Many of you will be counting the cost of all the time off over the past month as we return to some semblance of normalcy in May. While there has been some harsh criticism of the effects of these public holidays, there is simply nothing we can do, but buckle down and try make up for lost time. Or is there?

In our experience, the smart manager will find ways to approach productivity within the organisation which breaks away from the traditional approach. Technology is not the universal panacea vendors would like you to think, but there certainly are ways you can use tech to improve efficiencies across your business.

I was fortunate to attend and speak at the recent HR Technology Africa conference. I received some very insightful feedback from delegates, many of whom were investigating how to use technology to drive efficiencies in their organisation.

It is CRS’ position that by empowering staff to take ownership of their own time management, leave and training, companies will reap the rewards.

A key opportunity will lie in empowering employees to take control of their own progress and HR management through self-service applications. Historically, most HR systems have operated on a ‘pull’ basis, with HR managers requesting or demanding information from employees and management.

We believe that using HR applications that require employee ‘push’ will result in employees taking ownership of their growth paths and they will be more likely to volunteer their interests, information and skills.

This can be done by the smart use of desktop, kiosks and even mobile applications which allows staff to access and manage their own growth paths.

Many managers still work on a deeply hierarchical basis, where they dictate how staff grow. It is our belief that people are changing and they are looking to work at companies who acknowledge their individual needs. If this is done, not only will you hold onto scarce skills, but you will see productivity increase by factors and not increments.

Please drop us a line and let us explain more about how we have helped companies achieve increased productivity.

SETAs up for revision

Speaking of skills, you should be aware that proposed amendments to three Bills on education, training and skills development were published in the Government Gazette on April 15.

Initial examination of the legislation leads us to believe that it is extremely important and that it could have far-reaching implications for training programmes and labour relations. Organisations have until 6 May to respond. Unfortunately, the Bills have been published at a time when there are many public holidays, schools are on an extended break and many people in business have booked leave.

While this is not an ideal situation, we will keep you informed of the proposed amendments and how they may affect your companies as the information becomes available.

In conclusion, it is clear that many companies will be knuckling down to ensure they meet their annual targets and generally trying to make up for lost time. However, we urge you to take some time and investigate how you could be working smarter and how we can help you achieve greater efficiencies and, ultimately boost your bottom line.

Until next time,

James McKerrell

SARS Update

A reminder that the SARS filing season is now open. The deadline for submission is 3 June 2011. Please make sure that all employees have tax reference numbers and that you use the latest e@syfile version for your submissions.

SARS have also introduced a monthly newsletter called Employer Connect. This can be found on the SARS website at www.sars.gov.za This is truly a positive step in helping companies with compliance.

New Companies Act

The Department of Trade and Industry has confirmed that President Jacob Zuma has signed the Companies Amendment Act. Its effective date will be 1 May 2011.

South Africa’s holiday culture

Easter holidays ‘an economic disaster’. Employees may be smiling, but some economists are not happy at the impact of the 11-day shutdown of business because of public holidays this month. Click here to read the full article from Business Report.

Training

Faranani Facilitation Services (PTY) is an accredited BEE provider which provides consulting services and offers full qualifications and skills programmes through the Faranani Learning Academy. Faranani was awarded national training on ROI in November 2010 for FASSET SETA. Join Faranani at their workshop on ROI in Training, and learn more about measuring the impacts and returns of training.

Who should attend? SDFs, HR, L&D, and training professionals

Workshop topics: Training evaluation and impact assessment; the ROI process model; ROI data collection tools; calculating ROI monetary values, given benefits and costs; learning dashboards, scorecards; case study examples (Old Mutual Business School); practical calculations using ROI calculator tools.

  • Facilitators: Deborah Williams (MD, Faranani), Paul Alexander (Previous Head of Old Mutual Business School), Skills development, performance management and ROI experts
  • Venue: Kelvin Grove, Newlands, Cape Town
  • Date: Thurs 26 May 2011 (bookings close 13 May)
  • Time: 8.30 am — 4pm (Registration 8am)
  • Cost: R1195 excl. VAT (10% discount for groups of five or more)
  • Enquiries: Jill Carolissen, tel: 021 762 5742
  • RSVP: Please email: marketing@farananiservices.co.za

Training Modules

We continue to offer a selection of training on our modules. Please click here for the dates and venues.