During the eight years, I have been working for the Vassallo Group, I have been accustomed to the saying “Our employees are and will remain our biggest asset”. This has been quoted on several occasions by one or more of the shareholders, and although this does not actually feature as a figure in the list of assets the Group has in its Statement of Financial Position, all the Directors and Shareholders of the Group, as well as CareMalta Group, abide by such statement. This is evidenced in the progression of the career of a significant number of employees within the Group. Also, recognition of the employees is of utmost importance across all the companies forming part of the group. The Shine Awards is a good example whereby employees are recognised for their hard work throughout the previous year. This investment helped the group to grow in its 75 years, from a small number of employees to almost 1,900 employees employed today. Such growth is one important way to measure a group/company’s success after so many years.
CareMalta Group accounts for more than 70% of such employees (approx. 1,335 in 2022) and hence is one of the drivers towards investing further in its hard-working employees. This is done continuously in various forms and actions. Most important is the constant development of the several tiers existing in the company’s organisational structure.
Training is crucial and a yearly strategy is established and budgeted for as it forms an integral part of the management planning. Key personnel too are identified to continue to progress in their studies whilst obtaining experience on the job. Such employees form a vital role in the succession planning of the group’s management.
As aforementioned, recognition too is a priority for CareMalta Group, and strives to be one of the best employers in the Healthcare industry. This brings its challenges with the government being the main competitor, however, the group believes that the overall experience it gives to its employees is one that can benefit the individual, the resident with the service being offered, and the group in general. This brings a family feel to the place of work which not all companies can claim to have.
Tangible or intangible assets
An investment can be described as acquiring an asset with the intention to generate income or profit in the future. Assets can then be split into intangible or tangible. The investment in human resources described above can be considered intangible since though it enhances the value of the business being described, it cannot be mathematically calculated and accounted for. Also, the return on investment in terms of human resources is very difficult to determine and establish.
A different type of asset which is tangible and which CareMalta Group actively continues to invest in is property. At present, CareMalta Group is the owner of 9 properties. These have all been purchased with the sole intention to convert these into the best accommodation for our residents/clients and to give an excellent service provision for their needs as required.
Vassallo Group always had a passion to grab the opportunity to own a beautiful and well-structured property. This continued to reflect in the properties acquired by CareMalta Group. In fact all of the nine properties has an outdoor area where the resident/client can enjoy in his/her own free time. Such properties include Casa Arkati, Villa Messina, Roseville, Casa San Paolo, Casa Marija, Casal Nuovo, Casa Apap Bologna, Casa Santa Monika and the latest addition Santa Rosa.
One must appreciate that such investment runs into millions, and this does not stop once the property is owned. Most of the time such properties would have been dilapidated and in dire need of a total revamp. This too is a hefty investment which most of the time ends up being costly as the property just purchased.
CareMalta Group also operates and invests in property leased from third parties on a long-term basis. Such properties include La Stella/ Astra (ex-KU club) in Gozo and Dar Sant’Anna in Senglea which are also new projects that the Group is currently seeking to consolidate.
Once a property is completely refurbished and ready to start being in operation, the group starts investing in maintaining and keeping the property in a good working condition. This is done by investing in personnel experts in this area and being able to identify the needs of the facility. Also, equipment is upgraded every now and then and if need be replaced completely. As already mentioned, personnel are also well trained to make the best use of such equipment and make sure that it is used to give the best outcome as intended when bought.
Investing in a holistic service
Another intangible asset CareMalta Group invests incessantly is in providing the best service possible to our residents/clients and adding quality to their time spent with us. This is the goal of CareMalta’s Group achievements and the investments referred to previously, to contribute to such target.
More investment is required to be able and offers a holistic service. This includes running expenditures such as food costs and meals. CareMalta Group can consider itself lucky in this sector in that it has partnered with CaterEssence, which is a sister company of Vassallo Group, and this helps in meeting the requirements of our residents/clients easily whilst understanding each other’s commitments. The fact that CareMalta Group caters to more than 1,700 clients makes it more difficult to be able to flex to individual demands and requests, however, through experience, this was challenged over the years and a lot of improvement has been noted recently.
Lastly, CareMalta Group relies also on third parties with regards to part of the investment that relates to the daily running costs. This includes outsourced laundry, accessibility to consumables, consultancy, and other areas. Good business relationships help in continually providing the best service/product possible for our end client and keeping the expenditure at a satisfactory level.
This year CareMalta Group is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. The achievements referred to above and that are shown in the service being offered on a daily basis reflect how much the company/group invested along these years and the promise it will continue to do so in the years to come.