Measuring Effectiveness of Employee Training and Development
by Beth Cook

December 2016 Employee training and development plays a critical role in advancing organisational performance, but is not always a priority for top management. HR Practitioners can make use of critical KPIs for employee development in order to justify the investment of time and money towards improving organisational talent. On-the-job training through mentorship programmes, short courses or skills programmes linked to employee roles or up-skilling a person into a new role through a learnership or bursary are just a few of the training interactions that organisations make decisions around each year.  The effectiveness of these programmes and the motivation behind their implementation can only be discovered if there are measurements put in place. Some of the standardised measurements or KPIs that can be adopted in order to understand the effectiveness of the training are highlighted below: Empl...
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Growing Critical Thinking in the Workplace
by Beth Cook

November 2016 At Progression we assess thousands of young school, college and varsity leavers for entry into the workplace or further skills opportunities each year. What constantly amazes me is that only a very small percentage of these individuals have the ability to think critically and strategically, a skill that would make them workplace ready. This is a skill that is missing regardless of the level of qualification that the candidate holds, the quality of the education facility they have graduated from or the amount of working experience they have achieved. Critical thinking skills involve logical reasoning based on available evidence and give an individual the ability to evaluate and improve on thought processes.  Above all it is the ability for an individual to think independently and link ideas in a way that is original and unique. So why are critical thinking skills such an important...
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Five Considerations for Building a Disability Awareness Strategy
by Justene Smith

November 2016 Continuing from the article What is Disability Awareness & why is it important? Justene Smith, Disability Specialist at Progression, unpacks some important considerations for organisations when building an effective Disability Awareness Strategy. 1. What does my organisation want to achieve? Disability awareness can be implemented for many purposes depending on the desired outcomes of the organisation. Disability awareness can focus on sharing basic information about disability, it could be used to capacity-build managers to better understand disability and manage this in a more proactive and effective way going forward and to implement their own awareness in the future, or it could assist in preparing a workplace in anticipation of a Disability Disclosure Audit. Setting clear and concise outcomes that talk to all areas of the business is very important. In addition, companies ne...
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What is Disability Awareness in the Workplace and Why is it Important?
by Justene Smith

November 2016 Despite the ongoing effort to introduce disability into the workplace, many people with disabilities still face discrimination when accessing the open labour market. Statistically, only a small percentage of people with disabilities are employed. Furthermore, of the people with disabilities that are employed, many are in positions of low-level work with reduced promotional opportunities, often as a result of lack of skills and experience as well as social barriers which impede engagement in the workplace. Justene Smith, Disability Specialist at Progression, unpacks the various considerations around disability in the workplace and the important role disability awareness plays in creating accessible and inclusive environments. Understanding the social context of disability Historically (and still in our more modern societies), people with disabilities have been marginalised due to lim...
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5 Important Lessons about Community Development
by Candice Lambert

August 2016 Social upliftment has become everybody’s responsibility. As a result, organisations are looking at investments outside of their traditional stakeholder framework, reflecting on their impact on both the people and environments around them. Candice Lambert, Head of Strategic Business Development at Progression and Director of RISE, a community development inspired initiative in partnership with Progression, shares her insights and learnings around the subject of developing communities. “The Third World is not a statistical abstraction nor a set of political or economic principles; it is, first and foremost, people: men, women and children, each with his or her own peculiar intelligence and emotions, tragedies and successes, pleasure and suffering, realities and dreams. The human dimension is easily forgotten amid the sea of statistics, generalities, theories, and ideologies tha...
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Workplace Readiness is a Critical Step to Successful Skills Development

May 2016 Workplace readiness can often be a major challenge for first-time entrants into the workplace. This often results in additional pressure for employers and employees alike when embarking on a skills development or empowerment programme.  A lack of exposure, limited knowledge of the business environment and the underdeveloped interpersonal or soft skills of many young entrants (especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds) are just some of the challenges facing previously unemployed candidates. “Bridging the gap into the working world is thus a critical first step in addressing the need for larger talent pools within business and industry, and certainly a step that corporate South Africa can actively participate in,” says Imogen Rossam, Business Development Consultant at Progression. Workplace readiness programmes offer a great means for organisations to prepare first-tim...
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Career Development can improve Employability
by Melanie Bothma

Career development is a lifelong process during which you develop new ideas about yourself and your career identity.  The 21st century world of work has rapid developments in technology and globalisation of the economy and job markets. There is constant outsourcing of work, downsizing of companies and customising of jobs. More people are in temporary and part-time employment and increasing numbers of people are becoming self- employed. As a result of these changes, an individual’s employability is critical to ensuring successful career-pathing. In most occupations there is a trend towards change, unpredictability, innovation and creativity and a demand for people with interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.  You can no longer afford to have a static, ‘once- off choice’ view of career. Your employability will likely depend on you having to make a number of career decisions ...
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From the Beginning: Skills Development for a Greater SA
by Candice Lambert

March 2016 Until recently, compliance has largely been the driving force for workplace skills development in South Africa. However increasingly, CEOs and other business decision makers are realising the need for a more sustainable solution: growing a workforce that both meets their compliance needs and the overall goals of the business. This sustainable development requires transformation to be forward-thinking tool. Candice Lambert, Strategic Business Development Consultant at Progression, looks at developing talent from the ground up in the ‘grow your own’ concept, addressing the issue of compliance versus sustainable and strategic business growth, as well as the need for contribution to Skills Development on a National level. “The ‘Grow Your Own’ concept is a principle or practice that responds to the National drive around the unemployment crisis,” states Cand...
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Top Tips for Applying for Your Dream Job

The search for a job can be a difficult and daunting task. Finding and applying for the right job often involves applying for multiple positions, with plenty of competition from other candidates applying for the same position. So how do you ensure that the person receiving your job application is going to notice you? Ali Tambellini, Progression’s Training Academy Manager, talks about her top tips and what to do when applying for jobs or enagaging with the recruitment industry. Include a cover letter on your application. When writing your cover letter make sure that it is punchy and to the point. Remember that it needs to summarise your interest in the position. The person reading this has a mountain of applications to plough through so make sure it keeps the person interested and doesn’t ramble on and on. Optimise your CV. Your CV itself needs to remain as factual and to the point as pos...
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The Importance of Employment Equity and its Implementation

February 2016 In discussions around Employment Equity, Affirmative Action is usually the first thing that springs to mind. However, the truth is that Affirmative Action is only a small piece of the Employment Equity puzzle. Merusha Singh, recently appointed Skills Development Facilitator at Progression, unpacks the purpose of South Africa’s Employment Equity legislation as well as the various elements involved in its implementation. In this article she highlights the role of the Employment Equity Committee, the value that it adds to the implementation of the EE Act within the organisation as well as some of the challenges that it faces.  To set the tone, I think it is important to take a brief look at the key drivers behind the introduction of Employment Equity into our country’s legislation. Prior to South Africa becoming a democratic state, laws dating back to the colonial and ...
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