It’s hard to believe that Q1 is done. The Budget always seems to be an anchor and set the tone for business but right now there is a lot of fist shaking at Eskom and that’s setting an altogether different kind of tone! And, from an HR standpoint, it has to be managed too. Not everyone can run to generators so it comes down to getting Eskom-smart and doing things like moving meeting times and venues, changing workers’ shifts, lunch and tea breaks, re-thinking when and where to perform system backups, allowing ‘work from home’ days and so on. The knock on effect on the industry in just the last few weeks has been quite phenomenal and unfortunately, I think the problem is a long way off resolution. As HR professionals, it is just another South African’ism we have to adapt to and I would love to hear from you about the HR changes you have made to combat loss of productivity when the lights go out?  Do you have a ‘loadshedding’ operational mode that the entire organisation follows? What hasn’t worked for you as an HR department or C-Suite in the dark?

Going back to the Budget, it was quite conservative in my opinion without any drastic changes. There was something for everyone in it and, if followed through, will certainly help rebuild or at least stabilise the platform from which we are all trying to do business. CRS has also released its annual Tax Guide booklet. As usual, there has been a lot of interest in this and we have printed guides too. Drop us a line to order a hard copy or scroll down to find a link to the digital version.

As part of our greater knowledge sharing and skills development vision, I am pleased to share that CRS is partnering with local educational institutes in building their HR syllabus and related components. Starting with Nelson Mandela University, we contribute the professional HR input and vast experience needed to build a solid course or syllabus, and we’re looking forward to rolling out with other tertiary institutes in a similar role. Still on education, I am also pleased to welcome our new interns to CRS who, over the next four to six months, will be gaining exposure to all aspects of the business.

Lastly, I would like to draw your attention to the rise of something called social creditworthiness. This refers to accessing social media accounts/data as a means to profile or screen an individual for a variety of reasons including employment matters — and going far deeper than just a passive Facebook or LinkedIn search over lunch. If we thought we were uncomfortable in the current Big Brother society, this takes it to an all new level. Bad scores can even prevent one from buying things like airline or movie tickets. There are a number of areas of modern life that one can be locked out of if your social media activity is a bit sketchy. China is leading the world in this and, interestingly, the Chinese populous seems to be on board and welcome the accountability it creates. Here’s one article to read, Something to keep in mind for future talent searches.

Have a great month

Ian McAlister (ianm@crs.co.za)