Tag Archive: Sandra Swanepoel


Sandra SwanepoelSandra is the Sales Director at Sage VIP and she is strategically involved in the management of the business as a whole.  She is responsible for business development of new markets by growing Sage VIP’s market share across all market segments.  “My career is jam-packed with many highlights, such as the launch of several innovative products and the growth of Sage VIP from a small family business to a business with 730 employees and a customer base of more than 26 000 customers.”

According to her, women in a corporate environment will always be faced with equality challenges. “However, we should recognise our differences and use it to rather build on the many talents and strengths woman indeed can offer in the workplace. This mind-set has helped me to never really experience the differences as challenges, but rather as opportunities to do things differently.”

Sandra’s secret to a healthy work-life balance: I believe in exercising daily and to also participate in various running and cycling events – small or big. This is something I treasure and it has had an amazing positive impact on my life because it ensured wonderful friends and relationships, something which has kept me well-balanced in my career.

Sandra’s advice to other women in a corporate environment:

·         Be confident and approachable

·         Never stop the learning process, be inquisitive about everything. Ensure you are up to date with business and technology issues by reading regularly

·         Surround yourself with strong, optimistic and positive individuals.

·         Always be true to yourself, no matter what

·         Work hard, always give your best and work as if the business is your own. You will then feel a sense of achievement

·         Be passionate about the company you work for. My passion has really given me an amazing career

Sandra Swanepoel

Sandra Swanepoel

Blog by Sandra Swanepoel, Sales Director at Sage VIP

There are ten core principles that differentiate good entrepreneurs from great ones. It is important to nurture an entrepreneurial spirit within an organisation and to empower the business to operate as if each individual works for themselves.

My top ten tips for entrepreneurs are:

  • Have stamina and work hard – Be relentless in pursuing  business. Make sure you have the stamina to spend all the hours that you can on pursuing your dreams.
  • Always spend your time on activities that are closest to cash – Certain hours are high income generating hours, spend them wisely.
  • Be an expert in what you do – invest time in yourself in order to be extremely well informed.
  • Deal with people  effectively – if you had to think of a leader  that really had a impact on you  and that influenced you in a positive way. You will find that the qualities they possessed were mostly emotional intelligence qualities and very seldom technical or IQ related. Make sure you develop your emotional intelligence to be able to deal with people efficiently.
  • Do things differently – Ask yourself what can I do differently so that customers will do business with me. How can I add value to their business? Be innovative, and take bold steps to distinguish yourself from the competition, be it with product service or your operations.
  • Be driven – set targets for yourself, your business and your staff; your business will only do well if you are driven to achieve results. Make sure that your targets are realistic. Unless you set goals you will find that time goes by that you cannot account for.
  • Do you have an immensely positive attitude – How you think is extremely important when you are a business owner. If you are able to stay positive and have a great mindset you are already on the right track.
  • Measure as much as possible – If you do not know your business you will not be able to improve year on year.  An example would be to measure what employees do and to give them goals, motivate them and pay them accordingly, resulting in greater buy-in, more ownership and accountability.
  • Read listen and learn – make sure you have a culture where you never think you know enough. Be open to learning and hungry for knowledge, whether from people that are younger, older, in different places or culture groups.
  • Admit mistakes and manage poor performers – If you do not manage people that perform poorly you will loose the whole room. For the same token if you have made a mistake by admitting it you will create a platform for peers to also admit mistakes. Keep the best employees and surround yourself with strong players.

The Women of Softline VIP

We hope you had a great Women’s Day yesterday. We’re very fortunate to have some extraordinary women in our team. Read a bit about the women of Softline VIP below…

Anja Hartman-Weitz

Anja is the HR Director of Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc, and she is responsible for the Human Capital within the company with a specific focus of maintaining Softline VIP’s status as an employer of choice.

Success is a responsibility to set an example in all aspects of life, not just at work. It means that you must be satisfied with the influence you had and the contribution you made at the end of each day.  I strongly believe that you need to be true to yourself and treat all people with the same kindness and respect.

My advice to young women starting their careers, is to pursue your dreams and never give up. You are what you repeatedly do, so be passionate and focus on excellence. It is challenging to be a working mom and you need to aim at striking that ‘perfect balance’. What works for me is to focus 100% on what I am doing at that moment, should it be at work, in a meeting or at home with the kids.

I am inspired by her mother who has been a big influence on my life. I am one of four children and my mom has always been there for us, supporting and helping wherever she can regardless of the circumstances. Due to her continuous encouragement and inspiration she made me believe that I can achieve anything I want.

I love entertaining and spending time with family and friends.  What could be better than having the people you care about, sitting around a table with good food, wine and laughter.

 

Jenny Venter

Jenny is an Organisational Development Specialist at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc, and she helps clients to overcome any human capital challenges.  To Jenny, being a successful woman in business means valuing relationships, being an expert at what you do and delivering on your promises.

My advice to young women, starting their careers, is to realise that their priorities and what they want from a career and from life will change as the different stages of their lives will.  Learn as much, and achieve as much as you can while you are young so that you have a skills set and track record that provides you with the mobility to craft and redesign your career in a fashion that will accommodate your lifestyle and personal needs.

I believe that you need to keep your priorities straight in life, loved ones are more important than work. Live with integrity, be kind, use your head when you are following your heart and have faith, especially when things go wrong. Don’t ever take your health for granted, take care of it.

I am also inspired by my mom.  She is a living example of someone who has endured all that life could throw at her with incredible resilience, while retaining her faith and her ability to love and care for others.

 

Sandra Swanepoel

Sandra is the Sales Director at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc, and she is strategically involved in the management of the business as a whole.  Sandra is responsible for business development of new markets by growing Softline VIP’s market share across all market segments.  

Our business follows a direct sales model, which means that our consultants spend a great deal of time in face to face contact with customers daily. Our products are sold in South Africa and Africa at large to any size business ranging from small to large enterprises, with some businesses utilising our HR and Payroll packages to pay thousands of employees.  Our products help employees to reach their full potential, which is a very rewarding achievement when you see how they grow with the company.

A balanced life is key no matter what. It is important to always invest time in your family, health and finances in addition to your employees and career.  I strongly believe that you should search for that one thing that makes you want to get out of bed every morning and then invest your time and efforts to become the best at it.

You need to walk the talk and to put energy into everything that is important to you. My mother is my inspiration and at 83 she still runs her own business. She loves it!

 

 

Monika Roode

She is the National Call Centre Manager at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc and she is in charge of the call centre and support operations. 

Success does not happen overnight, it takes a great deal of hard work, lost sleep and sacrifices. It is however important that you set realistic goals for yourself and to measure your journey against these goals.  As Charles Swindoll said, Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.

My inspiration is Audrey Hepburn, an academy award winning actress and humanitarian. Apart from being a very modest, beautiful and a legendary actress she also devoted much of her life to UNICEF. She worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities in Africa, South America and Asia making a huge difference in many people’s lives.

It is vital to stay true to youself and your values and to try as far as possible to maintain a good work-life balance.

 

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
 Audrey Hepburn

 

Karen Schmikl

Karen is the Business Manager for VIP Liquid Payroll at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc.  Karen manages Softline VIP’s online payroll product, Liquid and also oversees the legislation department.

You need to have passion for what you do in order to make a success of it, you also need to believe in yourself and do the job well.  I am sure there are still corporate cultures and industries where women have a tough time, but we are very privileged to be working for a great company that respects you for your competencies.  Set yourself a goal of what you want to achieve and go for it without losing focus of it.  Don’t ever sacrifice who you are or your principles.

I value people who stand up for their beliefs and do what is close to their heart.  I also have a great deal of respect for someone who is strong, someone who is able to survive and rise above her circumstances, such as Anne Frank and single moms.

It is important to live life with honesty, commitment and integrity. All the while, maintaining your life and work balance. From a work perspective I enjoy creativity and the satisfaction that comes from designing something from scratch and seeing it come to fruition.  From a personal point of view I love the outdoors, hiking, camping and gardening.

By Sandra Swanepoel, a Director of Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group plc.

Sandra Swanepoel

Payroll software is a mission critical function to any business.  There is a definitive necessity for any business to ensure that all changes, upgrades or installations of a new or existing payroll system are done in conjunction with a service provider that can deliver.

The relationship between the employer and employee is delicate and can easily be derailed if the payroll system should fail.  Making the correct choice is crucial.  The company’s software as well as its internal processes will suffer a major setback if the payroll installation is not done correctly.  The process needs to be underpinned by thorough training and supported by a concrete change-management process that documents all the procedures that need to be incorporated into the payroll solution.

The choice of a payroll system should be made with a long-term objective in mind.  To make this a reality, the company needs to consider the longevity of their payroll software investment.

It is of cardinal importance to ensure that the software is stable.  It is a very difficult aspect to ascertain during a demonstration.  There is however nothing stopping you from asking your prospective payroll software provider to provide you with client names as a reference.  This will help you to establish whether the payroll software that you are considering has a history.  Also ask them how often their software is updated; too many updates will point to an unstable product.

Another crucial aspect to consider is support.  If you install the product now, will the service provider’s support staff be available during peak times?  The company’s financial year-end is generally considered to be the busiest period for payroll administrators.  Support staff are normally flooded with queries or requests at these times and you want the assurance of knowing that your service provider is up for the challenge.

Investing in sustainable technology would be wise.  We live in a fast-paced business environment where technology changes rapidly.  You will want to invest in something that is up to date and current.  A good gauge would be to ask what technology your service provider is using and how often a new product is launched into the market.  If the product is versatile and adaptable, you should not have to change or update your payroll software too often.

One of the biggest concerns in the payroll software industry is leave management.  A company can stand to lose a great deal of money if their employee’s leave is not calculated and managed correctly.  Ensuring that the company’s payroll system operates its leave policy within the parameters set out by the basic conditions of employment act should be a given.  Companies that utilise an employee self-service strategy, often reap the benefits of having an electronic and accurate system that ensures that there are no mislaid leave forms.  It also facilitates a timeous leave approval process.

Having payroll software that is in tune with the country’s statutory changes and legal requirements is fundamental.   Ask whether your service provider keeps track of all the changes in the country’s laws.  Adherence to the parameters of the basic conditions of employment act is crucial to the maintenance of amicable employee relations in addition to complying with legislation.

Making the correct choice when it comes to HR and payroll software is therefore crucial.  Keeping these basic guidelines in mind, will ensure that your company makes a decision that it will not regret.