A list of activities that showcase our commitment to corporate social responsibility:
The Spirit of Youth Programme: Supporting high-potential 11th Grade learners to lead with greater civic, social and professional responsibility
Spirit of Youth provides an opportunity for selected grade 11 learners in Gauteng to critically engage on contextual issues in South Africa in order to develop their sense of agency and define their vision for the country. The eight-month-long programme brings together learners from various social, economic, geographical and educational backgrounds to share their lived experiences and perspectives. The aim is to create a class that represents the diversity of South African society at large and includes learners from public and private schools in informal settlements, urban areas, townships and suburbs.
The programme has a focus on inclusion (the breaking down and healing of divisions, and the building of inclusive societies); contextual awareness; developing personal agency; as well as considering how to redress past imbalances, as young leaders of today. The aim is that this year-long discourse will develop a new understanding of the South African context and its possibilities and that participants will have a significant impact on their immediate peers and society at large.
This youth leadership development programme runs for the 16th year in 2021 and over 3200 learners have graduated from the programme to date. Young professionals from varied backgrounds are also recruited who played an active role as volunteer facilitators. Over 260 volunteer facilitators have participated in the programme.
The programme includes activities that enable delegates to exchange ideas with both policymakers and peers on issues critical to the future of our nation.
We use a number of innovative techniques to facilitate peer-to-peer learning on the most pivotal socio-economic and political issues facing our nation's progress. In the Spirit of Youth Programme, facilitated dialogue and experiential learning are the key tools used to support learners' growth. The delegates' fees are subsidised through donor funds.
Primary School Engagement Programme: Investing in the development of basic education institutions
GIBS recognises the importance of investing in the development of basic education institutions to make a meaningful contribution to business education in South Africa, while also ensuring a sustainable stream of qualified and competent students for the business school. GIBS pursues this goal by investing in local primary school education, specifically schools in disadvantaged areas in Johannesburg, through educational and financial support. The aim is to assist these schools in becoming centres of academic excellence and help ensure that the next generation of businesspeople in South Africa, and the next generation of GIBS graduates, have been given a world-class academic foundation. GIBS focuses extensively on the following areas: Maths, Science and English subject improvement; the development of management skills in the school's infrastructure and facilities; environmental awareness and responsibility; and nutritional supplementation (feeding schemes and vegetable gardens).
GIBS currently works with three schools:
Gordon Primary School, Alexandra (involved since 2004);
Emfundisweni Primary School, Alexandra (involved since 2010); and
Ekukhanyisweni School, Alexandra (involved since 2007).
Skills development: Enabling staff to reach their full potential
Investment in ongoing skills development is key to GIBS delivering on its commitment to making a meaningful contribution to the transformation of South Africa and the business school's commitment to supporting staff by enabling them to reach their full potential.
Various skills development programmes include:
Staff enrolment in relevant academic programmes at GIBS and other external institutions, funded by GIBS;
Bursaries offered to previously disadvantaged South African students for enrolment in relevant academic programmes at GIBS;
Staff participation in forum events, conferences, seminars and workshops held at GIBS and other external institutions, funded by GIBS;
Small business development and support initiatives for BBBEEE entrepreneurs;
First-aid and fire-fighting training for full-time staff and outsourced employees, including cleaning and security staff; and
A 12-month learnership programme aimed at previously disadvantaged South African learners, which equips them with new skills and work experience which would ensure they would be more employable at the end of the programme.
Beatrice Xalisa Bursary Scheme: Providing financial assistance to children of GIBS employees
GIBS runs the annual Beatrice Xalisa Bursary Scheme, which commemorates the life and contribution of Beatrice Xalisa, who was employed as a receptionist at GIBS from its inception and who passed away unexpectedly in August 2006.
This bursary is aimed at providing financial assistance for a child of a permanent GIBS employee whose household income does not exceed R270 000 per annum and whose child/legal guardian attends a state primary school. Three R10 000 bursaries are available to GIBS employees each year.
Sponsorships and donations: Encouraging philanthropy among staff members
GIBS believes that what motivates an employee to join, engage and stay with an organisation, is not only the financial reward on offer, but also the unique opportunities that arise from being a member of that organisation; a level of synergy of values between individual and organisation, and opportunities for employees to enact their jobs in a way that is consistent with their personal values and ethics.
With this in mind, GIBS offers a 'Give as You Earn Programme' to its employees. GIBS matches every donation received from employees to their chosen charity organisations and NGOs as a show of commitment to the philanthropic causes that are important to employees.
GIBS also makes regular collections for outreach programmes, where both staff and students at GIBS are encouraged to donate items to various needy organisations.
Health and wellbeing: Investing in staff health
GIBS invests extensively in staff health and wellbeing education and support for its employees. The initiatives include annual health checks provided by the organisation's medical aid provider, annual flu vaccinations, HIV/AIDS awareness days, breast cancer screening and employee wellbeing talks which include topics such as nutrition, mental and physical health and financial wellbeing.
GIBS has engaged with a specialist Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider to support our employees' wellbeing needs. The EAP offers GIBS employees up to five counselling sessions per year with professional health and wellbeing therapists to support mental health, physical health, dietary advice and financial support.
GIBS also provides bereavement support to employees which includes counselling sessions through the EAP, a care package to assist employees' unexpected financial costs during this time, as well as the option to join a bereavement support group hosted by specialist therapists.
The wellbeing of GIBS employees is surveyed through the annual GIBS engagement survey as well as more frequent wellbeing surveys. The information received through these surveys is used to inform the wellbeing strategy and initiatives prioritised and implemented at the school.
Community Immersions: Providing delegates with a broad view of the society in which they operate
Many leadership and management programmes delivered by GIBS include a social relevance field trip. This visit is normally held in the form of an immersion activity in the Alexandra and Soweto communities or the Johannesburg inner city and provides delegates with a broad view of the diverse business and entrepreneurial activities taking place in Johannesburg. The purpose of this module is to inspire business managers to reflect on their cultural and business paradigms.