Mochocho IT Consulting, winner of the Management of People Award in the small enterprise category
No free lunches for this black-owned business but its employees don’t go hungry
For a 100% black-owned company that has come up the hard way, there are no free lunches, nor would Jozzler and Lulama Mochocho want any. The exception is when they are the ones providing the lunches and the people eating them are their own employees.
“To deliver a good service, our employees need to be in a good state. Because we know our employees on a personal level, we know that some people might sometimes come to work without eating, so we make sure they all have food,” says Lulama, Chief Executive Officer of Mochocho IT Consulting.
“Then they can go back to work with energy. We don’t ever want our employees working on an empty stomach,” says Jozzler, Chief Technology Officer of this Midrand-based IT and telecoms infrastructure company, which opened its doors in 2010 and specialises in providing connectivity in rural and underserved urban areas.
It’s not just employees’ physical wellbeing that is important, Lulama adds. “We realise that frustration and depression are real and we want to make sure that no employee suffers depression under our watch.”
This means knowing and caring about what is going on inside and outside the workplace. “We ask after employees’ children and we like it when people talk about their families,” says Jozzler. “People are people before they are employees. Sometimes you realise there is something wrong at home that is affecting the person at work.”
Taking the human factor into account is only one side of the people management philosophy at Mochocho’s, however. The other side, perhaps a surprising one for such a small company, is its structured approach to policies and procedures.
Induction is an example. The office manager, who has HR training, takes every new employee through an induction programme so that they understand the company culture, dress code, and workplace etiquette, as well as the various policies that apply to employees.
“A policy is a roadmap,” says Jozzler. “It tells you where to go, what to do and what not to do. A policy speaks for the company. For example, we have an internet policy that explains what to browse on company computers. If somebody browses content that is irrelevant, we show them the internet policy.”
Humanity and structure sit comfortably together in this small company that has a heart for employees and a head for business.