While technology is the fastest growing industry both globally and in South Africa, the change in attitude around Human Resources Management is growing even faster.
In just a few short years, companies have gone from referring to “resources” as tools to complete work and, more often than not, assigning them an employee number while pointing them in the direction of a cubicle, to building their strategies and creating a company vision around people.
Why the change?
Because companies have realised what most of us HR people have known all along: If you love your people, your people will love you.
The truth of the matter, however, is that love is not enough to keep an employee. The most widely used professional online network, Linkedin, offers countless memes on what makes employees stay; what makes employees perform well and what defines employee loyalty, and those memes are not wrong!
Related: Get a handle on human resources
What are some of the most successful memes to keep employees loyal and motivated?
Employees need to feel that they are not only part of a family, but also gaining self-fulfilment from their professional lives.
At Mint we live by the simple concept of EMPLOYEES FIRST. We invest heavily in this concept: Robust training & development to assist employees meeting their Career Development Plans; active internal succession plans which resulted in almost a quarter of our staff being promoted in the last Employment Equity reporting period; quarterly performance bonuses paid on achievement of a KPI linked directly to the job description and the company’s financial performance; and, without a doubt the cornerstone of this philosophy: Visibility and accessibility of management.
Could you share some of your own innovative practices?
Mint has brought innovative practices into the business through HR, along the way creating a reputation amongst our employees for being a caring and considerate company. Some highlights of our innovative practices are:
- Move from annual performance bonuses to quarterly bonuses.
- Quarterly salary reviews resulting in two or more salary adjustments a year for SuperMinties.
- A year-long Internship Programme (Minternship) which brings IT graduates into the workplace and exposes them to real-time work experience, training, mentoring, Microsoft exam certifications, and an opportunity to join us permanently based on their performance throughout the programme.
- An Apprenticeship Programme where potential Minties with ten years’ career experience who would like a chance to enter the IT industry can participate in our 6-month long programme gaining exposure to the industry and specific roles, and an opportunity to join us permanently based on their performance throughout the programme.
- Professional Sabbatical opportunity for SuperMinties who want to pursue a personal or professional goal for an extended period of time.
- Tertiary studies financial support.
- Active participation as a company in our Social Economic Development partnership with Afrika Tikkun.
How has modern times changed the roles of HR professionals?
HR professionals need to be creative and innovative and collaborate with stakeholders at all levels in a company.
The directors of Mint have established a structure that includes HR as a significant role player for all aspects of the business. This ensures that the people at Mint are always considered first, and decisions about business, strategy, and our physical environment are always made with our “People First” value in mind.
How can companies integrate employees into their brands?
We recently rebuilt our website, and instead of using stock images we organised a day for a photographer to join us at the office and take real time pictures of Minties at work. Our website literally shows off our SuperMinties, people we are very proud of.
We utilise other social media channels to celebrate and recognise the performance achievements of our employees, ensuring that they feel valued for the contribution they add to our company.
Updating Yammer with photos and updates on people’s exam achievements, results of the Mint Soccer team’s games, new babies joining the ever-growing Mint family, and other important “FYI’s” mean everyone in the company is in the know, and people are receiving feedback from each other regularly.
How has the role of HR professionals in organisations changed?
The role of human resource management is evolving along with globalisation. HR plays a critical role in the development of a company’s brand: If companies are comprised of people, then those people are the brand.
Related: HR management best practice
As a long-practising HR professional, I feel that this position is one of the most dynamic positions in any company, in any industry. If the HR manager is not up to date with trends affecting employee’s private lives – economic, political social, health, educational, and so on – they cannot possibly relate to their employees on a personal level.
This is critical to having a responsive rather than a reactive HR strategy. Providing an environment where employees feel secure enough to express their creativity and unique abilities ensure that organisations achieve optimum productivity from their teams with an energetic and dynamic work environment.
This is innovation: Responding to the changing world so that employees want to be at work just as much as they want to be at home!