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MTN encourages employee wellness with extra paid leave days

As the pandemic continues to disrupt work-life balance, MTN offers five extra paid leave days to all employees.

Johannesburg, 05 Aug 2021
Read time 2min 50sec
MTN SA’s Chief of Human Resources, Tebogo Maenetja.
MTN SA’s Chief of Human Resources, Tebogo Maenetja.

As the tough conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, MTN has taken decisive action to ensure its employees prioritise their rest and wellness by offering all employees an opportunity to apply for a fully paid, fully offline one-week holiday, over and above their annual leave allocations. 

The pandemic has upended the traditional workplace, blurring the boundaries between work and home, meaning employees no longer have the luxury of “punching out” on the workplace, nor do they “clock out” of their personal lives when they arrive in the workplace.

“COVID-19 continues to add pressure and I have also seen how much more strain is put on our people and the business overall. In addition to the severe health concerns resulting from infections, we are seeing a much wider impact on the overall mental health and well-being of our workforce,” explains MTN SA’s Chief of Human Resources, Tebogo Maenetja.

“At MTN, we sought out insights into this growing trend and, through various feedback channels, we found that some of our people are experiencing strain, fatigue and, in some instances, burnout.”

The pandemic has disrupted work-life separation and we found that employees were consistently working considerably longer days than deemed healthy. The lack of a commute had seen our people sitting down at their desks at 7am and leaving at 7pm and we have had to pushback against this kind of behaviour as, 16 months in, people are exhausted.

To respond significantly to the pressing need for our employees to take the time to rest, recharge and rejuvenate, we have introduced MTN Spring Break.

“The initiative will run between 1 August and 31 October 2021 and sees all employees, including contractors, as well as employees in the stores and call centres, receive one week of complete shutdown – no e-mails, no calls and no meetings. It’s our thank you to staff for helping MTN to make the 'new normal' work,” explains Maenetja.

Over this period, MTN remains committed to ensure that service to our customers remains accessible and without interruption. “We believe that a healthy workforce will result in higher levels of efficiency and productivity and ultimately a better customer experience.”

Maenetja also pointed to other initiatives that MTN introduced in an effort to establish better work life balance: “We have onboarded a new employee wellness provider and introduced initiatives such as 'No meeting day', where MTN encourages all employees across its operations to not hold any internal meetings the whole day; this happens once a month.

“Around the world and across industries, organisations, including ourselves, have had to rethink what work looks like in fundamental ways. And it’s on all of us – from senior executives to individual contributors – to provide meaningful solutions to navigate the days, months and even years ahead.

"For MTN, we will continue to find ways to ensure we are a compassionate organisation that prioritises our employees' well-being and wellness, which we believe is vitally important especially during these tough times,” concludes Maenetja. 

Editorial contacts
Senior Manager: Public Relations Leigh-Ann Chetty (083) 209 1310 Leigh-Ann.Chetty@mtn.com
Manager: Communications and Public Relations Mthokozisi Ndlovu (083) 209 2683 Mthokozisi.Ndlovu@mtn.com
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