New Ways of Working in Africa
21 July 2021
21 July 2021
“Building an employee-centric value proposition that enables New Ways of Working.”
Pan-African Human Resources advisory firm, Africa People Advisory Group has released the findings from a recent Pan-African study into “New Ways of Working”. The goal of the study was to understand organisational responses to the impacts of COVID-19 whilst at the same time understanding how organisations are responding to the continued impact of 4IR and technology. What makes the study and the findings unique is that the study gathered responses from multiple countries and industries across Africa, and represents a true African view, unlike so many studies of this nature.
Says Deon de Swardt, Managing Partner at Africa People Advisory Group, “This was a very exciting undertaking for us, not many firms have been able to gather data across the continent on such an important topic.”
The study identified six trends, which should be important for CEOs and Business Leaders alike in planning their employee and people response to the issues covered.
The first finding highlights the reality that Africa is likely to adopt hybrid working models into the future. This means that employees would be able to work remotely or from an office. This will also require a new set of skills to be built for leaders to be effective.
Says Janene Schwartz, Managing Partner at Africa People Advisory Group, “Leaders really hold the key to unlocking “New Ways of Working”. But at the same time, we should not assume the leaders of the past have the skills to drive the change. Skills such a digital literacy becomes important for leaders to lead effectively into the future.”
The second trend highlights a concern that not many organisations are thinking about the impacts of the 4IR and technology on their business and structures. Organisations should be thinking about what new roles are needed to enable them to adjust to a new work reality. Despite this observation, many organisations have been quick to pivot their learning and development functions to deliver learning in a whole new way.
Trend number three shows us that there is a heightened risk for employee burnout and that organisations need to refresh their employee wellness strategies and programs. It is encouraging to see that many organisations have adjusted their strategies, especially so during COVID-19.
One of the most critical of all disciplines in the organisational structure has been the function of Human Resources over the past year. “HR professionals have been stretched and challenged in ways we have never seen before”, says Deon de Swardt.
Against this backdrop we uncover the fourth and fifth trend. The fourth trend focuses the attention on the skills of HR professionals and identifies the need for HR functions to build a new set of skills. Skills such as HR Metrics and Analytics becomes key in helping the business solve people challenges. There is a gap in where HR needs to function and where the function is right now.
The fifth trend indicates that our continent is lagging as far as implementing global best practices in Human Resources. “To be globally competitive, Africa based organisations need to start focusing on implementing best practice. Placing the employee at the centre of the organisational universe, through concepts such as employee experience (EX) will go a long way in delivering value”, says Janene Schwartz.
The final trend suggests that Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) efforts are not getting the right level of attention, and to truly make progress the discussion on D&I should be elevate to the Boardroom.
The full report provides some guidance and recommendations for organisations to address some of the issues identified. “It is our hope that senior leaders will take heed of the recommendations in the report to enable a smooth transition for their organisations to “New Ways of Working”, says Deon de Swardt.
Africa People Advisory Group (APAG) is an advisory firm that unlocks business growth through people insights while serving clients through nurturing long-term relationships, understanding local context and placing people at the heart of the business. APAG provides a range of human resource solutions focused on rewards, organisation effectiveness and talent management.
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