Why we need to completely retrain or reskill workers to tackle technology’s impact on employment

Workers believe personal skills will remain in demand despite automation.

Almost three quarters (74%) of people surveyed by PwC are ready to learn a new skill or completely retrain to keep themselves employable, and see this as their personal responsibility and not that of their employers.

The findings are from PwC’s latest report, Workforce of the future: the competing forces shaping 2030, which includes findings from a survey of 10,000 people across the UK, Germany, China, India and the US. Their views reinforce a shift to continuous learning while earning, so employees can keep up with technology’s impact on jobs and the workplace.

The report examines four worlds of work in 2030, to show how competing forces, including automation, are shaping the workforces of the future. Each scenario has huge implications for the world of work, which cannot be ignored by governments, organisations or individuals.

Gerald Seegers, Head of People & Organisation for PwC Africa, says: “We are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and HR challenges – at a time when business leaders are already battling with unprecedented risks, disruption and political and societal upheaval.”

Achieving the right mix of people and machines in the workplace and the implications for business is the critical talent issue facing organisations today. According to PwC’s annual Global CEO survey 2017, 52% of CEOs (Africa: 53%) say that they are considering exploring the benefits of humans and machines working together in the workplace. In some sectors, automation has already replaced some jobs entirely.

According to our Workforce of the future report, the majority of respondents believe technology will improve their job prospects (65%) although workers in the US (73%) and India (88%) are more confident, than those in the UK (40%) and Germany (48%). Overall, nearly three quarters believe technology will never replace the human mind (73%) and the majority (86%) say human skills will always be in demand.

Maura Jarvis, Associate Director, at People & Organisation PwC, says: “The shape that the workforce of the future takes will be the result of complex, changing and competing forces. Some of these forces are certain, but the speed at which they can unfold can be hard to predict. Regulations and laws, the governments that impose them, broad trends in consumer, citizen and worker sentiment will all influence the transition toward an automated workplace. The outcome of this battle will determine the future of work in 2030.”

While respondents to the survey were positive about the impact of technology, with 37% excited about the future world of work and seeing a world full of possibilities, there is still concern that automation is putting some jobs at risk. Overall, 37% of respondents believe automation is putting their job at risk, up from 33% in 2014. And over half (56%) think governments should take action needed to protect jobs from automation.

Jarvis further adds: “The megatrends are the tremendous forces reshaping society and with it, the world of work: the economic shifts that are redistributing power, wealth, competition and opportunity around the globe, the disruptive innovations, radical thinking, new business models and resource scarcity that are impacting every sector.

“Businesses need a clear and meaningful purpose and mandate to attract and retain employees, customers and partners in the decade ahead.”

The four worlds of work in 2030

The report presents four future scenarios – or worlds – for work in 2030, to demonstrate the possible outcomes that might evolve over the next ten years due to the impact of megatrends, artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning. It looks forward to examining how workforces in each of these worlds have adapted, as well as how technology is influencing how each of the worlds function.

Our four worlds of work are each markedly differenct, but through each runs the vein of automation and the implications of robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As more individual tasks become automatable through AI and sophisticated algorithms, jobs are being redefined and re-categorised. It’s clear that automation will result in significant reclassification and rebalancing of work.

Automation will not only alter the types of jobs available but their number and perceived value. Those workers performing tasks which automation can’t yet crack, become more pivotal – and this means creativity, innovation, imagination, and design skills will be prioritised by employers. Jarvis adds: “None of us can know with any certainty what the world will look like in 2030, but it’s very likely that facets of the Four Worlds will feature in some way and at some time.” Some sectors
and individuals are already displaying elements of the various worlds.

Those organisations and individuals that understand potential futures, and what each might mean for them, and plan ahead, will be the best prepared to succeed.

This article was submitted from PwC.

4 tips on how to ace salary negotiations and get paid what you’re worth

The words “salary negotiation” can dry the mouth of the most confident person, but renegotiating your package with your existing boss or coming to an agreement with a new employer needn’t be terrifying.

If you are well-prepared for the discussion and approach it with conviction, it can be rather exciting and empowering. 

PayScale’s Salary Negotiation Guide — an international benchmark—shows that 75% of professionals who ask for a raise get one. Yet 60% of millennials accept their first job offer without negotiating, often setting them up to be compensated below their worth for years into the future.

There are three major instances where you might need to negotiate your salary:

• accepting a job from a new employee,
• applying for a new role at your current employer, and
• seeking more compensation for your existing role.

Here are some tips to help you secure the best possible deal from your employer:

1. Sell yourself before putting a price on your skills and experience

Whether you’re presenting yourself for a new role or motivating for a salary increase, it’s important to demonstrate your value before you talk about money. That means you need to show that you understand the opportunities and challenges your manager and the organisation are facing, and how you can help address them. It also requires that you be charming and sincere to win the employer’s confidence.

2. Get the timing right

It’s important to choose the appropriate moment before talking about money. If you’re applying for a job at a new employer or a new role at your current place of work, wait for the interviewer to bring up the topic of remuneration. When you are thinking about asking for a raise in your existing job, wait for an opportune time, such as when you’ve secured an important contract for the company or received good feedback in your performance review.

3. Do your homework

Being informed is the key to faring well in salary negotiations. You should have an idea of the salary range similar organisations usually offer for similar roles to the one you hold or are applying for. You should also be aware of which skills and qualities you have that might set you apart and increase your value. Talk to people in your industry and look at the salaries and job descriptions on online job boards to get some ideas.

Steer away from basing your ask on personal circumstances – the company is paying for your skill, so make sure that you always relate your expectation to the value that you add to the organisation. Remember, employers usually offer 10-20% more if you held a similar role in a similar industry when you’re applying for an entry to mid-level position. Any awards, certifications, and qualifications you have above the minimum job spec might increase your value to the employer, and hence the salary you can negotiate.

4. Understand the offer on the table

Your offer will usually be presented as a monthly or annual cost-to-company package – be sure that you understand the net salary and benefits the employer is proposing. You can ask for a dummy payslip so that you can see the take-home pay each month as well as how much money the employer is paying towards retirement, medical insurance and other benefits.

Be especially careful to understand remuneration that comes in the form of performance bonuses, commissions, and staff share schemes. It is easy to under or over-estimate the money you’ll be bringing in if you are not clear about how these will work in practice. And don’t forget that benefits such as paid maternity leave, annual leave and workplace facilities like gyms and canteen also have a financial worth. If your new workplace won’t provide you with gym access or paid maternity leave, is it prepared to offer financial compensation?

Closing words

Think like an entrepreneur when you embark on your salary negotiations. As a business builder you take risks to follow your dreams and pursue your passions. Your employer will usually appreciate your commitment and excitement, helping you to advance your career and achieve the remuneration you are worth.

Heidi Duvenage is the Head of Sage Talent Solutions.

What is lean recruiting and why do it?

The concept of lean recruiting originates from “lean manufacturing”, an inventory strategy that aims to reduce costs and waste during production. An example of this would be receiving raw materials only just as they are needed, which then reduces inventory costs. Lean manufacturing is best known in the context of Toyota, who use it as part of their “Just In Time” vehicle production process.

What is “waste” in recruitment terms?

Like manufacturing, recruitment is based on supply or demand, and the smoother the process is of supplying that demand, the better the end value for the user (in this case, the company that is hiring a new employee).

In a recruitment context, waste can be thought of as excess time spent in the recruitment process – whether it’s sourcing, screening, qualifying or interviewing potential candidates. Lean recruiting aims to reduce this wastage within an organisation (and specifically an HR department) during the process of hiring a new employee.

Why do it?

Traditionally, the recruitment model is fairly reactive. If a company needs a new position filled, they’ll typically define what they’re looking for, put it out to market and then follow the usual routes for filling it. Lean recruiting aims to use a more proactive approach, including anticipating when new employees will be needed before the time, and using more strategic and efficient methods to find them.  

How do you do it?  

Sourcing top talent efficiently can involve a number of strategies and techniques within an organisation.

Here are six ways to start:

1. Refine how you search for candidates. This could mean not using as many recruitment channels, cutting out the channels that aren’t producing quality candidates, or reducing the amount of data you’re analysing to narrow down the field.

2. Automate where possible. By first mapping the journey from identifying the need for a new hire to filling the position, you can then identify areas where you can automate repetitive tasks using tech like applicant tracking software. This then means you can shortlist candidates with less manpower.

3. Spend time doing the most productive things. Determine what adds the most value in the recruitment process and then put more resources there. This may include things like speaking to candidates or hiring managers directly, rather than reviewing resumes or searching job databases. You could also look at cutting down time between stages, such as the time between reviewing CVs and interviewing the candidate, or between first and second interviews.

4. Make use of employee networks. Highly qualified candidates can often be found informally using your existing employees’ personal and professional networks. In its Global Recruiting Trends report for 2017, LinkedIn found employee referrals to be one of the best sources of quality hires. Using an employee referral programme means everyone wins: the recruiter uses less resources, the job seekers are of a higher quality and the employee gets rewarded if the referral is successful.

5. Understand that recruiting goes in cycles. There are times when your company will have a lot of roles that need to be filled (for example if you win a large new client), and other times when things are much quieter. If you can examine trends to try and predict what your hiring needs will be in future, you’ll be able to allocate resources to the hiring process more efficiently.

6. Get other stakeholders involved. Success in the recruitment process depends heavily on how much communication there is with HR and the rest of the business in order to source employees that are the right fit for a particular role and department. Streamlining goals between HR and managers is a way of cutting down the time spent in finding the right employee for the job.

Lean recruiting is about being proactive – whether it’s recognising market trends for when you’ll need more hiring resources, being clear on the type of employee you’re looking for, or finding the most efficient internal hiring process for your organisation. Doing this means you’re able to cut down on time, resources and excess waste in the process of finding the ideal person for the position you’re looking to fill.

Provided by Fedhealth.

Sources:
https://www.ere.net/lean-recruiting-applying-the-principles-of-lean-manufacturing-to-recruiting/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lean-recruitment-new-model-success-alastair-cartwright
https://medium.com/human-resources-management/5-recruiting-lessons-you-can-learn-from-lean-manufacturing-principles-4cf4b7cc98bc
http://www.recruitment-software.co.uk/are-your-recruitment-processes-lean/
http://www.investopedia.com/terms/j/jit.asp
https://www.jibe.com/ddr/lean-recruiting-3-steps-to-an-agile-talent-acquisition-team/

How to avoid HR mistakes as a small business

You’ve got to be a multi-tasker as the owner of a growing business – but this also means that you can’t be all things to all people. We’re all human, and mistakes do happen. Because HR is involved with the aspect of people though, it can get complicated or costly if you make HR mistakes – so here are some things to watch out for, and some things to avoid:

1. Rushing the recruiting process

Everything is done at lightning speed as an entrepreneur, we know this. But this speedy attitude shouldn’t apply to the recruitment of new staff, as this is one aspect you need to invest time in, and do methodically. Hiring the wrong person can cost you in legal fees, your time spent on administration and paperwork, and can also dent the morale of your team.

Create a recruitment process and then follow it through each time you hire someone new. Also bear in mind that this person needs to fit in with the culture of your small team, so sourcing other existing employee’s opinions (besides your own) is vital. In order to attract the right sort of talent, you may want to offer attractive benefit packages as well, such as pensions or medical aid options.

2. Messing up salaries

There can be no quicker way to upset your employees and derail your business than by paying staff late, or paying them the wrong amounts. Clerical errors like paying them too much can be a big administrative hassle, and underpaying them because you are struggling with cash flow is another huge no-no. Ensure that your monthly remuneration processes are slick, that you’re communicating about any variations and that you ALWAYS pay on time.

3. No training

Training takes time and budget, and often small businesses don’t make this a focus, but this is to their detriment. In fact, it’s precisely in a small business where people are playing multiple roles that they often have large gaps in their expertise. You may ask your bookkeeper to play Financial Manager too, but perhaps they don’t have sufficient training to make strategic decisions? Training also motivates people, makes them more innovative and creative, helping them think of alternative solutions to issues or opportunities.

4. No documentation

It’s easy to let your paperwork slide as a fast-growing company. But you’ll regret this three months down the line when you find yourself at the CMMA with no documentation that lists performance grievances, for example. Document everything, from when your staff take holidays, to when they are ill, to performance reviews and specific issues, if any. Ensure that your other employees/managers are also aware of these processes and what’s required of them.

5. Not knowing the law

Because you’re the boss (and not an HR professional), you may not know the ins and outs of employer law. But it’s crucial that you’re aware of things such as what the minimum maternity leave requirements are, as well as the minimum amount of leave employees need to legally have, plus minimum wage (although you should be paying more than that!). It’s your responsibility to ensure you are running a business that complies with the laws in your country, so if you feel like you need guidance on any of these matters, pay for a consultation with an HR professional.

Provided by Fedhealth.

3 methods demonstrating how easy it is to hack into your system

Cyber crime is rampant, increasing in frequency, voracity and taking longer to resolve, and at far greater costs than ever before.

Organisations are operating in an era of unprecedented volatility combined with the rapid pace of changes in technology. This convergence has created a challenging new cyber reality for organisations regardless of size, industry or location.

Cyber risk is rated at #5 in the top 10 risks facing business according to Aon’s 2017 Global Risk Management Survey, and has thrown the human factor in cyber risk into sharp focus. A PWC report released in 2016 placed current employees as the top insider cyber risk to businesses.

The Aon ERM Centre of Excellence teamed up with Rudi Dicks to demonstrate how employees are the biggest cyber security threat.     

Rudi is a hacker – with permission of course – and according to Rudi, the easiest way to hack into a network is by exploiting the one vulnerability most often left unpatched – human nature.

Why bother fighting through all the security management systems deployed by a competent IT department, when instead a hacker can get an employee to click on something they shouldn’t and gain full access to the infrastructure, bypassing all the costly and very best security measures? It’s much easier than people think.

Here’s how:

Method 1: Using the LinkedIn platform, a hacker will search for employees of a target company with more than 500 professional connections. They then pick one of these employees – let’s say Joan, in HR – as the target of their attack. The hacker sends Joan a fake e-mail notification from a high level executive, the head of HR for a big bank for example, wanting to connect with her. Joan, who has already received many such requests, won’t think twice about clicking on the link. At this point, unless the IT department is up to date on every single patch (including Joan’s favorite browser, something that usually must be done manually on each machine), the hackers have gained access to her machine. They have bypassed the firewall and anti-virus and can read or copy any information Joan has access to, including her cloud storage, mail and documents. They can even turn on her webcam to see whether she is at her desk or record her keystrokes.

Hackers exploit human nature. They know that people are generally helpful and curious and hackers don’t hesitate to use this to their advantage. Joan is not a bad person, and it’s nothing personal, but more often than not, she is their key to the “good stuff”.

Method 2: A hacker walks up to reception wearing a suit and a tie and pretends to be flustered. “I’m here for an interview and I’ve just spilled coffee on my CV. I have to make a good first impression! Please could you help me print a copy of my cyber attacks from my memory stick?”

Presto – in goes the memory stick and she runs the program that looks like a PDF file (but it isn’t). She is understanding and sympathetic when the file doesn’t open, and eventually, in exasperation the hacker tells her he’s going to run back to the car to look for another copy. Job done! He now has access to her machine and can use this to gain access to other computers on the network because who wouldn’t open an email from their friendly receptionist?

Method 3: Hackers leave USB memory sticks lying around their target’s offices or parking lot if the building is access controlled. The stick is clearly marked as ‘confidential’ or even ‘payroll’ – who can resist? If employees haven’t been taught better, someone will plug that stick into their computer and run the hacker’s file, giving him full access. All he has to do is play to human nature.  

How does the IT department stop people from being caught by these attacks?

Part of the problem is in the question. Technical people try to solve people problems with technical solutions. IT departments get into a cat and mouse game with attackers by installing new tools to prevent cyber attacks, while hackers simply write new exploits and code that circumvent those tools.

A far better approach is education. Cyber awareness training shows employees how they can be exploited and what to do to prevent it, drawing on real case studies.  Effective, ongoing education is key to employees being the greatest asset in the fight against cyber crime.

Michael Ferendinos is the Enterprise Risk Business Unit Head at Aon South Africa and Rudi Dicks is the Senior Cyber Consultant at BDO Forensics and Cyber Lab.

What are the rights of employees and employers during Business Rescue?

Since its introduction in 2011 via Section 6 of The Companies Act, Business Rescue has slowly gained momentum as an alternative to liquidation.

A principal difference from Business Rescue and liquidation is that while under the supervision of the business rescue practitioner, the company continues to trade, thus preventing the guaranteed loss of employment experienced under liquidation.

With the success rate of Business Rescue improving over the last few years, this means more and more jobs are being saved, which is obviously, then, less devastating for all parties concerned, especially employees; but what happens, though, to the rights of employee and employer during the Business Rescue process?

The biggest difficulties experienced under rescue originate from poor administration and poor human resources management. This significantly delays investigation into the affairs of the company as well as the practitioner’s ability to formulate a turnaround strategy, thus delaying the entire process.

Regarding human resources, there are many misconceptions among staff and employees when a company is under Business Rescue. Going into Business Rescue doesn’t mean that employees’ employment is immediately suspended and they should know that they continue to receive the protection of the Labour Act during Business Rescue and the employer is still required to follow due process.

Although Business Rescue cannot alter the terms of the contract, it does affect certain rights. The fact that your company is in Business Rescue does not change the terms of your contract or the Labour Act. It is important to understand that all factors of the employment relationship remain intact and unchanged, unless an agreement is reached between employee and the Business Rescue Practitioner, to change these conditions. During the business rescue process, it is almost inevitable that employees will be subjected to some sort of change.

The practitioner will almost always look to the salary and wage bill to reduce monthly costs. Some changes are more drastic than others, such as a stop to all ’non-statutory’ bonuses, with incentive payments being the first to be contemplated and then implemented. Thereafter, depending on the reason for the Business Rescue process having been instituted, reduced working hours, short time, renegotiated salary packages and conditions of service will follow. Employees are encouraged to form an “Employee Committee” which has a mandate to deal with management on these issues.     

On the other side of the spectrum, employers are urged to consult extensively with employees about what is going on, why it is happening, what the procedures are and what the company plans to achieve through the process of business rescue. Because the process can be very destabilising, case studies show that this is when companies lose their most valuable employees and the ‘fear of the unknown’ and the potential consequences force employees to start looking for alternative employment.

It is surprising how many companies, especially those in the SMME bracket, don’t have their employment contracts in line or up-to-date and that under Business Rescue this can be costly. There are many businesses in South Africa which simply do not pay enough attention to their Human Resources. Fundamental requirements like appropriately prepared, industry-specific contracts of employment are essential in forming the foundation of any employment relationship. Appropriate work standards, policies and procedures (including discipline) are the tools that management have at their disposal to ensure a productive, efficient, disciplined workforce. Effective work relationship practices between employees and management will assist in maintaining positive relationships at work, and in so doing enable the productive management of staff.

Whilst the reasons for businesses faltering are numerous, effective staff management will ensure that there is one less reason.

Justin Gordon is the Business Rescue Practitioner at Hobbs Sinclair and Alan Bolt is the Human Resources specialist.

4 hacks to overcome the struggles of a running a small biz

As we celebrate the annual Small Business Friday (1 September), we acknowledge the risks and the sacrifices small businesses make to South Africa and our economy. Entrepreneurship is a difficult, yet rewarding path to follow. Some challenges you might face as a small business owner include cash flow problems, difficulty in attracting top talent and finding time to innovate.

The good news is that digital tools – and the impact they’re having on the workplace – give you access to the audience, information and resources you need to overcome common challenges and tip the scale in your favour.

Here is my list of the top struggles start-up businesses face and some ideas to overcome them:

1. Attracting customers

Challenge: As a small business owner, you’re competing for customers with businesses that have more money to spend on sales and marketing than you do. Print and radio advertising can be expensive, and it’s difficult to be sure whether they’re successfully attracting new customers to your business.

Hack: Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and search engines like Google, offer you an affordable cost of entry for advertising. You can set strict budgets so that you don’t overspend, and you can target people by factors such as their location, interests and demographics. You can also easily track how people share and interact with your content so that you can optimise for better results. Keep in mind that while social media can be useful, don’t forget about your connections offline. Networking is still a great tool to gain the trust of others and gather some referrals.

Tarryn Giebelmann Freelance copywriter oh my word 
2. Mastering the art of paperwork

Challenge: You’re not ready to invest in a proper accounting package, perhaps because you’re not familiar with accounting solutions or because you don’t want to spend the money. Yet you also realise that doing your invoicing and quoting on Excel spreadsheets is time-consuming – and it can be a nuisance to track unpaid amounts.

Hack: Simple and affordable online software enables business owners to quote and invoice on-the-go from a PC or mobile device, as long as they have access to an Internet connection. It takes seconds to generate a quote while you’re sitting with a client, or to send an invoice once the job is finished. It’s also easy to track unpaid invoices and to see how business is doing. Plus, it will also generate the quote and invoice on your company’s branding, for a professional look.

3. Hiring the right people

Challenge: When you’re ready to grow from one-person or two-person company, you need to find the right people to take your business to the right level. You probably will not be able to pay them as much as a bigger company; what’s more, you need to hire carefully to ensure that they fit with your company culture and your management style.

Hack: Let your business network know that you’re hiring and look carefully at the people your contacts refer to you. This is a great way of tapping into talent that will be a fit for your business without publishing an ad or turning to an external recruiter. Don’t look at qualifications alone – hire people for their attitude and their willingness to grow with your company.

4. Mastering multiple roles

Challenge: Every small business owner needs to be a jack-of-all-trades, managing everything from the printer and the coffee machine to finance, sales and operations. As your company grows, you’ll need access to more specialised skills to run an effective business. At the same time, you might not have budget to pay for a full-time accountant, IT manager, HR manager and marketing director.

Hack: Selectively outsource your business needs to freelancers and agencies who know your industry and who work with other small businesses. This will free your time up for innovation, product development, sales and other aspects of your business you consider to be your real strengths. It will also give you access to fresh perspectives and helpful advice.

Viresh Harduth is the Vice President: New Customer Acquisition (Start up and Small Business) at Sage Africa & Middle East.

9 things to consider before you retrench

Whenever a worker is retrenched in South Africa, it’s not just one person losing an income. That’s because employees in this country have a high number of dependents. For example, according to the South African Police Union, each 10111 call centre operator supports about 15 dependents. The statistics are probably similar for other industries. That’s why, before any organisation chooses retrenchments, they should do their best to find another way.

Alternatives to retrenchment

Here are some things businesses might consider, bearing in mind that changes in terms of service require their employee’s consent.

1. Reduction in work

Rather than lose their jobs, employees may be open to working shorter weeks, fewer hours – like half days – or shorter shifts. This means they’ll have some form of income to tide them over, and it frees them up to look for a second job or even another position, making retrenchment unnecessary.

2. Reduced pay

A small reduction in pay across the entire workforce won’t be as hard felt as losing one’s job altogether. Yes, it’s easier to retrench than renegotiate contracts throughout the company. But many have done it successfully. Conversely, freeze increases until the organisation’s fortunes recover.

3. Voluntary retrenchment

Some workers are more desperate to keep their jobs than others, who may have been looking for a reason to move on. Voluntary retrenchment is also a good way of reinvigorating the workforce because those who are no longer aligned with the company’s mission or values are more likely to take the opportunity to leave.

4. Reduced benefits

Although some benefits are required by law, others can often become bloated beyond their value in keeping workers happy and motivated. Reducing benefits gives a business the chance to rationalise their expenditure and, in tough times, employees are more likely to appreciate that necessity.

5. Redeployment

This means either moving willing employees to other departments where their abilities are needed or training them to take on new duties, sometimes completely different to what they were doing in the past. Change is difficult but many workers are keen to extend their skills.

6. Eliminate overtime

Workers are often paid overtime for working after hours or weekends. This need should drop with an ebb in business and companies can safely cancel overtime. However, employment contracts usually require staff to work after hours from time to time without pay, so some extra hours could fall under this clause.

7. Freeze new hires

Rather than reducing the existing workforce, organisations can stop hiring new people. This isn’t always possible because new skills may be required to manage or execute new systems and processes. Again, employers should prefer to upskill current staff.

8. Increased duties

If a business has enough work but can’t fund the required workforce, the extra duties could be shared by current employees. It’s essential that employers alert them that this is an alternative to retrenchment and that their efforts are appreciated.

9. Placement assistance programmes

Once, business journals lauded companies who helped place employees in new jobs as part of their retrenchment process. Does it still happen? Really, it should. Businesses have large customer, supplier and recruiter databases, as well as strong business networks. All it takes is a bulk email or a LinkedIn post to exponentially increase each retrenched worker’s opportunities.

A note to employees

There are many ways organisations can avoid retrenchment. That said, new technologies and improved business processes can also lead to positions being made redundant. Skills that were common 5 or 10 years ago may simply no longer be needed in the modern business environment. So, there’s another angle to consider – workers can avoid retrenchment by retraining themselves for jobs that are currently in demand.

The unemployment rate in South Africa is one of the highest in the world and, with our current recession, it may get worse. At SAPA, we’re reaching out to employers to not just follow the law but to do their utmost to avoid retrenchments. Sometimes, there’s no other way. But if it’s an excuse to cut costs or improve shareholders’ dividends, this isn’t the right time for such thinking. So please, approach retrenchment responsibly. With the high number of dependents each employee must support, it’s not just one person who will go without.

Cathie Webb is a Director at South African Payroll Association (SAPA).

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