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July 30, 2018

Using technology to put people first

By: Xolile Ndlangana, Director: Sales & Marketing Boxfusion

People form the heart of any organisation or business, and as one of the major employers of South Africa, the public sector is no exception to this rule.

Those currently in mid-to high level management are increasingly being replaced by the next generation of staff—primarily millennials. It is estimated that by 2020, millennials (those born between 1982 and 2004) will make up 75% of workforces around the globe.   This is a generation of people that are far more tech-savvy than their predecessors and are far more demanding within the work environment.

This digital generation is reshaping traditional work and human resource processes, and the public sector, often viewed as backwards when it comes to workplace innovation, has a duty to meet the expectations of millennials in order to attract and retain new talent.

Technology is the primary means through which the public sector can meet these expectations while also achieving business requirements. In fact, if anything, technology will assist the public service in monitoring, auditing and attaining objectives and creating an inspiring work environment.

Through compatible HR software, the public service can effectively automate managing valuable talent while freeing up management to focus on more important daily tasks. Automated processes allow HR managers in the public sector to simplify employee admin like leave, time attendance and training opportunities, while giving them oversight across the board.

This is advantageous in public sector offices that manage employees numbering into the hundreds, and removes all the pitfalls that come with paper-based processes. It also allows for greater mobility within the workforce, meaning that when HR processes become digitised, staff and management alike can access their dashboards on the go, applying for, escalating and approving leave and other HR- related functions without having to be in-office.

Automated HR processes allow managers to maximise use of big data within their sectors, which can inform better HR practices in future, turning HR managers from babysitters into strategic data managers, and allowing them to dedicate more of their valuable time to managing the essential daily tasks of government.

The best part of automating human resource processes is that this technology isn’t decades away.  In fact, Boxfusion’s Smartgov for Administration’s HR module has been rolled out in several government departments already, with great success. These include the Department of Higher Education and Training (38 000 staff members) and the Department of Labour (9000 employees).

Maximising productivity, attracting and retaining the right talent, and ultimately improving service delivery to the citizen are all impacted by the way human resources are managed within the public sector. Automation is key in achieving these goals, and creating a public sector that fresh, new employees are excited and proud to work for.