Bridgestone recognised as Top Employer
Bridgestone South Africa CEO Jacques Fourie

Bridgestone Southern Africa scores above the global benchmark in the Top Employers Institute ranking amongst over 1800 companies worldwide

Bridgestone Southern Africa (BSAF) has been certified as one of South Africa’s leading companies to work for by the Top Employers Institute, the global authority on recognising excellence in people practices.

The tyre manufacturer, measured against 113 companies in South Africa, achieved an overall Top Employer score of almost 90% surpassing the benchmark of 85.49%.

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work that has gone into attaining this very important achievement,” says Bridgestone South Africa CEO Jacques Fourie. “We have gathered the best minds in our business to develop systems and processes that not only supported our people through the pandemic but equipped them to achieve their highest potential in a truly world-class South African manufacturing operation that competes with some of the best in the world.”

Through an external review and audit of people, processes and practices against world class standards, Top Employer scored Bridgestone highly on each of the six modules assessed, which are:

  • Steer – business strategy, people strategy and leadership;
  • Shape – organisational change, digital human resource, and the work environment;
  • Attract – employer branding, talent acquisition and onboarding;
  • Develop – performance, career, and learning;
  • Engage – wellbeing, engagement, rewards, recognition, and onboarding; and
  • Unite – values, ethics and integrity, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability.

Of note were 100% scores in each of the areas of business strategy, leadership, organisation and change, work environment, values, ethics and strategy, and sustainability.

In its HR Trends Report 2021, the Top Employers Institute noted that navigating the new world of work will be crucial for companies that seek to deliver a superior working experience for their employees and attract prospective quality candidates.

Across 1691 top employers worldwide, 93% are already using social tools such as Microsoft Teams or Slack to collaborate internally. However, the report says offices will remain attractive for the social interaction and networking opportunities they offer.

Furthermore, reinventing the role of the People Function (human resources) means providing agile online learning platforms, more transparent leadership assessment and feedback, encouraging employees to share their goals and feedback, ongoing onboarding, diversity, inclusion and belonging, as well as a greater sense of purpose in their work.

Bridgestone Southern Africa has recently embarked on an extensive repositioning of its brand, a restructuring of operations and talent acquisition t drive over the past three years, redefining the business to be more than just a tyre producer, but a total mobility provider with an emphasis on safety and performance across its various segments.

Through its many efforts to become a more transformed organisation, the company achieved the industry-first of a Level 3 Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment certification, coming from Level 7 prior to 2019. In 2021, major improvements were made in ownership, management control and employment equity, with strong and stable scores in skills development, enterprise and supplier, and socio-economic development.

“In charting a new path for the Bridgestone business in South Africa, and the broader continent, we want to be driven by a philosophy that touches on every aspect of our operations and partner network in an integrated way, to become a truly future-facing organisation,” Fourie says. “We don’t just see diversity and inclusion in terms of race and gender, but also in terms of a diversity of perspectives, ideas and backgrounds. Many of our leaders come from outside the tyre industry and have already injected fresh thinking in tackling problems that may have perplexed the industry for a long time.

“As we evolve as a business, investing in cutting-edge machinery and digital platforms, we seek to also adopt a more sophisticated system of engaging with our people as more than just employees, but as partners in finding solutions on the journey,” he adds.