Latest information indicates that the Debswana Diamond Company has lost its place as one of the country’s highest paying companies.
An internal research document by the company’s Human Resources Department has taken the shine off the country’s most glamorous company when it found that, in the recent past, the world’s leading diamond miner has been losing its technical and professional staff to smaller and newer mines that offer higher pay packages.
The new kids on the block are said at times to be paying twice as much as Debswana for the same kind of skills and professional competencies.
It has also emerged that, in their exit interviews, many of the departing professionals indicated that they were leaving for better pays offered by new mining players, citing frustrations that Debswana was not matching the offers made to them elsewhere.
The situation has not been helped by the Debswana Board’s decision to turn down a proposal submitted by Managing Director Blackie Marole to increase salaries for the company’s employees.
Speaking to Sunday Standard this week, Debswana Head of Public Affairs, Esther Kanaimba, confirmed that indeed Debswana has lost its competitive edge.
He said retaining skilled personnel, especially in the technical fields, was proving a challenge for the diamond Group.
“But it would be wrong to say the Board had turned down proposals by the Managing Director. What happened was that the Board advised Mr. Marole to first complete the restructuring process before implementing salary adjustments.”
Kanaimba said the proposals made by the Managing Director are not about to be implemented.
But Sunday Standard can confirm that with a boom in the mining sector not just in Botswana but across the world, demand for engineers and artisans has been at the highest.
Faced with the exodus of skill and talent, the Group’s Managing Director had sometime in the past tried to use the company’s financial muscle to stem the high turnover by increasing the salaries and other perks.
The Board rejected Marole’s proposals out of hand.
The result was a spiraling out of some of the company’s best brains, many of them products of the Group’s once venerated s overseas study programme, which has also since been cancelled out.
Canceling out the programme has meant that unlike in the past, Debswana no longer has a guaranteed flow of graduates coming into its employ every year as was the practice in the past.