People Dynamics - March/April 2019

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M A N A G E M E N T @IPMSouthAfrica /company/institute-of-people-management-ipm @IPM4PEOPLE



he IPM annual Convention and Exhibition is the industry’s most comprehensive programme in people management and human capital development, providing learning and networking opportunities through plenary sessions, commissions, workshops, exhibition and wellness activities. The Convention also features the Annual IPM Excellence Awards & Gala Dinner. A premier event for the organisation since its launching in 1956, members and delegates have the opportunity to learn from experts in various fields, share knowledge and network with people across various industries. The Convention and Exhibition provides a variety of practical takeaways that can be applied back in the workspace. Join the annual gathering of HR industry thought leaders and gain valuable insights on various topical subjects. Get ahead of the business trends and challenges facing South African organisations. Learn from global business and employment trends and get prepared for the future.

An event that offers unrivalled networking opportunities.






Human Resource Planning


Human Rights


Human Relations


Talent Development


People Development


Organisational Behavior


Strategic Talent Management


Graduate Recruitment


Workplace Trends


Risk Management


Leadership Change


Industrial Relations


Leadership Inspiration




Human Resource Planning

Workforce Planning BY: RRE ELIJAH LITHEKO

The media is abuzz with state-owned companies’ and government departments’ failure to deliver on their mandates and to service the public accordingly.


ome departments, like Health Services, attribute their failures to a human resource shortfall against an ever-increasing demand. Private companies, also, in an attempt to manage fluctuating work flows and demand, are reportedly flouting the country’s labour laws, with government struggling with effective enforcement. On the other hand, unemployment levels continue to be high, despite job summits and P-P-P youth employment initiatives. There are no signs that the situation will improve in the short and medium term. PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2018

Finding Solutions

There are a number of possible solutions to the labour market challenges facing the country and I would like to argue that the implementation of an effective workforce plan could assist in improving productivity and service levels within organisations, with potential to keep more people in gainful employment. Workforce planning is a process in which an organisation analyses its current and future workforce needs to determine the extent to which they are aligned to the organisation’s strategic goals and objectives. Any strategic business plan addresses resource requirements of an organisation – a workforce plan does this when it comes to the calibre of employees that a particular organisation needs to compete successfully in the unpredictable and technologydriven world of today. A workforce plan is informed by the organisation’s strategy. It helps interrogate an organisation’s strategic intents and what human and technological capabilities will be required to deliver on these strategic intents and over what period and intervals. The analysis will answer questions such as: • Is the organisation on an upward or downward trajectory? • How is the organisation responding to the digital transformation?

Human Resource Planning

• Is the organisation planning to restructure, etc.? • Does the organisation have seasonality challenges; if so, how is it best dealt with? Workforce planning is an organisation-wide process that pulls together workforce requirements from all the departments (Operations, Marketing, HR, Finance, Corporate Services, etc.). Visionary leadership is therefore an essential requirement to ensure the production of a plan will respond adequately to the market and societal demands placed on the organisation. A well-crafted workforce plan that is frequently evaluated and revised will provide an organisation with: • Inventory of current and future positions • Skills matrix, including scarce and critical skills • Strengths and limitations of the workforce • Hard to fill positions that will take more time to recruit • Hard to fill positions that will require permanent residence permits • The need for contingent workforce to respond to unpredictable developments or peak periods • Data related to succession planning • Types of training and development interventions required All in all, a workforce plan translates the organisation’s strategy into concrete people management activities/programmes that will reinforce each other. These activities include amongst others: • Recruitment and Selection • On-boarding • Remuneration and Benefits • Employee Development • Management Development • Leadership Development • Diversity Management and Employment Equity • Internships and Accelerated Training Programmes • Employee Relations • Retention Literature on this subject recommends the following considerations when organisations conduct workforce planning. 1. Analysis of Current Workforce, which includes:

• List the current employees their skills, qualifications, strengths, development areas, etc. • Check who is due to retire or leave the organisation and what gaps that might create • Review turnover (attrition) data • Review critical/scarce skills that need to be retained • Review record of poor performers that need to be retrained or terminated following due process • Review the contribution that the current workforce is making in assisting the organisation achieve its strategies and goals and objectives • Review of human resource pipeline – a database with a pool of identified/earmarked specially-skilled resources 2. Determine what knowledge /skills and abilities will be required to achieve the organisations strategic objectives.

Consider the following questions: • What are the key organisational goals and objectives that need to


be prioritised and actioned? • What are the key success factors for achieving the goals and objectives? • What are the key work activities associated with these success factors in relation to organisational goals and objectives? • The number of employees full-time and contingent required to deliver on the organisation’s strategic imperatives • Skills, knowledge and attributes needed • Where is the organisation in terms of its life cycle (inception, growth, maturity, decline?) • New projects that will require specialised skills, partnerships, governance structures, etc. 3. Gap Analysis

Determine the gap that exists between what the organisation currently has and what it will need for the duration of this workforce plan. The following questions will assist in this regard: • Can current employees be trained to operate effectively in an ever changing and technological driven environment? If not what are the alternatives? • Is your organisation compliant with all the labour legislation, including when recruiting both locally and abroad? • Does your organisation have an on-boarding strategy? • Does your organisation have an integrated talent management strategy? • Is your organisation’s structure fit for purpose? 4. Implementation of the Workforce Plan

• Reduce the workforce plan into a well-defined schedule incorporating: • Clearly articulated objectives • Specific and measurable goals (SMART Goals) • Timetable and milestones, factoring contingency measures in case of surprises • Resources, including leadership commitment 5. Monitoring and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Implementation

Ask the following questions: • Do you still experience workload problems in certain sections of the organisation, or do you still experience over/under supplier of labour in certain areas? • Are the assumptions used to develop the plan still valid? • Are all the departments adequately resourced with the right type of skills? • Has organisational effectiveness improved? • Have all key stakeholders bought into the plan and are motivated to implement it? • When will the plan be reviewed? Succession Management is another aspect of effective workforce planning. This topic will be discussed in the next issue of People Management. You are invited to send your contributions to the Editor, People Dynamics to: Rre Elijah Litheko is former IPM CEO, Council member at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Member of the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa and Managing Director of Visionary HRM. OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Human Rights

Courageous Journeys to Bring Human Rights Home PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

Human Rights

Rights are fundamental and inalienable possessions of every living human being. They are naturally endowed, and cannot (or should not) be owed to individuals nor taken away.


any countries, however, earned themselves poor reputation where the monarchs or their governments failed to preserve or protect human rights for the people or certain groups within their countries. Encountering resistance in their own countries, many world leaders went across borders to find minions or dominated foreign communities, in the process encroaching on people’s fundamental rights. The 17th Century incited many to stand up to unfair practices, initiating dissent on slavery. John Locke (1682), for instance, was a persistent champion of natural rights, propagating the idea that ‘each person owns himself and should have certain liberties that cannot be expropriated by the state or anyone else. He reasoned that, when someone labours for a productive end, the results become that person’s property. Hence the focus of rights, according to him, being on Life, Liberty and Property. Locke was instrumental in the precipitation of the Glorious Revolution which led to the English Declaration of Rights. Meanwhile the American sought to reclaim their rights and gain freedom from England which was till then accepted as the Mother County. Angered by the move, the English King George charged America with rebellion and removed the monarch protection of American colonies for them to be plundered by his colonisers. In 1776, the US Continental Congress voted to declare the Independence of American Colonies from English rule. Following a couple of drafts (essentially) by Thomas Jefferson, the final edited version of the Declaration of Independence addressed to England’s King George III was released on July 4, 1776. The American version of Locke’s three fundamental rights thus became Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Although Thomas Jefferson didn’t see the full realisation of his vision with regards to the freeing and empowerment of slaves, his ideals helped sensitise the protesting American colonies of their own folly. The journey of human rights recognition in South Africa has been eventful. Despite Dutch immigrants taking advantage of African hospitality and giving themselves property rights – something that was foreign to community-minded Africans, the immigrant Dutch or Afrikaners, introduced “the struggle” for freedom in South Africa when they sought independence from British colonists. In the mid-1940’s, coinciding with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Afrikaners indeed, won the struggle and established their own exclusionary government. As it happened, their administration still proved oppressive to the indigenous people, who were deprived official citizen status. Natives, or Bantu’s as they were referred to, were relegated to demarcated land, while the rest were ‘honoured’ with jobs as servants or the equivalent of slaves expected to comply and submit to Boere masters. Although the Afrikaans government took interest in the UDHR and entertained community structures and international bodies whose objectives were to lift global living standards in line with the Human


Rights declaration, indigenous South Africans were pushed to the periphery, and their struggle continued. Local anti-apartheid organisations were reinforced by continental and international support in an attempt to oppose and fight the oppressive laws of apartheid. A series of protest actions were taken to gain the government’s attention. As far back as 1956, Women Marched to Pretoria and protested on the grounds of Union Buildings against the proposed Urban Areas Act. It was a peaceful march of about 20 000 people. The Sharpeville March that took place in March 1960, on the other hand, resulted in an unprecedented number of deaths in a protest against apartheid. Nearly 300 police were deployed to what till their arrival was a peaceful protest by some 7000 people. The loss of lives in Sharpeville sparked even more protests nationally, which led to a banning of freedom movements or federations and a declaration of a State of Emergency. This earned South Africa much more attention from the international community as series of arrests were made and government clashes with citizens made headlines. By the much publicised 1976 Soweto uprisings, the struggle engineered by banned freedom organisations and synchronised internally by anti-apartheid activists had turned ugly. Many lives were lost, adding to the tally of political leaders, activists and young students who were protesting the imposition of a foreign language as the medium of instruction in schools. This activity, while possibly interpreted as “lawlessness” by an oppressive government, is well provided for in the UDHR. The declaration makes it clear that it is a government’s “job” to ensure that the rights of all its citizens are protected, as well as to ensure that all its citizens are regarded and treated as equal under the law. It states that all citizens should enjoy equal rights without being discriminated based on their race, gender, cultural background or language. The Human Rights code to which all UN member countries subscribe, goes on to declare that failure for any government to offer security of rights to all its citizens justifies a revolt by the citizens. This revolt against an oppressive government does not preclude acts of violence, where citizens have no other means. The combination of protests, isolation from international trade and the nation-wide militant activity that frustrated the government’s segregatory system as well as threatened to devastate the infrastructure, painted the apartheid government into a corner. Although, to this day, Former Prime Minister F.W. de Klerk is credited (or debited) for giving in and opening negotiations with the muchdespised, militant natives, his government had no viable alternative. The country would have burnt to the ground. Disenfranchised indigenous people had been pushed to the limit, with nothing to lose, and therefore, nothing to protect or save. It is therefore, symbolic, that a new Constitution to give all South Africans due recognition of their rights was signed into law by the first democratically elected president and got to be signed near the Sharpeville Massacre site in December 1996. In recognition of the sacrifices made by all those who made a contribution toward the freedom of all South African citizens, the government encourages all citizens to exercise their rights by voicing their opinion and by indicating their approval or disapproval of the service government gives its citizens. In South Africa, this is said to be expressed through “the vote”. As much as it is your constitutional right to vote, it is equally your democratic right to withhold your vote. Either way, you deserve to make your voice heard, whether through a vote or other displays of active citizenry. It is important and in your interest to make a contribution that enables the government to do its job effectively - for your own security and wellbeing as a (tax-paying) citizen. OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Human Rights

The South African Constitution Preamble “We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations. May God protect our people. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.”

PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

Human Rights




Human Relations

Balancing Rights with Responsibilities As much as South Africans celebrate their rights and honour the freedoms given life by The Constitution and supporting legislation, it is important for all citizens to accept their responsibility which safeguards the rights of others. BY: PEOPLE DYNAMICS CORRESPONDENT


hile there are absolute or fundamental “God-given” rights such as the right to life of dignity and good health; the right to self-determination – to make personal choices for one’s destiny and development; the right to a unique personal identity expressed by lifestyle, language, association, etc., there are also rights that, when exercised, could restrict or infringe on fellow humans’ (or citizens’) rights. As respectable humans, therefore, we need to respect the rights of others by being considerate - according them dignity and respect as individuals. The most basic (although increasingly neglected) human PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

acknowledgement is a greeting. For those of us who slip up on this, many a retail assistant or attendant will gladly issue a reminder. Before you can ask her/him for help, s/he will emphatically demand that greeting! To assist us, and in particular, our new recruits and young professionals navigate the constitutional rights, and to promote good human relations, we need to familiarise ourselves with the South African Bill of Responsibilities launched in 2008. The practical document outlines responsibilities that correspond with the rights found in the Bill of Rights, in Chapter 2 of the Constitution. The Bill of Responsibilities for the youth of South Africa

Preamble “I accept the call to responsibility that comes with the many rights and freedoms that I have been privileged to inherit from the sacrifice and suffering of those who came before me. I appreciate that the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa are inseparable from my duties and responsibilities to others. Therefore, I accept that with every right comes a set of responsibilities.” This Bill outlines the responsibilities that flow from each of the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. My responsibility in ensuring the right to equality

The right to equality places on me the responsibility to • treat every person equally and fairly, and • not discriminate unfairly against anyone on the basis of race, gender, religion, national, ethnic or social origin, ability, culture, language,

Human Relations

status or appearance. South Africa is a diverse nation, and equality does not mean uniformity, or that we are all the same. Our country’s motto: !KE E: /XARRA // KE, meaning “Diverse people unite”, calls on all of us to build a common sense of belonging and national pride, celebrating the very diversity which makes us who we are. It also calls on us to extend our friendship and warmth to all nations and all the peoples of the world in our endeavour to build a better world. My responsibility in ensuring the right to human dignity

The right to human dignity places on me the responsibility to: • treat people with reverence, respect and dignity • be kind, compassionate and sensitive to every human being, including greeting them warmly and speaking to them courteously. My responsibility in ensuring the right to life

The right to life places on me the responsibility to: • protect and defend the lives of others • not endanger the lives of others by carrying dangerous weapons or by acting recklessly or disobeying our rules and laws • live a healthy life, by exercising, eating correctly, by not smoking, abusing alcohol, or taking drugs, or indulging in irresponsible behaviour that may result in my being infected or infecting others with communicable diseases such as HIV and AIDS.

• The right is upheld by my taking responsibility for: • not hurting, bullying, or intimidating others, or allowing others to do so, and • defusing or resolving any conflict in a peaceful manner. My responsibility in ensuring the right to own property

The right to own property places on me the responsibility to: • respect the property of others • take pride in and protect both private and public property, and not to take what belongs to others • be honest and fair, and when I have and others are in want, to give generously to charity and good causes. My responsibility in ensuring the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion

The right to freedom of conscience requires me to: • allow others to choose and practice the religion of their choice, and to hold their own beliefs and opinions, without fear or prejudice • respect the beliefs and opinions of others, and their right to express these, even when I may strongly disagree with these beliefs and opinions. That is what it means to be a free democracy. My responsibility in ensuring the right to live in a safe environment

This right expects me to: • honour and respect my parents, and to help them • be kind and loyal to my family, to my brothers and sisters, my grandparents and all my relatives • recognise that love means long-term commitment, and the responsibility to establish strong and loving families.

This right gives me responsibility to: • promote sustainable development, and the conservation and preservation of the natural environment • protect animal and plant-life, as well as to prevent pollution, to not litter, and to ensure that our environment and neighbourhoods (homes, schools, streets and other public places) are kept neat and tidy. • In the context of climate change, to ensure that I do not waste scarce resources like water and electricity.

My responsibility in ensuring the right to education

My responsibility in ensuring the right to citizenship

The right to education places on me the responsibility to: • attend all assigned classes, to learn and work diligently, • cooperate respectfully with programme facilitators and fellow learners and • adhere to the rules and the Code of Conduct of my Institution or Profession.

The right to citizenship expects that each of us will be good and loyal South African citizens. This means that I am responsible for: • obeying the laws of our country, • ensuring that others obey laws without inhibition or impediment from me, and • contributing in every possible way to making South Africa a great country.

My responsibility in ensuring the right to family or parental care

and concurrently places on my guardians, mentors or sponsors the responsibility to: • ensure that I receive their support and places on my learning facilitators the responsibility to: • promote and reflect the culture of learning and ongoing personal development in giving effect to this right. My responsibility in ensuring the right to work

This right carries with it the responsibility for all learners, parents, caregivers and teachers to: • work diligently and do our very best in everything we do • recognise that living a good and successful life involves hard work, and that anything worthwhile only comes with effort • never expose children to child labour My responsibility in ensuring the right to freedom and security of the person


My responsibility in ensuring the right to freedom of expression

The right to free expression is not unlimited, and therefore, it gives me responsibility to: • not allow myself-, or express views which advocate hatred, or are based on prejudices with regard to race, ethnicity, gender or religion • take responsibility to ensure this right is not abused by myself or others • not tell, promote or spread lies, and • to ensure others are not insulted or have their feelings hurt by anything I say. Conclusion

I accept the call of this Bill of Responsibilities, and commit to taking my rightful place as an active, responsible citizen of South Africa. By assuming these responsibilities, I will contribute to building the kind of society which will make me proud to be a South African. OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Talent Development

Technical Training or Academic Qualification

- which?

PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

Talent Development

The creative, arty type figure that they can make it big in their careers without any qualification or formal training. They snort that stereo-typing curricula stifle them and kill their mojo, while pieces of paper are over-rated. Pure talent, right connections and chutzpa suffice, they say.



hat’s not how reality works, however, at least not with all these gifted gods and the rest of us average people. In reality, talent needs to be complemented by technical, business or academic credentials that will teach you techniques to exploit and maximise your career. There is a notion that if you go to an ivy league institution you will get contacts and move faster and smoother on your career pathways. But that all depends. The prestige attached to “university” education as compared to subtle condescension meted out to technical training is certainly not warranted. It is what misguided South Africa into turning technical colleges or Technicon’s into “universities – landing the country’s education system in a bit of a mess. The mess came when some of the colleges that played a pivotal role in developing much needed, broad talent were closed. My colleague calls the move, “an emotional decision that tried to dismantle anything that was built by apartheid”. As a result of this emotional decision, people who had no business being in universities clogged queues there. The university structures became unwieldy and struggled to sufficiently deal with the influx. Even though, with time, private service providers attempted to take advantage of the gap supported by the SETA system, confusion still reigns – hence your question: technical training or university qualification? If this question pertains to a career in Humanities, and specifically in People Management or Human Resources, then the following paragraph covers your question. If you are a parent or student exploring career options and you wonder whether to go (or send your ward) the technical training or university qualification route, read on In all honesty, if you are equipping yourself for an HR role it doesn’t matter which. Investigate what will be convenient for you and most accessible. The most important factors are: • Determining what specific HR role you want to play: strategy, advisory, research or admin • Determining what level of expertise (specialisation) or seniority (management) you wish to grow toward, and then • Determining what career pathways (specific ladder or typical web) to follow, and what courses/subfields you will need to learn and whether these are offered as training programmes or full qualification • Deciding which clients you will serve, and what minimum training or standard qualification is acceptable for the service - and that will help you become most effective • Establishing what your role models’ pathways have been, and whether these resonate with you What your financial aspirations are at different timelines, and what route will best meet them The most critical deciding factor, once you have crystalised your long-term aspirations and determined your career focus, is: who offers the programme(s) that will equip you with the different tools you need to live your career dream. If your aspirations are to specialise, which route will enable you to grow in your specialisation – recognising the rest of learning you will have done through different stages of your studies. While Exploring Career Options

A principle that takes a while to sink is: money and patronage do not automatically yield quality education, nor does the churn of graduates prove a good or poor standard. Focus on Tangible Value

Quality education is an academic programme that gives tangible value to individuals and translates into positive societal impact. This is not exclusive to a specific “type” of institution, nor is it branded in a select group of schools. Quality education can be elusive or acquired irrespective of price tags or patronage. OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


People Development

Lifelong Learning

A Requisite for Career Success and Personal Development Lifelong learning embraces Walther Nernst’s scientific discovery that ‘nothing is static’. PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

People Development



ince his experiments and theory, philosophers, authors and coaches have expatiated with funky modern versions filling literature pages and lecture halls. Popular examples include: • change is the only constant; • if you aren’t growing, you are dying; • unless you stay ahead of the growth curve, you are becoming obsolete; • in a world of constant and rapid change, maintaining the status quo is quite simply passive regression… Just what is lifelong learning?

It’s a process of actively seeking and acquiring knowledge that helps you gain new perspectives, ideas, skills or abilities throughout life – resulting in improved effectiveness and better quality of life. A favourite definition of lifelong learning used by educator Craig Kemp is: “the ongoing, voluntary, self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons”. Lifelong learning triggers

Lifelong learning may happen as a result of natural curiosity. It may also be forced on us by circumstances - to keep up with the pace of work against an ever evolving workplace and ever emerging technologies. It could also be to stay ahead of customers - where we study market trends and industry forecasts in order to develop appropriate strategies. Getting the most out of it

For it to be most beneficial and even a pleasure, lifelong learning is best adopted as a personal value and set as a series of goals - with social and professional aspirations turned into annual objectives or mini-projects. If you think adopting a purposeful approach takes the fun out of lifelong learning, think again. Scientists have discovered the positive value of chasing and chalking up successes and gains – no matter how insignificant they may seem to the next person. A great source of happiness derives from personal desires-turned-achievements and the accompanying dopamine activation. Lifelong learning from adverse situations

So, as you identify work problems or community challenges, you can motivate yourself to learn how to resolve them. You can also ‘enjoy’ lifelong learning while dealing with adverse situations – in the development of patience and resilience when you find strength to cope with unexpected, unfavourable circumstances. The wisdom that you draw from confronting situations as opposed to running away from them - itself is part of lifelong learning. Lifelong learning for stimulation and quality life

Consciously spend time finding ways of enhancing your work life. Research and discover ways to save time by spending no more than is necessary on menial work and mundane chores. Use lifelong learning to increase quality moments – in the process of learning, and in the use of acquired knowledge and wisdom.


Benefits of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning helps to boost confidence as you grow in knowledge. It affords you incrementally better quality of life. The little milestones from acquisition do wonders for your morale – boosting your productivity levels. New skills and competence make you more sought-after where there are coveted positions to be competed for. Lifelong learning keeps you relevant and more efficient at work. It boosts your business acumen and keeps you socially aware. Value of lifelong learning

The difference between someone who embraces lifelong learning and one who doesn’t is that one keeps up with trends and stays ahead of industry developments and market evolution, while another would struggle to demonstrate the value they would add to an organisation or how they can uplift their community. Growth is not uni-dimensional. It can come in the form of formal education or through experience, informal research and incidental discoveries that leave one with accumulated, practical wisdom that improves the learners’ life and that of others around him or her. As Michael Nichols asserts: “Growth is not always bigger. It’s not always quantitative – measured the way you or I think it should be measured.” He suggests this great question for each of us to determine whether or not we are experiencing growth: “Are my current situation and my resulting behaviours adding value to my life and work, or to the life and work of others?” Holistic Learning

As a professional, there are several directions and dimensions in which you can grow. Ideally growth and development should be holistic-touching all aspects of your life: social, spiritual, financial, relational, academic, professional/technical and physical. Driving your personal growth in all these different dimensions draws on intellectual and emotional capacity - itself a sign of maturity. Given the pace of change in the global environment and local developments, we can’t but recognise the need for ongoing new learning. Indeed, it takes a strong personal resolve to take the necessary steps to acquire what’s necessary to grow, despite day-today pressures working against such a commitment. Ease yourself into it

If you’re in fulltime employment, you may despair, thinking there’s simply no time to study while keeping up with work load and creativity required by your current role. On the other hand, you may be ‘unemployed’ or heading toward retirement, with budget so tight that studying may seem like a luxury. But L-L doesn’t have to be a Harvard MBA programme! Lifelong Learning, despite job pressures and dismal budgets is an imperative and can be initially taken in small, less formal bites like a daily newspaper-column read, or weekly professional round-table. It can be sustained through discipline, then expanded to longer, more formal programmes - particular those that will have positive impact on work/life quality. Keeping yourself actively engaged in L-L increases your contribution to your profession and your community at the height of your career and beyond. Remember, one of life’s many changes is that 65 can no longer be regarded as retirement age – not when average life expectancy edges toward 90! OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Organisational Behaviour

Sexual harassment



exual harassment is endemic in the workplace. Few victims know their rights and recourse available to them. As a result, victims labour under self-recrimination, doubt and anxiety. Underpinning this is the fear of victimisation which often prohibits victims of sexual harassment from lodging a formal complaint. The Labour Relations Act, the Employment Equity Act and the Code of Good Practice set out the rights of victims of sexual harassment. The Labour Relations Act (amended) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and sets out the steps that an employee can take to deal with sexual harassment. The EEA PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

deems sexual harassment as a form of unfair discrimination. Further, the Code of Good Practice on the Handling of Sexual Harassment (the Code), issued under the LRA defines sexual harassment to mean an “unwanted conduct of a sexual nature”. In terms of the Code, sexual attention becomes harassment if the behaviour is persisted and/or the recipient has made it clear that the behaviour is considered offensive; and/or the perpetrator should have known that the behaviour is regarded as unacceptable. It is worth noting, therefore, that a single incident of unwelcome sexual conduct may constitute sexual harassment. Process for handling sexual harassment

• Keep a careful written record of all incidents, noting down the date and time of what happened or what was said, and also

Organisational Behaviour


to stay away from controversy and avoid situations that can bring discomfort or embarrassment in the workplace. While no one should be prescriptive, it is only right, particularly for management to protect individuals’ rights and to protect organisations from disrepute. Executives’ behaviour, in particular, seems to always be under spotlight. They are, after all, considered leaders and models for corporate conduct and codes of good practice. One executive argues that seniority makes them more susceptible to misunderstanding when they attempt to be kind or affable, making them vulnerable to unscrupulous manipulation. That’s why Lady Wana, in her executive coaching, advises on staying safe than ending up sorry: Keeping sexual harassment controversy at bay

noting down names of any potential witnesses. • Speak directly to the harasser and as firmly as possible, request him/her to stop, citing specific unacceptable or unwelcome or intolerable behaviours that make you uncomfortable. • If you are not comfortable speaking to the harasser directly or if the harasser does not rectify his or her conduct after requesting him or her to desist with their behaviour, make a formal complaint to the employer or relevant line manager. If the harasser happens to be the line manager the complaint should be escalated to somebody higher up in a position of authority. • Once the employer has been made aware of sexual harassment, the employer has a legal obligation to consult with you and take all the necessary steps to address the alleged sexual harassment. It is against the law for your employer to do nothing after you report that you have experienced sexual harassment. Besides these forums, you can apply to court for a protection order against the harasser. A protection order is a court order that sets out the things that the person who is harassing you may or may not do to stop that person from harassing you. Rather safe than sorry

It is advisable for all employees at all organisational levels

• Keep compliments to work-related performance or corporate behaviour • Compliments to individuals are best made in encouragement of corporate values, ethics and code of conduct e.g. time-keeping, timely delivery, quality of work, exceptional customer service, team support, helpfulness in the work place, etc. • Refrain from commenting about individuals’ looks, physical attributes, personal dress sense or grooming style – other than to coach them on compliance with corporate brand guidelines • Keep physical contact formal, e.g. stick to a handshake or a brief, formal hug where hugs are traditional practice • If there is no corporate standard, ask how your colleagues prefer to be addressed; otherwise stick to formal/professional titles • Refrain from using terms of endearment in the workplace, such as my darling, sweetheart, honey, etc. particularly when addressing members of the opposite sex • Keep reasonable distance when talking to someone, and avoid encroaching on their personal space (allow +- 1 metre) • Avoid resting your hand or arm on someone - typically their back or shoulders when reading behind them from their computer • As far as possible, have confidential one-on-one consultations formally scheduled in diaries and, should an impromptu meeting be necessary, best hold it behind an open door or in a public meeting area • Avoid calling colleagues after hours, unless there is an emergency; it is better to send an email or text message to convey an urgent work-related message • It is a good habit to copy your personal/departmental assistant (and the other party’s personal/departmental assistant) if you have to send after-hours communication • Save from those whose duty it is, do not make it a habit to ask favours from anyone in the workplace, e.g. to bring you coffee, buy food, carry bags from your car, wash your lunchbox • On business travel and out-of-office events, hold meetings in public/meeting areas, particularly where there’s only the two of you; and avoid mixing work and “social” drinks • Always be aware that what is acceptable to you may be offensive to the next person; and what was acceptable to Anna may not be acceptable to Betty. • Always check with your colleague(s) and respect how they feel without labelling or discriminating against them for being either more conservative or more open minded than what you are used to. OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Strategic Talent Management

Workplace Diversity and Youth Employment BY: JOS WATSON

The operational disruption of the digital era and unpredictable market patterns typifying the VUCA phenomenon, threaten to make “job experience” redundant. Executives need to rely less on experience, and more on dynamic, critical thinking.


espite the evidence of a lag in workplace digital adoption by Baby Boomers and Gen-X’s, recruiters still gravitate towards these “tried and tested” generations when searching for talent. This does not only slow down active economic participation for the younger generations, it slows down the country’s productivity and effectiveness. Diversity and Organisational Performance

Diversity has been proven in several research studies, including the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, to be a significant factor in successful organisations. “Companies with more diverse workplace outperform competitors and achieve greater profits.” The fact that countries, globally, enforce diversity through their Constitutions and labour legislation is beside the point. Diversity is not just the ‘right’ thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. According to the Josh Bersin research, “inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market”. There is no doubt that young, fresh perspectives heighten levels of creativity in a mature organisation. Acceleration of Digital Adoption

Rather than relying on experience, younger people are likely to employ more imagination, and think out of the proverbial box when it comes to crafting solutions. Youth are also likely to look for easier, technology-aided solutions which could lead to better efficiency. By virtue of having been born with technology, the Millennials PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

Strategic Talent Management

(Generation Y’s) are less intimidated by computer-aided solutions in the workplace. They could therefore act as mentors to the older generations, effectively helping the organisation to redirect ‘wasted’ human talent to challenging work that requires human intellect. Having a mixture of culture, language, age, gender, orientation and life-stages in an organisation’s talent mix not only helps the organisation become more representative of the population, teams enjoy complementary qualities such that individuals can play to their strengths.


Entrepreneurial ones will have identified gaps and come up with ideas or collaborations to offer services in their former employers’ industries at the end of the stint. Betting on a Graduate

While the YES Initiative alleviates the youth unemployment situation and will continue on a 12-month basis for each youth, a more deliberate strategy to integrate generations in the workplace is required. Companies that take a bold step and commit to offering permanent employment across generations give their organisations an edge against their more conservative or tentative counterparts.

Workplace Diversity and Broader Benefits

There are several other benefits enjoyed through the customers, prospects, supplier groups, local communities and other stakeholders – all of which come back to benefit the organisation. Kristina Martic (Culture & People, TalentLyft, 2018), offers a great pictorial to enumerate benefits of Workplace Diversity. In addition to higher profits, innovation and creativity, she mentions positive company reputation and employer brand.

Making Graduate-Hire a Calculated Risk

Youth Employment - The YES Initiative

The Youth Employment Service (YES) Initiative launched in 2018 is making some inroads. It already has 248 companies on board, and has found work opportunities for 4800 young people. As encouragement to businesses, the Initiative makes provision for “employers” to create a 12 month paid position for a youth between the ages of 18 and 35 with a minimum stipend of R3 500. The 12 month work exposure certainly gives youth a foot in the door. Depending on how they utilise the opportunity, many will be ready for full-time employment by the end of the Service.

There are several advantages recruiters chalk up when hiring tried and tested candidates. There is a track record that demonstrates quality performance, achievements, strengths, work ethic and discipline of the individual. With experience in their favour, the older cohort make the recruiter’s decision-making easy; or rather “lazy”, because they gravitate towards history and achievement, rather than take the time to evaluate potential. This is quite understandable, because the failure of a candidate to deliver or live up to the expectations of the role makes the recruiter a poor human resource professional. It’s a Graduate Quality Matter

What if recruiters were to take the plunge yet be totally assured of success when hiring fresh graduates? It is possible. It’s a matter of the quality of the graduate – a factor of what they learned, where, under whose tutelage and guidance, how they practicalised it, and whether they can apply it in varied situations.

Courtesy, TalentLyft, 2018

Top 10 benefits of workplace diversity


Higher innovation

employee engagement

Variety of








reputation Reduced

Faster problem solving Increased creativity

employee turnover Increased profits

Improved hiring results



Graduate Recruitment

Finding the right graduate

for your business PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

Graduate Recruitment


The notion of quality graduates is made to be a myth. Yet, with the right programme, the right learning environment and appropriate guidance, any graduate is a potential asset. BY: NOLA PAYNE


ocial media is awash with pictures of proud graduates, degree in hand and ready to embark on the next stage in their lives: searching for their first job and building the career of their dreams. Unfortunately, too many of them will soon be confronted with the realities of the job market. With the economy remaining sluggish, the political environment volatile, and the risk inherent in making a new appointment high, many employers elect to play it safe rather than recruit at this stage. But there is a way for businesses – from consultancies, small enterprises and start-ups to big companies and even multi-nationals – to take the gamble out of appointing new graduates. “It is understandable that employers are hesitant to appoint graduates fresh out of university with little or no work experience, given the current constraints we face,” says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest private higher education institution. “But the benefit to a business of appointing someone fresh out of higher education, who has a solid understanding of a specific industry and the most recent trends and developments in this industry, who also has the ability to implement what they have learned in the real world of work, should not be under-estimated,” she says. “Growth does not happen without appointing the best people to make it happen, and young recruits are uniquely positioned to bring fresh insights and opportunities to a business,” she says. However Payne says this would require many employers to review their approach to recruitment, to ensure they are not stuck in past ways

of doing things, which may be the reason for their inability to land the candidates their business really need. “Just as we advise prospective students to thoroughly investigate their options before settling on a qualification and an institution, so we also advise companies to thoroughly do their homework to determine which institutions are likely to produce graduates who are work-ready, who bring more than theoretical knowledge to the table, and who are ready to make a contribution from the very first day on the job.” She says the best way to do this, is for employers to first determine to what degree an institution, whether it be a public university or a private one, invests in the work-readiness of graduates beyond mere academics. Additionally, a good sign would be if an institution and a qualification are closely linked to its related industry. To determine this, there are a number of questions employers can ask, for instance: • Have an institution’s lecturers only been standing at the front of a class for the past 30 years, or are they still active in the industry? • Is the curriculum of a specific qualification aligned to current best practice in an industry? • Does it incorporate work-integrated learning and is it career-focused rather than just theory-intensive? • Do students get real-life work experience as part of their studies, with real-life challenges to solve? • Do they exit their institution of higher learning with a portfolio of evidence? • Does the institution ensure that all graduates are not only equipped for their industry, but also with the soft skills they will require when stepping into the workplace? Does an institution develop the student’s ability to creatively solve problems and continue learning, rather than simply closing the book after their initial 3-4 years of study? “The higher education sector has changed dramatically over the past decade, and as recently confirmed by the High Court, a registered and accredited qualification from a registered and accredited private institution is at the very least on par with one attained at a public university. “So one has to go beyond what the papers say, and determine from where the most capable and empowered graduates are emanating in 2019. This takes time, but the initial investment of speaking to and even partnering with quality institutions of higher learning, beyond the traditional focus on a handful of public universities, has the potential to pay off well into the future for companies seeking to grow well into the future. “The most important thing is to find those candidates who have demonstrated that they will and want to continue growing. Employers must not simply appoint graduates to complete tasks – they must look for those people who they can see sticking around for five years or more, who can help them grow their business beyond what is currently envisioned.” OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Workplace Trends

Remote Working

Why, How, When and For whom There is strong evidence that South Africa is falling in step with world trends and is experiencing growth in the service economy as it contends with significant contraction in primary labourintensive industries. PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019


here remains grave concern about unemployment and “wasted� human resource resulting from retrenchments due to automation or closure of major manufacturing enterprises in the country. Notwithstanding these losses, South Africa can’t but go all out to compete pound for pound in sectors introduced by the new global economies. With most work in the service economy facilitated by technology and potential customers being across borders, it is not only possible but imperative that companies to enable remote and virtual operations where these contribute to efficiency and operational effectiveness. There are mixed sentiments about remote working. In a recent

Workplace Trends

round table on the topic, some participants adopted a strategic view while others argued based on practicalities and realities on hand. “When you are responsible for operations or work closely with colleagues in China, Europe and the United States, exactly what office hours would your company expect you to keep? You are likely to be up at 3am connecting into a breakfast conference with your Eastern counterparts one day, stay up late to join a North American tele-meeting the next, and if you’re coordinating an ongoing project, this may not be an occasional thing, but pretty much a norm”, asserts Antonio, an HR Global Facilitation Manager for an S.A.based multi-national. “Think of the inefficiencies of a commute, especially at times like these when load-shedding wreaks havoc with traffic. The most hilarious is rushing to the office, only to stare at dead phones when you might have covered ground working from home while lights were on”, laments Katlego, a Learning & Development Officer at an Enterprise Development Agency. While these specific examples make for a good case for people to be able to work from home; the former case for a standing arrangement such as a permanent home office, and the latter, a situational management decision to avoid wastage and stress over a specific period, most organisations remain conservative about allowing employees to work from home. Says one HR Service head: “The camaraderie one finds in the office energises individuals and promotes instant cooperation and teamness which helps to reinforce the corporate culture.” While this could definitely be the case for a call centre or service centre type environment, it would not necessarily apply where the “office” mainly consists of client-facing field agents or business development executives who spend most of the time out of the office, anyway. Notwithstanding the varying circumstances and operational situations, in line with global trends, South African companies are increasingly offering remote working options to prospective employees, many of whom demand such an allowance as early as during the job negotiation process. According to a recent poll by Jack Hammer, companies reluctant to accommodate these terms are losing out on the best talent. Of the companies that participated in the poll continentally and abroad, 80% offered remote working solutions. The 20% of companies who didn’t all said they had job offers turned down as a result. 50% of the companies who offered remote working said that the matter was raised during the job interview process. “While this trend is still in its early stages locally, it is encouraging to see that companies are starting to understand and respond to the changing paradigm in today’s world of work, and that most realise they have to adapt if they are going to land and retain excellent candidates,” says Advaita Naidoo, COO at Jack Hammer. She says the trend is gaining popularity mainly in tech, retail and financial services industries. And it is not just the top dogs benefiting, as more than 90% of companies offering remote working offered it at all levels of seniority. “The move towards remote working is driven by a combination of the nature of the organisation itself, particularly where they are more tech-centric ones, and the employees who motivate for it. While most companies were still reluctant to offer remote working even a few years ago, the survey shows that there is definitely a mindset shift taking place.”


Naidoo says some of the main reasons cited by the companies polled included: • The need to attract or retain tech talent that would otherwise go to a more flexible competitor; • the ability to reduce overall infrastructure costs; • the impact on employee wellness as a result of better work-life balance, and • enhanced productivity flowing from the fact that employees who are afforded flexibility are not limited to basic office hours in order to get the work done, nor losing hours commuting every day. Most companies however made it clear that some in-office presence was still required, predominantly where meetings needed to be conducted face-to-face, and also to maintain a sense of connection and team cohesion. Naidoo says that the growth of remote-working teams is impacting the way in which managers lead people, who these days seldom work in the same office, and might go weeks - or months – without in-person meetings. “Managing and leading remote teams is a new skill that needs to be developed and taught in business schools, and incorporated as part of leadership development programmes,” says Naidoo. “Remote working and managing people who are out of sight requires both a mindset change, as well as a change of work style. How you engage and communicate with people needs a big adjustment if you are to retain engagement, while capitalising on the benefits of remote working.” But although the benefits are clear, remote working is not without its drawbacks for the geographically removed employee, says Naidoo. “Very often, remote workers can expect limited opportunities for promotion, as there’s an entrenched belief that managers need to have more in-office presence, which means that despite their expertise, these workers will rarely move beyond specialist level,” she says. The disconnect between the remote workers and the in-office staff can also be problematic. “For example, if a company has a ‘late staying’ culture, and rewards those who are seen to be glued to their work chairs 24/7, what needs to adjust when your top performers are no longer in the office? How do you acknowledge and reward, or does the playing field remain in favour of those who play by the old rules and are willing to do the in-office long hours slog? These are questions that have not yet been addressed given the fact that it is still early days in South Africa.” Not surprisingly, it is the smaller, more agile businesses who are the early adopters benefitting from remote working advantages, Naidoo says. “The sometimes stodginess of large corporations’ policies means they struggle with flexibility, resulting in them losing out on the best talent because of an inability to adjust.” Human Capital strategists and executives need to work at evaluating the best approach or work-location mix that will deliver the most value for their respective organisations. Considerations should be given on aspects such as cost-efficiency, internal and external customer impact, as much as they should be given to individual performance, employee well-being, organisational culture and overall effectiveness. OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Risk Management

Get “the right people fit” and “the right role fit” Right! BY: WADE COOPER

Personality evaluations have become a standard in Recruitment, yet organisations still manage to get themselves stuck with ill-matched talent. Where, in the People Management value chain, do businesses get it wrong?


he concept of the “value chain,” introduced by Michael Porter in 1985, can be applied to talent in the form of the “people value chain” through talent attraction, targeted recruiting, high-accuracy hiring, proactive on-boarding, talent identification, performance enhancement, career acceleration and succession management. The Human Resources “value chain” helps us understand the process in which an individual’s value can be maximised for the benefit of the individual as well as for the organisation. So why is HR still struggling to show its supplementary value? Firstly, it’s because every organisation is unique. What works in one organisation doesn’t necessarily work in another. The second reason is that it’s difficult to show added value in a practical way. In essence, there are three HR metrics that organisations need to keep in mind which can help to provide empirical evidence to the organisation: • HRM Efficiency metrics – includes activities and processes such as Recruitment and Selection, Workforce Planning, Compensation and Benefits, Training, Talent Management, Organisational Design and Coaching • HRM Effectiveness metrics – these are the outcomes that are traditionally seen as important HR KPI’s and include Engagement; Retention / Employee Turnover; Absenteeism Rate; Individual Performance; Team Performance and Quality of Hire. The PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

efficiency metrics provide information about how well the workforce is doing. This involves both HR and Line Management • HRM Impact – the last category is the strategic goals that the organisation is trying to reach and the metrics here include: Market Share; Profit Margins; Market Capitalisation; Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty. These are the kind of outcomes that add value to and make the business more viable in the long term. Finding and identifying the “best people fit” and placing them in the “best role fit” to influence the implementation and measurement of the above metrics is often seen as basic or intuitive but is a far cry from simplistic. With “people risk” being the biggest risk organisations face making use of scientific assessment information in conjunction with the individuals past skills and experience coupling with customised competency-based interviewing should be a holistic methodology organisations stick to. I agree with the statement “organisations hire people for their technical skills, but unfortunately have to fire them due to their behavioural faults” High accuracy hiring involves knowing how to precisely screen, knowing which tools to use to maximise the probabilities that you are accurately identifying a best fit as a best fit, and knowing how to regulate the selection process and replicate it. Job Analysis (desired behavioural traits and capabilities required for a specific position) as well as the identification of crucial competencies can pinpoint the requirements for efficacy in most work roles. A behaviourally based interview protocol and guide, as well as an objective and scientifically proven behavioural assessment which can measure “softer” indicators can be used by the hiring team to identify candidate’s blind spots, counterproductive tendencies, key strengths and potential vulnerabilities to the new environment and help create a roadmap for the candidate’s successful on-boarding and development as well as their fit into the organisations culture, values and what type of team player they will be. Once hiring and on-boarding strategies have been implemented successfully an organisation should invest in the right structures, aligning all levels within the organisation to the role and organisational requirements and hold employees accountable for delivery through performance management from an individual and team level as well

Risk Management

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as integrate feedback from customers and clients to further measure the impact the employees have on the bottom line. Simultaneously, accelerating High Potentials’ Development. Resourcefully exploit the learning value of stretch assignments, along with other development modalities, such as mentoring, coaching and action learning. This is how organisations can demonstrate added value in a practical way. We can identify, understand, and even measure the “active ingredients” that connect people to organisational effectiveness by applying value chain logic to the problem. Of all the things we could measure, these are crucial steps that determine the value of current leadership and what “People Potential” the organisation has in identifying succession planning – Future Leaders. Who people are, determine how they will lead and work. We can measure the characteristics of people – their inherent attributes like personality and cognitive abilities; their acquired characteristics like knowledge, experience, and skill; and their social capital in the form of networks and relationships. Likewise, we can also measure their behavioural style – the actions they take and the choices they make. The latter will tell us who they are, what they do, how they do it and how they see themselves. Importantly by understanding oneself, our strengths, our development areas, we become accountable and start the journey of becoming “An Agent of Change” from an organisation’s perspective, targeted training and coaching interventions can take place which means ROI. Your people are your company. Organisations have changed and now, more than ever, people management is crucial to organisational success. There are a range of concepts, theories and methodologies that will help you navigate and optimise your work environment. One such tool is the PDA (Personal Development Analysis). The PDA (Personal Development Analysis) is a scientifically validated assessment that for the past 17 years has been utilised in more than 50 countries globally and available in most languages. It is in essence, a stand-alone tool which talks to, and provides measured insights on all three HR metrics. PDA Services and methodologies offered as an eclectic solution to Talent Management

We believe in tailoring solutions for our clients, setting the correct foundations, such as identification and development of an individual’s competencies to that of an organisations providing a clear “Gap Analysis” for future training and development requirements. This example provides a clear focus on a person’s innate strengths, but also to which competencies and behaviours a person needs to focus more attention on. It essentially provides self-insight which drives self-knowledge on all levels within an organisation. The PDA Human Capital Management System provides 24 business competencies (customisable) and any external competencies can be added to the system for person to competency % Fit / Match. Furthermore, the PDA HCM System also boasts a list of predefined or customisable JOB Specifications (Job Observed Behaviour) for person to JOB % Fit / Match. PDA reports include insight from an individual or team or external applicant’s current behaviour which once measured against specific JOBS and Competencies provides the following information: • How will the person be able to adjust into a specific role • How an individual will adjust into an existing team • Training that needs to take place in order to ensure ROI • Critically highlighting how the Future Line Manager will need to manage and motivate the individual keeping away from the “one size fits all” management approach Understanding “your people” and providing the opportunity for them to understand themselves and grow, generates and sustains commitment and trust. This, in turn, results in strong engagement between all staff within organisations. Strong engagement generally results in high performance. Most people get a buzz from being fully engaged, characterised by vigour, dedication and absorption in their work. Committed workers are highly desirable because they are correctly aligned to the organisational overall growth and success. It’s no secret – committed staff are a hot commodity. Not only are they happier and healthier from an employee wellness perspective but they produce better returns and actively pursue opportunities to grow and innovate. Having a committed staff force will naturally ensure that employee engagement will rise. (Contribution – Corlia Nel, Psychologist, PDA International Africa, Head of Training and Development) OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Leadership Change

When to Stay; When to Go BY: GEORGINA BARRICK

Recent high-profile leadership changes can’t but make one wonder about the perfect time for leaders to let go of the reigns and make way for leadership refresh.


he likes of Maria Ramos, Stephen Koseff and Karl Lagerfeld have got me thinking about how and when leaders should engage the thought of bowing out to make way for new blood. Very few leaders beyond presidents and those in public office serve for a fixed term. For many of us, knowing when we’ve served our time and need to move on is entirely our own decision – there is no blueprint. But, the time comes when making way for fresh blood is both inevitable and necessary - and it’s different for every company and individual. Achievement and Legacy

It’s up to us to be alert to the signs. It could be that we’ve achieved all that we set out to achieve, or that we’ve seen the organisation through a difficult transition. It may well be that or we’ve run out of ideas for the next phase of the organisation. Regardless of the reason, as leaders, we’re expected to know when to bow out gracefully. Constant Re-invention vs Continuity

The truth is that, even good leaders, who have achieved a lot during their tenure, can outstay their welcome. Some – like Maria Ramos – believe that leaders should be PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

Leadership Change


If you’re feeling this way, you can bet that your team do too – which means that an organisational shake up is probably needed and that you might need to step aside to make way for new thinking. You no longer feel valued

Where once you were a vital part of the leadership team, you’re now feeling like an outsider. Decisions that you would once have been a big part of are made without your input, meetings that couldn’t happen without you now take place in your absence or senior leadership/ the board fails to support you on important issues. The signs are there that your opinion no longer carries the weight that it used to – which means that it’s time to move on. You can’t do what needs to be done

You’ve put your heart and soul into your start up and it now needs to grow to reach the next level – but you don’t have the skills needed to take it there. Or, it’s time for your company to make a significant (but much needed) change in direction – and you know that you may not be the right person to lead the charge. You could also come to realise that the vision that has sustained you no longer aligns with that of your organisation. Often, the skills required to turn a business around or get a new project off the ground are not the same skills required for the day-to-day running of a business. It can be difficult for leaders, who feel irreplaceable, to acknowledge that the best course of action is to make way for a new generation of talent with fresh perspectives and skills. When it’s time to play to your strengths

‘systematically replaced to allow for a regular refresh’ – meaning that the best leaders don’t stay too long. Others believe in long term continuity and stability – being able to stabilise, evolve and grow a business, while seeing medium to long term projects through. Although, this train of thought can sometimes backfire if the leader becomes the company and any indication that he or she might step down leads to volatility. Perfect Timing

So, how do we recognise the signs that we’ve served for long enough and that the time is right - both personally and for the companies that we run - to step aside? For that matter, how do we time any organisational change correctly so that it’s good for all?

Microsoft’s Bill Gates was 45 years old when he shocked the business world by stepping down as CEO to resume a tech role. And, while he’d made his fortune and could afford to take a back seat, Gates also understood that the skillset that had helped him to found Microsoft could be put to better use in another role, allowing him to stay in touch with what really excited him and devote time to building his foundation (another passion) - all while being in the best interests of Microsoft. As leaders, we spend the first years of our careers honing skills that we lose touch with once the day-to-day intricacies of management take over. And, sometimes it’s best – for us and the teams that we run – to step down and return to what excites us. You just know it’s time

Leadership is a high-pressure job. Few people can handle the long hours, stress and responsibility needed. Managing competing stakeholder demands is a delicate balancing act that requires sustained energy, innovation and stamina. Sometimes, leaders just come to realise that it’s time. Perhaps it’s because their health starts to suffer or because the talent that they’ve developed has more energy or fresher ideas. Regardless, sometimes they just know.

You’ve become complacent

You’ve always been bursting with new ideas, but start to feel that the well has run dry. You realise that you haven’t done anything new – or encouraged any new ideas from your staff – in a long time. And, while you might not yet be in ‘we’ve always done it this way’ territory, you’ve certainly become way too comfortable with the status quo, and perhaps even feel a little stuck.

As Eckhart Tolle said ‘sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on’. As leaders, we need to be alert and open to the need for organisational change – even if it means that we leave a job or company that we have sweated blood to build, to make way for fresh ideas, new directions and growth. May we all recognise the signs in our own lives, when they come. OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Industrial Relations

Protecting Parties’

Rights in the Workplace PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

Industrial Relations

In living up to the spirit of the Constitution, the government has responsibility to protect and safeguard the basic human rights of every citizen without any discrimination.


he Constitution prohibits and warns against bias or prejudice, whether based on age, race, gender, cultural background, language, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities or social/ economic status. In support of the Constitution, there are Laws passed to ensure that all citizens honour the rights of others, and legal recourse is facilitated where infringement has occurred. IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE

In the case of employment relationships, there are pieces of legislation that all employers and employees should be familiar with in order to understand and enjoy rights availed to them through constitutional and legislative provisions. Given that the assertion of Rights emanated from a perceived imbalance of power, in order to support the less empowered, the Law makes provision for workers to have representation when dealing with labour issues. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights affirm the right of every individual to associate freely, hence workers’ freedom to join a Union. On behalf of its members, unions engage in collective bargaining - negotiating with employers on matters pertaining to working conditions, salaries, health support services, worker safety and such issues. A COLLECTIVE VOICE

In the workplace this right is also exercised through Professional Associations which represent professional workers’ interests and advocate for their rights according to the Professional Code of Conduct. There was a time unions were thought of as disruptive structures and an unwelcome third party in the employer-employee relationship. In recent years, however, most executives have come to appreciate the role unions play towards workplace efficiency. Unions help ease and speed up employer-employee negotiations by consulting with all members to reach a consensus and by forming a single, collective voice for all their affiliates. To avoid confusion brought about by a plethora of union bodies claiming representation in a given company, legislation makes provision for industry-specific union representation based on the industry in which the employer operates. This limits complexities and provides quicker resolutions and turnaround from employer-employee discussions. INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

Legislation and associated guidelines governing relationships between industry employers and employees as represented by the industry unions are referred to as Industrial Relations. Depending on what employee group is being considered, the employer-employee relations could also be referred to as simply employment relations or labour relations.


Employee relations processes, and the relationships between employees and employers, are influenced by the government and its agencies through the government’s construction, passing and implementation of relevant industrial relations law, policies, and regulations. NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND LABOUR COUNCIL

The legal framework within which Employment Relations must function is determined by the government and/or its agencies, in consultation with other role-players in the industrial relations processes. In South Africa, this consultation is actioned through the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). Nedlac is a statutory body that brings together representatives from government, organised labour, organised business and the community to consider all socio-economic and labour policy and legislation. Nedlac is considered to be South Africa’s apex social dialogue structure. It aims to promote consensus between the social partners on policy and legislation. In doing this, Nedlac plays an important part of the policy and law-making processes in South Africa that seeks to complement Parliament’s legislative and policy processes through social dialogue. According to The NEDLAC Act, Nedlac must consider all proposed Labour legislation relating to labour market policy before being introduced in Parliament. Additionally, it must consider all significant changes to social and economic policy before being implemented or introduced in Parliament. Nedlac, therefore, continually holds consultations on aspects of legislations that require revision owing to new developments and changes in the macro- and market or industry environments. WORKPLACE LEGISLATION

The following pieces of legislation form the backbone of workplace regulation guide, in which parties are able to discern and exercise their rights and be in a position to discharge their respective responsibilities. • Labour Relations Act • Basic Conditions of Employment Act • Employment Equity Act • Skills Development Act In addition to the foundational Acts, there are Acts and Code of Good Practice developed in line with workplace needs as they arise or are identified by communities or industry parties. These had been deliberated at Nedlac, presented and passed by Parliament. • Unemployment Insurance Act • National Minimum Wage Act Code of Good Practice pertaining to the following: • Arrangement of Working Time • Handling Sexual Harassment Cases • Key aspects on the Employment of People with Disabilities • Pregnancy • Dismissal for Operational Reasons • Occupational Health and Safety “SAFETY FIRST”

The Bill of Rights entitles citizens to a safe environment free of hazard or risk to their health. The Occupational Health and Safety Act compels employers to be proactive in identifying potential risks in OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM


Industrial Relations

the workplace. Risks may be inherent to the industry, environment or type of operation an employer is engaged in. Aspects such as hours of operation, heavy equipment, harsh materials, or monotonous tasks are among those associated with higher risks. Infections, for instance are an ever-present danger for health workers exposed to patients with highly communicable diseases such as TB and Ebola, as are long working hours endured by Casualty or ER personnel. In the mining industry, extended lack of natural light and blasting sounds can result in visual or aural impairments, as handling heavy equipment could induce back injuries. The Code of Good Practice impels employers to take additional appropriate measures to ensure health and safety of employees exposed to such environments. COMMONLY-OVERLOOKED SAFETY RISKS

Risks and potential hazards are quite obvious in fields such as mining and engineering. In office environments, however, hazards are easy to overlook. Issues such as cabin fever, artificial light, centrallycontrolled air-conditioning, slippery floors and poorly designed furniture could compromise physical health and safety, as total lack of privacy could result in psychological issues for certain employees. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS VS CONFERRED RIGHTS

It is worth noting that fundamental rights cannot be owed to you by anyone. You inherently possess them – they are naturally endowed. They are not things that someone can take away from you. We were all born with them. Fundamental rights are to be cherished, exercised, protected and fully exploited for humans to live optimally. Unlike workplace legislation or labour laws which grant rights but having them subject to employers’ compliance, fundamental rights are enjoyed in the workplace and beyond. They can be exercised and enjoyed outside the confines of the workplace. ENJOYING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE

Every employee is entitled to fundamental rights by virtue of being alive as a human. The rights include: • freedom to life: to live with dignity and enjoy good health as granted by Mother Nature • intellectual freedom: to think, reason, form or hold an opinion • identity freedom: to be uniquely you - with your natural attributes • right to development: to exercise and grow your talent – continuously stretching toward your full potential • freedom of conscience: to make decisions and choices (e.g. enter into agreements/contracts) and chart one’s destiny; elect one’s own path, way of life or means of making a living (career, lifestyle, expression, association, etc.) CONFERRED RIGHTS

The rest of the rights provided for in the Constitution are subject to limitations or interrogation in terms of the rule of law. This means, while one may exercise a right, one has to check whether and how it may be encroaching on other individuals’ rights. Aside from testing one’s rights against the rest of the Constitution’s provisions and Statutory Law, rights to be exercised may be interrogated against Common Law. Common Law is part of the law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes. It tests the application of the case under consideration against similarities of cases that had been PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March 2019

ruled upon by courts – by judges or by special tribunals as provided for by Section 34 of the Constitution. EMPLOYEE RIGHTS IN CASE OF DISPUTES

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act, through Clause 78 makes provision for protection of employees against discrimination in the event of employee-employer contest. The Clause provides that every employee has the Right: (a) To make a complaint to a trade union representative, a trade union official or a labour inspector concerning any alleged failure or refusal by an employer to comply with this Act; (b) To discuss his or her conditions of employment with his or her fellow employees, his or her employer or any other person; (c) To refuse to comply with an instruction that is contrary to this Act or any sectoral determination; (d) To refuse to agree to any term or condition of employment that is contrary to this Act or any sectoral determination; (e) To inspect any record kept in terms of this Act that relates to the employment of that employee; (f) To participate in proceedings in terms of this Act; (g) To request a trade union representative or a labour inspector to inspect any record kept in terms of this Act and that relates to the employment of that employee. (2) Every trade union representative has the right, at the request of an employee, to inspect any record kept in terms of the BCEA that relates to the employment of that employee. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

While you exercise and safeguard your rights, it is imperative that you acknowledge that everyone else has a corresponding right. It is the responsibility of every citizen, therefore, to respect other people’s rights. In the workplace, employers have the responsibility to provide an environment and to create conditions that do not infringe on any employee’s rights. Rights associated with “freedom of expression” are particular ones to watch in the workplace. While individuals may express themselves and voice their thoughts freely, this right should be kept in check as individuals have paid a price for exercising this right without due sensitivity or consideration for other citizens. Expressions often come as a result of emotions, which may be overly incensed at a specific time. The sad thing is, once something has been uttered, it cannot be taken back, and once the “send” button has been pressed, it is not always possible to “recall” the message and retract the damage it will do to recipients. IN PURSUIT OF HARMONY

In addition to honouring pieces of legislation, parties in the workplace can further consider policies, “house rules”, code of conduct, team contracts and such, to help build common understanding of roles, responsibilities and forge good working relations. In appreciation of individual rights, both employers and employees should work to promote a healthy workplace environment. A good communication flow, a culture of consultation, regular structured reporting, instant positive feedback and well-structured up-building criticism are central to the honouring of individual human rights in the workplace. Everyone wants to feel that they matter, their opinion counts and their contribution is appreciated. These are fundamental to human dignity.

Leadership Inspiration

Leadership Inspiration:

Self-sufficiency C

onstitutional Rights are an affirmation of individuals’ right to make personal choices about their lives. Fundamental Human Rights, on the other hand are people’s rights to what is naturally founded and commonly endowed to all humans. The right to natural resources, for example, is a fundamental human right. This would include access to water, air, food and shelter derived from natural vegetation and formations such as rocks, etc. No human should ever be denied a basic human right that enables him/her to live and survive, particularly, not in favour of someone else’s optional rights or preferential endeavours. Fundamental human rights accrue to every member of the Human Race. They are to be accorded and preserved for every individual with no distinction and without discrimination. Those who assume leadership or rulership over others put themselves in charge of protecting human rights for continued enjoyment by every citizen or anyone subjecting

themselves to that government e.g. through permanent or temporary citizenship. Government’s responsibility extends to different types of refugees and to tourists who explicitly or implicitly agree to abide by the country’s laws for the duration of their stay. Where a government takes over the rule of the land, indigenous inhabitants have the right to subject themselves to the rule, or not to. The latter scenario would preclude or limit government’s responsibility to render civil services to such a community. The community might choose to fend for itself and be self-sufficient in respect to services. It would, therefore, devise its own means of survival - eking out a living from nature and the natural resources provided by the land they occupy. Such communities also have the right to determine the extent to which they would adopt modern standards and conform to cosmopolitan lifestyles. Some might develop industries that they could sustain with OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE IPM



Leadership Inspiration

limited dependency from the “outside world”. This people would be ‘a community based on common values, choice of lifestyle or government’, and would determine their own rules or standards to keep law and order to ensure that the fundamental human rights of each of their members are safeguarded. Threads that may bind these communities range from having a common birthplace, common culture, religion, spiritual or political beliefs. Different countries have different views, laws and approaches in accommodating such communities. Think of Mormons Settlements, the Amish, and our own Orania in the Free State. Original communities worldwide, generally chose their location strategically, based on their preferred economic approach. Areas are generally fertile, and for communities dependent on water supplies, settlements would be ‘located close to water sources. Irrigation systems, including wells, dams, canals, headgates, and ditches, would be among the first projects for a new community. Road access to timber in the mountains and pasturage for stock were important, as were carefully tended crops, gardens and orchards’. The Orania community is reported to enjoy a significantly different lifestyle to the rest of South Africa. While mainstream South African citizens may view the lifestyle as primitive or backward, it epitomises a strong work ethic, discipline, cooperation and harmony, selfdetermination and communal interdependence. What could be regarded as traditional (African) values are very much at play in Orania. While citizens are able to acquire education at national or international institutions, and choose where to live, many bring their skills back home to improve the community’s quality of life. A journalist who recently paid the “tiny state” a visit and got to interview some of the citizens, observed that the choice of qualifications seemed to be based on the needs of the community. He also noted that the cooperation among citizens is such that whoever is assigned on “housekeeping” duties e.g community cleaning, cleansing or other ‘menial’ work, irrespective of his/her formal qualification, does his part. Having the right to enjoy this peaceful lifestyle may sound romantic when one gets reports from a past visitor. But realistically, things can’t be that easy. Drought hit the country quite severely over the last couple of years, and one can only imagine its effect on that community as it has heavy agricultural reliance. It would have tested the community’s resilience and had some questioning their choice – the right they exercised. Anyone considering an ‘Orania-type’ community as a success to be emulated would need to ask themselves whether they would have the requisite discipline, resilience, work ethic, contentment and community spirit that seem to sustain the members. It would also be interesting to know what the government’s view is regarding communities that may elect to follow the Orania route. In recent political instability, there was a threat of the Zulu community (under King Zwelithini) making a move for independence. Rather than evoking Constitutional rights or legal arguments, parties used informal ways to avoid what could have been a standoff. The country’s president was seen ‘humbling himself’ to the King in a way that raised questions over the country’s balance of power. Analysts attributed the diffusion, not as much to the president’s gesture, but to the King’s inherent weakness. After all, he couldn’t claim homogeneity of views and sentiment among the modern Zulu ‘nation’. Divergent opinions around what would effectively be a Patriarchal, Monarch system would be too tenuous for the King to pull off an Orania type community-success story. Nevertheless, it is not an impossibility that perceived failure to PEOPLE DYNAMICS | March - April 2019

provide for citizens’ most basic of human rights may see the government losing its right to govern, at least to some small, homogenous communities. This may happen through silent apathy and selfdetermination initiatives such as getting off power and water grid. It may also happen formally through the ballot. A third possibility as highlighted in a recent research by Ivor Ichikowitz Foundation, may well be in uprisings, protests and demands for (young) people to take their fate into their own hands. It is not beyond comprehension that communities will give up on the wait from government and put their own resourcefulness to play. Should this scenario prevail, it might not be as quiet and seamless as the Orania transition, which involves a critical mass of like-minded and similarly motivated people. A condemnation of government, due to perceived failure to provide for basic human rights would involve a more diverse profile - originating from different parts of the country. At best, this will bring chaos to government, and at worst it will bring the country to its knees as the have-nots continue to wreak havoc and deprive the rest of citizens what little peace their advantaged status affords them. Considering the current government debt, unresolved corruption claims in SOE’s, the state of economy, the country’s choices are restricted. Even where government secures loans, it will be at exorbitant cost that will squeeze taxpayers even more, resulting in some corporate taxpayers folding and sending more to unemployment. Any pledge for investment into the country is unlikely to address mass unemployment due to perceived labour volatility in South Africa when compared to other African and Eastern countries. South Africa is more likely to readily attract retail “investors” who want to capitalise on the high consumer numbers, as well as attract service-economy businesses that enjoy a technological advantage and risk less humanresource related uncertainty. In helping the country improve the fortunes of its people, government will need to carefully manage the outrageous gini coefficient - and find sustainable balance between fulfilling the needs of the haves and alleviating the destitution of the have-nots. It’s a catch twenty two as taxpayers who fund the government’s coffers (less than a quarter of the population) will mostly be fighting for services due to them (a civil right), whereas the majority will be fighting for the most basic of human rights which will require a future-fit, major and costly infrastructure overhaul. One NGO director I wish to quote expressed a radical view: “The more ‘Orania’ applications South Africa gets, the easier the government can breathe. The more communities take their fate in their own hands, with government owning up to its inability to be a benevolent Father to all, the sooner South Africans will progress. Communities are spoilt. They fail to do even the basics that are within their power, like picking up after themselves. Then again, who can blame them if government promised to do everything for them? It’s an untenable situation.” Wouldn’t it be a better miracle, were all South Africans to adopt a positive community spirit and social activism – where every citizen selflessly uses his/her talents to uplift the community and preserve the basic human rights, economic wellbeing and security of fellow citizens;… …where everyone is regarded as an “equal” contributor who serves his/her community with integrity, in pursuit of mutual preservation and human dignity;… …where diversity is not shunned or stunted as Orania elects, but embraced, celebrated and used to the maximisation of all South Africans’ collective strengths!

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