The local business landscape appears to hold a lot of potential for 2013, with reports that September and October 2012 have seen fewer year on year liquidations and that confidence is high for small and medium-sized business owners. The results of this year’s Census have also highlighted how exponentially our major cities are growing, specifically Johannesburg. So what does it mean for organisations and organisational development and culture? It means that the infrastructure is in place and we have the human resources to realise our potential, but we need to adopt a progressive mindset in terms of our organisational development and culture in order to monopolise on what is available. Here are our predictions for 2013 and what the New Year holds for organisational development in South African businesses.
Technological Opportunism and Organisational Development- What’s Trending?
While Africa may be lagging behind the “developed” world in terms of technology, our growth in social network involvement is taking off the fastest- and there is still so much potential to take advantage of. For organisational development social media networks offer seamless ways to integrate recruitment, corporate branding and learning platforms. Technology offers us the opportunity to create seamless workplaces where systems are smooth and organisational and individual needs can be taken care of. Futurist thinkers in organisational development need to find ways to bridge communication divides and lapses in connectivity and find ways to harness the potential of technology.
Technology also stresses the need for greater organisational transparency and employee involvement. As recruiters are using social media networks to make suitable matches between employees and employers, human resources are concerned with career development and creating mutually-beneficial relationships where both the employee and the employer can offer one another equal value.
Internal Training and Promotion for Organisational Development
When unemployment rates go up competition heats up and skilled employees become more valuable to the organisation. As companies look for ways to cut back and reduce placement and hiring costs more emphasis is being placed on pre-employment assessments and simulations. And for loyal employees the prognosis is good- companies are turning their attention inwards to train and develop existing staff and monopolise on the skill sets that are already available in the workforce. Progressive HR Practitioners and Managers need to find ways to monopolise on their recruitment selections and develop innovative training and development programs to enrich the working environment for employees. Internal training and development also needs to take advantage of the large unskilled workforce and find ways to put that workforce into action.
Women in the South African Workplace
Without going into the battle of the sexes, we all know that men and women bring different skills and talents to the fore. In the spirit of transformative organisational culture progressive companies need to be looking to include more women in the workplace, especially in leadership roles. And, as companies are cutting back, people with the vital skill of multitasking have more important roles to fulfil within organisational culture.
Women bring EQ into the work environment as well as an ability to multitask, and the diplomacy to generate support for decision-making, rather than implementing through force. Despite making up 52 per cent of South Africa’s population women currently only comprise 41 per cent of our workforce and their presence in the workforce becomes more diluted as positions become more senior.
Stan Horwitz is a Master OD Practitioner who is interested in local and international organisational development trends. If you would like a progressive perspective on your HR Strategy, contact Stan.