How good is my organisation is at people management


In modern business, one of the most important lessons has been that economic success comes from your employees’ success. And, to be globally competitive, organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on the knowledge and competence of their people.

Competitors can easily replicate innovation, capital investment and market expansion, but they can’t replicate people. So, to be an organisation that successfully attracts, retains, motivates and manages people has become a major focus – your people management has to be on top form.  

To assess your people management look at and score yourself on a variety of areas and use objective insight to score yourself.

Recruitment, selection and induction

Managing your recruitment, selection and induction well, gives an organisation the right employees for its business making it effective and competitive. Ask yourself:

  • Do you plan recruitment needs and assess the labour market?
  • Do you evaluate what a job entails and the skills/aptitudes needed?
  • Do you use a variety of recruitment sources to attract applicants?
  • Is your recruitment and selection procedure fair and non-discriminatory?
  • Are those involved in recruitment and selection trained?
  • Do you assess candidates effectively and check references/qualifications?
  • Do you offer flexible working?
  • Do you plan inductions?

Pay and reward

Your reward scheme should be simple, transparent, understood by all, and linked to business strategy. There is no one size fits all for rewarding employees so do what is right for your business, whilst being fair. Question:

  • Is your pay and grading structure understood by all employees?
  • Do employees query how their pay is calculated?
  • Do you meet legal requirements such as the National Minimum Wage and equal pay?
  • Do you have many grievances related to pay?
  • Do you have clear objectives for your reward arrangements?
  • Do you know how your employees feel about your reward system?
  • Do line managers understand your reward system and how to administer it?
  • Does your reward system recognise employee achievements?
  • Do you monitor the effectiveness of your pay and reward system?

Performance management

When looking at performance management ask:

  • Do you set SMART objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely?
  • Is there a manageable number of objectives for each employee?
  • Do you review employees’ performance?
  • Do you agree with employees what skills/behaviours they need for their jobs?
  • Do you agree personal development plans with individuals?
  • Is there a formal appraisal system?
  • Are appraisals based on clear evidence?
  • Are managers trained in performance management?
  • Is the performance management system regularly monitored/reviewed?

Flexible working/work-life balance

Being flexible about when and where your employees work can be a great productivity tool. Look at:

  • Are you confident about responding to a request for flexible working and the processes to follow?
  • Do you know who has the legal right to request to work flexibly?
  • Do you consider using flexible contracts to cover for staff on leave/during peak times?
  • Do you seek employee agreement before changing their working patterns?
  • Do you offer opportunities for employees to discuss work-life balance issues?
  • How often do you keep in touch with employees who are on maternity leave?
  • Do senior management try to set a good example for work-life balance?

Equality and diversity

Employers who treat employees fairly and flexibly will be best placed to attract and retain staff in an increasingly diverse and competitive labour market. Do you:

  • Does your organisation have an Equality and Diversity Policy?
  • Is senior management commited to promoting equality and diversity?
  • Is equality and diversity training provided?
  • Are staff and managers aware of how to recognise and deal with bullying and harassment?
  • Is your recruitment and selection procedure fair and non discriminatory?
  • Are staff able to request flexible working arrangements?
  • Are male and female employees paid equally for like work and work of equal value?
  • Do you monitor the effects of your Equality and Diversity Policy?
  • Do you undertake positive actions to encourage under represented groups?

Communication and involvement

Good employee communication is essential and one of the most important management practices. Question:

  • How often do you hold meetings between management and all employees?
  • How often do managers hold team briefings? And, are employees encouraged to ask questions and discuss issues?
  • Do you keep employees informed about business developments?
  • Do you provide information on employment issues such as staffing and training?
  • Do you have an employee suggestion scheme and act on/respond to suggestions?
  • Do you conduct an employee attitude or engagement survey?
  • Do employees take part in problem solving groups?
  • Do managers receive training in handling communication and employee involvement?

Employee representation

Consultation with recognised trade unions is always going to exist in SA so ask yourself:

  • Is there a framework which establises the roles, rights and responsibilities of employee representatives?
  • Is it clear which group of employees they represent?
  • Are employee representatives elected by their peers, or union members, for a specified period?
  • Is there an agreement about representatives taking paid time off to do their job?
  • Are employee representatives allowed to use company IT facilities to help them do their job?
  • Are employee representatives encouraged and trained to accompany employees in disciplinary and grievance hearings?
  • Are meetings of consultative forums held at least three or four times a year?
  • Where trade unions are recognised for collective bargaining, are regular meetings held?
  • Is the work of the consultative and/or negotiating body widely publicised?

Discipline and grievance

This is an area many employers are uneasy about. Be honest when you look at:

  • Are employees clear about rules, procedures and performance standards and give examples?
  • Are all managers trained to deal with discipline and grievances?
  • Do you try to solve disciplinary or grievance issues as early as possible?
  • Do you use a mediator to help resolve disciplinary or grievance problems?
  • Do you carry out investigations to establish the facts in disciplinary or grievance cases?
  • Do you make sure employees have the chance to make their case?
  • Do you allow employees to be accompanied at disciplinary or grievance meetings?
  • Do you allow employees to appeal against formal disciplinary or grievance decisions?

Managing change

When change happens:

  • Are you familiar with the best ways of guiding you organisation through change?
  • Are you aware of the employment law implications when handling a business re-organisation?
  • Are good policies in place to manage a downturn in the business?
  • Do you provide strong leadership during periods of change by being visible and accessible?
  • Are managers equipped to deal with change, in terms of providing local context to what the change means and communicating effectively with employees?
  • If you need to change employees’ contracts of employment do you know the best way to go about it?
  • After redundancy employee motivation and productivity can suffer because of ‘survivor syndrome’. Do you know what can be done to tackle it?
  • Are you aware of the link between organisational change and an individual’s health and wellbeing?

Key performance indicators

The way you manage people has great effect on organisational performance. Ensure:

  • You conduct an employee attitude or engagement survey? Or collect information on how satisfied they are with their jobs?
  • You monitor employee absence making a distinction between long-term absence and certified/uncertified illness
  • You collect and analyse information on how many employees leave your organisation in a defined period?
  • You collect customer satisfaction surveys covering a range of factors and can you relate results to departments?
  • You have key measures of quality directly relevant to operations and are these collected regularly and be related to departments?
  • Do you regularly monitor wage and salary cost, subdivided by grade/occupation and different areas of the business?

If you would like more information regarding assessing your people management email [email protected] .