HR Consulting

“Strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long-term: which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of resources within a challenging environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfil stakeholder expectations”.

Strategy at Different Levels of a Business

Corporate Strategy – is concerned with the overall purpose and scope of the business to meet stakeholder expectations. This is a crucial level since it is heavily influenced by investors in the business and acts to guide strategic decision-making throughout the business.

Business Unit Strategy – is concerned more with how a business competes successfully in a particular market. It concerns strategic decisions about choice of products, meeting needs of customers, gaining advantage over competitors, exploiting or creating new opportunities etc.

Emergence Growth will partner with your executives to successfully deliver a strategy that is not only customised for your business and environment in which you operate, but innovative and pragmatic in nature. The developed strategy should take cognisance of the following:

  • Strategic Priorities;
  • Operational Priorities;
  • Talent Management Service Delivery Priorities;
  • Enabling Priorities;
  • Talent Management Strategy; and
  • Alignment to Corporate Strategy.

The above areas can be extended, based on the needs of the organisation.

Mergers and acquisitions are both aspects of strategic management, corporate finance and management dealing with the buying, selling, dividing and combining of different companies and similar entities that can help an enterprise grow rapidly in its sector or location of origin, or a new field or new location. This activity can typically be defined as a type of restructuring in that they result in some entity reorganisation with the aim to provide growth or positive value.

Emergence Growth is able to assist with the assessment of each of the following HR functions in relation to Merger & Acquisition activity:

  • Human Capital Strategy and Planning;
  • Organisational Infrastructure;
  • Human Resource Management Processes;
  • Talent Acquisition;
  • Skills Development;
  • Career Pathing;
  • Talent Retention;
  • Employee Relations;
  • Performance Management;
  • Reward & Remuneration;
  • Occupation Health & Safety;
  • Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment;
  • Human Resource Services;
  • Human Resource Information Systems;
  • Legislative Compliance.

One of the continuing underlying themes in organisations is that HR needs to improve the quality of HR work irrespective of location, industry or organisational differences. Organisation leaders have realized that people are one of the of the most important aspects of any organisation, and effective HR management is of utmost importance, given the King III Code on Governance and the emphasis on the triple-bottom-line.

The National HR Standards have been developed, as shown in the model below:

The adoption of HR standards ensures that HR is able to effectively deliver and measure its impact against the HR strategy and ultimately meet the objectives of the organisation. The rollout of the HR standards in South Africa is anticipated to dominate the HR agenda for several years to come.

To adopt HR standards, organisations need to go through a rigorous audit process with the SABPP, in order to be certified.  In order to be certified, it is recommended that organisations ensure that they are adequately prepared and there is support across the organisation in what can be for many organisations, a large scale change programme in and of itself, as it impacts every aspect of HR activity.

To this end, we have developed the HR Diagnostic©. This has been specifically developed to help Human Resources (HR) to lead, improve and drive HR effectiveness in organisations. The diagnostic is a systemic review of HR and People Management that looks at the following key HR value drivers as listed in the HR Standards.

The aim of the diagnostic is to conduct a full review of the HR function, planning and implementation with a view to identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement. The results will be used to create an improvement plan that can be prioritised. This makes implementation and the measurement of progress far easier. The diagnostic is a systemic review of HR and People Management that looks at the following key HR value drivers:

  • People Strategy;
  • Employee Value Proposition;
  • Organisation Effectiveness, including Performance Management;
  • HR Compliance; and
  • People Capability.

Each component of the diagnostic has been selected for its organisational impact and is underpinned by a relevant conceptual model, analytic tool and questionnaire. This enables the detailed analysis of HR effectiveness.

Change is a common thread that runs through all businesses regardless of size, industry and age. Our world is changing fast and, as such, organisations must change quickly too. Organisations that handle change well thrive, whilst those that do not may struggle to survive. The concept of “change management” is a familiar one in most organisations today.  But, how organisations manage change (and how successful they are at it) varies enormously depending on the nature of the organization, the change and the people involved.

We commission a change management team to assess organisational readiness and provide this team with tools to overcome resistance and positively engage employees as contributing partners in implementing your new design and achieving business success.

Emergence Growth’s Organisational Change Management process is shown to the right.

HR policies & procedures have never been more important given the increasing complexities of human resources in South Africa. Recognising this need, Emergence Growth has developed a fully compliant set of HR policies & procedures that fully support the 54 core HR processes that exist in any organisation. The policies ensure that the organisation can manage the employee life cycle in an effective way.  The employee life cycle is shown below:
The policy & procedure manual assists in governing the process in place within any organisation and needs to take into account fairness and good employment practices.

Emergence Growth is able to review all HR Policies & Procedures within an organisation. This may take the form of either reviewing current policies & procedures, or alternatively to develop additional policies & procedures where appropriate. We are able to provide expert advice and assistance in the following areas:

  • Identification & drafting of outstanding policies;
  • Review and update existing policies;
  • Consolidate all HR policies into a single policy manual (electronic or hardcopy); and
  • Implementation of policies through workshops (including understanding, interpretation and application).


 “Talent Management is a set of integrated organisational HR processes designed to attract, develop, motivate, and retain productive, engaged employees. The goal of talent management is to create a high-performance, sustainable organisation that meets its strategic and operational goals and objectives.”

In defining the talent agenda, the first step to ensuring short, medium and long-term prosperity is to ensure that a complete and thorough assessment of the requirements of the organisation is completed. The following areas reflect components to be considered in designing a robust talent management solution:

  • Understanding what drives customer value and financial results and how employee behaviour affects those outcomes;
  • Understanding the workforce: employee demographics, social makeup, perceptions and needs;
  • Creating a compelling value proposition: Understanding the deal with employees and why it will appeal to the type of employee the Company needs;
  • Developing a comprehensive, flexible programme offering: Employee needs and desires change over time. Benefit programmes are more cost-effective and more compelling if they are carefully planned to link with the goals of the organisation and are designed to meet individual employees’ needs;
  • Staying competitive: The basics a competitive salary and benefits must be given. The Company must understand what the competition is offering and whether it is of interest to their employees;
  • Recruiting top talent continuously: This is both internal and external;
  • Investing to engage: Maximise return on investment by optimising rewards to increase employee engagement;
  • Focusing employees: Make sure the employees understand what to deliver and reward them for doing it.

Emergence Growth assists organisations to design solutions to their most pressing talent problems.

 “Performance management is the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organisational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals.”

Performance Management, when administered correctly has the following benefits:

Direct financial gain

  • Grow sales;
  • Reduce costs in the organisation; and
  • Aligns the organisation directly behind the strategic goals.

Motivated workforce

  • Optimises incentive plans to specific goals for over achievement, not just business as usual;
  • Improves employee engagement because everyone understands how they are directly contributing to the organisations high level goals;
  • Create transparency in achievement of goals;
  • High confidence in bonus payment process; and
  • Professional development programs are better aligned directly to achieving business level goals.

Improved management control

  • Flexible, responsive to management needs;
  • Simplifies communication of strategic goals scenario planning; and
  • Provides well documented and communicated process documentation.

Emergence Growth assists organisations in designing solutions to their most pressing performance problems.

Emergence Growth is able to provide assistance in with comprehensive labour relations advisory and outsourced labour relations services. Our consultants have many years of labour relations experience including industry and plant level bargaining, chairing of disciplinary and grievance enquiries as well as interpretation of legal documents.

Our approach to labour relations is to reduce the need for consultants by empowering organisations to create a climate where the need for discipline and grievances is reduced. We do not believe in a “one size fits all” as certain cases can be dealt with by less qualified consultants. These services include:

  • Disciplinary and grievance hearings;
  • Counselling;
  • Training;
  • Conditions of employment negotiations; and
  • Policy reviews where required.

Emergence Growth assists a number of organisations in the provision of labour relations services.

Job analysis is a process for systematically collecting information to understand and describe the duties and responsibilities of a position as well as the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the job. The aim is to have a complete picture of the position – what is actually done and how. The purpose of job analysis is to provide the information necessary for writing job descriptions. Job descriptions are used as the basis of most other HR management practices from selection to training to performance management. Job analysis information can also be used in the job evaluation process, which is the process for assigning value to a job for the purpose of setting compensation.

The types of information collected during job analysis will be specific to each organisation. However, typical kinds of information that are gathered are:

  • Summary of duties;
  • Details of most common duties;
  • Supervisory responsibilities;
  • Educational requirements;
  • Special qualification;
  • Experience;
  • Equipment/tools used;
  • Frequency of supervision;
  • Others the incumbent must be in contact with;
  • Authority for decision making;
  • Responsibility for records/reports/files;
  • Working conditions;
  • Physical demand of the job; and
  • Mental demands of the job.

Job Profiles are the foundation for most HR management activities:

  • Recruitment – Job descriptions are used to develop a recruitment campaign that clearly articulates the duties to be performed and qualifications required by the organisation for the position;
  • Selection – Interview questions, hiring criteria and the screening process are based on the duties and qualification outlined in the job description;
  • Orientation – The job description helps the employee see how their position relates to other positions in the organisation;
  • Training – The job description can be used to identify areas where the employee does not adequately meet the qualifications of the position and therefore needs training;
  • Supervision – The job description can be used by the employee and the supervisor to help establish a work plan;
  • Compensation – Job descriptions can be used to develop a consistent salary structure, which is based on relative level of duties, responsibility and qualifications of each position in the organisation;
  • Performance Management – The job description and the work plan are used to monitor performance; and
  • Legal Defense – If an employee is terminated for poor performance, an accurate, complete and up-to-date job description will help the organisation defend its decision.

Emergence Growth is able to perform Job Analysis & develop Job Profiles/Descriptions for your organisation. These profiles & descriptions form the basis for nearly all decision making in HR, including grading, benchmarking, recruitment, performance management, training & development, as examples. They are driven by the organisations business and not designed around specific people. A job description describes the content of what the person in the job should do and may include other related information such as the requirements to execute the job successfully. Options with regards to job profiling are:

  • Conduct interviews and write job profile
  • Review existing job profiles (with interview)
  • Job profiling training, enabling skills transfer from the consultant

As an additional option, we are able to perform the performance contracting element while conducting the interview. The results would then be able to be integrated seamlessly with your HRIS / Performance Management system.

Principle 2.1 of the King codes states: “The board should act as the focal point for and custodian of corporate governance”. Following a number of governance failures in South Africa and elsewhere, companies are reviewing their corporate governance structures and processes to ensure they are fully fit for purpose.

Emergence Growth has developed a toolkit to assist public and private sector organisations with the above. The toolkit comprises the following steps:

Step 1
King III recommends that the board, the committees and each director should be evaluated annually. It is also normal for the company secretary to be included in the evaluation, given his or her role in corporate governance. For an organisation undertaking an evaluation for the first time, it makes sense to limit its scope to give directors the opportunity to become familiar with the process and accept that it adds value.

Step 2
The toolkit provides guidance on which aspects of board performance should be evaluated. Whilst these may differ from one organisation to the next, the following would normally be evaluated:

  • Role clarity: this covers the composition and terms of reference of the board and committees, the roles of the executive and non-executive directors and specifically the role of the chairperson;
  • Board processes: the effectiveness of the board calendar, board papers, minutes, agenda and meetings would typically be evaluated;
  • Board functions: the key board functions to be evaluated would include strategy development, performance monitoring, risk management and compliance;
  • Continuing improvement: this section covers issues such as director selection, induction, evaluation, development and remuneration.

The focus of the evaluation is performance improvement, not just compliance.

Step 3
The evaluations are conducted by means of confidential self- and peer-360 surveys which are customised according to the specific needs of the organisation. The surveys are sometimes augmented with one-on-one interviews with individual directors.

The design of the survey questions is fundamental to the success of the evaluations and the toolkit provides guidance in this regard. The questions should cover all aspects of a fully effective board. They should be unambiguous and stated in such a way that they can be readily answered. Multi-dimensional questions should be avoided.

Step 4
The output of the process is a detailed report on the responses from the surveys and interviews. Areas requiring improvement are highlighted and recommendations are made. Feedback is initially provided to the board chairperson and thereafter to the full board and each committee. It is recommended that board and committee workshops are held to discuss identified performance gaps and to agree ways of addressing them. It is essential that the entire board is involved in this process.

“Job evaluation is a systematic way of determining the value/worth of a job in relation to other jobs in an organisation. It tries to make a systematic comparison between jobs to assess their relative worth for the purpose of establishing a rational pay structure.”

Emergence Growth employs a number of Job Evaluation specialists, and is a provider of Job Evaluation software. In this area, our offering can be summarised as follows:

  • Conduct job evaluation on roles within your organisation, using either Paterson or EQUATE;
  • Conduct Job Evaluation training for individuals within your organisation; and
  • Supply and install an electronic Job Evaluation system (QuikEval) within your organisation.

In conducting manual Paterson Job Evaluation, the procedure is as follows:

Step Action
1 Band the job profiles A to F using Paterson rules
2 Sub-band the job profiles based on whether or not the position supervises or co-ordinates employees in the same band as themselves.
3 Sub-grade the jobs using the factors,

  • Variety;
  • Complexity;
  • Preciseness; and
  • Physical effort/ pressure.

With the qualifiers of education, training time and competence required.

The evaluation will be presented as reflected in the example table below:

POSITION Paterson Correlation to another system
Position 1 X X
Position … X X
Position X X X