survey was piloted in South Africa to understand why individuals choose to leave our employ. Financial Services' annual employee engagement survey was expanded to include questions relating to COVID-19, achieving a positive score of between 95% to 99% for the COVID-19-related questions, a testament to the business segment's COVID-19 communication strategy. The learnings were shared with other business segments, some of which have since conducted the survey.

In the UK, the Commercial division's employee engagement survey yielded an overall score of 3,8 out of 5. Other divisions within the UK will conduct the survey in September and October 2021. Employees also have access to Safecall, which allows them to anonymously raise problems concerning top management.

In Australia, we launched the Speeki app and website in June 2021, enabling all employees to raise concerns anonymously if needed.

The future of work

Motus was able to quickly mobilise flexible working and remote working arrangements at the start of the pandemic. In the future, we will investigate whether and how certain aspects of a hybrid workforce model may apply to our working environment. We are also strengthening our Talent for Growth Framework to give momentum to reskilling the workforce and to tie the framework more closely to business growth and our strategic objectives. The revised framework will ensure that we have the right skills available in the right place and at the right time. This will support proper succession planning, future-proofing our leadership, and facilitate the internal career growth of talented individuals who can contribute towards our strategic objectives.

Talent for Growth approach (South Africa)

Strategies to nurture our talent

2021 performance


A number of strategic investments were made during the year to introduce new HR technology to drive improved employee engagement. This included:

  • The Sage X3 HR platform was integrated with the existing South African payroll system, consolidating all HR data and administration and reporting processes. The integration is providing greater data accuracy.
  • Relaunched the e-recruitment portal in South Africa, which helps to position the Group as an employer of choice in our industry.
  • The UK adopted a single HR and payroll system, reducing costs and enabling easier data insight. Currently, the system facilitates salary payments and annual leave, with future functionality to cover personal development reviews, recruitment and onboarding, and a new learning management system.
  • In Sydney, we are trialling a clock-in app, working from employees' mobile phones and feeding directly to the payroll system.

Talent management

  • We made good progress in updating the Group executive succession plan. Detailed succession plans are in place for top, senior and middle management roles.
  • In South Africa, we successfully migrated the management of the performance development tool into the business segments.
  • A job evaluation, grading, and benchmarking exercise is underway in South Africa, which will allow for consistent grading of roles and provide up-to-date salary benchmarking data. This will give us the ability to compete successfully for talent in terms of our salary offerings and will support internal mobility.
  • The UK is working to ensure all top management roles have an up-to-date succession plan and improve its performance review approach and recruitment process.
Diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture

We recognise that our business recovery and resilience following the pandemic depends on a culture that encourages everyone to apply their diverse thinking. This means that we must be truly inclusive, empower our people to make meaningful contributions, treat all employees fairly, and give everyone equal access to opportunities, information and resources.

A key focus for the Group is to create effective collaboration platforms across multiple workforce segments, providing individuals and teams with the opportunity to share new ideas and contribute to problem-solving. A key initiative is our Motus Xponential platform.

2021 performance
  • In South Africa, we established a cross-function diversity and inclusion panel to develop a new diversity, equity, and inclusion approach. The panel is conducting a benchmarking exercise to gather information on, and learn from, the transformation journeys of prominent and similar-sized corporates. Proposals for the new approach are being discussed with business segments and will then be presented to the executive committee for final approval.
  • In the UK, all employees are required to participate in diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias training with good progress made to date. We also ensure that shortlists for vacancies include candidates from diverse backgrounds, particularly in apprenticeship programmes.

Gender diversity

Women representation (Group)


of the Group’s workforce

(2020: 30%)

  • 18 women in South Africa are participating in the second cohort of the Women in Leadership Programme (2019: 20). The programme did not run in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The UK shared the success of its female apprentices on social media to encourage women to join the apprentice programme.

People living with disabilities (South Africa)


people living with disabilities in the
South African workforce, of whom
65% are black, and 50% are women

(2020: 146)

  • We launched the Unstoppable Campaign in South Africa to actively hire and uplift people living with disabilities and create a safe, inclusive space that welcomes and supports them in reaching their full potential. The campaign also encouraged employees to declare their disabilities and apply for reasonable accommodation.

Employment equity

The restructure and cost containment measures undertaken in 2020 to respond to the COVID-19 crisis impacted our ability to meet our 2023 employment equity targets. We received approval from the Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL) to review our Employment Equity Plan and recalibrate our targets considering our reduced workforce and the limited ability to appoint new employees in a subdued growth environment.

Our revised plan for the next three years aligns our measurement to South Africa's economically active population. Specific targets have been set for African males and females in top, senior, and middle management positions. Each business segment is developing plans and monitoring systems to ensure these targets are integrated into the recruitment process and are monitored against interim annual targets. The revised Employment Equity Plan was submitted to the DoEL in December 2020.

Black representation

  • 73% of the workforce is black. Good progress was made in improving year-on-year black representation at all management levels.
  • Some 42% of Dealer Principals are black (2020: 39%).
  • We appointed 72 black managers across the various businesses, with 41 being internal promotions.

Hires and promotions

3 395 people were hired

of whom 76% are black

169 promotions

of whom 79% are black


72%of training spend

to develop black people

Leadership and people capabilities

Motus is a learning organisation. Tailored training and development opportunities are delivered at all employee levels, enabling our people to grow and unlock their potential. Our development and training approach enables the Group to achieve its strategic objectives, meet its diversity and inclusion targets, and ensure a pipeline of skilled people for appointment to critical positions when they become available. Each business segment manages its own technical and product-specific training, and the Group delivers non-technical training programmes.

Our leadership and management development programmes equip our leaders to motivate high-performance teams. Our investment in our leaders is an investment in Motus' future and creates a ripple effect that positively impacts the Group's culture.

2021 performance

Management training (South Africa)

274 employees participated in a managerial programme

65%of participants are black, and
38%are women.

Technical training (South Africa)

83%of total training spend supported technical training, with a significant increase in training spend to support the development of soft skills.

Technical training (South Africa)

R144 million
training spend, equating to 3,2%
of payroll costs

(2020: R177 million; equating to 4%)

South Africa
  • COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on classroom training continued to have a negative impact on learning and development in the first half of the financial year; however, Group-led development programmes resumed at the beginning of the 2021 calendar year using virtual platforms. Not only do these platforms provide remote access to training material, but they also reduce learning costs.
  • Despite the restrictions imposed by the crisis, we hired over 400 unemployed youth graduates from the YES programme.
  • We piloted a Digital Enablement Programme to help employees become digitally astute. The programme teaches employees how to confidently navigate digitisation and use it to work more productively and effectively. The programme is being developed for wider rollout.

Training spend (South Africa)

6 415 employees trained
51% of the workforce
99 hours of training per employee
Training spend
(UK and Australia)
R127 million

training spend, equating to 5,5% of payroll costs

  • The commercial business' apprentice programme, delivered together with DAF, was awarded a Princess Royal Training Award and the East Midlands' Large Employer of the Year Award. It was also placed in the Top 100 of the National Apprenticeships Awards and in the Top 100 Companies on the Rate My Apprenticeship website (achieving a score of 8,9 out of 10 as awarded by the apprentices themselves).
  • A total of 201 apprentices are enrolled on an apprenticeship programme with 59 recruited during the year.
  • 15 delegates are participating in a management development programme, which develops future senior managers.
  • All training has been transitioned to online platforms.
Health, safety and wellbeing

As a business that relies heavily on people, we believe that investing in their good health and wellbeing maintains their morale and builds and improves our competitive advantage through their willingness and motivation to meet our strategic objectives and customer expectations. This has been particularly evident during the pandemic where the resilience of our people ensured the successful continuity of our day-to-day business processes and the upkeep of our customer service standards under challenging circumstances.

COVID-19 has been embedded in the health and safety governance frameworks of all operations, ensuring we adhere to health authorities' guidelines to prevent and minimise the potential spread of the virus.

In South Africa, our Employee Assistance Programme provides confidential short-term counselling services. The programme helps employees face personal challenges and work-related problems that affect their work performance, and health, mental and emotional wellbeing. Beyond the Employee Assistance Programme, a wide range of professional communication and self-leadership events are available to employees as part of the wellness programme.

In the UK, an independent occupational health provider oversees health surveillance interventions, including legislated medical examinations, and assists employees who need counselling, help with stress and health issues, and rehabilitation from workplace accidents. The UK Employee Assistance Programme provides employees and their immediate family members with 24/7 access to a doctor, confidential counselling services, mental health support, and professional financial advice. Advantageous savings and credit interest rates are available for those earning lower incomes.

Australia's Employee Assistance Programme comprises four counselling services and access to government bodies, which assist with relationship issues, depression, suicide and self-harm tendencies, and domestic violence.

In South Africa, our Employee Assistance Programme provides confidential short-term counselling services. The programme helps employees face personal challenges and work-related problems that affect their work performance, and health, mental and emotional wellbeing.

2021 performance

Group business site audits

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) audits (Group)

526 sites
97% audit coverage
92% average score

The Group achieved strong OHS scores as management have implemented programmes that are effective and continue to ensure high OHS standards.

Road incidents (Group)

Even though we travelled less, we unfortunately experienced an increase in reported road incidents and road accidents.

  • Road incidents (damage to property but no injuries or fatalities) increased by 60% to 356.
  • Road fatalities increased from one last year to five this year (including three of our staff and two third parties). All fatalities resulted from five separate roads accidents.

On-site accidents (Group)

  • Recorded 194 on-site incidents (damage to property but no injuries or fatalities). 31% of on-site incidents were third-party error.
  • On-site accidents decreased 8%, from 216 in 2020 to 199. 5% of on-site accidents were third-party error.
South Africa
  • Improved our management of health and safety by integrating the OHS audit process with the physical risk assessments conducted for insurance purposes. We also updated internal audit's OHS reviews and OHS-related processes employed by facilities managers.
  • Head Office continued to guide a standardised approach to health and safety across our businesses. Sites have been assessed to identify their key risks which will inform customised checklists, and we have started identifying a smaller group of OHS audit service providers capable of meeting our required OHS standards and site-specific risks.
  • Expanded the Employee Assistance Programme to include financial and legal advice.
  • Employees increased their use of the Employee Assistance Programme to deal with psychological issues. A total of 172 cases were managed with mental health issues comprising 78% of cases. The remainder of cases concerned stress, traumatic events and bereavement.
  • The Commercials division rolled out mental health first aider training to 48 employees with a further 78 managers receiving mental health awareness training (around 12% of the division's workforce). Mental health first aiders act as the first port of call for employees experiencing mental health issues, and they direct employees to where they can receive professional support.
  • The UK business is working towards implementing ISO 45001 – the revised OHS standard which includes environmental aspects – across all sites.
Looking forward

On-going future of work objectives:

  • Define the key performance indicators to measure progress against the people strategy.
  • Investigate how we can continue to evolve the HR IT landscape to achieve greater efficiencies and free up HR teams to focus on strategic human capital management planning and enhance employee experience.
  • Drive greater alignment between employees and business goals, measure the productivity of employees, including those working remotely and identify critical roles and key skills.
  • Develop guidelines to govern internal mobility and deployment of people with critical skills across the Group.

Diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture

  • Align our diversity, equity and inclusion goals to business objectives and set targets by business sectors.

Leadership and people capabilities

  • Continue to develop leaders and potential leaders to exhibit key behavioural and critical success factors that equip them for future leadership roles.
  • Drive higher and sustained engagement on the mx platform – our innovation and collaboration platform, which is helping to shape the future of our business.

Health, safety and wellbeing

  • Continue to drive the use of our Employee Assistance Programmes.
  • Continuously update OHS checklists in all business segments and create customised programmes based on inherent risk and conduct random quality assurance checks on high-risk areas.

Our comprehensive people, employment equity and health, and safety and wellbeing disclosures are included in our ESG report online.