Take care of your people, says Vodacom's Matimba Mbungela

"Sometimes I think we overemphasize the success of a business in relation to the numbers and the commercial propositions, instead of the person behind,” said Vodacom CHRO Matimba Mbungela, speaking last week at Finance Indaba Africa 2017, in a session about what CHROs wish accounts knew.

This is one of the key things that CFOs and finance line managers must think about, he added.

"That is, that you have a person who comes up with and executes those brilliant ideas, who sacrifices a lot to make sure that deadlines are met. Don't underestimate the fact that these people are looking up to you for inspiration."

Matimba said that finance line managers should be cognisant of the 'people care' issues and not only focus on financial success factors. Because, if people feel that their well-being is not important to the company, they will find a company that does care about them.

In a session where the majority of those in attendance had had negative experiences with line managers, Matimba said finance professionals should make an effort to make their team members feel like they belong.

"Once you have established what the team or business goal is, how you get there becomes so important. It's more important than meeting whatever target you have. For me, it's about having people that are willing to go to war with you."

Matimba added that in the era of scarce skills, many people are working at whichever company they are at by choice. Many of them are often headhunted but do not move to those companies, choosing instead to remain with their current employers.

"If you think about it, the value a 20 percent salary bump is eroded after the second pay check. It's only the first month that they see that their bank balance is a bit bigger, but they soon adjust their lifestyle accordingly, whether they save the extra cash or use it for something else. At the end of the day, it's all about fulfilment."