The CRS vision in 2018 was simple. To be the best HR and Payroll specialist in SA and the region. As such, I came into 2018 knowing that successful delivery first meant an assessment of our 2017 consolidation strategy and to ensure that our foundations were still geared to support new, longer-term development plans. In short, we put our heads down and we cracked on. I’ve never known the CRS team to be more focused than in the last year and, with every offering and area of CRS having been under detailed review, we enter 2019 as a stronger, more organised team of consultants and tech gurus who recognise consolidation as growth itself and are able to develop and deliver on sharp SLAs that are aligned to the client’s business, not ours.

Team aside, looking at the sector, I have also never known a time when HR has been so dynamic and, well, so downright interesting. The tech backbone of HR and the wider application of AR and VR is going to leave us speechless in the not too distant future. Social media is still impacting HR. Millennials will continue to re-design our sector whether we like it or not, keeping us veterans on our toes as we onboard them and their fresh thinking around employee and user experience and far more fluid work environments. Skills development remains a must in South Africa and I urge you to invest wisely and not overlook its impact on your business. From a local sector standpoint, HR and Payroll in South Africa has also had a great year. There is so much dedication and passion out there for the standardisation of HR in South Africa. At the recent SABPP HR Standards Summit, Jonathan Hall presented CRS Technologies and was amazing. His presentation, “The Impact of NeuroScience, Social Media & employees, employee engagement & systems in the workplace” was so well received that it is being converted by CRS as training and media material, so look out for more news on this in January.

Without giving too much away about all the HR, Payroll and tech-related global trends that CRS is aligned to, nor our new offerings that are right now getting their final tweaks ahead of their Q1/Q2 2019 rollouts, all I can say is next year is going to be a big one. You have shared your HR and Payroll problems and pain points, and we have listened.

To our clients, our immense thanks for being part of our valued collective and the cornerstone of much of what we did in 2018. We wish you a blessed holiday season and look forward to engaging with you in January.  Please note that we close on 14 December and re-open on 7 January but for urgent matters, we will have consultants/support if needed.

To the national CRS team — you are such an asset to our clients and you all inspire me in your own unique way. And I am sure our clients will agree that it is never dull when CRS is in the room. Have a safe and restful holiday period too, because we’re hitting the ground running in 2019…. ho ho ho!

Ian McAlister

(ianm@crs.co.za)