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21928 People Work and Employment


THURSDAY (7:30 to 9 pm) ROBYN JOHN




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Sustainability in Human Resource Management has gained momentum in the
past decade. Organisations are becoming more proactive in incorporating
sustainable policies aligned with their core strategies to systematise the impact
of business practices on the natural environment and human life (Ehnert, Harry
and Zink, n.d.). Many companies position themselves as sustainable, however,
the claim remains ambiguous whether its a marketing stance or reflection of

Among many social concerning issues, one is HIV AIDS. It mainly affects the
productive population. South Africa stands first in the most infected continent
with HI Virus in the world. The epidemics affect the productivity of the individual,
thereby decreasing his/her profitability at the workplace. The case study on
Goedehoop Colliery is noteworthy as it picks up the initiatives taken by the Dr
Brink Brian for fighting the gravity of the HI Virus. This report discusses various
sustainable initiatives taken by the organisation to combat HIV/AIDS. The report
also elaborates the degree of the authenticity of these initiatives by capturing
the relevant results. The outcome of these initiatives is evaluated by analysing
the positive social impact. The results are critically analysed through the work of
notable theorist, research articles and knowledge divulged during various
lectures and tutorials. The last section compares how initiatives by Goedehoop
Colliery functions in different business context.

Sustainable Initiatives and their authenticity

Sustainability is the activities undertaken by the organization, generally

voluntary to focus on the environmental and social concerns in business
operation while meeting the goals of the organization and needs of the
stakeholders (Brunsson, 2015). Trade off between healthy environment with
healthy growth of the organization is focused during sustainability. However, the
roles and responsibilities of the organisation in sustainability initiatives and
developments are indefinite (Porter and Pachn, 2014). Moreover, there is
ambiguity in the areas of the sustainability. But, managing sustainability benefits
organisations different processes and improving the reputation of the
organisation (Siew, 2014).
In the case study presented, Voluntary Counselling and testing (VCT) was set up
to implement the HIV/ AIDS Programme successfully. It comprised of senior
managers, peer educators, union leaders, AIDS coordinators, healers and
medical practitioners.

5GH Campaign was adopted by Goedehoop Colliery as a part of sustainability

initiatives. Following are the main key features of the 5GH campaign

Status: The primary focus and the foundation of the campaign are to encourage
the employees to know their status, whether or not, the HI Virus infects them.
VCT actively stimulated the environment for employees to get tested for Hi Virus.
The commitment of VCT has evaluated annually. The uptake increased to 96% in
2005 and 98.3% at the end of 2006. Goedehoop worked rigorously to implement
the VCT campaign successfully by making the campaign people focused rather
than making it mechanical. Peoples acknowledgment and support towards the
VCT campaign are the evidence of genuineness of responsibility Goedehoop took
in assisting and accompanying people in fighting the epidemic of HI Virus.

Treatment, Support, and Care: After the status check stage, proper support,
care and medical stipulated to employees with the positive result for the status
check. Two clinics for treating and supporting the positive employees and easy
access to the local hospital for adequate consultation made in reach of the
employees. As a part of the 5GH campaign free antiretroviral therapy and
supplements loaded with nutritional values were provided to the actual
employees. Home care and peer educator for support also promoted the good
mental health of the employees. The decrease in the number of absentees from
work and staff feedback about the support system, enough to sustain that
Goedehoop was reliable on its stance for controlling spreading of disease and
helping the HI Virus infected employees.

Creating Awareness: Members of SIDA Shipani employed various method and

tools to create awareness about the AIDS in the community. Daily Safety Bulletin,
with weekly AIDS message, Wellness Drive, urban and rural tours, shock
awareness meetings, peer educators are the primary source of creating
awareness among the community. People testimony that awareness program
helped them to understand what are the causes of AIDS, how it spread and
misconception of the myth about the AIDS cleared. The evidence shows that the
program created awareness in the community, people became more aware and
took precautionary measures.

Initiatives contribution to positive human and social outcome

Sustainability initiatives or CSR (Company Social Responsibility) can benefit the

society at least in two ways through discretionary actions as positive strategies
having a profound impact on society, environment, and employees and valuing
human rights during operation of business (Fiaschi and Giuliani, n.d.). Moreover,
sustainable initiatives go beyond the environmental issues; companies allocate
policies for practising equal employment opportunities, working conditions,
minimum wages, the health of employees safety and child and forced labour
(Newman, Miao, Hofman and Zhu, 2015). The case study Goedehoop: When
social issues become strategic emphasised on the health and wellbeing of its
employees. The first initiative of the 5GH campaign knowing the HIV status of the
employees helped the organisation in the behavioural change of the people by
accepting for taking the test. The success of the sustainability depends on upon
the leadership and ways formulated to meet needs. The precise and clear
approach used by leaders in communicating the initiatives to the team develops
the closer relation between employees and helps them to attain the result of the
sustainable initiatives. The support of the employees and substantial
involvement of the employees acts as a catalyst to secure the effectiveness of
sustainable programs (Farooq, Payaud, Merunka and Valette-Florence, 2013). The
results achieved by foundation component of the campaign knowing the status
of employees was success because the team involved from Goedehoop worked
hard and real leadership was visible through the campaign.

Furthermore, many sustainability initiatives adopted by the organisations are

encompassing concepts requiring extraordinary re-orientation of the peoples
mind (Moyeen and West, 2014). Community views are sensitive, however,
sustainability is strident accelerative in future for new thinking. Therefore, it is
necessary to have the communities which propagate the agenda of the
initiatives efficiently and more (Kim, Khan, Wood and Mahmood, 2016). Among
many initiatives by Goedehoop fighting against AIDS, awareness formed an
integral part of the campaign. Also, HIV/AIDS coordinator for the campaign stated
that its difficult to convince people that they are talking for society benefit.
The efforts on the part of the peer educator and coordinators in spreading the
necessary and mandatory information about AIDS were phenomenal. The case
studies also reflect that people were unaware about the epidemic and had many
misconceptions. But, the efforts on the part of Goedehoop formed a major league
for the accomplishing the results.

Also, some sustainable initiatives are ethical, legal and economic organisations
have for the welfare of the society. Employees perceive CSR actions are
attractiveness to take the job as CSR creates an excellent reputation of the
organisation and aims at providing job satisfaction to the employees (Kim, Khan,
Wood and Mahmood, 2016).

Difference in similar initiative in different business context

Sustainability has become an imperative strategy for the growth and survival of
organisations and nations. Many global organisations have implemented
sustainability policies as the senior management of these large organisations
contemplate that the environmental and social concerns are the in their priority
list with meeting the needs of the stakeholders. Large and global organisations
have sufficient funds, knowledgeable leaders, and continuous competitive
pressure, supporting them to adopt and integrate sustainability along with core
strategies of the organization (Kaur and Sharma, 2016). The HIV/AIDS campaign
adopted by the Goedehoop is massive sustainability campaign, which required
for improving the revenue of the organisation as it affected by absentees at work
due to the epidemic. Global and large organisations have access to specialist and
consultant for making their processes sustainable and resources to build an in-
house team to implement the sustainable initiative (Kaur and Sharma, 2016).
With the help of the experts, the organisations make ensure that measures are
genuine and tailored to meet the required sustainable objects. Some global
organisations, such as Johnson and Johnson company and Virgin are also
involved in various parts of the world in combating the epidemics of HIV/AIDS
(Chattu, 2015). This is evidence that the large organisation can quickly adapt to
the sustainable practices as compared to Goedehoop.
Contrary to the global organisations, SMEs are at a nascent stage for sustainable
initiatives as they are actively involved in significant activities for their survival
(Falle, Rauter, Engert and Baumgartner, 2016). The major factor contributing to
the lack of sustainable practices in SMEs is that they dont realise the potential of
strategic advantages from the sustainable activities (Kaur and Sharma, 2016).
Sustainability can give access to new markets and opportunities. These practices
have higher cost and resources involved which makes it difficult for the SME to
integrate sustainability. The HIV/AIDS campaign adopted by the Goedehoop
cannot successfully implement in SMEs due to many constraints.


Sustainability should adopt with the core strategies for the organisation. The
case study presented successful initiatives by Goedehoop to tackle the
epidemics of the AIDS. Many organisations assert to be sustainable and make
their sustainability reports public. However, it is easy for a large organisation to
be sustainable but the SMEs struggle for its survival and sustainability remains a
distinct place.

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