Supporting our colleagues

The Group is committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace environment where colleagues can thrive and grow professionally. Through various initiatives and policies, the Group endeavours to recruit, develop, and retain talent while ensuring the well-being and safety of all employees.

Ecouraging growth and advancement

Promotion opportunities are extended to employees who not only demonstrate leadership qualities but also embody the Company values and core principles of the ASA Model. With a staff retention rate of 74%, turnover is considered low, enabling many employees to grow within the Company. In 2023, 1,348 promotions were recorded, with a significant proportion being loan officers promoted to assistant branch managers. 40% of the total number of colleagues promoted are female.

Prioritising employee satisfaction and well-being

A vital aspect of supporting colleagues is ensuring their satisfaction and well-being. The Group conducts an annual employee satisfaction survey, with a participation rate of around 33% and a satisfaction rate of 81%. Feedback from the survey informs efforts to enhance professional growth opportunities, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction. Notably, the survey results indicate that the vast majority of employees feel they work well together, are treated fairly, and find their tasks conducive to professional growth. Areas for improvement are particularly in promoting a healthier work-life balance.

To enhance data quality, the surveys conducted have undergone a thorough review and updating process. As a result, while figures may appear lower in some cases this year, the Company believes they are now more representative of the operations.

Implementing robust mechanisms for addressing employee concerns

The Group has implemented robust mechanisms to address employee concerns and maintain a positive work environment. Employees are encouraged to report any actions that may violate laws, regulations, or Company policies through a whistleblowing system. In 2023, there were no whistleblowing incidents reported across the Group, demonstrating a culture of compliance and ethical conduct. To further support transparency and accountability, the Group established a Grievance Mitigation Committee (‘GMC’) to address appeals and complaints. In 2023, the GMC received a total of 11 appeals and five direct complaints. Investigations into these cases led to corrective actions such as warnings, fund recoveries, transfers, summary dismissals, and termination of contracts. Preventative measures include ongoing training sessions and awareness programmes to ensure employees feel supported and valued.

Ensuring employee health and safety

The Group continues to prioritise the implementation of strict protocols to ensure the Health and Safety of its employees. These protocols include the regular monitoring and control of health and safety risks, the provision of safety and awareness training and the enforcement of preventive measures. In addition, a three-tiered accident and incident monitoring system is in place, as well as the integration of health and safety committees and occupational health checklists in each operating subsidiary, ensuring comprehensive supervision and monitoring throughout the Group. In response to workplace incidents or illnesses, the Group quickly implements emergency measures or corrective actions. It is worth noting that 178 accidents were recorded during the year, resulting in five fatalities. This represents an increase from the previous year, thus, in response, the Group has proactively engaged countries with high accident rates to improve safety measures. Despite robust safety measures, 85% of incidents involved motorcycles.

Promoting diversity and inclusion

As a global Company active in 15 countries, the Group celebrates its culturally diverse workforce. In
terms of gender, in 2023, the operating subsidiaries represents 37% of the Group’s overall female
representation, broken down in East Africa: 13.8%, West Africa: 9.0%, East Asia: 9.8% and South Asia: 4.0%. Due to cultural reasons in South Asia and safety issues related to travelling alone, hiring women still appears to be a challenge in this region, which impacts the Group’s overall gender representation. The female representation at the senior leadership level at subsidiary level is 21%. In terms of age, 47% of the Company’s employees are under 30 years old and 1% over 50.

Efforts to improve gender representation include the formation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (‘DEI’) Committee, the approval of a DEI policy, and the establishment of goals and targets to improve gender representation at various organisational levels across all entities. Progress on these targets is regularly evaluated through progress reports and bi-annual meetings with the DEI committee and the CEOs of the operating countries. These meetings not only assess progress but also focus on addressing the challenges when targets are not met. These goals and targets have resulted, among other things, in an increase of females in committees and interview panels, as well as the development of DEI training and mentorship programs, reinforcing the Group’s commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued and respected.