FACES OF GRINDROD BANK | Our employees are Grindrod Bank's greatest asset - they're our competitive advantage. Through the stories of our people you will come to know the place we call Grindrod Bank – a company that values commitment, loyalty and above all, inspires individuals to succeed. This is Valencia's story.
Our Operations Administrator, Valencia Mjwara shares her long-standing career at Grindrod Bank:
In a world that sees employees come and go, Valencia, your 27-year milestone is one to be recognised and appreciated - Congratulations! Where did it all begin for you?
“Many years ago, when I arrived at Grindrod Bank, I worked for three years as a tea lady. I was fortunate that I worked with someone who recognised my potential and I was given the opportunity to move into a cash management role. I was upskilled and promoted along the way. Most importantly I got a chance to prove myself and study bookkeeping. I passed the course with a distinction and I was very proud of myself considering my humble beginnings at the bank.
With this education under my belt, I was able to apply and get the position of an admin clerk. I really pushed myself to do my best and I got rewarded for it – it has been a very fulfilling experience. However, the years were not without pressure and challenges, but I am happy to say that I always meet my deadlines and have remained motivated”.
They say loyalty is a difficult quality to find in any space, but Valencia has mastered it. Here is why:
“I have remained loyal to Grindrod Bank because I have always been certain of what I want from my life. Starting out as a tea lady, I had no training in any banking related areas, but GB saw my potential and put me through training courses and gave me the opportunity to study. These experiences have grown me as a person, and today I am confident and have the assurance that I am in exactly the right place”.
As Admin Clerk, Valencia has multiple functions and responsibilities. The most important part of her role is:
“The most important part of my role is ensuring that our clients receive their money on time. This is a huge responsibility entrusted to me and I take it very seriously”.
Valencia finds satisfaction in her work at Grindrod Bank. Here is how:
“I find that at work it is important to remain motivated and continue to engage with colleagues. We all work as a team and this gives me satisfaction in my job”.
If she could give employers any tips on how to keep employees loyal/happy, Valencia would say:
“Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! I think it’s healthy for employers to try to always communicate with their employees. It is also important to allow them to find ways to achieve that work/life balance”
While there are many amazing and successful women out there, every person is inspired by someone specific. Meet Valencia’s inspiration:
“I admired my former colleagues Sue Scott and Sheryl Holland. These are both women of integrity and valour. They are also strong and courageous and have been an inspiration to me in the workplace”.
Working in such a demanding industry can be quite stressful. For Valencia, she has mechanisms to cope. This is how she maintains a healthy work-life balance:
“My stress outlet is gardening. I enjoy being at home planting vegetables and rearing chickens. I currently have 58 chicks that I am looking after, and this brings me joy. I also sell them when I can which feeds into my entrepreneurial side”.
I also have a mantra that I do not carry work stress home and I don’t carry home stress to work”. Great advice from Valencia!
After almost 60 years of having lived this life, Valencia describes herself:
“I have grown into a strong, industrious, woman and I like to describe myself as generous – both in the workplace and with the people I love”.
Kudos to you Valencia and congratulations on a significant milestone of 27 years at Grindrod Bank.