By Koketso Mamabolo
“I tell stories that educate, and instil belief in our employees about our strategy,” says Zandile Mposelwa, Corporate Affairs Director for Kellogg SA. Zandile is speaking as someone with a deep understanding of what it takes to be the best, having worked at an impressive list of industry leaders, including Nampak (Marketing Project Manager), BP South Africa (Fuels Product Manager), Woolworths Financial Services (Inbound Contact Centre Manager).
“It is not about ‘what can I do alone’ but ‘what we can do together’.”
Strengthening the reputation of an organisation is at the heart of what Zandile does at Kellogg South Africa, which includes spearheading the company’s CSI programme, Better Days. This involves working with both the public and private sectors, as well as NGOs. For Kellogg South Africa’s Better Days programme, this has seen them partnering with the Department of Basic Education, Shoprite and the Kolisi Foundation.
“I don’t believe one can please all stakeholders, I however believe that developing a stakeholder mapping and engagement plan is important,” says Mposelwa.
We find out about engaging with employees, pleasing stakeholders and lessons she’s learnt in her 20 years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.
How do you go about pleasing all stakeholders?
I don’t believe one can please all stakeholders, I however believe that developing a stakeholder mapping and engagement plan is important. There needs to be a clear objective which could be to inform, influence, or get approval. The plan needs to outline why each stakeholder is important; the value they add to the business; the engagement message; when and the frequency of engagements.
What is the best way to engage with employees?
As a leader, I find employee engagements are critical to ensure that together we understand and deliver the organisational strategy. I find them energising. I am particularly grateful to be able to do some of this face-to-face now that our organisation has transitioned from working from home to a hybrid work model.
One of the ways that stand out for me is when our employees participate in some of our CSI initiatives to alleviate hunger in communities. We do this by giving them food hampers that they donate to families in their communities. I love this because it strengthens our employees’ connection to our purpose to create better days and a place at the table for everyone.
What lessons did you learn from your previous roles that you are applying in your current role?
I believe in continuous learning and there is arguably no better teacher than experiences. I continue to leverage my previous experiences in my journey to be a continuously evolving leader who makes an impact on people and the company. Working in other roles, especially at Kellogg, has given me valuable insights into the organisation (institutional memory) and this allows me to better support the organisation from a different angle.
Please tell us a bit about your background – how did you get to this point?
I have over 20 years of working experience at different levels in the FMCG industry. Some of the companies I’ve worked for before joining Kellogg include HomeChoice, Woolworths, BPSA, Nampak, and Tetra Pak. I have held multiple roles since joining Kellogg in 2014.
In this role, I lead Corporate Affairs at Kellogg South Africa supporting our Kellogg and Kellogg Tolaram JV in South Africa and the Kingdom of Eswatini. I tell stories that educate, and instil belief in our employees about our strategy. I promote our organisation externally to our various stakeholders to strengthen the organisational reputation. I also lead the company’s CSI programme Better Days.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are important to me.
I am a mother of an 18-year-old son and a 16-month-old daughter who both inspire me. They are my happy place.
What is the purpose that drives you?
My success in the corporate environment is underpinned, and guided, by my purpose and passion, as well as the value system which must be aligned with all that I do. I’ve been fortunate to have purpose-led mentors who continue to shape my leadership journey in both my personal and professional life. My purpose is to inspire change. My purpose comes to life, whether that be through the way I lead the company’s effort to alleviate hunger in communities, gender empowerment advocacy or by mentoring young people to realise their potential.
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