Archive for June, 2013


Anja Hartman-Weitz, HR Director at Sage VIP

Anja Hartman-Weitz, HR Director at Sage VIP

 

- By Anja Hartman, HR Director at Sage VIP

Talent management adds strategic value to a business and if implemented correctly will help a company to achieve its business goals. In a nutshell it is all about placing the ‘right people in the right role’ for current and future business plans.

A company’s talent management strategy should form part of the overall HR strategy and in the end align with the company’s overall business plan. For example, if the company is building a brand of confidence for the external customers; this confidence will have to be demonstrated by the leaders inside the business. Creating a leadership brand is therefore central in supporting the brand internally. This will help the leaders to focus not only on achieving financial targets but also think of how to motivate and engage employees to achieve these financial goals.

Company culture, forms an integral part of talent management and will attract the right talent for future success. For instance, if you work towards being an employer of choice, your employees are more likely to be loyal, and in the end this will make you as a company a favourable option for the people you want to attract. A company’s culture is not established overnight and links in strongly with the behaviours of the business leaders, the way decisions are taken, the processes and the day to day running of a business.

In Sage VIP, we have found great value in conducting anonymous employee surveys. In these surveys, employees had the opportunity to tell us how they rate certain dimensions in the business, but more importantly indicate which dimensions will make them more loyal towards the company. This formed the foundation in our journey on becoming an employer of choice and we are fortunate to be in a position where talented graduates approach us and want to work at our company.

Building a talent pipeline

One of the main responsibilities for any manager is to ensure a strong talent pipeline.  They have to identify critical skills and competencies required for current and future business goals. In addition to this, the manager also has to identify critical positions and determine which individuals will be capable of taking up these key positions in future.

An analysis of your current talent can be based on discussions with individuals, the output from assessment tools and evaluating the performance of employees over the last few years.

The following should be taken into consideration when determining an employee’s potential:

  • The ability to easily progress to higher and more complex levels
  • Displaying learning agility and is readily adaptable
  • The ability to perform cross-functional assignments and not be limited to geographical or functional discipline
  • Personal aspiration and commitment to succeed

This evaluation process is followed by developing people according to a structured plan, based on the gaps identified between the business plan and the current talent available. It is also referred to as a succession plan.

In any organisation, there will always be employees with a specific talent or critical ‘know how’, on which the company relies heavily. If these employees should exit the business, the impact is usually huge because the skill is not always easy to replace. Managers should aim to reduce the dependency on these critical workers as far as possible.

The succession plan will help to reduce the business risk and the company should have a supply of talent ready to fill this role or be capable of doing broader roles. Replacement plans should be reviewed annually and action plans followed up rigorously – particularly in areas where there are critical gaps.

Talent management and confidentiality

A question regularly asked is, is whether an employee should know if they have been identified as “high potential?” It is important to encourage an open and honest approach with the employee at all times and to communicate with employees where they are in the talent pipeline and what it means to them.

Talent management is not just another HR process. It is important to the survival of any business and managers have a responsibility to ensure talent is managed, effectively and continuously.

Jenny Venter

Jenny Venter – Consulting Manager for Organisational Development at Sage VIP

Jenny Venter – Consulting Manager for Organisational Development at Sage VIP

Sage VIP recently hosted the p2t HR Conference for HR and Organisation Development (OD) practitioners. The conference was a true learning experience and an excellent opportunity for practitioners to discuss, debate and clarify the meaning of integration between people, processes and technology.

In his keynote address, Marius Meyer, the CEO from the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) said: “It is important for the HR profession to be guided by formalised and specific standards.” According to Meyer the current draft standard of practice will be finalised before the end of 2013. He encouraged the HR community to contact the SABPP and provide their input to the draft document.

Frank de Beer, Industrial Psychologist at Sage VIP, encouraged a debate around the impact of broken job structures on HR. He said: “Job structures are unique to every organisation and the key is to ensure that it supports the organisational purpose.”

Jason Bonehill, Industrial Psychologist at Sage VIP, challenged practitioners to critically consider the meaning of performance management for their organisations. During a workshop, practitioners continued to explore the challenges in moving performance management from practice to culture. The major themes that emerged during this session, as the delegates shared their experiences, were that management support is the key to driving a performance culture.

Karen Ekron, Head of Recruitment Consulting at Sage VIP, provided a comprehensive presentation on the challenges of selecting and implementing technology within the recruitment space and shared how the South African context can influence these technology decisions. According to Ekron it is important to be clear on what you want to achieve with your recruitment technology. “Recruiters usually need a combination of software solutions and it is therefore important that they ensure compatible technology platforms in the recruitment space,” said Ekron.

Dr Louise van Rhyn, Founder of Symphonia for South Africa, a non-profit organisation, who leads and initiate projects that are intended to engage South Africans in the process of nation building, was also present. She shared the ‘partnership for possibility’ leadership programme with practitioners. “The goal of this national change project is to achieve quality education in South Africa by 2022. The main elements of the programme include the partnering of business leaders and school principals in a co-learning and co-action partnership and 113 business leaders in South Africa are already making a difference to the quality of education of approximately 94,000 children, by partnering with school principals,” said van Ryn. “The programme is accredited by the University of the Western Cape and can be included in skills development and BBBEE reporting.”

Otto Pretorius, principal thought leader and director at QBit, a Business Consulting Company, led a debate on the link between strategy, the operating model, practices, processes and tasks. Organisations often attempt to fix broken organisational processes with technology, without understanding the underlying causes of the dysfunction experienced. Pretorius commented: “Technology can’t fix a broken business; it just makes broken things happen faster.” In order to ensure that HR processes are integrated, HR practitioners need an operating model for HR that can be translated into an HRIS. Pretorius introduced practitioners to an HR operating model called Standard Integrated People Practices (SIPP), which is accredited with the SABPP. SIPP is a work centric model where all processes flow from an understanding of work in the organisation.

Pretorius explained: “When studying HR processes a significant realisation is that HR is not a sequential process. It is a vast network of intertwined business processes that can be triggered in what seems to be a random order.  Understanding current and future requirements of work, how we define levels of accountability, define output, competency models and pay models (including grading) all integrate through a proper understanding of work. SIPP is a framework that allows HR practitioners to create this integrated understanding of work and processes in the organisation.”

Renate Landman, Executive Coach and Facilitator, representing The Human Edge and Worldsview Academy, introduced practitioners to the Influencer Change model. Landman shared case studies where some of the most challenging behaviours have been changed by identifying the end result, designing the few vital behaviours that will produce that result and leveraging six sources of influence that create an environment where it is easy for people to engage in these vital behaviours. Landman explained: “The Influencer model was designed after decades of studying individuals who achieved sustainable behavioural change in challenging environments and who had the data to prove the change.”

Craig Yeatman, CEO from Worldsview Academy (an organisation that specialises in Organisation Development) facilitated a workshop titled ‘the Establishment and Adaptation Landscape’. At the session practitioners could not only network with other professionals, but also debate in detail the true meaning of organisation development.  Practitioners had the opportunity to walk around on the Establishment and Adaptation (E&A) Landscape of Organisation Development and plot organisational issues. Yeatman explained: “Unlike other change frameworks, the E&A Landscape of Organisation Development simultaneously and appropriately works with the human and the organising systems. The E&A Landscape is made up of 25 fields – each of which is a unique aspect of the organisation in a unique phase of adaptation, providing a platform for intervention selection and monitoring over long periods of time across multiple interventions.”

The p2t HR Conference was a true community of practice for HR and OD practitioners, allowing them the opportunity to engage with each other, share their experience and challenging them to think differently about their organisational challenges.

For more information about the presentations, please visit: www.vippayroll.co.za