Marketing & Media trends
HR & Management trends
- 4 areas in which your business can practice its swivelFrancois Kriel
Construction & Engineering trends
- 3 major trends in the commercial property space in AfricaPeter Hodgkinson
- A bright horizon for South Africa's energy landscapeBarry Bredenkamp
- Achieving developmental goals through constructionCyril Vuyani Gamede
CSI & Sustainability trends
- Time for NPOs to show their real impactKeri-Leigh Paschal
- 5 sustainability trends that will shape business in 2021Christelle Marais
- 4 trends set to continue or be re-interpreted in the NGO sectorInnocent Masayira
- Strengthening NPO skills and processesNazeema Mohamed, Feryal Domingo and Soraya Joonas
- Sustainability is key for social investment in 2021Keri-Leigh Paschal
- 4 trends in employee skills development and training you need to know for 2021Siphelele Kubheka and Desikan Naidoo
Energy & Mining trends
- 10 predictions around fintechDominique Collett
- The 4 themes for the new yearAndrew Duvenage,
- 3 wealth management trends to watch in 2021Maarten Ackerman
- 4 strategies to rethink investing in SMEsKuhle Mnisi
- Microinsurance ready to reach new heightsMarius Botha
- Finding alpha in the age of Covid-19Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana
- Purpose or profit. It's not a choiceMike Middleton
- Shifting towards a digital - but still human - approachHenry van Deventer
- 5G is coming. Here's what it could mean for SASamantha Naidoo
- 3 big issues demanding legal attention this yearJonathan Veeran, Nozipho Mngomezulu and Burton Phillips
Logistics & Transport trends
Marketing & Media trends
- Tech democratisation will set the tone for 2021Andrew Smit and Johan Walters
- Auction industry survival depends on going virtualJoff van Reenen
- Covid-19 drives new trends in local property marketMarcél du Toit
- A bold year for beveragesAlex Glenday
- Acceleration of digital paymentsJonathan Smit
- Safety vs sustainability - the packaging industry's key conundrumNthabiseng Motsoeneng
- The evolving e-tail landscapeVilo Trska
#BizTrends2021: The people management landscape for 2021
Covid-19 has forced most companies to step back and re-think their organisational design and remuneration. The shift into remote work, the need to manage output - and not hours - as well as the financial pressure placed on companies to meet salary and benefits obligations, has created the opportunity to review age-old norms. For many, a forced review of costs has led to discussions about how work is performed and whether it cannot be structured differently to meet the growing demands for flexibility, remote working, and individualised remuneration structures. And costs reduction efforts don't have to mean employers win, and employees lose.
As an illustration, what the coronavirus has brought to the fore is the relationship between companies and trade unions. Within this relationship, a new approach needs to be taken. Trade unions and companies should be working together as partners – and being as transparent as opposed to the current, often confrontational, relationship which they currently have. This new approach should put employees and the company’s needs at the forefront of all negotiations.
There is not time left for old-style engagements. Multiple jobs have and will be lost unless parties understand the local and global pressures that they are facing in order to remain competitive. Bad practices and waste need to be eliminated immediately or the jobs will continue to be lost. Open communication with all employees is essential for information to be known consistently, not only at the time of retrenchments and wage negotiations.
Maximising the full potential of employees
Apart from forced migration to online learning and online facilitation (which are two different things) as a result of the lockdown period, there is now a keener interest from business to know the full potential of its employees.
As a result, we’ve seen several employers looking at the drafting and/or updating their employee skills matrix. Many organisations have implemented leaner employee structures and knowing what their employees may be able to do/contribute - in addition to what they are already doing - may be of great advantage.
In 2021 and beyond, there will probably be a move back to organisations instilling a learning culture among their employees. The most important features of a learning culture are:
- Employee engagement
- Sound technology framework because as technology is all-pervasive, we must consider learning technologies which incorporate learning, the sharing of knowledge, successes and insights
- Corporate culture and a physical space which allows for building knowledge, sharing knowledge as well as re-building knowledge
It’s no longer about doing a lot of training but rather about conducting focused, outcomes-based learning, which can be transferred or shared in the workplace and that is relevant to the overall competitiveness of the organisation.
Re-energising the Employment Equity consultation process
Employment Equity (EE) consultation processes need to become more constructive and consultative. At the moment, EE committees are stagnant and are not very pro-active.
When the analysis is conducted before preparing the EE plan, most of the EE committee members are just present with the facilitator and HR doing all the talking. Also, there is very limited consultation and communication between the EE committee and employees.
By recording a short awareness video (which can be topical and based on, for example, sexual harassment, bullying, disability or HIV/Aids), which employees can watch in their own time and, following this, participate in a short, anonymous online questionnaire that is specific to the topic of the video, management will have more insight into the views of shopfloor workers. Thus, the committee will have actual employee comments to work on.
Finally, the effectiveness of the committee needs to be measured in the same way as the rest of the organisation.
A win-win situation
As businesses seek to reduce costs through lowering salaries, adopting less onerous fixed benefits packages, and saving on overheads associated with large office spaces, some of these changes can be made attractive to employees. Greater flexibility and opportunities to work remotely, resulting in less time wasted in traffic and costs associated with travel and childcare, could balance out more flexible packages. Shifts to total cost remuneration would help to manage employment costs for employers and provide individuals with the chance to structure their income to meet their unique – and changing - needs.
Of course, businesses – and individual employees as well as their managers – will all need assistance in adapting to, and especially in managing, asynchronous work hours, performance management and structural changes. We remain positive that, as we enter 2021, more of us will begin to accept that work is something you do, not somewhere you go and that performance should be measured on output and not hours chained to a desk.