Human resources trends across the Africa – insightful results

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Africa People Advisory Group (APAG) is about to launch the second insights report that tracks various trends in human resources across the African continent, with a specific focus on new ways of working.
This year, the study has attracted an increased number of participants following the inaugural study in 2021. Says, Deon de Swardt, APAG managing partner, “we are overwhelmed by the number of responses to this year’s insights study. The more responses we have the more robust the insights and trends outlined in the report become. With 188 participants across 21 countries covering 20 industries, it is evident that this report is valued across the continent as it continues to grow in popularity.”

six trends unpacked
Traditional staffing and organisation structures are under pressure
One of the big shifts noted in this year’s study is the movement in the level of intention to change organisational structures, and to embark upon job redesign. Last year it was reported that there was limited intent to redesign jobs and organisational structures to capitalise on the impact of technology and the 4IR. This year a 17% increase has been reported.
Says Janene Schwartz, APAG managing partner, “the lack of focus on the redesign of organisational structures came as a surprise in last year’s study. It is encouraging to see that organisations are focused on ensuring structure and role content supports a technology-driven business world.”
The African continent is showing early signs of a “Great Resignation”
By now, most people in the field of human resources and management have heard of the term, “The Great Resignation”. Africa is starting to experience a version of the “Great Resignation”. In the study, 52% of participants observed an increase in resignations in their organisations.

Remote and hybrid working models drive productivity gains

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The report shows us that there is a very clear shift towards business cultures that are truly people-centric
If one was to ask any human resources professional what one of the top buzzwords in HR circles is now, “hybrid working” is likely to feature very high on the list. Hybrid working has gained popularity as the post-pandemic era starts to emerge.
Although hybrid working has become more popular recently, many organisations in the survey still allow for and encourage remote working.

Performance management as a practice is busy transforming
Covid-19 has given organisations an opportunity to relook at the effectiveness of their performance management practice, and in many cases, it would seem, that the practice has fallen short of expectations. It is likely for this reason that we have observed so much change, reported this year, in the performance management practices.
The post-pandemic workplace is highly people-centric
It has become apparent that a more people-centric work culture is developing. This is driven not only by changes from an organisational perspective but also in some form by demand from employees. Employees vote with their feet, and progressive organisations are working hard on focusing on building a constructive employee experience.

The HR skills development agenda is clear, it is now time for action
The role of human resources has been elevated in a significant way over the last two years. The function has been expected to deal efficiently with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only has HR had to deal with day-to-day matters, but they have had to deal with remote working, cost pressures, employee wellness, and supporting the business in keeping levels of employee engagement as high as possible.
In conclusion, Nicol Mullins, APAG managing partner, says, “ultimately the report shows us that there is a very clear shift towards business cultures that are truly people-centric. We are interested to watch how this larger trend progresses in the coming years.”

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