July 12, 2024


kusile-coverDeveloping Your Business Through Focused People Development.
We chatted with the new Consultant of Kusile Consulting Services, Petronella Mthethwa about her view of the role of a training services provider in a time of economic uncertainty. Petronella is a product of Kusile’s own people development. Her entry into employment was at Kusile Consulting Services and she has grown through training and development, sorties into other employment and now returns to the challenging role as Consultant of the training arm.
She shared her philosophy about training and development in making organisations able to respond to changing economic and workplace dynamics.

“If you want to grow and develop your business, you have to grow and develop the people in your business”.

Kusile Consulting Services is an established training provider aimed at supporting the processes of people development in client organisations. Taking a strategic view of the human resources function using Kusile’s HR Value Chain allows us to examine the needs of an organisation and its associated business elements or activities. Each step in the Value Chain asks the question of the organisation: “How can you improve your business through its people?” The answer will vary according to the organisation, the industry it is in, the technology it uses and its stage of development.

The starting point in your investment in people begins with recruitment. Many organisations fail to thoroughly examine applicants to see whether they have the requirements to acquire the skills and knowledge of the job and whether they will fit into the culture of the organisation. An effective assessment tool will assist in making sure that candidates can meet job requirements and associate with the values of the organisation.

The importance of an objective grading system to identify where jobs sit in the hierarchy of the business is essential for determining recruitment and remuneration. Recent changes to the employment equity legislation indicate that grading needs to be in place to address the question of equal pay for work of equal value. We do not live in a perfect world and so it is rare to find a candidate for recruitment that can meet all the attributes you are looking for. The assessment process enables you to identify the new person’s strengths and development areas and where you can support candidates to acclimatise and fit the culture of the organisation through carefully designed training and development interventions.

It is critical to have in place a structured induction and probationary monitoring programme to ensure new employees acclimatise to the organisation and their job. The impression created in terms of behaviour and performance in this initial period of employment is vital in ensuring that the employee will achieve and advance within the organisation. Supporting induction with targeted training interventions, not only aimed at compliance but looking to align the employee’s outlook to that of the organisation is a foundation of building lasting employment relationships. It is in the probationary review process that the foundation for future performance attainment and understanding of organisational standards of work are developed to enable employees to fulfil their potential.

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Strategically focused interventions can provide excellent communication about the organisation and what it stands for. This is the ideal opportunity to provide employees with clear, unambiguous and directed communication from the leadership. This helps them to feel that they belong to the organisation, to identify with the goals and philosophy of the organisation and creates a basis for genuine engagement on issues with their colleagues, supervisors and managers.

The appraisal process is also important to identify training and development needs that can be fed into the skills development and succession planning processes.

By feeding in the information from appraisals, as well as needs analyses, it may be that employees need development (i.e. exposure to new areas of responsibilities), not training. With ensuring that the different processes are integrated, the true empowerment of people can take place through a combination of training, exposure, coaching and mentoring.

Many organisations fail to secure the true linkage between recruitment and employment equity and training and development. The answer lies in succession planning. This process interlinks the others and through selective use of assessment tools and organisational development strategies, people can be developed and integration strategies achieved in a seamless process. Training and experiential learning exposure provides a key element of preparing employees for future responsibilities, and a well-structured mentorship programme provides a constructive reference point for performance assessment and aspirational expectations to be tempered with realistic horizons of advancement.

The way that an organisation deals with the separation of employees, whether through dismissal, resignation or retirement, reflects on the culture of the business, and displaying fair treatment at all times will result in a positive attitude from employees in the organisation.

When an employee has a clear understanding about the business he/she works for, what it aims to achieve and where the employee can contribute, the results of investing in the workforce are far more likely to be successful. Like any other investment in your business, For success that investment has to be strategised, measured, nurtured and committed to. The difference with investing in your workforce is that it is an ongoing process of commitment. It will have its setbacks and failures as well as its successes, but if it is not part of an ongoing strategic plan that is linked to the objectives of developing the business, it will not give the return you are seeking.

Business Strategy
Having established a strategic plan for your organisation you need to examine the human resource capabilities and requirements to achieve your vision and mission. Organisations do not need to do “good things” for the sake of it, but rather do things to make a conscious contribution to the development of the business. This requires having an integrated approach to people management that takes all aspects of the value chain into account. Creating policies and practices, training interventions or development initiatives in a vacuum, can lead to wasted time and effort, unrealisable expectations and a general loss of focus and direction for the organisation. So before deciding on how to invest in your workforce, you need to know where your business is, what it stands for and what you want your business to achieve.

The structure of the organisation should be designed to support the achievement of its strategic goals: the division of responsibility and the allocation of its people in the organisation into manageable clusters of resources. The people in the organisation need to be treated with respect and must understand that every job is important; otherwise it wouldn’t be there. Employees need to realise that their job is important. Helping them to understand where they are in the business process is fundamental to help them see the relevance and importance of their jobs. Identifying areas for improvement through assessment, evaluation, performance monitoring and succession planning provides an organisation with a wealth of talent they can tap into to achieve their objectives.