[Column] René Schoeman: Innovation Drives Compliance, Enhances Performance
South African businesses operate in a highly legislated landscape. With this comes immense pressure to ensure compliance or face heavy penalties. The need for regulatory and legal compliance increases with every new or amended piece of legislation, and businesses are hard pressed to keep pace with these requirements.
The legal requirements of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the Labour Relations Act (LRA), and other sector specific regulations create a quagmire of obligations. Thankfully, in a digital era, organisations can rely on modern solutions to ensure compliance.
“The legal requirements of these Acts can be built into the parameters of innovative Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Human Relations (HR) solutions, like that offered by UKG,” confirms René Schoeman, Human Capital Specialist Consultant at LabourGenie.Net. “The newer generation ERP systems are also easy to maintain and organisations can usually update these systems themselves. With this ease of use and with the right parameters in place, business have a reliable system in place to ensure they do not fall foul of any compliance requirements.”
These Human Capital Management (HCM) systems go further when coupled with advanced analytics tools that offer insightful reporting capabilities, like orgvue. Access to dashboards and analytics gives the business immediate insights at a glance. For example, users can now review their B-BBEE status or level of equity, determine where shortfalls lie and conduct theoretical scenario planning to improve their empowerment score or business value – all without disrupting operations.
In addition to driving enhanced compliance, these solutions also hold the potential to increase performance levels. “People like to know what they should be doing. They need a clear view of what is required of them. These HCM solutions allow for the easy drafting of even the most complex job descriptions and profiles. The profiles are then linked to a particular employee and their managers, giving them access to their key performance indicators (KPIs). This drives greater productivity, and a more objective performance management process,” adds Schoeman.
In our modern society, the goal is to work towards a more blended work set-up. With effective UKG ERP and HR solutions in place, roles can be updated in real time. This ensures both managers and employees always have access to the correct parameters and requirements of the employee’s position.
This also becomes a powerful recruitment tool, as it is easy to determine where gaps exist. “Recruiters should be working from one base, combining the insights of an analytics tool and the data in an ERP solution. This allows them to ask which positions need to be filled, what are the jobs, what are the titles, who are the people linked with these jobs and titles? With virtual scenario planning, organisational shifts can be made in theory and the impact evaluated before any practical changes are made,” adds Schoeman.
While these solutions sound wonderful on paper, the reality is that, while information technology use and implement has increased, adoption and optimal use of these solutions are still lagging. There seems to be a culture of resistance to change in this area. “Here is it the role of the solution implementor to pursue these hesitant sectors. It’s about building relationships, coming alongside customers to show them the value that their business can derive from these solutions,” believes Schoeman.
To ensure adoption, the process must be inclusive. “Throughout the process, change management is critically important. If these organisational changes are not managed correctly, you are dead in the water. The client would have wasted their money; yet another system simply turns into a data repository. Use cases across the economy prove that effective use of these systems has a positive impact on the bottom line; this is where solution implementors must prove their worth.”
In conclusion, Schoeman adds that businesses must recognise the value that their existing workforce can add to these implementations. With truly productive consultation, employees are empowered to give their input in a constructive way. “When you give employees access to the right information, you’d be surprised at the brilliance that sits within your own workforce. If the organisation recognises the value of working together across all levels and creates a culture of listening to its employees, exceptional ideas can be unearthed.”