HR experts meet to brainstorm on the future of work

More than one hundred Human Resource (HR) Personnel drawn from industry and various institutions have gathered in Accra for the 2019 Ghana HR Summit to brainstorm on the future of work and how it will be created.

The experts, some of who are Chief Executive Officers, Heads of Departments, Senior Managers among others, focused on the challenges the Human Resource Industry is facing and how they could adapt to new trends that focuses on employee inclusiveness to simplify the work experience.

The two-day Summit which took place at the Labadi Beach Hotel was on the theme “Building an Agile Workforce” was under the auspices of Mercer, a global HR consulting firm and Learning Organisation.

A key challenge to the HR functions across the African continent is that it is often administrative, not strategic and doesn’t have any influence on capability.

Another challenge is that most organizations don’t have ladders for people to climb in terms of promotions.

These, together with a host of others, are seriously affecting career growth.

Commenting on the event, Siphiwe Moyo, an International Speaker, Facilitator and Author, said it is important for HR experts to adapt to new trends in industry by exhibiting good quality leadership that will have a positive impact of workers.

“First of all, because of the fact that the world of work is changing, how we did HR ten years ago, it cannot be how we do HR now. So, we need to build an agile workforce, how to be change resilient, be emotionally resilient, do a lot of reskilling projects, reskill people and even though we are going to lose a few people because of automation and artificial intelligence, we going to gain more jobs if we do things right so we can prepare people for the future jobs”.

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Mr.  Deon de Stewardt, Business Development Leader (SSA), Mercer, also commenting on the Summit said “Organizations need to focus on increasing access to the gig economy – having more people that are flexible, that deliver pieces of work without necessary working for the company. One of the things that I feel Africa is shying away from is flexibility – where they work from, what the kind of work they do, and as to whether they share jobs or not. I feel like there is no sufficient trust in organizations to allow people to be measured on output rather than the time they work.”

He added “Organizations need to look at digitization and artificial intelligence robotics and understanding the impact of what jobs will remain and making sure you have a plan to get people reskilled that could be negatively impacted and thinking about jobs, an organization will need that it does not have currently”.

The experts were taken through topics such as; Connectivity in the Human Age (Mercer Global Talent Trends 2019 Insights) which was presented by Mr. Deon de Swardt; Driving Successful Strategies for Employee Engagement presented by Esi Ensah, CEO, Axis Human Capital and Senior Lecturer at Ashesi University; Organizational Culture: Changing IT, Harnessing IT presented by Prof. Kwesi Amponsah Tawiah, Lecturer, Department of Organizational Behavior, University of Ghana; Upacking Compensation & Benefit Trends in Ghana and West Africa presented by Mr. Jean Mboule, Senior Business Development Manager, Mercer; and Powerful Decision-Making with HR Metrics and Analytics also presented by Mr. Deon de Swardt.

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There was a panel discussion on the topic “The Role of HR in Supporting the Future Workforce in the 4IR”. Discussants were Mr. Ebenezer Agbettor, Director of the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners, Mr. Isaac Sackey, CEO,Learning Organisation and Council Member,Ghana Employers Association, and Mr. C. C. Bruce Jnr, Group Chief Operations Officer, Enterprise Group. The discussion was facilitated by Mr. Siphiwe Moyo.

The discussants touched on the need for HR practitioners to understand the digital world and how they can leverage on it for cost convenience and speed.

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