World Safety and Health Day 2017 Theme: Optimise the collection and use of OSH data

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World Safety and Health Day 2017 Theme: Optimise the collection and use of OSH data
by Lathasha Subban

Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year.
Source: http://www.un.org/en/events/safeworkday/

The annual campaign for safety and health is to create awareness within areas of work where health and safety compliance is a high risk. This year the theme focuses on the “critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilise reliable occupational safety and health (OSH) data.”[1]

The SABPP supports the initiatives of the campaign to promote health and safety, and the utilisation of accurate data to improve capacity and promote decent work within industries and countries. The importance of health and safety within industries like mining, agriculture and manufacturing is critical in terms of work productivity and risk. The negligence of compliance to health and safety standards will lead to devastating consequences and even loss of life.

Companies must ensure that the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act No 181 of 1993, is upheld to “ provide for the health and safety of persons at work and the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; to establish an advisory council for the occupational health and safety; and to provide for matter connected therewith.”[2]

The celebration of the day is to further ensure that the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected and implemented within all sectors. The organisation is responsible to ensure that conducive healthy and safe work environments are provided for employees. Employees themselves are responsible to ensure that the standard of health and safety is sustained. Health and saftey is a partnership between employer and employee.

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Celebrate World Safety and Health Day 2017 with compliance, awareness and zero tolerance to risk when it comes to health and safety.

This article was written by Lathasha Subban Head: Knowledge and Innovation of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) with contributions from Marius Meyer, CEO of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP).   For more information, you can follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1 or visit their website on www.sabpp.co.za

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[1]  http://www.un.org/en/events/safeworkday/

[2] http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/downloads/legislation/acts/occupational-health-and-safety/amendments/Amended%20Act%20-%20Occupational%20Health%20and%20Safety.pdf

 

Freedom Day 2017

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Freedom Day 2017
by Lathasha Subban

South Africa, the land of the free, of the equal and of democracy. “Freedom Day on 27 April is an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. It is significant because it marks the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and a new state subject to a new constitution.”[1]

Imagine in the time of disruption in technology, economic uncertainty, political upheavals and slow transformation, we can still hold onto our freedom. When we look back at the circumstances that imprisoned freedom, we should embrace the gratitude that we are have risen above the apartheid circumstances and live as free individuals and citizens of a powerful nation.

“With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized. Race laws touched every aspect of social life, including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of “white-only” jobs. In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three categories: white, black (African), or colored (of mixed decent). The coloured category included major subgroups of Indians and Asians. Classification into these categories was based on appearance, social acceptance, and descent.”
Source: http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html

Pre-1994 were categorized according to our race and colour, today we celebrate the freedom of diversity, being different and inertly recognised as human beings with equal rights. Freedom Day is about our identity as South Africans, and it celebrates our uniqueness and it reminds us of our ability to persevere as nation in always standing firm to honour our democracy.

The SABPP supports and encourages democracy, equal rights and non-discrimination. As the HR professional body in South Africa, it acknowledges the uniqueness of our Constitution, by recognising the principles and spirit it was written in. It advocates for the profession to lead their portfolios in fair practice and support transformation. HR protects the human resources of the organisation like the Constitution protects the citizens of this country.

In honour freedom HR professionals should:

  • Create awareness around issues of discrimination: race, sex, gender, disability etc. The SABPP has taken the pledge against racism of any kind. It was signed by members and staff alike.
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  • Drive programmes that create understanding and solutions to challenges around “freedom of speech, discrimination, unfairness” etc.
  • Change the vocabulary of the organisation by advocating for equality and fairness rather than discrimination.
  • Be innovative in leading the workforce in recognising and appreciating the uniqueness of their colleagues.
  • Create events that drive collaboration and team spirit of the workforce like sporting events etc.
  • Inform the organisation with articles and papers.
  • Be honest and fair in your approach, by protecting the human rights of the employees and including them in your plan.

Freedom Day should not be taken for granted. Though we have been empowered to live “free”, we still face many oppressive circumstances. The delivery by government on housing and health care is still pending. Education is not standardised and youth face the difficulty with access to higher education and jobs. The access to water and sanitation is not optimal, and many of our fellow South Africans face their daily lives without proper sanitation and drinking water.

Considering the above “Freedom” needs more support. Celebrate Freedom Day with the spirit of gratitude and the vision to uphold its value in our country. Be a part of the greatness by creating solutions that change lives and free souls. Freedom Day is for us to remember the sacrifice to achieve our “free” status and to endure the journey to uphold it.

Happy Freedom Day!

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This article was written by Lathasha Subban Head: Knowledge and Innovation of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) with contributions from Marius Meyer, CEO of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP).   For more information, you can follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1 or visit their website on www.sabpp.co.za

[1] http://www.gov.za/speeches/freedom-day-2016

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2017: A sacrifice for democracy

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HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2017: A sacrifice for democracy
By Lathasha Subban

South Africa in the 1960’s witnessed many incidents that protested against apartheid and racism. The fight for human dignity, equality and basic recognition as a human being was ongoing and in many instances ended up in tragedy.

“Human Rights Day is a national day that is commemorated annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa.” Source: http://www.gov.za/human-rights-day-2015

The 21st March 1960, where the townships of Sharpeville and Langa embarked on a protest against pass laws, ended in tragedy as 69 protestors were shot and killed by apartheid policemen. This tragedy become famously known as the “Sharpeville Massacre”. As dark was the time, the deaths of these human beings shone light on the apartheid government’s violation of human rights, not just within South Africa but to the entire world.

South Africa has journeyed forward away from such darkness’s to the light of democracy, equality, liberation and freedom. Though still facing many a challenge, the country protects its citizens through its Constitution, which is a powerful and strong shield. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has the role as the “national human rights institution mandated by South Africa’s Constitution to protect, promote, and monitor human rights in the country. Furthermore, the SAHRC has a mandate to investigate, report, facilitate redress where applicable, carry out research, and educate on human rights.

The SAHRC was established in 1995, and is a chapter 9 institution. Chapter 9 institutions are mandated by South Africa’s constitution and are mandated to guard constitutional democracy.”[1] The SAHRC is there to ensure that our constitutional rights are upheld and maintained.

[1] http://www.sahrc.org.za/files/Human%20Rights%20in%20Community%20Protests.pdf

The Constitution for the Republic of South Africa, 1996
These rights include:

Equality – everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

Human dignity – everyone has inherent dignity and have their dignity respected and protected.

Freedom of movement and residence – everyone has a right to freedom of movement and to reside anywhere in the country.

Language and culture – everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice.

Life – everyone has the right to life.

Source: http://www.gov.za/documents/constitution/constitution-republic-south-africa-1996-1

Though we focus on human rights within South Africa, history has revealed that human rights were fought in many eras and in many countries. Dating as far back from 3000 years ago, when religious texts “emphasized the importance of equality, dignity and responsibility to help others originate from the Hindu Vedas, Agamas and Upanishads; Judaic text the Torah; 2,500 years ago, Buddhist Tripitaka and A guttara-Nikaya and Confucianist Analects, Doctrine of the Mean and Great Learning, 2,000 years ago, Christian New Testament, and 600 years later, Islamic Qur’an,”[2] to current times when we advocate for human rights that are violated through modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and child labour to name a few. Countries have ensured that human rights are protected through their legislation and encourages practice of equality, respect of human dignity and fairness through guiding principles and texts.

[2] http://www.globalissues.org/article/154/a-chronology-of-the-global-human-rights-struggle

The United Nations (UN) is exemplary of a global institution advocating of human rights, with its Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the influential role creating awareness by and advising businesses on their obligations to address any adverse human rights impacts caused through their operations.

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The SABPP has recently produced a fact sheet on Modern Slavery that advocates for the preservation of human rights and how it can be identified within the workplace. Our preoccupation as South African HR professionals with the implementation of transformational employment legislation aimed at redressing the human development impediments of apartheid presents the risk that human rights issues which attract a higher profile in other countries, yet requiring our attention, pass us by.

But consider for just a moment the chocolate wrapper in your waste bin (and the child labour possibly involved in harvesting the chocolate’s cocoa content), the sparkling sheen of your car’s metallic paint or your glamour-look eye shadow (both achieved using the mineral mica, known to be mined in some regions by victims of debt bondage), the many other minerals mined in conflict regions, then used in countries known for the prevalence of forced migrant labour to manufacture the electronic components of your mobile phone.

The truth is that modern slavery exists to some or other extent in both our personal and our business supply chains. This growing phenomenon has implications for organisations that are concerned with their sustained success in a world that increasingly demands that businesses take responsibility for their direct and indirect human rights impacts.

32.pngThe SABPP Anti-Racism Pledge

In March 2016, the SABPP in partnership with Mindcor, launched their stand against racism. During a time when racist remarks were frequenting the social media platforms, the SABPP supported human rights by encouraging their members to stand up against racism. As the HR professional body of South Africa, “Racism stops with me.” Awareness starts with individuals, and its business awareness starts with HR driving it.

Human resources share the “Human” aspect of human rights. The commonality is not by coincidence, but by design and association. HR is the custodian of “human” resources and thereby responsible in ensuring protection of those “human” resources rights. HR is responsible to guide and lead the business to practice respect of culture, diversity and race; tolerance in each individual’s uniqueness; fairness in behaviour, thinking and decision making; and recognition of human dignity for one another.

In the words of former President Nelson Mandela, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to see realised. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Many humanitarians have lived their lives fighting for human rights. They never gave up on trying, on persevering, on creating awareness, attempting to change minds and behavior; so why should we not carry on?

Human Rights Day in South Africa is the day we as South Africans carry on with the fight for human rights; persevere to achieve fairness, equality and respect; and not standing down under until every trace of violations against human rights has disappeared. May you celebrate Human Rights Day with dignity, pride, freedom, equality and respect.

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This article was written by Lathasha Subban, Head: Knowledge and Innovation of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP).  For more information on the article or fact sheet/s, you can contact Ms Subban on lathasha@sabpp.co.za

Follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1 or visit their website on www.sabpp.co.za

 

Quote of the Week by Marius Meyer

23 January 2017

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“First do the small things well if you want to do great things.”

People often pursue big projects or initiatives that are complex and strategic in its scope, design and implementation. Therefore, they are often overwhelmed when things get too big or when things go wrong. I have learned that all great things start with small things. For instance, you cannot write a 10 page report for management if you cannot do a good 1 page letter for a client. You cannot arrange a meeting for 30 people if you cannot do one for 10 people first. Get the basics right first. Do the small things well. Not only does if give you a quick win, it helps you to build your confidence and stretch yourself towards greater, more complex and more significant tasks and achievements. Work towards greatness by achieving success in small things first. You are as good as your last task, no matter how small that task was. Do it well and then move to greater things.

By Marius Meyer, CEO SABPP.

Lessons from HR Audits: Strategic HR Management

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Lessons from HR Audits: 
Strategic HR Management
by Shamila Singh

Strategic human resource management supports long-term business goals and outcomes with a strategic overall framework. It focuses on longer-term resourcing issues within the context of an organisation’s goals and the evolving nature of work, and informs other HR strategies.

Several theories deal with the integration between business strategy and human resource management. Some of these theories are behavioural theories; resource-based theories; and interactive theories, based on the open systems theory (Dhar, 2010). Accordingly, behavioural theories assume that for the realisation of a certain business strategy certain employee behaviours are necessary.

To date two primary perspectives – a universal approach and a contingency approach have been used to describe the link between human resource management (HRM) and firm performance (Wright and McMahan, 1992).  The universal or best practice perspective implies a direct relationship between approaches to human resources and performance, whilst the contingency perspective posits that an organisation’s strategic posture either augments or diminishes the impact of HR practices on performance.

The SABPP HRM System Model positions strategic HR Management as the first HR standard as part of the business strategy-HR business alignment process.

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The results of 18 HR Audits of the SHRM element of the National HR Standards Model revealed some interesting outcomes.  Although there are pockets of excellence in the SHRM element, the average South African organisation experiences major challenges in the development and implementation of HR Strategy.  Pre-audit assessments of SHRM element completed by 400 companies revealed an average score of 50% whereas the audit outcomes of the 18 companies was higher at 58.2%.  Moreover, some the auditees reported challenges on the strategic positioning of the HR.  A score of 60% is required to achieve the standard.

The following ten lessons were identified by the auditors at the twenty auditees:

  1. Overall, most of the auditees acknowledge that HR needs to be re-positioned to enable the organisation to achieve its strategic objective.
  2. The perception of HR is generally negative or seen to be focused on transactional issues.
  3. The auditees agree that the National HR Standards Systems Model provides a framework for HR professionalise and for HR to have a voice and gain credibility.
  4. For HR to contribute towards the strategic objectives requires CEO and top management support and buy-in.
  5. Of all the HR audits conducted none of the auditees had an explicit employee value proposition to determine the people intentions to attract and retain talent.
  6. From the perspective of the alignment of the HR strategy to the business strategy (vertical alignment), there is alignment but the challenge is that there is a lack of horizontal alignment of the functional areas of HR to the HR Strategy. In other words, HR management systems, policies, plans, practices and interventions are not fully aligned and leveraged for optimum impact.
  7. The lack of HR strategy implementation is attributed to several issues, namely, the HR strategy is not cascaded down into the functional areas of HR, a lack of measurement, deficient buy-in from top management, a lack of resources, insufficient support from line management, and HR’s ability to deliver is compromised by the competence of the HR team.
  8. Another issue that needs to be unraveled is what structure and capacity is needed to deliver the HR strategy. The empirical literature states the structure for HR is determined by the size of the organisation, the nature of the organisation, the complexity of the work and competencies of HR practitioners.
  9. Most the auditees agree that the competencies of the HR team is not aligned and reviewed in accordance with the HR strategy. Furthermore, even if the competencies do exist the lack of strategic orientation of HR constrains the deployment of the competencies needed to achieve the strategic objectives.
  10. Another challenge for orgnaisations in terms of competencies is that some of the HR teams do not have the qualifications in HR or may not have attained a HR qualification but work in HR and have largely acquired some of the skills through work experience. Furthermore, because of a lack of qualifications these HR practitioners are not professionally registered with SABPP in accordance with the NQF Act.
  11. Another finding is that some auditees focus on continuous professional development, but this is not consistent amongst the auditees. The deficient continuous professional development negatively affects the organisation’s ability to provide sustainable people strategies and innovation.
  12. As a result of the lack of integration auditees largely focus on compliance instead of an integrated governance, risk and compliance approach as outlined by King IV.

The above lessons reflect that although some organisations’ HR Strategy is derived and aligned to the business strategy whilst other companies still struggle to reposition HR.  South African organisations have acknowledged that HR has to be strategically aligned and hence more dedicated effort is needed to ensure that the HR strategy is developed and implemented.   The audits reveal that in South Africa, it appears as if good practices are implemented at some of the leading organisations.  However, we would like to see that these good practices are the norm and not the exception.  The HR Directors that have successfully developed and implemented HR strategy are the pioneers and can provide case studies and lessons for other organisations grappling with similar challenges in their organisations.

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Dr Shamila Singh is Head of HR Standards at SABPP.  She also managed several audits against the National HR Standards. 

Thinking through ethical dilemmas

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Thinking through ethical dilemmas
by Dr Penny Abbott

After a year of running the SABPP Ethics in HR workshops for members, it is clear that HR practitioners are constantly faced with very difficult choices to make in the workplace. Some situations are pretty clear in that legal or regulatory issues are involved, so analysing and deciding on what to do is more an interpretation of compliance requirements.

However, because HR work often involves balancing of interests, decisions to be made will entail ethical dilemmas. These occur when:

  • you feel that you are being asked to do things that are against your personal moral values;
  • you feel you have a conflict between two or more of your own values;
  • you recognise that a decision will disadvantage one person while advantaging another.

A general example of the first situation would be where someone working in a pharmaceutical company is asked to consent to overcharging a hospital. A general example of the second would be where a doctor is conflicted between duty to colleagues and duty of care to the patients. A general example of the third is where a teacher has to choose which class member to award a prize to when there are two or more very worthy candidates.

In HR work, examples of these are:

  • advising on a promotion selection when one candidate is known to be cheating on his/her marriage partner – if the HR practitioner holds strong views on fidelity within marriage, this might influence his/her advice;
  • advising a manager on how to deal with a difficult team member – the duty to assist the manager to maintain a productive and engaged team might conflict with the duty to assist the employee to maintain his or her job security;
  • advising a manager on selection of employees for retrenchment – when retrenchment for the group of employees would have negative economic or social effects to quite a different degree for individuals in the group, but the agreed selection criteria focus strongly on skills rather than personal circumstances.

The SABPP provides a quick test for HR practitioners to check whether a decision they are making or advising on is ethical or not, and provides free bookmarks for members depicting this test.  Formulated by Professor Leon van Vuuren from the Ethics Institute, five questions should be asked:

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david-clutterbuck-2011-aprilAccording to a recent article by Professor David Clutterbuck , the key to working through such issues is a six-step process. The steps are:

  1. Articulate the problem
  2. Consider the context
  3. Consider the implications
  4. What other opinions/ perspectives may be relevant?
  5. Balance the arguments
  6. The final check

Articulate the problem

Find someone to discuss the problem with. This step is vital, because you may not have had time to think the issue through on your own, or may be avoiding doing so, because the conflict is too painful. It’s common to rationalise away the conflict, in the hope that the discomfort will fade. The starting point is often therefore to recognise that you are deeply confused. You may need help to understand the consequences of your behaviour / decisions. The unethical behaviour may appear to be the norm in your organisation and you may feel that you are the one out of step.

A coach, mentor or any skilled helping professional can be helpful in these situations. They can help you understand and describe the issue, by asking questions such as:

  • Who does it affect, how and why?
  • What is the nature of the conflict of interest?
  • What specific personal, organizational and /or societal values are involved?
  • What are the conflicts that you feel within yourself? (What is making you feel uncomfortable?)

Consider the context

Here we try to understand the scope of the issue and the environment, in which it takes place, using questions such as:

  • Who is involved, directly and indirectly?
  • Is this a new issue, or an old one in a new guise?
  • What are your specific and general responsibilities?
  • Who has been consulted?
  • Who needs to be consulted?
  • Is there a relevant code of conduct or guideline?
  • What is the general ethical climate here?

Consider the implications

Now we can begin to explore what will or is likely to happen as a result of following one path or another. Very often, our attention is focused on the small picture and the short-term. By widening our view and looking to the longer term, we begin to create a different perspective.

  • What risks are involved? (Safety, financial, reputational etc)
  • What precedents may be set by this decision?
  • What would be the impact if this were done on a much larger scale?
  • Would the implications be different if this were played out publicly or privately?

What other options or perspective may be relevant?

Here we are widening the perspective even further, using questions such as

  • What might you be avoiding acknowledging?
  • Who might provide a robust challenge to your thinking?
  • How can you make other people feel more comfortable about speaking up?
  • Have you genuinely sought and listened to dissenting views?

A useful approach here is to explore the issue from the perspective of people, who are affected by it. “Walking in someone else’s shoes” helps us appreciate how they might feel – and how we might feel in their place.thinking.jpg

Balance the arguments

By now, the issue will have become both more complex (in the sense that there is a lot more information to consider) and simpler — because the choices, while they may be finely balanced, are much clearer. We can make a choice about what is the right thing to do by comparing choices both rationally and emotionally. We realise that no decision is going to be purely right or wrong, but that an ethical decision is one that tries to achieve a fair and compassionate balance. Useful questions include:

  • What would an impartial adviser see as fair?
  • What priorities should we apply to conflicting objectives and values?
  • What are the “zones of ethical acceptability” and what lies outside them?

The final check

This last step is equally important, but easy to miss out, because it requires an extra burst of energy and self-honesty at the end of what is likely to have been a gruelling and painful conversation. Useful questions we can ask include:

  • What decision-making biases might you be applying without realising?
  • How honest are you being with yourself? (How pure are your motives?)
  • Do you truly feel this is the right thing to do?
  • If we were to give this issue more time, would we come to a different conclusion?

Implementing the decision about the most ethical way forward poses its own problems. When someone takes an ethical stance, the reaction of other people is often very negative, because now their integrity is being questioned. The instinctive responses are fear and resentment. So you may also need help to develop a strategy for helping others overcome their instinctive hostility and engage in open, considerate dialogue.

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The key to this stage is to focus on values and on your sense of your ideal self. You can engage with peers or more senior colleagues by asking them to confirm the values that they and the organisation espouse and try to live up to. Helping them to work out where the organisation might not be living up to its values is less likely to evoke the sense of personal threat. And discussing how they collectively might be able to live up to the organisational values and their personal values more consistently and more thoroughly is still relatively unthreatening. But from that point it is a lot easier to focus on specific behaviours or policies, which need to be changed.

This softly approach won’t always work. Sometimes blowing the whistle is the only recourse. However, a discussion partner can be a great support in working out tactics, giving encouragement and rehearsing difficult conversations. Therefore, thinking and working through ethical dilemmas in a focused way using a step-by-step process provides an opportunity for HR professionals to raise their game in fulfilling their ethical and professional duties in the workplace.

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This article was written by Dr Penny Abbott with acknowledgement to Professor David Clutterbuck of the David Clutterbuck Partnership, in association with MDQ Associates in South Africa. Dr Abbott is the Research and Policy Advisor for the SABPP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 10 D’s of ensuring a successful 2017

 By Marius Meyer

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The year 2017 is here and while most South African employees are enjoying the last part of their annual holiday season before the start of this year’s work, it is also the time when people start to prepare for work.  That is also one of the major differences between talent and non-talent.  Normal employees simply arrive at work to be told what to do by their bosses. Talented employees have already been through a clear thinking process before the first working day of 2017 starts.  They know what they will do this year, they also know what they will do differently to achieve success.  Talented staff don’t wait for things to happen, they make things happen.

In this spirit of positive affirmations and a clear vision for yourself, I want to share some guidelines for talented employees in focusing their goals, objectives and actions for 2017.  I present them to you as the 10 D’s of success:

  1. Dream: Have a dream on where you want to be in December 2017.  By the end of the year you need another holiday, but you want to look back and say this was a great year full of successes and achievements.  Follow-up on this dream by visualising your success.
  2. Direction: Ensure that you have clear direction on where you want to go to in 2017. Be focused around clearly defined and specific objectives to achieve.
  3. Differentiate: Decide upfront how you will differentiate yourself this year.  Remember that you are competing with other talented people.  Be different with a clear strategy of differentiating yourself and the value you bring to the organisation and society at large.
  4. Dates: Work through your diary and make sure that all key dates and milestones are clearly visible.  Start planning towards these target dates and stay on track.
  5. Determination: Be determined to achieve success. Be positive, focused and determined to attain your goals for the year.
  6. Dedication: Once your goals are clear, the next important thing is to commit to these goals, thus you need to be dedicated in executing your plans, even when you encounter obstacles.
  7. Digital: While there may be some uncertainties in 2017, one thing is certain – this year will be more digital than previous years. Get up to speed with the latest technology and ensure that you leverage technology in accelerating your success.
  8. Do things: While goals are essential, achieving them will not happen if you don’t follow-through with clear actions.  Make things happen. Do things in a focused yet results-driven manner.
  9. Development: Realise that you may need to develop some new skills or talents this year. Adapt your personal development plan to ensure that you grow and develop yourself. Also, develop those around you to multiply your success.
  10. Diversity: Think how you can leverage the diversity around you – your colleagues, your teams, your partners.  Build a culture of diversity to enrich your thinking, experience and behaviour.

There you have it – the 10 D’s necessary to set you up for success in 2017.  Your own unique skills and talents are what make you successful, but some good thinking and planning could be just what you need to make this year your best year yet.  A positive mind-set is a good start, but some clear actions are needed to make this a reality.  The key question is: How can you optimise your talents this year in achieving success?  Have a great 2017!

Marius Meyer is CEO of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP).

 

 

16 MILESTONES FOR SABPP IN 2016

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On behalf of the Exco of the SABPP Board, we would like to thank the HR Professional community for their support during 2016.   On 18 November the Board had it last meeting of the year, and then joined the Annual Committees meeting, a special occasion in which the different committees share their experiences, challenges and future plans. This was also a wonderful opportunity for the committee members to learn from one another and to apply integrated thinking within the spirit of the King IV™ Code of Corporate Governance.  I want to thank all the committees for their hard work throughout the year.

As we start our planning for 2017, let us use this opportunity of reflecting on the year 2016.  It was another exciting and busy year for SABPP with several highlights:

  1. Launch of a new vision, mission and HR Voice II Strategy for SABPP;
  2. Fourth Annual National HR Standards Roll-out Conference at Vodacom World in Midrand;
  3. Many in-house HR standards presentations;
  4. Our most visible year in terms of public conference exhibitions and presentations;
  5. Conducting six audits against the national HR Standards and release of 2nd Annual HR Audit Tribute and 1st Annual HR Audit Awards;
  6. Development and launch of Labour Market Scenarios 2030 Report;
  7. Visits to 16 university campuses and several student chapters formed;
  8. Green status in terms of uploads on the National Learner Records Database;
  9. A new record of 1068 HR professionals registered this year;
  10. Increasing our regional footprint to eight provincial committees;
  11. Good international recognition such as a visit by the largest HR body in the world, the Society for Human Resource Management from the USA, a visit by an Indian HR association to SABPP, as well as the first group of HR auditors trained in Zimbabwe;
  12. Participated in the development and launch of South Africa’s first talent management platform, Talent Talks;
  13. Establishment of three new committees, HR Citizen to champion volunteering work, and HR Governance to build a national HR Governance framework, and Change Management Committee;
  14. More than 100 articles published on the Internet, newspapers or in magazines;
  15. The construction and launch of SABPP’s first training room;
  16. Excellent growth in social media interaction with more than 11 800 twitter followers, as well as an Instagram account opened.

The above deliverables are clear evidence of the commitment of the SABPP Board and staff to build the HR profession.  Given the impact of the above successes, as the Exco of the SABPP Board, we are confident of yet another successful year as we get ready for 2017.  We will focus on key actions to drive the HR Voice II strategy of SABPP, and further expand our capacity to deliver according to the needs of the HR professional and learning provider markets.

I hope you all enjoy your well-deserved holiday.  We wish all our stakeholders a good time of rest with family and friends and we look forward to engage with you again next year.   Travel back home safely and have a blessed New Year full of new opportunities for making an even greater impact than last year.

 

Marius Meyer

CEO: SABPP

 

 

Reflecting on 2016: 16 guidelines for leveraging lessons and opportunities

By Marius Meyer

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As most people enjoy the holiday season, it is time to reflect on the successes, challenges and opportunities of the year.  The skill of reflection is very important for all talented employees.  It helps you to sit back and say: What worked and what did not work?  Ultimately you want to draw on the lessons of 2016 to become even better next year.

However, few people leverage the opportunity of reflection, especially after they have experienced a particularly tough year such as 2016.  Making some time to do serious reflecting is not only useful to get closure on the year, it is really a good first step towards setting yourself up for success the next year.  If you can do some serious introspection on the lessons of the year, perhaps where you made some mistakes as we all do, but more importantly identifying good opportunities for doing things better the next year, this form of reflection ensures that you reposition yourself as a more effective person going forward.  Here are  list of 16 guidelines for reflecting on 2016:

  1. Reflect on your successes. Write down all the good things that happened to you.
  2. Review your challenges and mistakes and identify opportunities for improvement and development.
  3. Identify all the people who made a difference in your life – colleagues, staff, friends and family and write a personal note to all of them who contributed to your success.
  4. Reflect on the balance in your life – did you really make sufficient time for all the things you like apart from your work commitments?
  5. Identify all the obstacles you encountered and reflect on how well you managed to deal with these stumbling blocks in your life.
  6. Think about all the interesting clients or places you visited throughout the year and consider how these unique experiences enriched your life.
  7. Write down the names of your top five relationships and treasure how these interactions helped you to be successful during the year.
  8. Identify the highlight of the year – what was that one or two achievements or incidents that made this year memorable?
  9. Think about all the new people you met this year and identify the one or two who really impressed you and see how you learned from this experience.
  10. Consider any regrets you had this year and think about ways of turning this around next year, if possible.
  11. Be honest with yourself by identifying what you learned about yourself this year that you need to stop doing or changing your behaviour in becoming more successful.
  12. Identify opportunities you missed out on this year such as a lost opportunity and consider how you can make up for that next year.
  13. Think about your worst disappointment this year and reflect on the lessons from it so that you can get closure on it.
  14. Consider the extent to which you achieved your goals for the year.
  15. It is possible that you neglected key relationships this year and decide on how you will change that next year.
  16. Reflect on the extent you have grown as a person this year and indicate how much development you still need to achieve your career goals.

Reflecting on 2016 brings you to one key question: Was 2016 a successful year for you?  If so, well done, you made it!  If not, don’t despair, the next opportunity is around the corner – the new year 2017 that will present new chances for using your talent to achieve even greater things than the year before.  Build on your successes and work through your challenges.  I also realise that talented employees are hard on themselves, they are achievement orientated and want to attain great things despite the challenges and negative things around us.  And of course,  your organisation culture, politics and the broader socio-economic environment may not always be conducive to good work. But as I always say to my staff and students: Yes, life is hard, but you are harder!

 

Marius Meyer is CEO of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP).