For a third year running, Africa People Advisory Group (APAG) (www.AfricaPeopleAdvisory.com) will release their pan-African insights report that tracks various trends in Human Resources across the African continent, with a specific focus on Employee Experience. The report this year promises insightful results.
Says, Deon de Swardt, APAG Managing Partner, “The study and interest in its content continues to grow, we are delighted by the growth in participation year on year. With 188 participating organisations across 31 countries covering 17 industries, it is evident that this report is valued across the continent as it continues to grow in popularity. What we are particularly excited about this year is that we have been able to develop a model for organisations to think about their approach in implementing an Employee Experience roadmap. For many, this is still a very new concept.”
APAG has highlighted five trends that are unpacked and detailed in the report:
More progress is needed to establish truly people-centric organisational cultures in Africa.
Leadership is one of the anchors in developing a people centric organisational culture. Over the past three years there has been limited movement in the level of leadership skill to manage in the new world of work. In the study, 65% of respondents reported that their leaders were creating a positive Employee Experience, whilst 12% indicated they disagreed with their leaders creating a positive Employee Experience.
Says Ronel Camacho, APAG Managing Partner, “Leaders set the tone for culture and for creating a positive Employee Experience. We need to equip leaders with the right skills in order to raise the bar.” A new concept which was measured this year was psychological safety, which in layman terms means the ability to speak up without fear of repercussions. Only 52% of respondents reported the presence of psychological safety in their workplace.
The thinking about People Practices in Africa requires a ‘step change’.
The people-centricity of various people related organisational practices were interrogated in the study this year, and in short, more work is needed. Onboarding fell short of making new employees settle in and socialise to reach short term productivity, with 63% of respondents responding positively in this regard. Despite learning and development forging ahead in hybrid models, 43% of respondents indicated that their organisations fail to link development to career paths. Over the years, more and more organisations have moved to allowing more choice for employees, even in structuring their own reward. 18% of participants reported that their organisations offer flexibility for employees to structure their own reward.
Employee Wellness has been a significant focus area for African organisations over the past three years, it seems though that the apparent dissipation of Covid-19 has had the same effect on effort related to Employee Wellness. 48% of organisations reported that they actively track Employee Wellness.
Whilst hybrid working models have taken the world by storm, in Africa, more and more employees are returning to brick and mortar. It is reported that 43% of employees need to be back at the office, compared to 30% in 2022.
On the rise is the four-day work week. As expected, the take up in Africa seems low. 7% of respondents reported they have moved to a four-day work week.
An Employee Engagement mindset is slowly shifting to an Employee Experience mindset.
Regular and ongoing annual employee surveys are slowly making space for more pulse and snap surveys. This trend points to the fact that more data is becoming available along the employee life cycle. An increased use of short surveys of 4% will go a long way in addressing issues more regularly.
Says Nicol Mullins, APAG Managing Partner, “If an Employee Engagement survey is conducted with no clear plan to develop and implement actions, it runs the risk of doing more harm than good.”
Employee Experience is about more than surveys though, it is about improving and aligning all aspects of the employee life cycle. 77% of respondents reported that someone in HR has taken accountability for the Employee Experience.
The forecast for performance management is brighter.
The increased focus on a well aligned and efficient performance practice stands out from the study this year. More work is being done on introducing team-based measures, focusing on development conversations, and making better use of technology.
At the same time, organisations are dropping traditional tools such as forced ranking with only 28% of respondents indicating they still use it. The key area of focus is simplicity.
A people-data evolution is on the horizon.
The awareness of the importance of data in HR is evident. It is noteworthy that more data is now being collected outside of normal reporting cycles. This comes through in the practices such as onboarding, development and performance management. The collection of employee data on each and every practice provides valuable content for decision making.
A key approach for structuring data and decision making, is to develop employee personas. Similar to customer personas, it allows organisations to understand employee groups better in order to design a custom-fit Employee Experience. 20% of respondents are already using the power of personas whilst 23% have not heard of the concept.
The employee view.
For the first time this year, the study also represents an employee view. The purpose of collecting data directly from employees was to determine if there was alignment between what was reported by employers and employees. This is the case indeed.
Whilst 73% of employees reported that they enjoy working at their organisation, only 66% felt safe to speak up. Questions related to regular feedback on performance, opportunities for learning and growth, and recognition all score in the lower 60% arena.
Organisations are facing an increased risk of employee exits. 52% of employees would stay with their organisation if offered the same salary and 60% would recommend their organisation as a good place to work. More work is needed to understand the true state of Employee Experience from an employee perspective, but Human Resources professionals and senior leaders are encouraged to heed the call for action.
Click below to register for the online launch or to get the report directly in your inbox.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa People Advisory Group.
Africa People Advisory Group
Deon de Swardt
Tel: +27 82 467 1459