Monday 11 June 2018

Return on Investment on Training & Being Competent

So, I’ve been tasked to write a short blog about me! Where do I start?
I could do a bio on me but that information is already pretty much available through our Facebook page and LinkedIn profile, when it comes to the business side of me.
Our social media manager, advised that I should update you on some of the ‘qualifications’ I have attained over the last couple of years and give a brief about how they have added value to the services we offer, but also how they have added value to me as a person.
My attitude is one of ‘life-long learning’. So whether it is to work towards a ‘qualification’ or learn about a new concept or approach a topic or problem from a different perspective, I am passionate about learning. I am also passionate about ‘facilitating learning’.
In today’s National Qualification Framework, in RSA, outcomes based learning is the focus of our knowledge and skills and whether one is ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’. It is funny how we still want to know how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we did, when we attend workshops with the purpose of obtaining some form of recognition.
Nevertheless, in many ways the competency to do certain things is more important than a mark for a test, as it is the application of the concepts that truly determines our ability to be competent in any skill.
So in, 2012 achieving the competency status for being able to “Conduct Outcomes based Assessments” was a great feeling as I am now ‘legitimately’ competent to carry out Recognised Prior Learning assessments on a variety of unit standards for individuals. “RPL’ing” staff is still something that companies do not really understand or realise the value of despite it ‘being around’ for years. Being able to assess an employee, on an RPL basis, who has been working well and is a productive contributing member of their staff complement, in order for them to be declared competent against unit standards that could lead to a qualification, reflects an organisation that values not only the skills the person has acquired, but also the staff member as they are acknowledging their contribution to the company in a very real and personal way. Yes, that employee may very well leave the company if they are RPL’d and realise that they could obtain a qualification which may open doors to promotions and a better life for themselves and/or their family, but then the company has achieved its objective which was in essence to give the recognition to that employee. 
Although I have been ‘working’ on and in the Human Resource Management field for years, especially with regard to Employment Equity and Skills Development Facilitation, I desired to be deemed competent in terms of SAQA and the NQF Framework. Therefore achieving the competency status of being able to ‘participate in the implementation and utilisation of equity related processes” as well as ‘develop an organisational training and development plan’; ‘conduct an analysis to determine outcomes of learning for skills development and other purposes’; ‘provide information and advice in regard to skills development and related issues’; ‘advise on the establishment and implementation of a quality management system for skill development practices in an organisation’; and ‘coordinate planned skills development’; all in 2017, was I believe, a great addition to our offerings as a service provider to companies in the human resource consultancy arena.
Of particular interest and passion, is creating and implementing a quality management system for skill development practices in an organisation. Any money spent on training and development should provide a Return on Investment, but the measure for this is very lacking in most organisations. We emphasise the need for this measure with our client’s whether we assist in the submission of the ATR-WSP annual reports or if we are conducting a skills gap analysis or putting together a succession plan that includes skills development.
All three of the ‘competencies’ achieved have confirmed for me, and for our business, and what we relay to our clients, that there cannot be transformation in any business without skills development. However the skills development plans and initiatives decided upon needs to make business sense in order for the business to be sustainable, and to be able to adapt quickly and smartly to the changes we are experiencing in this 4th Industrial Revolution.
We, as a team at Diverse Human Resources love to empower people through knowledge, so when “Train the Trainer” workshop came up recently, I made a plan to attend. Currently I am preparing my Portfolio of Evidence, and believe I will be successful in achieving the ‘competency’ status. This will mean that Diverse Human Resources will not only continue to provide workshops to clients, but the value will be greater in that we will not only customise the training to our client’s needs; but that we can also customise training aligning it to an actual unit standard as well as carrying out a qualitative assessment on the ‘return on investment’ of the training.

Monday 14 May 2018


The Key Purpose of the Position:  To comply with company procedures through the accurate capturing of orders, weighing of trucks, capturing of vehicle and customer details as well as effective planning of deliveries and use of despatch trucks.

 Qualifications & Experience:
·        Grade 12 Qualification with English and Maths
·        Certificate or proven competency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook)
·        Verifiable period of 12 months experience in an administrative or clerical function or similar nature of work
·        Basic understanding of crushing operation
·        Appropriate level of understanding of OHSA requirements and compliance
·        Good working knowledge of the despatch process
Essential Competencies:
  • Ability to correctly capture orders onto the Weighbridge system
  • Relevant accounting package (Pastel, Excel) advantageous
  • General administration and office practices
  • Accuracy and attention to detail are essential
  • Client and service orientated
  • Proficient Zulu (advantageous) & English speaking ability
  • Effective Communication Skills – excellent level for verbal and listening abilities is essential
Essential Attributes and Qualities:
·        Honesty & Integrity
·        Confidence
·        Respect for all persons
·        Flexibility & Ability to accommodate changing requirements
·        Sense of responsibility for meeting operational requirements
·        Team Player
·        “Can Do” positive attitude
·        Ability to adopt company values & act as an ambassador for the Midmar Group.

The position is based in Taylor’s Halt and transport is not provided.

Suitably qualified and interested persons are invited a letter of motivation with their CV to the HR Administrator, S Govender, via email or hand delivered to Midmar Crushers, Lot 50, Rietvallei, Lions River District. Short listed candidates will be expected to undergo an evaluation process, your application indicates your agreement to this.  Please note that if Midmar Crushers does not get back to you by the 4 June 2018, consider your application unsuccessful.
We reserve the right to not appoint for this position.

Friday 6 April 2018

Vacancy for client - 1/2 day HR Admin Clerk

½ day Human Resource Administrative Clerk (08h00-13h00)
Our client is looking for a person who is efficient and effective in administrative duties, particularly relating to the people management (HR) function.
The successful candidate shall have a Grade 12 and a minimum of 3 yrs experience within a Human Resource department in a generalist capacity.
The position is based in Pietermaritzburg but requires the individual to have a valid driver’s licence due to the need to go to other sites within Pietermaritzburg to interact with managers and staff on people management related matters from an administrative capacity.
Obviously, the ability to retain confidentiality is essential for the incumbent to be successful in this position as they deal with sensitive issues such a payroll and disciplinary matters from an administrative perspective. The person shall be required to prove that they are able to maintain impartiality with regard to employee relations.
The successful candidate shall posses effective communication (verbal & written & listening) skills as well as be solution orientated.
The role focuses on the responsibility for all administrative functions relating to the People Management aspect of the organisation in terms of legal compliance and employee support.
Some of the functions include, but not limited to :
  •      Communication of payroll changes to Finance as well as administrative functions related to Pension, UIF / Emolument / distribute IRP5 Certificates and Pension Fund statements/ distribute payslips and maintaining appropriate records of these functions
  •      Administer COID claims /documentation
  •      Administration function with regard to grievances and disciplinary matters including enquiries
  •      Administer all corporate insurance claims
  •      Monitor and administer all types of leave
  •      Update and maintain all employee files ensuring kept in an appropriate format as per master file
  •      Draft HR related Circulars and Communications as advised by the manager
  •      Administrative function with regard to recruitment and appointments and terminations of employment
  •      Process documentation with regard to the withdrawals from the Pension fund and provide admin assistance to dependents of any deceased staff
  •      Attend meetings and recording of minutes
  •      Coordinate and administer the Health & Safety meetings

A full Job Description is available to short listed candidates.
Kindly forward your CV and a letter of motivation as to why the organisation should consider you for the next phase of the recruitment process – email: or fax 086 684 5604.
We shall confirm receipt of your Letter of Motivation and CV and should you be unsuccessful in your application to go to the next phase we shall notify you as soon as possible.
Thank you for showing an interest in this position, it would be to your benefit to ensure that you follow the instructions should you wish for us to take your application seriously.

Tuesday 3 April 2018

Performance Related Pay (PRP) - Part 2

In Part One of PRP we provided some background as well as indicated some advantages.

In this blog, we will mention the challenges and provide a snapshot of the components to consider in a PRP system in your organisation that is “robust”.

It is widely acknowledged that, in the past, where PRP systems have not been very effective it was where insufficient attention was taken of the organisation’s unique characteristics, its culture and the reward scheme’s relationship with the business strategy and ‘people management’ practices.

Also, some of the main challenges have been around ineffective implementation, poor management and poor communication of the purpose, rather than poor design of the system.

Effective planning, clearly defining and jointly agreeing the scheme’s objectives; providing training; communicating with the whole workforce on the scheme’s operation are crucial to its success.

The competence and training of line managers is needed to provide honest and ongoing feedback on performance, and they need to feel that they ‘own’ the PRP system for real success.  

If the system is based too heavily on the outputs to drive pay, this can be risky in that it can lead to inappropriate behaviours, such as focus on short term goals that attract financial reward, and customer service may be negatively affected when striving for these goals. In addition it may encourage individual behaviour at the expense of teamwork.

It may demotivate if the goals are too hard to achieve and the rewards insufficient, but discussions around underperformance, can be conducted in a positive way if managed properly.

It may demotivate people who have overestimated their own level of performance, affect creativity and intrinsic motivation.

Another challenge is that i may be seen ‘discriminatory’, by rewarding the high performers, and identifying poor performers who do not receive the same rewards, which may demotivate the poor performers – however this may be rectified through an effective counselling process.

Snapshot of the components to consider in a PRP system in your organisation that is “robust”.

A PRP scheme is only as effective as the performance management system on which it rests and the competence and quality of line managers to manage the system. Performance standards must be measurable, applied fairly and consistent.

Paying for performance goes against the grain of some of the public and Non Profit Organisations as it is not so straightforward to set clear targets and with pay restraints (NPO’s), this makes a PRP system that is too heavily weighted on outputs, more difficult to control and ensure fairness.

Performance management should have a  series of interconnected, two way discussions which take place throughout the year and which overlap – such as performance planning, defining expectations, objectivesetting, reviewing performance, providing feedback, assessing performance and rating performance.

The main objective being to increase skill acquisition, as well as reward the achievement of agreed objectives and contribution to business goals.

Because of year on year increases, many companies are becoming less competitive as they cannot necessarily pass on these increases to their customers and so margins shrink.

The saying “you can’t do today’s jobs with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow” is resonating more and more like the truth for many companies.  

With economic growth very low for the foreseeable future in South Africa and in many of the countries throughout the world where we export to, “managing costs effectively might be the most important item of all”, and partly linking increases in remuneration to increases in productivity, just makes good business sense.

So, contact us at Diverse Human Resources to discuss how a Performance Related Pay system can be structured for your company and how employees without certain formal qualifications can benefit from the Recognized Prior Learning process to improve their scoring within this system.

We would love to hear your views on this important topic.


Monday 26 March 2018

Performance Related Pay (PRP) - Part 1 of 2


Part 1 – Background and Advantages (28/3/2018)
Part 2 – Challenges and a snapshot of the components to consider for a successful PRP system in your organisation that is ‘robust’ (4/4/2018)

Part 1 – Background and Advantages
PRP systems were introduced as long ago as 20 years in many countries, but many of these systems were not well designed and results were therefore erratic.

The assessment of competencies, as well as the achievement of performance targets, provides a more rounded view of an individual’s contribution to business goals. Many organisations now assess performance based of both inputs and outputs, reflecting the move to contributionrelated pay.

Examples of the “inputs” can be years of service, the type of job function and the length of time in the current job, attendance, team effort, demonstration of culture/values, qualifications, experience, competencies, the complexity of the job and the like.
Examples of ‘outputs’ can be the standard time to do a job function, a certain number of quality approved items, the achievement of a certain production target and others. In more service orientated organisations, outputs could be the completion of certain tasks within a time period, alignment with a quality standard, customer satisfaction, and the like. 

Today’s thinking is measuring employee’s inputs and outputs, not activities, as these don’t lead to improvements in productivity.

It is necessary to develop a culture of inputs and outputs that are SMART- Simple, Responsible, Measurable, Realistic and Time related, for a successful PRP system.

However with many workers just trying to survive in the current South African climate, money is still a successful motivator, and is sometimes seen as a symbol of external status and internal recognition.

PRP is moving towards, pay based partially on individual performance, and also part of a team performance, linking it to productivity, instead of year on year increases linked around CPI or some other yardstick.

In designing a PRP system one has to be careful of not infringing upon the “Equal Pay” aspect in the Employment Equity Act. Yet, different wages or conditions can be paid to people doing the same work, substantially the same work, or, interchangeable work as long as there are valid reasons for doing so. A scoring system based on several criteria must be consistently applied to all staff for the differences to be “justifiable ".

So what does a “robust” PRP system look like? One where a remuneration package is made up of as many as 4 components, with several “input” items and one or more “output” items. The makeup and weighting of which will differ from client to client and different by industry type.

PRP systems need to be differently structured for the public sector, including NPO’s and the private sector. They need to be different for manufacturing industries, knowledge based industries, service orientated industries, and consideration of Sectoral Determinations wages as well as Bargaining Council Agreements.

There are many objectives of an effective PRP system.

For example: The maximising of employee engagement - having staff who are engaged with a business rather than actively disengaged and just coming to work because they need to earn a salary. This can be achieved because staff have a greater sense of participation by identifying “inputs” and having measurable “outputs” thereby giving  a greater sense of contribution/control which in turn encourages staff ‘buy in’,  commitment and staff retention. Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) can significantly assist employees who have the experience, but not the formal qualifications, to improve their scoring on one of the input items.

Annual employee performance appraisals are fast becoming an outdated review system and are often being replaced with a ‘simpler but smart’ performance feedback sessions, which can be done several times year, or even monthly, for maximum relevance.

Because Sectoral and Bargaining Council determinated pay applies in different industries the base pay for certain categories of work function need to be accommodated in the PRP system, with employees not earning less than the stipulated amount. Engaged and higher productive employees will then benefit from their efforts.

At Diverse Human Resources we take a different approach to annual increases and thirteenth cheques, and Performance Appraisals that are only done once or twice a year. 
We are working on PRP with several clients to implement systems that are specifically designed for their unique requirements.

In part two to be posted on the 4th April, we will discuss the challenges and potential pitfalls of an incorrectly structured PRP system and also explain some criteria to develop a successful one.

We would love to hear from you on this important topic.

Saturday 24 February 2018

Group Interview vs One-on-One Interview

Have you ever considered carrying out a Group Interview instead of a 'bunch' of time consuming 1-on-1 interviews for a vacancy?

We were introduced to the Group Interview concept through Action Coach KZN some time ago.

So how does a Group Interview 'work' and is it better than the 1-on-1 interviews that most company's still traditionally carry out?

A client of ours carried out a Group Interview for a fairly senior role that was also quite technical. We had sourced candidates from several employment agencies and a few candidates who had responded privately to an advert.

The responses from the employment agencies were interesting, let alone the candidates. Even after a careful explanation of how it would 'work', two of the agencies were very positive about the process and the other was very negative.

Our client now uses the Group Interview process, for most of their vacancies.

Responses from the candidates being ‘group interviewed’ have been positive. After the initial nerves, candidates appeared to relax into the process and were even interacting with each other, let alone responding to the questions posed to them. This is obviously beneficial to both sides.

If a company makes a firm decision based on a first impression, it may not be the right or best impression of a candidate. The concept of first impressions being biased against candidates was shared in an article we recently posted (

Depending upon the position, two or more people conduct the Group Interview. The purpose is to have a panel who can share some of their experiences with the candidates of what it means to them about being part of the company.

Traditionally candidates have approached an interview with the mindset of 'I hope I can sell myself to this company and that they will like me enough to hire me'. We believe it is equally important for the candidate to 'interview' the company to understand their possible “fit” into the organisation and do they want to work for that company. So within any interview process the key question is: do the candidate’s skills and attributes meet what the company requires and are the company’s culture, values, aligned with the candidates? If not the potential employment relationship is not founded on a solid basis.  

Candidate suitability can be based on evaluating their CV, references checked and we often use a Phase 1 Questionnaire as well. With planned questions being posed to all the candidates in one Group Interview, and then watching the inter-play between candidates the panel and each other, gives more insight into their personality and emotional maturity, which in turn assisted with identifying who was going to be a good 'fit' for the organisation.

Phase three involves one or two of the successful candidates having a 1-on-1 interview with the panel. In this interview, with just one or two people (including the human resource practitioner) the panel are able to 'probe' more, with regard to some of the answers to questions already given, and also provide the candidate an opportunity to 'probe' more about the role the company requires, and possibly the remuneration structure offered.

The Group Interview advantages if planned correctly will save quality time.
Whereas the disadvantage of the 1-on-1 interview is that they take a long time.

The Group Interview panel asking the same questions of all the candidates achieves fairness and the candidates have their FULL attention.

The Interview panel in the 1-on-1 interview process, after interviewing several candidates can easily be tired or distracted, with the last candidate possibly being the most suitable but not getting a fair evaluation, which could skew the decision process, making it unfair and even rude for the candidates.

We have found that the Group Interview, carried out with the process we developed for our client, having between 2 - 3 Phases, has yielded a more constructive, fair result for all parties involved.

Friday 26 January 2018

Job Design

Job Design

Why is it important to have a well designed (and documented) job?

First off let me paint a scenario, to put the importance of job design into perspective.

When you take your car to the garage to get it serviced; this valuable asset that gets you to work and back, picks up the children or other vital functions, you are entrusting its safety to this garage.

Do you consider whether or not that garage has trained and qualified mechanics that, KNOW their job, or that they have at least been provided with guidelines of what is required and expected of them according to what was agreed with the customer.

If you come to collect your vehicle and are told, “I’m sorry but one of our mechanics took your vehicle for a test drive, and because someone did not put back a bolt and nut in its correct place, the engine has blown. We are sorry about this.”

How will this make you feel about the garage and its management? Will you entrust your car to this garage, the next time it needs a service?

Having a correctly designed job is an essential tool that reflects a well organised and efficient organisation.  WHY you might ask?

  1.  It reflects that the owners/managers have given suitable thought as to what they really want and need in any given job.
  2.  That by designing a job correctly management are saying that the person who does that job is given the best opportunity to succeed in it, which in turn benefits them and the company.
  3.  A tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the employee carrying out the required duties, especially if there are clear performance indicators/measures included.
  4. It assists in identifying core competencies, qualifications and experience necessary for the correct employee to have; which in turn assists in the recruitment process.
  5.  Where the job fits into the organisational structure, and can provide a ‘sense of belonging’ as well as how the role interacts with other roles .e.g.(internal and external customers/suppliers).
  6. ‘Consequence of Error statements’ can encourage the employee to identify with a ‘bigger picture’ to their role and how error affects the efficiency of the whole organisation.
  7. The components identify the responsibilities agreed to, and can say to an employee, “you are a part of our business and “your commitment and understanding of your   job, contribute to our continued success.
  8. Using this ‘tool’ assists in identifying skills gaps and can lead to development and training plans (including internal/external or mentoring/coaching).
  9.  Using it to grade a job, may identify market related salaries, and also assist  in employment equity and income differentials (compliance matters).
  10. It will, assist in evaluating potential internal candidates for succession planning – thereby keeping the skills and the right culture fit within the organisation.
  11.  Innovately designed this ‘tool’ can be flexible enough to contribute to a Performance Feedback (evaluation) and even the development of a Performance Related Pay structure (inputs/outputs).
Some of the benefits of doing this very essential part of running an efficient and sustainable business are;
·         identifying who to recruit, as the most suitable person for the job.
·         getting staff ‘up and running  quickly ’ during their 3 or 6 months probationary period;
·         conducting probationary feedbacks with a documented job design that both parties can refer to.....

Think of Job Design as part of ‘saying hello to success’ as you lay out the “house rules” for that particular job, for the purpose of contributing to the efficient/effective ‘running’ of the WHOLE company, as the prize. 

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