16 365 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence the Abuse of Females (Women and Girls) by Males (Men and Boys)-a pandemic by any other name.

In his speech on 11th January 2020, on progress in South Africa’s effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa reminded the nation that we are facing a second pandemic, that of gender-based violence and femicide. More specifically, he referred to the country’s efforts to end harassment at work, stating that ‘South Africa is in the process of ratifying ILO Convention 190, which establishes a global standard for the protection of women and other vulnerable groups in the world of work’. It provides for specific measures to address gender-based violence and harassment and acknowledges that gender-based violence and harassment disproportionately affects women and girls.

The Facebook debacle – maybe it’s time to take the PoPI Act seriously?

The revelations of Mark Zuckerberg’s congress hearing on 11 April 2018 put the spotlight on privacy restrictions and the value of one’s personal data. However, 5 years prior to this historical exchange of unintelligible questions, evasive answers, and not so sincere apologies, the South African Government had compiled the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA). This Act, which was gazetted in November of 2013, has taken some time to be implemented but never has it been more relevant a time for us as private citizens and a business community, to take it seriously.

Change is a given – but can we make it stick?

“The macro and micro environmental factors are always at play and can significantly impact organisational performance and output. Technology and globalisation has led to a quantum shift in organisational practices to sustain the competitive pressures of a rapidly changing business environment.”

Where’s the value add in aligning company and personal values?

“Organisational values are too often perceived as fluffy, nice ideas that offer no real bottom-line value. However, in today’s increasingly millennial-filled workplaces, this couldn’t be more wrong. According to the Cone Millennial Cause Study, 79% of millennials want to work for a company that cares about a bottom line other than profit, such as social responsibility or sustainability. And 78% believe companies have a responsibility for making a difference in the world.”

Organisational Design – Is a flattened and decentralised hierarchy really good for business?

“Organisational design is critical to identifying dysfunctional work areas and realigning them with the strategy. Key to this is how a company is structured and the concepts of centralisation and decentralisation. With increased competitive pressure and turbulent environmental factors, organisations have moved towards a decentralised command line in an effort to become more efficient by avoiding delays and giving more power and authority to local leaders.”

Making change happen – isn’t that a job for HR?

“A common misconception is that the Human Resources (HR) function has to identify, guide, enable and encourage a change management team, whereas line managers and leaders play an almost passive role, relying primarily on HR for effective change.”

How “ready” is your Workplace Skills Plan? 30th June is not that far away…

“We know that employees are an essential component of any business. Organisations need to build a highly skilled workforce capable of enhancing their offerings to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. A skilled workforce is not only engendered through employing quality candidates, but also through the continuous development of skills.”

A look into EQ and its contribution to leadership in the workplace:

“Whilst the fundamentals of leadership will not change, future leaders will succeed with a different skill set than those of today. In today’s rapidly changing and dynamic business world, future leaders must not simply solve technical problems, but they need to have a vision that inspires others to ensure that the vision becomes a reality.”

Competency Assessments: The value add in the modern recruitment process.

“Attracting, securing and retaining talent in the market has become a increasingly complex and costly task in modern times.

A recent global survey revealed that up to 68% of HR professionals report problems filling positions, up from 50% in 2013.”

Are you getting the most out of your skills development levy?

The Skills Development Levy (otherwise known as the SDL), is a tax imposed to encourage learning and development in South Africa. If your company has Pay As You Earn (PAYE)-registered employees and they earn more than R500 000 per year, you as the employer have to pay the Skills Development Levy (SDL) to SARS every month.

How unions will respond to AI

Robotics, automation and artificial intelligence are transforming everything from retail to banking and the provision of medical care. Along with the emergence of Big Data and the Internet of Things, the way we live and the way we do work are in for some very big changes.

The Blockchain, Buzzword or Modern Revolution?

“Blockchain, the latest buzzword. Many have heard it, but few seem to understand it. What exactly is Blockchain Technology? The simplest explanation is that it is a revolutionary new technology that creates an environment in which secure and authorised digital transactions become possible.”

Beating the Silly Season Slump

We have come to that ‘fun’ part of the year, when the traffic seems to lessen, shopping malls become a hive of activity and everyone prepares to go on a well-deserved break. As the holiday season kicks in, the focus shifts to juggling parties, shopping, hosting, planning, and travelling. It is easy to lose focus and momentum in the office during this time.

Performance Management and Monitoring

“Performance management mechanisms need to adapt to a modern technological environment in order to combat these challenges. A system needs to be developed that not only monitors performance, but also maximises motivation. Many firms have taken the stance of banning certain domains and disallowing open browsing over the internet during work hours, but cutting the cord simply cannot be enough. Employees need to see reward at the end of the tunnel, and performance systems can show them how close they are to getting there.”

The Modern Workplace: A Cross-Generational Discussion

In today’s workplace it has become common for people from three different generations to work simultaneously together. The most prominent of which are: Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980) and Millennials (1981-2000). This has brought about many challenges as these groups have different characterises, mindsets and communication styles.

Automation, looming threat or a blessing in a disguise?

Many people are starting to wonder if they are next in line for replacement by A.I. or a robot. Businesses are under more pressure than ever to differentiate, evolve and adapt to stay relevant. From Finance to Sales and everything in-between, the effort to maximise margins has led many businesses to take an introspective look into how they can eliminate inefficiencies through robotics and machine learning.

Women in the Workplace, Where to from #metoo

One of the many obstacles that have been impeding the growth of woman in the workplace has been the prevalence of discrimination and sexual harassment. The recent “Me too” viral campaign on social media has been an eye-opener for many, demonstrating how common sexual harassment is amongst our peers.

Avoid brain drain – develop skills in your business.

On the one end are those people, generally younger in age, who stay with employers for as much as they can get within the short term (whether this is knowledge or remuneration). Then, at the other end, we find less confident (or maybe even less skilled) people who “hang in there”, because they are not sure if they will “make it” in the outside world.

Decoding leadership: What really matters?

So much is written on leadership and how organisations need to challenge their leaders on ways of approaching issues, whether from a personal developmental perspective or,  from a corporate vision point of view.

How does one begin to sort through the massive amounts of leadership information which pass our desks and electronic devices daily?

Why bother with Organisational Redesign?

All these need to bind together to ensure that everyone in the organisation is readied, and inspired, to execute and deliver a company’s strategic intentions. Redesign sounds good in the new strategy presentation, but the road is long and in large companies, the transformation can take years if the correct initiatives aren’t applied with priority and determination.

Do Personality Types (eg A vs B) matter at work today?

It’s a great idea to see what kind of personality/interests etc. employees have and make no mistake, they are useful to help understand people and why they behave in a certain way. The key is to match the assessment to the context in which the employee needs to operate, ensure the competencies and personality profile that will add value to the team and ultimately allow the individual to achieve their potential.

Spring cleaning or real talent management?

The well-known saying voiced by Lynn Yates (and modified by Grant Bright) is shown in the image to this post.

You and I, either as owners or managers, form part of the assets of companies. How do we create an environment that is challenging, enabling and productive all at the same time?

Service delivery and productivity are high on the agenda of both public and private sectors alike, given looming provincial elections and a lacklustre economy.

I thought I would have a look at what it takes to manage human resources efficiently from the perspective of a skills audit.

Okay, we’ve done the skills audit. What’s next?

Conducting a best practice skills audit was the topic of my last post.  One of the next steps is to make sure that this exercise yields annual returns. As a lot of effort, time and money go into conducting a skills audit, sustainability is key, ensuring that it can be repeated annually with minimum effort.

Implementing a progressive system, preferably electronic, that is conducted on a strong database is recommended to ensure that the process is effective with long term suitability.

Change Management doesn’t only apply to companies

It can be as simple as not being able to select your favourite brand of a grocery item on the supermarket shelf!  So now what? You either have to change your brand this time around, or you don’t get it now and have to come back another day, or you go elsewhere.  Whatever you decide, you have just experienced having change thrust upon you, calling for a revision of your mind set.