Cape Town 8 December 2015: Over two decades of experience has transformed Free To Grow from a small company with high hopes to an international force that has touched the lives of over 87 000 people in more than 1160 organisations in 28 countries. In 21 years, Free To Grow has risen as a leader in the field of employee engagement and continues to broaden its reach and deepen its impact in this area.

Free To Grow opened its doors in 1994 at a time of renewed hope and new beginnings across South Africa. Founded by Alinda Nortje, former social and community worker, her vision was to bring healing, hope and capacity building to large numbers of people in communities and organisations.

Twenty one years later, Free To Grow’s programmes and processes ignite purpose, passion and potential for growth – delivering remarkable results in the lives of individuals and the culture of organisations. The distinctive learning methodology cuts through a diversity of cultures and education levels, creating a common language amongst people that is ‘sticky’ and lasts.


A recent report, The State of Employee Engagement in South Africa by international Public Display Technologies (PDT) indicates that roughly 42% of South African employees are neither engaged nor emotionally connected to their workplace. This shows that although South Africa’s socio-economic barriers certainly look different today than they did two decades ago, the need to learn, grow and do meaningful work remains an area of growth. It is here that Free To Grow contributes most meaningfully through WorkQ® – a programme designed to

increase employee commitment to the organisation by helping employees understand and share the company’s vision, values and strategies. By igniting the purpose, passion and pride of people for growth Free To Grow strives to build confidence and commitment to make a true difference in the lives of people and their organisations.

“I was absolutely blown away by the impact WorkQ® made on a team of highly disengaged people in our organisation,” says Dalene Sechele, Head of Human Resources at Mercantile Bank.

“Here’s a practical way of shifting emphasis from the organisation ‘transfusing’ engagement through endless activities and campaigns year in-and-out (often to no avail), to employees recognizing their role in driving their own levels of engagement, a much more empowering and affirming approach”.

Ultimately, an organisation’s success is about more than high-quality products, systems and processes; it is also shaped by all its members.  The same report by PDT states that 75% of middle managers and 77% of other staff are looking for improved communications from their leaders.  “Helping leaders to understand employee engagement, their significant role therein and equipping them with skills and practical tools to engage their teams is a large focus area of Free To Grow’s Engagement model,” says Nortje, Executive Chairperson.

Drawing on testimonials from companies describing the benefits of Free To Grow’s tried, tested and ‘sticky’ programmes and processes, organisations are increasingly joining forces with Free To Grow in their quest to grow a culture of high engagement and performance.

When FTG was founded 21 years ago, we could hardly foresee that our work would ripple through to countries as far and varied as Southern Sudan, Vietnam, Iran and Jordan. It has been a most rewarding, yet humbling journey to have been trusted by so many organisations as a partner in their journey to grow their people and their organisation. Our success lies in the hearts of every staff member and licensee of Free To Grow, their passion for their work and their commitment to excellence. I am immensely grateful for how far we have come, and am looking forward to the journey ahead with high expectations and hope.”


For more information:

Alinda Nortje

Free To Grow

Tel: +2721 852 4445

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Editorial contact:

Kim van Schoor

Free To Grow

Tel: +2721 852 4445

Cell: 084 442 5619