May 2012 â€˘ Vol 30 No. 5
Managing conflict Nuturing growth
Journal of the South African Institute of People Management www.ipm.co.za
Leadership 3 Essence of Leadership By Nene Molefi Legislation 4 Proposed amendments to the Labour Relations and the Basic Conditions of Employment Acts By Anastasia Vatalidis and Bradley Workman-Davies Employment law
The uncertainty continues – contractor or employee? By Kenneth Coster CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
The art of on-line simplicity
P E Corporate Services’ dynamic web based IT Industry salary survey provides: Real-time market comparisons/benchmarks
Managing conflict, nurturing growth By Caryn Conidaris
Employee exception reports
Remuneration on 140 IT speciﬁc positions
Great leaders grow by Ken Blanchard
Reports exported to excel/word/PDF
Risk management can reduce security complex crime By Mandy Barrett HR Practice
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Beware exploding bridges By Debbie Goodman-Bhyat Mentor matters
The reality of office politics By Gary Taylor Business LEADERSHIP
South Africa’s leadership potential ahead of the BRICS but behind the G8 By Nadene Venter WELLNESS
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Managing corporate wellness By Lesanne Brooke
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Formal SETA accredited training helps both employers and staff By Grant Lloyd Legal
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HR beware! Refusing legal representation at disciplinary hearings is risky By Ivan Israelstam HR Solutions
Middle Management SAP Consultants
Data protection laws and business – common sense rules By Cindy Durston
Substance abuse in the workplace
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rganisational culture is an interesting topic I find it fascinating that certain types of people are drawn to the same types of jobs and companies and those that don’t ‘fit’ are bound to leave for greener pastures sooner or later. Having worked in just about every sector myself I can definitely see the different types of people that are drawn to different types of organisations. Put a banker in an NGO for a day – this could make for a very interesting experiment and one which I don’t think would last very long. Why is this? Are we naturally drawn towards some types of organisations or are we moulded in our early careers, by our first jobs, and then stick to this type of culture? I recently read an article about safe hiring which stated that personality assessments have been gaining popularity in the past decade, with a May 2011 study finding that more than 80 percent of the companies it surveyed employ some type of assessment either during the hiring process or when making talent management decisions internally.This figure startled me – 80% of companies will assess my personality to determine whether or not I conform to the organisation’s culture. This can have its benefits, I guess, you are more likely to thrive in the environment and less likely to cause trouble. But what about the notion of bringing new lifeblood and new ideas into a company? How do we move forward and evolve if we continue to hire the same type of people into the organisation and expect different and superior results. While I understand the need to maintain ones identity and culture companies need to remember the old adage – sometimes a change is as good as a holiday.
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People Dynamics is the monthly journal of the South Africa Institute of People Management (IPM). The IPM is dedicated to the effective development of human potential. In terms of fast emerging global challenges, it is critical to champion the strategic role of human resources and to acknowledge that both development and management are catalysts for growth. In the spirit of progress and support, the IPM provides members with effective leadership and access to appropriate knowledge, information and the opportunity to network with key local and international players. People Dynamics provide a forum for debate and discussion on all issues affecting people managers in South Africa, the African continent and beyond. People Dynamics is distributed to all members of the South African Institute of People Management (IPM), and to other key decision-makers in the industry. To receive People Dynamics regularly and enjoy additional benefits, including discounts on HR-related services, professional networking events and HR vacancy postings on the IPM web-site, contact the membership manager of the IPM.
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ISSN 0261-2399 The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the values of the IPM.
Essence of Leadership
Personal Mastery Course
By Nene Molefi “The superior leader gets things done with very little motion. He imparts instruction not through many words but through a few deeds. He keeps informed about everything but interferes hardly at all. He is a catalyst, and though things would not get done well if he weren’t there, when they succeed he takes no credit. And because he takes no credit, credit never leaves him.” — Lao Tse,Tao Te Ching o understand the essence of leadership, we normally look to great leaders, those acknowledged and recognised as men or women who epitomise “leadership” and then try to break down what it is that makes them different. This has led to much debate about whether leadership is an inherent quality, one you are born with or whether it is a set of skills and abilities that anyone can learn. However, even if we study great leaders and learn all the skills that would make us more effective as leaders, the true essence of leadership is self-knowledge. Bill George (2005) puts it more succinctly by saying “The one essential quality a leader must have is to be your own person, authentic in every regard”. Only then can we be authentic leaders who can inspire others and start to look outward and make the changes we want to see happen. Although it is used endlessly, Ghandi’s statement that you need to “be the change you want to see in the world” is true. Leaders are defined by seeking change – otherwise they are simply managers. Although individuals may have the capacity for leadership, it is only potential. To be a leader requires a goal or vision and supporters who are influenced to work towards the same goal or vision for that potential to be activated and realised. A leader needs to inspire and manage simultaneously. These roles are not separate or distinct. This is one individual who needs to be able to manage complexity and dilemmas – a “full-spectrum” leader. A full-spectrum leader has values that cover everything from basic survival (cost, profit margins, etc.) through building relationships and cohesiveness internally, developing external partnerships as well as leading in the community. They are visionary and practical, concerned with future generations whilst supporting the latest innovation and ideas. There is a strong link between our values and attitudes which drive our behaviour. For that reason, the model we use for leadership development is a values-based leadership model by Richard Barrett. The leaders are assessed in terms of their personal, current and desired values. The current values assessment tends to reflect the actual behaviour of the leaders. Since it is a 360-degree assessment, peers, subordinates and superiors can review the individual leader. Using this information, leaders can develop behaviours that reflect their values and ensure that they are authentic in their role. An international study of the results of over 100 leadership values assessments revealed some interesting data in terms of leadership behaviour. The top value identified by all the assessors was commitment. As per Ford (2003), “Leading occurs where there is sufficient passion, intention or willingness to accomplish the futures to which we are committed. Where we generate passion, we generate action and action is at the heart of leading”. The essence of leadership is thus the heart and soul of the leader – not their knowledge or even experience. To truly lead others, you must first understand yourself. It is finding out what is your passion and then deciding on how to turn that into positive action which others will follow. Mandate Molefi can assist your staff in embarking on the journey of towards becoming values-driven leaders.
Our personal mastery course has a strong foundation of values How can you master aspects of yourself without examining your values first? Are your values aligned to organizational values? Where is the gap? Course Modules My Values Foundation The self as part of the system My organisation and the community as the system Communicating effectively within the broader system Keeping my emotions in check for maximum impact How do I keep my emotions in check? Developing my critical thinking and problem solving skills Networking and personal branding Strategy and innovation Contact us on: (011) 728-9585 (021) 434-9593 Info@mandatemolefi.co.za www.mandatemolefi.co.za
Proposed amendments to the Labour Relations and the Basic Conditions of Employment Acts By Anastasia Vatalidis and Bradley Workman-Davies, Directors at Werksmans n Tuesday, 20 March 2012 Cabinet approved the submission of the to be furnished must be equal to twenty four months’ remuneration, if the amendment bill for the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (“the LRA”) award orders reinstatement or re-employment, or must be equal to the and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 95 of 1997 (“the BCEA”) to compensation awarded by the arbitrator, in the case of the compensation Parliament where the bills will be considered by the Portfolio Committee order. The furnishing of security equivalent to two years’ remuneration in order on Labour. Once considered by the Portfolio Committee on Labour, these bills will be submitted to the National Assembly and the National Council to prevent the enforcement of a reinstatement order, is a fairly substantial amendment. The obligation to furnish costly security may itself preclude of Provinces for adoption. According to a press statement released by the Minister of Labour these a party to an arbitration award from exercising its legal right to review two bills aim to protect vulnerable employees, ensure compliance with an award, even in circumstances where the award is obviously irregular, international labour standards, ensure that labour legislation gives effect particularly in cases where the award involve a multiple reinstatement order. The Minister also proposed distinguishing between higher and lower to fundamental constitutional rights, enhance the effectiveness of labour institutions such as the Labour Court, the CCMA and to rectify historical income earners in cases of dismissal. In instances where an employee anomalies and clarify uncertainties that have arisen from the application of earning above the threshold prescribed by the Minister (likely to be in the region of R1 million) is dismissed, that dismissal shall be deemed to be for a these statutes. Although the draft bills have retained certain of the amendments which fair reason and effected in accordance with a fair procedure if the employer appeared in the draft LRA and BCEA bills released in December 2010, gives the employee notice (being notice in writing equal to three months or many of the current amendments are presented to the public for the first a longer period as specified in the employee’s contract of employment) or time. Not surprisingly, the draft bills have already give rise to much debate pays the employee in lieu of such notice.Arguable, although this amendment will not deprive higher paid employees of the right to challenge their and controversy. dismissals, it will mean that these employees, rather than their employers, will bear the onus to prove that the dismissal was unfair, potentially making Proposed changes to the LRA The Minister has proposed amending the right to strike provisions in it very difficult for higher earning employees to prove that they have been order to impose on trade unions an obligation to conduct a ballot of its unfairly dismissed. Arguably the most anticipated amendment to the LRA aims to regulate members to determine whether the majority of those members are in favour of a strike. Notwithstanding the requirement that the majority rather than ban the practice of labour broking. In terms of the proposed of the trade union’s members in good standing must vote in favour of a amendments, labour brokers will have to be registered as such in accordance strike, the amendments provide further that the failure by a trade union with applicable legislation. Once registered, the labour broker and the to comply with a provision in its constitution to conduct a ballot of those client will be jointly and severally liable in the event that the labour broker of its members in respect of whom it intends to call a strike, may not give contravenes a collective agreement, concluded in a Bargaining Council, that rise to, or constitute a ground for any litigation that will affect the legality, regulate terms and conditions of employment, a binding arbitration award or the protection conferred by the LRA, on the strike. If these proposed that regulates terms and conditions of employment, the BCEA and any amendments are introduced into law the Labour Court may be required to determination made in terms of the BCEA. If the Minister’s proposed amendments dealing with labour brokers are determine whether these amendments are in fact contradictory. In an effort to protect the employees of labour brokers, there is a introduced into law, an employee employed by a labour broker, earning category of employees which the Minister has identified as “vulnerable below the threshold prescribed in the BCEA (currently R172,000), to abuse”, the Minister has proposed that arbitration awards dealing with assigned to a client for more than six months could be deemed to be the organisational rights will be binding, not only on the employer of the affected employee of the client and must, unless there is a justifiable reason for the employees, but also on the clients of labour brokers who are bound by such differentiation, be employed on terms which are no less favourable than the awards as well as on any other party who controls a workplace where terms applicable to the client’s other employees performing the same or similar work.This amendment, if introduced into law, may have the effect of affected employees work. The Minister has also proposed substantial changes to the review indirectly banning the practice of labour broking. The draft bill, however, contemplates that the Minister will categorise proceedings brought before the Labour Court, being the only mechanism available to challenge arbitration awards. Although these proposed changes certain types of work as temporary services. Once specific work has been are aimed at curtailing delays often associated with review proceedings and categorised as a temporary service, the employees engaged by a labour preventing the misuse of the process by unscrupulous employers wanting broker to perform such work will not be deemed to be the employees of to avoid complying with arbitration awards, the proposed amendments, if the client.Although the Minister intends to invite representations from the introduced into law, could have a detrimental impact on an employer’s right public on the categorisation of temporary services, the lack of clarity as to what may constitute temporary services could make many labour brokers to challenge reviewable arbitration awards. The amendments include a provision that review proceedings will not anxious. In terms of the bill, employees who are employed on fixed term contracts suspend the operation of an arbitration award, unless the applicant to the review proceedings provides security to the satisfaction of the Labour for longer than six months in categories of work which the bill does not Court. Unless otherwise determined by the Labour Court the security consider to be appropriate for such fixed term contracts, shall be deemed
People Dynamics May 2012
to have been engaged for an indefinite duration. Employees employed on fixed term contracts for longer than six months must be treated on the whole no less favourably than employees employed by the same employer indefinitely doing the same work, unless there is a justification for doing so. An employer will also be required to provide its fixed term employees with the same opportunities to apply for vacancies as those employees employed indefinitely. The bill also introduces an obligation on employers to pay fixed term employees employed for a period exceeding 24 months, a severance package calculated on the basis of at least one weekâ€™s remuneration for each completed year of service following the termination of the fixed term contract. As with indefinite employees, a fixed term employee shall forfeit his or her right to a severance package if he or she unreasonably refuses to accept the employerâ€™s offer of employment with that employer or any other employer. Importantly, the payment of a severance package in these circumstances will not protect the employer from a claim of unfair dismissal should the fixed term employee hold the view that he or she had a legitimate expectation of continued employment, notwithstanding the termination of the fixed term contract. Proposed changes to the BCEA In an amendment aimed at assisting trade unions which have historically struggled to secure representation in certain sectors due to, for example, the structure of the workplaces in those sectors, the Minister intends to prescribe thresholds of union represention within industries which are subject to sectoral determinations. This will allow trade unions to automatically acquire organisational rights in all workplaces covered by the sectoral determination upon achieving a prescribed threshold of represention in that sector.
Whereas the BCEA currently does not provide for minimum wages or minimum wage increases, the proposed amendments allow the Minister to make a sectoral determination for any employees not already covered by an existing sectoral determination.The Minister may in terms of such a general sectoral determination, set minimum wages or minimum wage increases which may therefore apply to all employees. The BCEA amendments also aim to streamline the mechanisms used to enforce compliance with the BCEA. The amendments aim to do away with the current mechanisms which provide that an employer may, inter alia, object to a compliance order issued by the Department of Labour and may appeal against compliance orders made by the Director General of the Department of Labour.According to the draft bill, any failure to comply with a compliance order would constitute contempt of court. The amendments also remain committed to the Ministerâ€™s stated intention to further criminalise BCEA contraventions. To this end, the Minister has proposed increasing the maximum terms of imprisonment to six years for specified contraventions. Maximum fines will also increase to between R300 and R1,500 for specified BCEA contraventions. Conclusion The publication of the much anticipated LRA and BCEA bills has not put to bed many of the debates which began in 2010 when the bills were first published for public debate, leaving many stakeholders wondering whether any of these debates will mature into a constitutional challenge. Anastasia Vatalidis, Director - Branch: Johannesburg,Tel: 011 535 8472, Fax: 011 535 8672, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bradley Workman-Davies Director - Branch:Johannesburg,Tel: 011 535 8315, Fax: 011 535 8615, Email:email@example.com May 2012 People Dynamics
The uncertainty continues – contractor or employee? By Kenneth Coster It is trite that the legal protections conferred by the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, as amended (the “LRA”), the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (the “BCEA”) and the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 (the “EEA”) pertain exclusively to employees, as defined, and not to so-called “independent contractors1”. The LRA defines an employee2 to be: l any person, excluding an independent contractor, who works for another person or for the State and who receives, or is entitled to receive, any remuneration; and l any other person who in any manner assists in carrying on or conducting the business of an employer […] (emphasis added)3 In the context of such a broad definition of the term “employee”, the applicable legislation provides no practical assistance in understanding what constitutes the elements of an independent contracting relationship. Furthermore, the LRA sways the scales firmly in favour of a rebuttable presumption of employment (when in doubt), as opposed to affirming the possibilities of independent contracting relationships. Section 200A of the LRA stipulates that: Until the contrary is proven, a person who works for or renders services to any other person is presumed, regardless of the form of the contract, to be an employee if any one or more of the following factors are present:
People Dynamics May 2012
(a) the manner in which the person works is subject to the control or direction of another person; (b) the person’s hours of work are subject to the control or direction of another person; (c) in the case of a person who works for an organisation, the person forms part of that organisation; (d) the person has worked for that other person for an average of at least 40 hours per month over the last three months; (e) the person is economically dependent on the other person for whom he or she works or renders services; (f) the person is provided with tools of trade or work equipment by the other person; or (g) the person only works for or renders services to one person.” (emphasis added) A cursory glance at some of the rebuttable presumptions above may raise more than an employer’s eyebrow, perhaps even the ire of potential liability in respect of an analysis of the terms and conditions on which some of your independent contractors are currently engaged. Although the above presumption is not applicable to persons earning in excess of R 149 736.00 per annum, the trend as to classification is telling. NEDLAC has attempted to draw a sharper distinction in this regard via the Code of Good Practice: Who is an Employee (“the
Employment law Code”)4. As one of the Code’s aims it is stated that its purpose is “to ensure that a proper distinction is maintained between employment relationships which are regulated by labour legislation and independent contracting.”5 The aforementioned trend of extending the definition of “employee” belies the Code in the articulation of the following further aim of the Code, namely: “to ensure that employees – who are in unequal bargaining positions in relation to their employer – are protected through the labour law and are not deprived of these protections by contracting arrangements.” The Code distinguishes between employment and independent contracting relationships as follows: Employee
1. Object of the contract is to render personal services
1. Object of contract is to perform a specified work or produce a specified result
2. Employee must perform services personally
2. Independent contractor may usually perform through others
3. Employer may choose when to make use of services of employee
3. Independent contractor must perform work (or produce work) within period specified by the contract
4. Independent contractor is 4. Employee obliged to subservient to the contract, not perform lawful commands 27.5mm under supervision and control of and instruction of employer employer 5. Contract does not necessarily terminate on death of the contractor M McCann • N Harker • C Albertyn • U Bhoola
5. Contract terminates on death of employee
M McCann • N Harker • C Albertyn • U Bhoola
Alcohol, Drugs & Employment
ISBN 978 0 7021 9406 1
Alcohol, Drugs & Employment
Alcohol, Drugs & Employment
M McCann • N Harker Burnhams • C Albertyn • U Bhoola
(Incl. VAT, Excluding Delivery)
Kenneth Coster, Senior Associate,Webber Wentzel
Alcohol, Drugs & Employment
We are often called to advise our clients aboutf the above differences between employment and independent contracting relationships. It is vitally important that the terms of an independent contracting agreement maps the reality of the relationship in place. It behoves persons who intend to conclude independent contracting relationships to strategise correctly and to take the necessary advice prior to finalising these relationships. There may be instances where despite the need for independent contracting relationships, such relationships may prove not to be feasible based on the nature of the work required to be done. We understand that the South African Revenue Services’ (“SARS”) treatment of independent contractors is perhaps even more rigorous and exclusive of independent contracting relationships than of employment relationships. This aspect must be carefully considered prior to the engagement of contractors and if not the necessary contractual protections ought to be put into place. It might be that provision is in any event made for the withholding of employees’ tax despite the relationship being one of independent contracting. Proceed with care. 1 The meaning “independent contractor” is not defined in the LRA, BCEA or EEA 2 It is interesting to note that the EEA defines an employee as: “any person other than an independent contractor […]” (emphasis added) whilst the LRA and BCEA stipulate that an employee “is any person, excluding an independent contractor” 3 Section 213 of the LRA 4 General Notice 1774 of 2006.The Code was issued by NEDLAC in terms of section 200A(4) read with section 203 of the LRA 5 Section 2(c) of the Code
Mike McCann, Nadine Harker Burnhams, Christopher Albertyn, Urmila Bhoola
Alcohol, Drugs & Employment is a practical guide for labour lawyers, employers, trade unions, HR managers and occupational health professionals who must grapple with the problems of substance abuse in the workplace. The work explains the case law on substance abuse in South Africa and recommends procedures for identifying, controlling and treating substance abuse. Included are useful templates and procedural guidelines for preemployment testing, employee testing and fair disciplinary action.
KEY BENEFITS • • • • •
Presents both medical and legal perspectives on substance abuse in the workplace Provides guidelines on lawful medical testing of job applicants and employees Contains practical guidelines, protocols and policy templates Assists employers and trade unions to introduce and implement workplace policies on substance abuse Contains a useful international perspective by way of comparison with Canadian workplace law
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9/16/11 1:42 PM May 2012 People Dynamics 7
Managing conflict, nurturing growth By Caryn Conidaris
trong leadership is essential to organisational health. The everyday conflicts, power struggles and personality clashes of the workplace can often undermine leadership and affect the health of your business. But getting to the root of these conflicts is often difficult and time consuming, which in turn leads to further decay in your company’s morale and more importantly, its performance. This is why managing and dealing with conflict in the workplace is of massive importance to all businesses. It is important to consult to clients to discover a root cause of organisational ill-health and leadership issues and offer a range of programmes and services that are tailor made to change the long term mind sets and behaviour patterns of staff and leadership to build long-term organisational health. In a recent client intervention, an associate, was confronted with a business unit that was under-performing and not delivering on its targets with staff that was problematic and non-cooperative. In short, no one was really doing their job and in the process they were making it the company CEO’s headache. In a situation like this, we have to sit with the CEO and find out what the problem is. In this case serious under delivery was affecting the desirability of continuing with the business unit. Once we have that clearly established, we move on to finding out what is working within the business. From here we look at the future expectation. If there are very few positives and the problem is severe, the future expectation might be shutting down the business. Instead we may choose to explore ways to rectify the situation. In order to kick start his methodology, you must rely on the leaders within the business to provide direction and real input into the sources of the particular situation. The leadership needs to define their
People Dynamics May 2012
expectation of the outcome of these interventions. Do they want an exit plan or a solution? They need to be a visible part of the facilitation process, co-hosting it as it were and provide real leadership in the environment moving forward. What the consultant does cannot strip the leadership of its authority and directive powers, it must enhance it. What happens next is a facilitated process that walks through the following steps to get everyone on the same page: l establish the exact nature of the issue with leadership l confirm the desired outcome of the intervention l establish the working and positive aspects of the operation l define specific positive outcomes for the best case scenario resolution l facilitated conversation with the full business unit including leadership from past to present and future l best and worst case scenario sketching l ask “What can I DO to facilitate the best case scenario?” l staff expression of values and targets l identification of immediate fixes and long term change goals l undertaking to adhere to the mutually agreed programme of action from leadership and staff This kind of intervention is a tried and tested methodology for dealing with everything from interpersonal conflict to malfunctioning teams and business units. By creating an integrated safe space for dialogue, this methodology saved a business unit and can work powerfully to resolve conflict on many levels in any organisation. Caryn Conidaris, managing director,The Human Resource Practice
Great leaders grow by Ken Blanchard ill you be a leader who is always ready to face the next challenge? Or will you be a leader who tries to apply yesterday’s solutions to today’s problems? The best leaders GROW, because only then can they become leaders for life. Growth is at the heart of what sustains great leaders and the failure to grow sabotages the career of more leaders than anything else. If you ever think you’ve finished growing as a leader, then you’re almost certainly finished as a leader. This philosophy is at the heart of my new book, Great Leaders Grow, written with Mark Miller, who worked his way up from being an hourly worker at Chick-fil-A to becoming the company’s Vice President of Training and Development. He’s a great guy, and this is the third book we’ve coauthored together. We’ve both noticed that when leaders start to think they know it all, they stop growing. Growing for leaders is like oxygen to a deep sea diver.Without learning and growing, leaders will die in terms of their effectiveness. In fact, they may stop getting the opportunity to lead at all, because lack of personal growth sabotages the careers of more leaders than anything else.The world is moving too fast to rely on past success and past knowledge alone; leaders must continue to grow. To make the point, we’ve resurrected Debbie Brewster, the protagonist from our first business novel,The Secret, for this new book. In Great Leader’s Grow, Debbie is now mentoring her mentor’s son, Blake, as he begins his career, showing him how everyone is a potential leader, and how growing as a leader and as a human being are inextricably linked. “How well you and I serve will be determined by the decision to grow or not,” she tells him. Personal growth is not a ‘nice to have,’ but is essential to anyone’s career. Step by step, she teaches him the GROW model-four ways that leaders must challenge and stretch themselves to fulfil their highest potential: Gain knowledge, Reach out to others, Open your world, and Walk through wisdom.
Gain knowledge This means learning about your strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of the people with whom you work.You need to continue to learn about your industry and constantly read and study about leadership. Gaining knowledge doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a long-term commitment you must make and then put into practice year after year. Reach out to others You can reinforce your own learning by teaching others what you have
learned.This doesn’t necessarily mean formally, at a seminar or in a classroom. It might just be a conversation over lunch. In fact, storytelling is one of the best ways to share what you know with someone else in a memorable way. And any time you seek to influence the thinking, behaviour, or development of people, either personally or professionally, you are taking on the role of a leader. Look for mentoring relationships, and share what you’re learning with others. Leadership is not about you - it’s about investing in the growth of others. Open your world It’s easy to get into a rut, in our work or home lives, and just stay there. One of the greatest ways to ensure your own continual growth is to expand your mind through new experiences - both at and outside of work. That means seeking new experiences outside the workplace to broaden your understanding of reality, and within the workplace it means venturing outside your own department and understanding the company as a whole. Look for opportunities to lead-work groups, fund-raising teams, social event committees.You’ll learn more by hands-on leading than anything else. Walk towards wisdom Being willing to receive feedback and seek counsel is vital if you are to grow as a leader. Look out for the people who can help and support you. Find a mentor (or several mentors) ideally someone further down the road than you are, who can guide you through the challenges we all face. Back when my wife Margie and I started our own company, we had little idea how to set up or run a business – we could barely balance our own cheque books. But five people offered to help us and became our advisory board. Today we have more than 300 people working with us, with offices in the USA, Canada, UK and Singapore, and partners in 30 nations.We never would have gotten where we are today if we hadn’t been open to asking for help and learning from others. A commitment to pursuing wisdom will enhance your leadership – just don’t expect to become wise overnight! Walking toward wisdom is a lifelong journey. Above all, never rest on your laurels. Leadership is not a title on a business card but a living process. Remember, everyone is a leader and everyone needs to keep growing! Mark and I hope the GROW model will fuel your passion to grow for the rest of your life. Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller is published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Visit www.kenblanchard.com to download an On-Demand Webinar where the authors share the fours keys to help Great Leaders Grow. May 2012 People Dynamics
Risk management can reduce security complex crime By Mandy Barrett
he incidence of burglaries in residential security estates has prompted an anti-crime ‘risk management’ response from the insurance industry. It’s basically about taking precautions in that, provided certain measures are applied in a complex, insurers are prepared to consider reductions in insurance premiums and residents can then look forward to the dual benefits of a safer lifestyle and lower insurance costs. Media reports indicate crime in residential estates and complexes is on the rise, particularly in Gauteng, totally contradicting the whole point of security complexes. Syndicates moving into complexes as tenants and poor access controls are reportedly behind much of the crime. Also it’s said that residents in security complexes may have a false sense of security and are perhaps less crime conscious than their counterparts in stand-alone properties. Interestingly, estate agents and complex managers have apparently started pulling together to deal with the problem by screening tenants more vigorously, although not everyone is being as cautious of course. There have also been initiatives such as ‘Estate Agents Against Crime’ in some areas, whereby property managers, owners and estate agents share information with the police, but again this is not a universal practice. The problem is not confined to Gauteng and the ‘Tenant Profile Network’ a registered credit bureau which gathers tenant information from estate agents indicated previously that members of syndicates have been identified in the Western Cape and other provinces too. The good news we find is that insurers respond positively to risk management of crime threats in security complexes, taking into account
People Dynamics May 2012
factors such as the presence of electric fencing, patrolling guards, 24 hour armed response and strict control of vehicles and pedestrians entering the estate. The rewards for residents can include pre-approved cover, premium discounts, wider policy wordings and other benefits. Some further practical tips on the issue: l if you install, say, a new, more effective fire alarm system, burglar alarms and upgrades to heating, plumbing and electrical systems that would reduce the possibility of loss, the improvements may also qualify you for a premium discount l review your policy annually and adjust your cover accordingly l above all, make certain you are insured at replacement value – unless you are happy to take a risk on having to make up the shortfall in the event of a loss l employ a broker to negotiate the best deal for you - remember, your individual circumstances can influence the rates you are charged l by combining motor cover, household cover (the contents of your home) and homeowner’s cover (the bricks and mortar); you get a better overall rate All this makes considerable sense particularly as insurance companies tighten up their rates to protect their margins and make provision for increases in their capital to allow for rising claims. Finally keep your insurance policy in a secure place, preferably away from the home in a safe deposit box. Store it with valuation certificates and finally, video tape or photograph your property to provide strong evidence of what may need to be replaced. Mandy Barrett, Aon South Africa
HR Practice tbsp /// beyond the line 34023
Beware exploding bridges By Debbie Goodman-Bhyat
more spectacular resignation is hard to imagine. In March, South African-born Greg Smith walked away from his workplace of more than a decade, Goldman Sachs, in a manner that had global company leaders blanching over their croissants and newspapers, and the investment bank losing $2 billion in market value. It is the kind of middle finger-departure about which leagues of employees fantasise: hand in your resignation letter and make your idiot boss pay for your suffering under his leadership. But such acts of professional revenge are most unwise and are likely to do as much damage to your personal brand as it may to the pride or reputation of your boss. Whether Smith was justified in his criticism of his former employer or not is not at issue.Very often criticism is valid. However, seen from a personalprofessional context, such actions could have long-lasting consequences for an individual’s career. Although his courage for standing up to ‘the man’ may have been widely applauded, there are very few employers who will be standing with open arms to welcome him into their employ. The type of emotiveness and instinct-based behaviour that came across in Smith’s resignation letter are further factors that would make companies hesitate to take on an individual. Big or small, professional-space companies are very reluctant to appoint employees who exhibit signs of being prone to indiscretion and emotional reactions. Although Smith’s resignation was on the far end of the scale, it served as a reminder to employees to resign in a way that retains dignity and professionalism and doesn’t burn bridges. At the point of resignation, there really is no point in letting the boss feel the force of your resentment. Doing so will serve no purpose other than exacting revenge-if that-and can’t possibly add to your future career and prospects. It can, however, come back to bite you. The way in which you want to leave an organisation is part of the long-lasting impression you leave not only with your direct boss, but also everyone who worked and engaged with you. Keep it to yourself and keep moving. You are leaving. Opening a can of worms is unnecessary, on the other hand, when it comes to issues of ethical breaches and criminality, these should certainly be exposed, but with extreme caution. Disclosure of such matters via ‘whistle-blowing’ should be dealt with very carefully, preferably after getting sound legal advice. Even during the exit interview, if asked directly, it is wise to find a balance between discretion and honesty. Remember that the exit interview is not a therapy session where you can offload indiscriminately. Rather, use it as an opportunity to point out challenges and problems in the workplace, but continue to use your best diplomatic skills.
It tAkES AN oRCHEStRA to pLAy A SympHoNy. Build your bottom line through teamwork with the Team Alignment Programme from Alexander Forbes. Create a common sense of purpose by helping your team to recognise their differences then give them the tools to build on each other’s strengths. Together we can help your company achieve success by moving in harmony. Contact Barret Edelstein on +27 11 269 1523 or email email@example.com for more information.
Human Capital Consulting
Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, managing director, Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters An Authorised Financial Services Provider
The reality of office politics By Gary Taylor
have never heard anyone say that they actually enjoy office politics, let alone actively practice it. So, why is it so pervasive in everything from small family businesses to mega corporations, if no one likes it or confesses to playing it? Without getting too philosophical, office politics is probably just the reality of flawed human nature, diversity and ambition coming together in a work situation, where there is no clear “right or wrong” in how to run a team or entire organisation. If we want to employ knowledge workers who think out of the box, expect to see more flashpoints in tomorrow’s workplace than before. People who get ahead do not moan about office politics, but get on with the job of identifying it, predicting it, and working with it. A recent survey by Robert Half International claims that 70% of leaders admit office politics plays a role in career advancement. RHI’s CEO, Max Messmer states that the savviest professionals “remain attuned to political undercurrents, but don’t allow themselves to get pulled into situations that could compromise their working relationships or reputation.” OK, so how do you navigate the tightrope of office politics? A few thoughts: Identify the key power players in the organisation and work out your relationship or access to them.These are smart people who will not respond well to smarmy underlings who they can’t “use” in advancing their own careers. Try to figure out how you can be incorporated into their network, or just simply how you can help them by just doing your job better than well. Identify the centers-of-influence. These are the people who have the ear of the people who count. They are the king-makers who can influence perceptions positively or negatively. They are good people to cultivate relationships with, but not to annoy. Asking their opinions will make them feel important, and that’s good.These are often the long-service people who know how to help you better than you think. Manage the secretaries. Never underestimate the people whose job grade might not be high, but who can make a major difference in your dayto-day life.The big mama in payroll, the prissy secretaries who melt when you talk to them about the children in the photos on their desk. They respond well to bribery – no, not money, but the small Thank You chocolate, email or birthday card. Beware the Moaner-Club. Every organisation has those who habitually whinge – it’s a sport in many places, and a tempting source for gossip. However, this is dangerous territory, and not the place where winners hang out. Everyone likes to unload with the odd gripe, but those with plateaued careers are most likely to indulge in this. Frankly, it’s also a bad head space to be in. Even if you agree with the consensus, avoid smear campaigns – the hunters often become the hunted.
Socialising with work colleagues yields varying results, so be careful. Some mentors will guarantee the benefits of losing a round of golf to a key player, while others will warn of the dangers associated with mixing business with your personal and family life. For HR professionals, I would lean toward the latter – I have had to dismiss people who have visited my home, and that is not ideal. Do not wait for your company to institute a mentorship programme before finding yourself a mentor who will set aside an hour for you once a month or so – get them early in the morning or early evening just to get interruption-free time. Do a breakfast meeting or whatever, but find someone quite a bit more senior than you and learn from them. Spend your time asking and listening. Try to build a broad coalition of support. Do not only try to become a member of today’s in-crowd, but work all the constituencies. This includes all the demographic groups, the long serving stalwarts and the B-players. Observe how top executives are “plugged in” at various levels in the organisation for good reason – become one of those “plugs”. Go out of your way to share credit for success. Ambitious people frequently lose sight of the little people, and will seek to pass off a subordinate’s work as their own, assuming that the hierarchy needs to see singular excellence. In most cases, shared limelight simply demonstrates upwards that you have a well-run team, and downwards demonstrates loyalty and appreciation. A much more sustainable model, even for the most self-centered Machiavellian. There is a perspective which says that there is actually no such thing as office politics, just interpersonal skills. The assumption is that we are all human, with different views about what should be done, how things should be done, and who should do them.This will inevitably lead to disagreements in the workplace, with some people prevailing over others. So called office politics. We have these disagreements in every home, and the family members learn (at a very early age) to “work” mom or dad, how to avoid trouble from siblings, etc. Is office politics any different, therefore, to simply understanding the nature of fallible human beings, and learning how to “work” them on a sustainable basis? If we bemoan office politics as being this evil that only other people indulge in, and of which you are entirely innocent, you are bound to become emotionally (if not career-wise) marginalised or disengaged. This does not mean you have to sell your soul, but naïveté and stubbornness are not wise responses to the reality of office life. Without being too preachy, simply following the golden rule of “treating others the way you would like to be treated” will take you pretty far in the workplace, let alone life in general. Thus endeth the lesson.
Gary Taylor has written several articles for People Dynamics over the years. His Mentor Matters is a regular column in which he addresses topical HR issues from the perspective of a career HR practitioner (and mentor) and offers some new perspectives on regular issues that HR practitioners face daily. Gary has been in HR for 25 years, in National Mutual and Unilever, HR director at Medscheme for 14 years, and three years as Executive Director: HR at Wits University. Four years ago, he was appointed to start up HR for a new university in Saudi Arabia, where he is now Director of the Policy Office. He is registered as a Master HR Practitioner and Mentor with the SABPP, served as vice president for the IPM for two years, and received the IPM President’s Award in 2008. He has written chapters for two HR books, been published in People Dynamics and HR Future, and was the SA correspondent for the UK magazine, People Management.
People Dynamics May 2012
South Africa’s leadership potential ahead of the BRICS but behind the G8 By Nadene Venter outh Africa’s business leadership potential is ahead of that of other countries in the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India and China) but lags leadership levels in the developed G8 nations and is slightly below the global average. These statistics come from SHL, and its global database of talent and leadership assessments in top businesses in more than 160 countries. The Leadership Index will become an annual index for SHL South Africa, showing how South African business people compare to their peers in other countries, and where leadership potential is strongest in South Africa. There is a global war for talent, and every company we work with wants us to help them identify the people with true leadership potential.The index was produced based on 1 million assessments of leadership potential. Organisations want to improve the odds that they will acquire and employ people with the potential to be an effective leader. They want to know what investment they need to make to realise leadership potential, and to identify and retain top performers. SHL, which conducts some 25 million assessments annually and has developed the world’s largest talent analytics database with some 80 million data points, has conducted a global comparison of those going into graduate, managerial or specialist professional positions. This has enabled them to establish a global average of a company’s chances of finding someone with true leadership potential. SHL’s global intelligence database shows that around 1 in 15 people (about 7%) have what it takes to be a truly effective leader. The top developed nations in the G8 group of countries are way ahead of this, with a leadership factor of around 1 in 10. South Africa is in a good position among developing countries, with a leadership factor of 1 in 17. This is slightly behind the global average but ahead of the BRICS countries, where the average leadership factor is 1 in 19. The BRICS countries are seen as the emerging economic powerhouses in the global economy. We believe their leadership potential will improve as those economies grow in the maturity of their talent management programmes. South Africa is already a long way towards that maturity in talent best practices.
As in all economies, there is variation across industry sectors in the success in capturing leadership potential. Looking at South Africa in more detail, leadership potential is strongest in the oil and gas and materials sectors (chemicals, industrial metals and mining) when compared with South Africa in general. Sectors that come in around the South African average include telecoms, healthcare and customer services such as retail, media, travel and leisure. Those sectors where the leadership challenge is highest include industrials (construction and industrial engineering) and consumer goods (automobile industry, food and beverage producers and producers of personal goods). The talent in South Africa has clear leadership strengths when benchmarked globally. South Africans have the energy to achieve, the talent to analyse issues and come up with solutions, as well as the capacity to translate ideas into effective plans and deliverables. If South African businesses want to step up as powerhouses in the global economy there are two key areas they need to address to meet the leadership challenge: Firstly, identify those with the ability not merely to cope with change but to engage proactively and effectively with the rapid change that is happening in South Africa and globally. As leaders, they must support others in how they engage with the rapid pace of change. Secondly, identify those who will take people with them in the way they articulate their plans and goals to others, and engage others with those ideas. While there is clear strength in the capacity to analyse and unpack issues, knowing what needs to be done is only one step in making things happen which will often be down to the actions of others, and their buy-in to the ideas pitched to them. The global comparisons of leadership potential are an example of the power of SHL Talent Analytics, which uses SHL’s database to enable organisations to benchmark their people by industry, business function and job level across the geographies in which they operate. Nadene Venter, MD, SHL South Africa, 012 425 0100 May 2012 People Dynamics
Managing corporate wellness By Lesanne Brooke
eaders, managers and human resource professionals recognise the need for wellness programmes to maintain effectiveness through times of change. Why and how do we ensure that the feel-good factor is integrated and sustained? This is a changing world and the instability translates in ways that directly affects workplace behaviour. Concerns about financial security, job security and physical security create an underlying tension and affect relationships at work and at home.This affects performance. Corporate wellness programmes are necessarily responding to the need for stress and tension management. The success of workplace wellness programmes can be found in global research statistics: less absenteeism and improved productivity are major motivators as wellness stakes its valid claim to budget resources. The real aim of wellness programmes From an organisational perspective, the deeper meaning of corporate wellness is the ability to maintain or gain market presence through challenging times. Direct stressors like redundancies, experience of crime or family problems; day-to-day details like traffic, technology breakdowns, tensions between colleagues, negative media headlines etc. create under-functioning, short-fused, problem-prone employees. Lacking outlets and coping skills for dealing with such common stress, the problem is compounded over and over again. Burnout, illness, addiction, conflict, inefficiency and depression bloom. Out with talented skillsexpression and in with repetitive crisis management. The aim of wellness programmes is to support adaptable, vital, fullyfunctioning employees. Fierce competition in a fast-changing world demands this priority. The actual outcomes required are not just stress management and happy employees, but qualities that shape corporate competence, stabilise employers through rocky economies and maintain the competitive edge. Balancing the heightened stress and many factors of change-realities is the foundation of true workplace health. The deeper motivation for corporate wellness: l stable employees expressing their unique talents l lateral thinking l clear vision l cohesive team relationships l dynamic problem solving abilities l leadership confidence and stamina l dependability l follow-through flexibility
People Dynamics May 2012
How to make programmes meaningful After an initial focus on exercise programmes and general health checkups, the wellness concept has developed into a more holistic approach. Relaxation spaces and treatments have been added, environments have been greened. As we have seen, true wellness needs to support people to manage their stress and stressors in ways that enhance their performance, behaviours and interpersonal skills. Physical fitness plays a vital role in improving stamina and health; spa treatments and fun days bring release, but the effects are not sustainable without emotional fitness. Emotional quotient (or EQ) builds coping skills, resistance and core well-being. Counselling and leadership coaching programmes have been added to the support that physical programmes offer. Sustainability comes when corporate wellness programmes nurture and validate the vital qualities eroded by stress, trauma and tension. In essence the focus of wellness must include: l a healthy environment l inter-personal communication l fitness and relaxation l support and validation l healthy coping skills and skills enhancement When is a deeper investment into wellness required? Traumatic group experiences: If there has been a traumatic event that affects the team, a period of sustained tension or big company changes, denial and unhealthy coping skills may create a group ethos of limited functioning and de-motivated thinking. Individuals may deal with some of these issues privately, but the group dynamic will over-run positive changes and limit outcomes. In such a case, functional wellness can only be restored with an intervention that goes beneath the overlay of resistance and entrenched behaviour. Personal trauma: This also applies to individuals who have experienced a private trauma and feel unable to release the effect of this on their behaviours. Sometimes this can be in spite of counselling, because there is an unconscious physical resistance, or the person may resist talking to anyone because they find it too painful to deal with memories or patterns. Again, this would require a specific, gentle intervention, preferably in the context of ongoing counselling support. A need for change: Wellness enhances and restores creativity.An organisation may require a shift in focus, leading-edge thinking and dynamic problem solving. In this instance, conventional thinking patterns and behaviours need to be suspended to allow for change and insights. Specific interventions can greatly contribute to opening peopleâ€™s minds and releasing in-the-box attitudes. Interventions to break through blocks and habitual ways: Creative inter-
WELLNESS ventions allow break-through to come naturally, by suspending conventional reality and allowing for safe release of whatever has caused the restriction. Such interventions do not need to name, analyse or re-experience negative memories, patterns or traumas. Through individual coaching, or group workshops, facilitated breakthrough experiences can really make the difference and create effective overall corporate wellness.When done in a group, the enjoyment and bonding increase the effects and create a sense of effortless, supported change. With careful crafting of individual and group dynamics, processes could include cross-over activities between brain hemispheres, creative noncompetitive activities that allow for spontaneous play and go beneath the protective shield of logic and specific exercises to free core-held resistance. Some people find this unusual for their ‘work-self’, so it must be contextualised in a way that feels comfortable. Rather than presenting it as an intervention, it is better perceived as an unusual way to encourage creative thinking or inter-personal dynamics. Back-to-basics methodology Encouraging a new perspective: As we know, the right-brain is the infinite, creative brain, whereas the left brain is the focussed, detailed brain which maintains rational, workplace functioning. It can only respond from a finite, known set of information. Simple techniques for making the left brain safe, whilst opening to right brain consciousness, allow for significant insights, releases and creative patterning. (Suspending logic for creative problem-solving can be done through puzzles and multi-sensory activities.) ‘Returning’ to left brain thinking means a new (now known) data-pattern and therefore allows for different behaviours. When specifically facilitated, change takes place without challenging the established coping reality of the individual.This makes it particularly effective. Such techniques open the mind; enhance well-being, release traumas and change behaviours. Participants usually report renewed vigour and focus and find that the changes are easily incorporated in both the short and long term.
Physical release: Tension, trauma and rigid thinking patterns are also held in the body. Cellular and muscle memory is usually unreachable by analysing and talking. Specific muscles and nerves hold these patterns and left-brain thinking bypasses them. Exercise can relieve the muscles without reaching the core where body memories are stored.There may be temporary release, but triggers will activate the body memory and old patterns will ‘habitualise’ the response. A series of exercises called Trauma or Tension Release Exercises (TRE) are specifically designed to centre and relax the body at the precise place of physical response. These exercises induce gentle vibrations that ease old stress-based chemicals out of the muscles and tone the central nervous system releasing limiting body-memories. This enables almost effortless change. In the context of a wellness intervention, these exercises shift group dynamics as well as individual behaviour patterns. When these techniques are combined with skills building, the overall effect translates directly to the desired outcomes for both employee and employer. Commit to the principle of true wellness Valuing the way in which the wellness budget is spent requires a creative, holistic approach and the intention for positive change. Seemingly simple interventions make a significant contribution to the successful, long term outcomes of corporate wellness programmes when part of a considered approach to managing people. Investing in employees and their wellbeing brings results and sustainable results will encourage genuine valuing of the wellness programme and its corporate role. Managing wellness well is genuinely win-win. Lesanne Brooke, facilitator and coach, dialogue Communications Training, firstname.lastname@example.org, (011) 4426572
Formal SETA accredited training helps both employers and staff By Grant Lloyd
ompanies are well advised to send their employees to SETAaccredited training institutions as not only do they benefit from having better qualified, more motivated employees, they can also recover some of their investment in SDL payments. Every month companies contribute 1% of all of their employees’ leviable remuneration in a tax called the Skills Development Levy (SDL), which has to be paid to SA Revenue Services on or before the 7th of every month. There are probably many companies who merely see the levy as another tax, pay up and get on with their business. However, if employees are trained at an accredited training institution, a worthwhile portion of the SDL paid by the company can be claimed back. Of course there are SETA forms to be completed, such as a ‘Workplace Skills Plan Form’ which records the company’s training intentions for the next year. A detailed Annual Training Report is also required as proof that employees attended training and this should include attendance certificates or proof of payment to the training institution and a reconciliation of how much the company has spent on training. In addition, a break-down of staff that attended training, at what levels (senior, junior etc) and from which ethnic background, needs to be supplied.
The appropriate SETA makes an assessment from the reports that are received and will determine how much of the investment in SDL will be paid back to the company. Some companies have received a rebate of 30% or more, and some SETAs pay back 50% of SDL claims, which on an annual training investment of R100 000 makes the effort put into the reporting and claim processes worthwhile. If employees are sent for training at institutes that are not SETA accredited, no legitimate claim can be made for a refund of SDL levies paid over to SARS during the year. To fully equip school-leavers and graduates for successful career building we have developed a range of practical, hands-on payroll software training courses, including a specialist certification. The training is registered and approved by FASSET, the SETA for Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and other Financial Services and hence businesses can recoup some of their training investment, which creates a win-win situation for all involved. Grant Lloyd, managing director, Softline Pastel Payroll, www.pastelpayroll.co.za
May 2012 People Dynamics
HR beware! Refusing legal representation at disciplinary hearings is risky By Ivan Israelstam
ost HR/IR professionals are aware that Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) provides that the employee should be allowed the assistance of a trade union representative or fellow employee. As a result most HR/IR professionals have advised the employer to disallow external legal representatives to represent accused employees at disciplinary hearings. In line with this thinking the arbitrator in the case of NUMSA obo Thomas vs Murray and Roberts Alucast (2008, 2 BALR 134) found that the fraud-based disciplinary matter was not legally complex and therefore rejected the trade union’s claim that the employee was entitled to be represented by an external trade union official instead of by a shop steward. The draft CCMA Guidelines: Misconduct Arbitrations states under item 60.3 that “An employee is not entitled to be represented by a trade union official (who is not employed by the employer) or a legal practitioner. Under item 70 these draft guidelines state that “If a disciplinary code permits the right to legal representation, this should be afforded. However, neither the LRA nor the Code recognise an automatic right to legal representation.” However, in the case of MEC: Department of Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism: Northern Province vs Schoon Godwilly Mahumani (Case number 478/03 SCA. Report by Dr Elize Strydom distributed 30 January 2005) the employee was refused the right to an external legal representative. The employee went to the High Court to dispute this ruling.The Court found that the ruling of the presiding officer of the disciplinary was wrong and ordered that the employee be allowed to have legal representation at the disciplinary hearing. The employer appealed against this judgement to the Supreme Court of appeal which decided that the accused employee at a disciplinary enquiry, could, under certain circumstances, be entitled to be represented by a legal representative at a disciplinary hearing. This Court found that clause 2.8 of the employer’s disciplinary code labelled the code as a guideline that may be departed from under appropriate circumstances.This gave presiding officers the right to use their discretion in deciding whether to depart from the prohibition on legal representation. In the case of Molope vs Mbha (2005, 3 BLLR 267) an area manager was dismissed for unauthorised use of funds and was brought to a disciplinary
People Dynamics May 2012
hearing. The accused employee chose a colleague to represent her but, shortly before the disciplinary hearing this colleague decided not to represent Mbha. The employee therefore applied for a postponement in order to obtain another representative but the employer refused and the employee was dismissed. The Labour Court found the dismissal to be procedurally unfair and said that “it is now established that one of the requirements of a procedurally fair hearing embraces the entitlement of an employee to be represented thereat by a co-employee or a trade union official or a lawyer.” In view of the extreme contradictions in the law as evidenced in the above reports HR/IR professionals are advised, when receiving applications for external representation to consider whether: l Their policies allow external representation l The complexity level of the case is high l The consequences of an adverse finding could be serious l There would be no significant prejudice to the employer if legal representation would be allowed l The employee’s ability to deal with the case is low in comparison to that of the employer. The above case findings have major consequences for employers engaging in disciplinary hearings. In particular: An employee’s request for legal representation can no longer be dismissed out of hand.While such requests must not always be granted, they must be given very careful consideration. This in turn means that HR/IR professionals will need to ensure that their presiding officers are highly skilled in chairing disciplinary hearings.This is so as to be able to make the right judgement as to whether to allow legal representation or not and also to be able to deal with the legal challenges posed by attorneys and advocates at disciplinary hearings. Managers must be thoroughly trained in disciplinary process and the employer must use properly skilled persons to chair and/or prosecute hearings. Ivan Israelstam, Chief Executive of Labour Law Management Consulting. He may be contacted on (011) 888-7944 or 0828522973 or on e-mail address: email@example.com. Go to: www.labourlawadvise.co.za
And now for Human Capital Management By Rob Bothma anaging resources through technology could be written with regards to most spheres of business today, irrespective of whether these resources are seen as suppliers, clients, customers or employees.Technology has invaded every aspect of our life and has pretty much become an integral in most of our day to day activities, whether we are banking, shopping, being entertained or communicating with family, friends or business associates. However in the workplace the dependence on technology has become far more critical, if you find an ATM machine that is down, you could always find another, but for the bank, should their ATM system go down, the costs of lost business through ATM fees could be astronomical. Within the HR space, technology is changing the way employees interact with the HR team forever. No longer should employees walk down to the HR department or contact HR with regards to mundane administrative tasks such as a change in dependents or a change of address. HR now has the means to provide all employees with access to an HR portal which will enable their employees to dynamically interact with HR online, enabling employees to effectively transact with regards to their own specific information stored on the core HR system. In the past number of years we have seen HR’s role evolving from that of Personnel Management to Human Resources Management and then to Human Capital Management (HCM) which is currently evolving into a more sophisticated discipline, that of Talent Management (TM). Is this just another play on words changing the name but not the function? – Well the IT department went through various name changes from being labeled the Data Processing Department (DP), to Information Systems (IS) to Information Technology (IT) through to Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Certainly the role of IT has changed over the years from one of providing some form of online access with reporting through a mainframe to that of managing open communications for a multitude of portable devices that staff utilise to access the organisation’s information systems. To answer the question posed above, No, this is not just another name change for HR, as the core functions of the HR department have been evolving over the past number of years. Human Capital Management differs from that of traditional HR in that HR was always a more central function run from within the HR team, where HCM is everybody’s responsibility within the organisation.This may seem like a very strange statement to make, but yes, all staff should be responsible in one way or another with regards to HCM. For example: Employees are expected to ensure that they keep their current skills set updated on the HR system, as well as playing an integral role in the performance management cycle by interacting through the portal and updating information where relevant.
Service offering includes Executive Search and Selection of Specialised Skills, Board Services, Assessment of Human Capital and Coaching Services.
Line Managers are required to start managing those HR functions that deal directly with the employees in the workplace. In addition they should also be play an integral role of continually assessing and recording the continued growth in skills and experience of their employees as part of the performance management cycle through on-the-job assessment. The HR team is required to assist the executive, line managers and employees by setting up the relevant policies and procedures with the necessary system configuration around functions such as Job profiling Recruitment, Succession Planning, Performance Management and Training and Development. HR will also play a role in the analysis of results at the end of the assessment cycle for input into subsequent cycles. The Executive need to keep their finger on the pulse of the organisation, through integrated HR dashboards displaying pertinent indicators with regards to staff such as employee productivity, overtime, absence and various other cost indicators. In summary, the huge asset base the company has through its employees is contained in the “talent” these employees have – broken down into those components more traditionally referred to as Skills, Competencies, Knowledge, Qualifications etc. What organisations now need to focus on is how to optimise these assets to be able achieve more with these assets through their existing resources. The only way for HR to get to grips with this challenge is to ensure that they have the right solution based on the right technology available at their fingertips 24/7, and therein lies the challenge, with so many new products and solutions out there, it is fast becoming a mine field for the HR team to navigate through. So, with all of this in mind, the challenge that faces the HR team is selecting the right HR Information System (HRIS), and in this process you will not only be faced with the challenge that the selected application meets the functional requirements of your organisation (at the present time, as well as for the projected growth in the organisation), but also the demands from IT department with regards to the selected system fitting in with their current technology strategy. In conclusion, with the focus to maximise the return on investment on those investments made by the HR in relation to employee selection, performance, development and then through to termination, forward thinking companies are integrating their separate HR initiatives into a cohesive “hire to retire” Human Capital Management strategy through the implementation of fully integrated HR, Payroll and Time and Attendance solutions. Rob Bothma is an Industry Specialist at Business Connexion and a non-executive director of the IPM. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit our website at www.talent-africa.co.za Tel: +27 11 771 4800
May 2012 People Dynamics
Data protection laws and business – common sense rules By Cindy Durston
his publication may include some general guidance, but it is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. Almost daily there is press on data leaks, electronic heists, the increasing threat of data breaches posed by employees, and socio-technical threats to infiltrate corporate networks. Successful intrusions make the news regularly. Cyber-attack has become a war of epic proportions, as the underground cybercrime economy thrives on the buying and selling of enterprise and personal information. No business is immune.Yet the vast majority of companies reason that the likelihood of an information breach affecting them is rare, but this could not be further from the truth. Just take a look at the following link that lists recently recorded information breaches: http://datalossdb.org/ When information is not adequately protected,the chance of compromise in the current cybercrime climate is extremely high and the consequences of information breaches are severe. For companies a breach could entail the loss of proprietary data, huge financial penalties, expensive forensic and remediation costs, incapacitated operations for extended periods of time, immeasurable competitive and reputational losses, as well as executives facing personal liability. For individuals a breach could lead to identity theft, financial loss, damage to financial history or credit rating, and in some cases personal harm. Recovering from information breaches can take years and the costs are huge, not discounting the inconvenience factor. With continued media reports of data security breaches, concerns about the increase in cybercrime are widespread. These public disclosures have heightened interest in: l the security of business-critical and sensitive personal information, l the security of computer systems, l applicability of laws to the protection of information, l adequacy of enforcement tools available to law enforcement officials and national regulators, l remedies available to individuals whose personal information was accessed without authorisation, l prosecution of identity theft crimes related to data breaches, l liability of businesses that fail to protect business-critical and sensitive personal information, and l criminal liability of persons responsible for protection against unauthorised access to computer systems. As a result of the damage to organisations and individuals affected by data loss incidents, information security has become a primary focus of legislation and government’s policy to protect consumers from the perils of fraud and identity theft. Information security-related laws are designed to protect enterprise and personally identifiable information from compromise, unauthorised disclosure, acquisition, access, or other situations where unauthorised persons have access or potential access to such information for unauthorised purposes. Data breach notification laws typically require relevant entities to implement a breach notification policy, and include requirements for incident reporting and handling and external breach notification. In the South African context, there are several codes of best practice, guidelines, acts and standards that form the framework within which data
People Dynamics May 2012
protection requirements must be interpreted and applied.There is however not a single law or regulation that governs the security of all types of information. Determining which laws, regulations and standards are applicable often depends on the entity or the sector in which it operates. Suffice to say that all organisations are required by law to ensure that enterprise data and sensitive personal data are secure at all times. In March 2010 King III, necessitated by the new Companies Act 2008 and changes in international governance trends, became effective, with significant emphasis on IT governance and in particular the protection of sensitive enterprise information. The King Report expressly addresses the matter of “authenticity of system information,” including unauthorised use, access, disclosure, disruption or changes to system information. In summary, King III lays down the ethical values and moral duties that comprise a principle of right action for business. Due to the fact that King III is not legislated and therefore not enforceable, as well as taking the relatively mild stance of ‘apply or explain’, it is often viewed as somewhat timid when compared to other corporate governance standards. However, deep scrutiny reveals a subtle and intelligent approach to ensuring its implementation, especially in light of the multiple benefits compliance affords companies. The departure point of King III is a worldview of a company as a corporate citizen that needs to take responsibility for its effect on the society, environment and the economy within which it operates – a view that transcends legal requirements. In spite of no statutory obligation on companies to comply with King III, the value derived from adhering to this code of good practice is priceless, as it establishes a solid foundation for compliance with the provisions of the Companies Act and other pertinent legislation and regulation. The ‘sting’ for non-compliance with King III is contained in the numerous laws that regulate the dealing with enterprise and/or personal information, and in particular the protection of such information, such as the Protection of Personal Information Bill, Protection of Information Bill, Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, Promotion of Access to Information Act, Regulation on Interception of Communications Act, Finance Intelligence Centre Act, Copyright Act, National Intelligence Act, National Archives Act, National Credit Act, etc. None of these laws should be considered in a vacuum. Corporate responsibility for data protection and the potential liability for breaches of information security must be considered against the full spectrum of legislation and not apply any one in isolation. Perhaps the most pressing challenge for companies currently is the matter of privacy. Privacy and protection of personal information is the constitutional right of every person. In the words of Pria Chetty, a principal attorney at Technology and Innovation Law PwC:“Privacy is a right hard won, particularly in South Africa, and it is a right due the highest degree of respect.” The risks posed by electronic processing of personal information include the unauthorised use of the data for a purpose other than what it was collected for; the use of inaccurate, incomplete and irrelevant information; and the expanded possibilities of storing, comparing, linking, sharing and accessing personal data, all of which could infringe on an individual’s privacy. The various laws are fairly divergent in their compliance requirements, often appearing contradictory at face value, and it is this fragmented legal
data management environment that renders data protection within the realm of Information Security quite complex.The compliance challenge is further complicated by a lack of clear understanding of what exactly constitutes personal information and the right to privacy, as well as budget constraints, excessive effort requirements coupled with limited resources, and the inability of corporates to link risk to strategy.This would go a long way in explaining why companies have difficulty in translating the law into practical security controls and measures. However, legal compliance and preventative information security does not have to be an overwhelming problem. The best approach to business should be guided by ‘common sense’ rules: l common sense dictates that a company has a duty to protect its information asset against abuse or misuse, to always handle information safely l a company is legally required to comply with good governance and legal practices l principles pertaining to the protection of information in general are: l recognising the importance and value of information in the business context, i.e. establishing the ‘street value’ of information in order to quantify the risk l acknowledging the harm unauthorised use of information could potentially bring to the company and/or its clients and employees l affirming the legal and regulatory framework for the protection and regulation of retention, utilisation and destruction of information l endeavouring to put the protection of information in a transparent and sustainable legislative framework l facilitating the free flow of information within the context of business without compromising the security of such information. Best compliance practice should involve a hybrid understanding and application of the law and regulation that governs information security – common law, relevant sections of the Companies Act, the pending legislation pertaining to the protection of personal and state information, the right of refusal provisions in the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the limitations placed on electronic communications and transactions, legal limitations placed on regulator requests for information, and various legal limitations placed on companies with regard to collection, utilisation, retention, and destruction of information. Translating this understanding into action, the core information protection principles contained in the Protection of Information Bill, and the Principles of Fair Practice accepted internationally, stipulate the following: l assign responsibility to a specific party for overseeing compliance with information protection legislation l process information fairly and lawfully l obtain information only for limited, specific stated and lawful purposes l use the information in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose it is required for l ensure information is accurate and kept up to date l process information in a fair and transparent manner l do not keep information for longer than is absolutely necessary l ensure that information is processed within your legal rights and that of the data subject l implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful use of information, and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to such information l permit individuals to access and/or request the correction or deletion of any personal information held about them that may be inaccurate, misleading or outdate l never transfer the information outside the organisation without adequate protection l give careful consideration to the transfer of personal information across borders, as transfer of personal information across borders is prohibited as per the laws of certain countries. To make data protection a living reality in an enterprise, stewardship and buy-in is required at an executive level to establish the risk, assess exposure, avoid negligence, prevent reputational damage and to implement
solutions that address areas of vulnerability. In order to cement business continuity and longevity, it is vital to ensure that business practices meet the demands of the law in a practical, reasonable way, appropriate to the information in question, and the harm that might result from its improper use, or from its accidental loss or destruction. The crux of the matter is that valuable and confidential information is vulnerable, regardless of a company’s IT budget, resource capacity, and its adherence to best practices and laws. Keeping to the letter of the law, whilst commendable, does not necessarily compel a company’s board to good, thoughtful leadership. With both good governance codes and the law shifting responsibility and accountability for transparent and candid business practices to the executives of the enterprise, which requires being honest, open, responsible and accountable, the emphasis is on creating a sustainable system that transcends the consequences of bucking the law. Rather than be motivated by the punishment potentially meted out by the law, enterprises should achieve voluntary, mindful compliance whilst adequately and appropriately securing the information asset by using robust technology, implementing efficient and effective workflow processes and educating employees to manage and mitigate its risk of a data breach. Enterprises should do right because it is the right thing to do. Cindy Durston is the Managing Director of Perimetrix Holdings (Pty) Ltd., an international company that provides Data Leakage Prevention Solutions in South Africa. Contact details: email@example.com or www.perimetrix.co.za
References: Information Security for South Africa. 2009. Proceedings of the ISSA 2009 Conference: Dagada, R., Eloff, M.M., and Venter, L.M.Too Many Laws but Very Little Progress! Is South African Highly Acclaimed Information Security Legislation Redundant? p347 to 367. Robinson, Steven. 2010. U.S. Information Security Law, Part 1. [online] Available at: http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/us-informationsecurity-law-part-1 De Kock, Emmie. 2005. Data Protection in South Africa. [online] Available at: http://www.dekock.co.za/data-protection-in-south-africa/ [Accessed 3 April 2012] Chetty, Pria. 2011. SA law to better protect personal information. [online] Available at: http://mybroadband.co.za/news/insight/18329-sa-law-tobetter-protect-personal-information.html [Accessed 3 April 2012] First published in International Association of Privacy Professionals Journal 2010. Batchelor, Bronwyn Le-Ann. 2011. Constitutional Damages for the Infringement of a Social Assistance Right in South Africa: are monetary damages the form of interest a just and equitable remedy for breach of a social assistance right? [online] Available at: http://ufh.netd.ac.za/ bitstream/10353/388/1/LLM%20FINAL%20VERSION.pdf [Accessed 4 April 2012] BDO Spencer. 2010. Bulletin 1:The New Companies Act. [online] Available at: http://www.bdo.co.za/documents/Bulletin%201%20-%20New%20 Companies%20Act.pdf [Accessed 4 April 2012] Lauby, Sharlyn. 5 ways to make your business more transparent.Available at: http://mashable.com/2009/09/30/business-transparency/ Institute of Directors in Southern Africa. 2009. King Report on Governance for South Africa.[online] Available at: http://african.ipapercms.dk/IOD/ KINGIII/kingiiicode/ [Accessed 10 February 2012] Institute of Directors in Southern Africa. 2009. King Code of Governance Principles (King III). [online] Available at: http://african.ipapercms.dk/ IOD/KINGIII/kingiiicode/ [Accessed 10 February 2012] KPMG. 2010. Protection of Personal Information Bill. [online] Available at: http://www.kpmg.com/za/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/ protection-of-personal-information-bill/pages/default.aspx [Accessed 5 April 2012] May 2012 People Dynamics
Inspiration from “the kitchen boardroom”
xecutive search and recruitment are tough sectors to be in when corporates move from growth to expense management, freeze headcounts and simply sweat existing assets…but that has not inhibited the emergence of a new industry leader, Talent Africa. Today the company has well and truly arrived with a well-deserved reputation as one of the most effective operators in its field. But the early days had all the hallmarks of a struggling small business with start-up expenses highly constrained.Talent Africa was born in the Sandton home of co-founder Auguste “Gusti” Coetzer who cheerfully admits that all the big decisions in those early days were made in her kitchen – which became fondly named “ ‘the kitchen boardroom’, many top clients have conducted shortlist interviews in this boardroom”. Today the business is based in offices in Hyde Park Illovo and has exceeded all its self-imposed growth targets since launching two years ago in the depths of a recession. Since then the business has repaid the seed capital provided by the founder team and built financial reserves to fund further growth.Talent Africa’s clientbase today covers all corporate sectors, with strong representation in the agri-business, airline industry, telecommunications and financial services. “But I still remember with great fondness and affection the days of the kitchen boardroom,” says Coetzer. She quickly acknowledges that an estimated four out of five small local businesses fail within two years of starting out, but says no start-up is doomed just because economic fundamentals look daunting. “Small means low overheads, eagerness to chase every lead and the
Annelize van Rensburg
People Dynamics May 2012
Auguste “Gusti” Coetzer
ability to give every account the attention of the business principals,” says Coetzer. “Our ability to channel top-level resources into every opportunity ensured a high rate of success when looking for corporate accounts. The same formula assured high levels of business retention.Almost all of our Year One clients are still with us. “Client retention is critical when every headline tells you the economy is shrinking and no one is hiring. However even in tough times strategic positions need to be filled and even more so when the going is good.” She believes Talent Africa’s success highlights four lessons for start-out entrepreneurs. 1 Self-funding is smart funding … even in a low-interest environment using your own capital makes sense and motivates exceptional performance. 2 Strong partners build strong businesses … a five-person team launched Talent Africa, four professional women and a seasoned businessman, contributing considerable and complementary expertise. 3 Small doesn’t stop you being world class … embrace world best practice and seek like-minded international associates – in this case, DHR International, a US-based global leader in executive search. 4 Be the solution you sell … prospective clients are looking to build multiracial, multi-talented, gender-empowered top teams, so make sure you are what you sell by creating that self-same solution in your own business. “Our own team is gender and racially balanced,” says Coetzer. “We also exemplify a mix of competencies that feature high on the executive search wish-list, including intense operational focus, problem-solving and decisionmaking strengths, empathy and emotional self-awareness. “We’re happy to live our values. Belief in what you do is essential when the going gets tough.” Though official statistics show economic recovery is under way, Talent Africa will not be changing its recession-tested business model. “We plan to grow.We don’t plan to change,” says Coetzer.“The financial crisis lesson for long-term survivors is that exuberance is out, focus is in. “We’ll stay close to our business and our clients … like any good startup should.” Another of the founders, chic Annelize van Rensburg claims that one of Talent Africa’s most important ingredients is the ability to: “continuously deliver above our clients’ expectations. Another factor that has definitely contributed to our success is that we are totally passionate about what we do,” she stresses. The story of Talent Africa is one that should be an inspiration to all entrepreneurs.
Substance abuse in the workplace T
he human resource manager today must navigate the problems of substance abuse, the importance of safety in the workplace and the rights of employees and job applicants, to proper procedures in testing, disciplinary measures and dismissal. Amongst those South Africans who drink, the rate of alcohol consumption is one of the highest in the world (Parry 2005). Drug abuse is not common in the workplace in South Africa but the use of crystal methamphetamine (‘tik’) has risen dramatically in certain parts of South Africa. Substance abuse can result in incapacity or in misconduct in the workplace. Incapacity results in absence or such serious deterioration that the employee is unable to perform his or her duties. Examples of misconduct are abusive, disobedient, violent behavior or sleeping while on duty. The causes of the problem can be shift work(using substances to fall asleep), negative emotional states, high-risk situations at work, interpersonal conflict (with marital partners/employers/co-workers), family influences, the legacy of the ‘dop’ system amongst farm workers, work conditions which remove the employee from conventional social relationships, a culture of alcohol/drugs at work and social pressures.The misuse of alcohol and drugs presents several risks—not only to the users themselves but also to coworkers, the general public and to the organisation itself. A risk assessment approach to substance abuse should be considered by organisations when they carry out corporate risk assessments or corporate hazard strategies. The true extent of substance abuse usually becomes apparent only when a company makes a conscious effort to uncover it—usually after a serious incident has occurred or there is a dramatic drop in productivity. The identification of the extent of the abuse depends upon keeping good records: medical, personnel, time-keeping and accident records. Emerging and existing trends will be identified. Biological testing in the workplace should form part of an integrated approach to substance abuse.The approach should address policy, prevention, education and treatment. The employee has a legal obligation to perform work as required under the contract. If they do not, and present themselves at work impaired, they are in breach of the contract. The employer may send the employee away from work and withhold that day’s wages and/or the employer may take disciplinary action. The employer has four sets of obligations: to the substance-abusing employee, to other employees, to contractors and their employees, and to the public. If the employee establishes that he or she suffers from substance addiction or dependency, the employer must offer
some kind of reasonable accommodation to address the situation. An employee, employer and the trade union have various obligations towards one another, to other employees and to the public. All of these obligations stem from the common law and the statutory obligation on the employer to ensure that no-one is permitted to work while inebriated. If the employer fails in this regards and as a result, a third party suffers damage or loss, the employer may be held vicariously liable. Similarly, an employee incurs liabilities for damages suffered as a result of intoxication at work. Testing job-applicants is allowed if it is justifiably aimed at determining whether the applicant meets the inherent requirements of the job. The Labour Court has defined an inherent job requirement as an ‘indispensable attribute’ which ‘must relate in an inescapable way to the performing of the job’ (Woolworths v Whitehead). If the requirements for testing in the Employment Equity Act are not met, the testing is considered unfair discrimination. The most common reason for testing, to determine if a job applicant meets the inherent job requirements, would be justifiable if it can be shown that without that attribute, the person would be incapable of performing the job, or that public safety or the business interests of the operation will be affected. Every workplace should have clear policy and procedures in place to identify substance abuse and substance dependence, as each involves separate considerations. Substance abuse is addressed primarily through disciplinary measures. Substance dependence or addiction is addressed through appropriate accommodation. Reasonable cause, post-incident and post-reinstatment testing are permissible. An employer who wishes to introduce a random testing policy would have to consult with the relevant trade union. It would be ideal if the parties reach consensus on random testing to avoid resistance or even industrial action. The employer will have to prove intoxication if it wishes to discipline employees for being impaired at work. The discipline must appropriate to the situation, depending on: length of service, past misconduct, previous discipline, nature of the work, circumstances of the employee. If the intoxication is the result of dependence, the employee should be treated as having a disability. This requires reasonable opportunity of rehabilitation. If the employee is unco-operative, this may give cause for termination on the grounds of incapacity to reliably perform the work. This article consists of extracts from McCann, Harker Burnhams, Albertyn & Bhoola Alcohol, Drugs & Employment 2ed (Juta 2011).
May 2012 People Dynamics
IPM Annual Convention 2012 11 - 14 November Sun City , NorthWest Province
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Focus Areas • Leading organisations successfully and sustaining the momentum within changing economic environments. • HR competencies for the future, following recent research conducted by the RBL Group in partnership with the University of Michigan as well as the research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). • Building capacity for Africa • Business transformation and organisational culture • Building results driven organisations and embedding a culture of excellence For registration details please contact, Patricia or Lavern on: (011) 329 3760
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56TH Annual IPM Conference 11 - 14 November 2012
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56TH Annual IPM Conference 11 - 14 November 2012
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People Dynamics May 2012
One can never achieve alone what a team can accomplish together. Nowhere is this message more resonant than in the performance of an accomplished orchestra. A message that comes across loud and clear in your own organisation, when you enjoy the collective power of protection from our Employee Group Scheme. The benchmark in forward-thinking employee benefits, our Employee Group Scheme provides your team with proactive Household and Motor Insurance cover. Our solution combines customised cover for the employee with the kind of savings that can only be enjoyed when you ‘buy in bulk’... We are market leaders in tailor-made solutions for employees which include: • Insurance advice and education • Personal service • Discounted premiums You receive: • Buying and negotiating power as a group and • Productivity gains while we take care of your employees. For more information on how you and your group can benefit, please call Lydia Ritchie on 083 642 7671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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