Growing the HR Profession in the Free State Province by Kgomotso Mopalami

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As the Committee Chairperson of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) in the Free State Province, I find it perplexing to see that the HR profession is taken for granted by a vast number of individuals in companies that operate in the HR sector. This includes both the private and public sectors in the province.  The one question that I always ask myself is how do senior managers ensure good governance and growth in their respective organisations when their HR system is not up to standard? One can only assume that there is a lot of work still to be done to bring the HR professionals as well as the organisational leaders on board. As we know, no organisation can function without human resource management. This is so because HR has a significant impact on both the individual and organisational effectiveness.  The time is gone where HR would be relegated to the bottom when people talk about important professions within the organisation. This is true because without proper HR, any organisation would be dysfunctional. Good HR practice and sound people management is the foundation of every successful organisation.

On the 15 March 2017, the Free State Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a successful workshop in Bloemfontein. In their report, they stated that the chamber has over 2000 members and operates in different sectors such as Infrastructure Development, Agriculture, ICT, Engineering, Mining and others. I found this to be an opportunity for the HR sector to grow in that space, especially among our youth.

It is my conviction that up to now the SABPP in the Free State has made inroads in terms of growing the HR profession in the province. The SABPP Free State Committee has really performed to the best of their ability to grow the HR profession in the province.  However, there is clear evidence that a lot still needs to be done despite the initial efforts and achievements.  For example, the committee has on an ongoing basis organised important events such as workshops, training and networking sessions in the province for HR professionals.

It is true that there is great scope for growth in the Free State, although the pace is slow.  At this stage, many individuals lack knowledge when it comes to professionalism in the HR industry, and until we reach out to them through various media, the status quo will remain.  We thus have a huge assignment as the professional body in this province.

To support the above argument, I happened to be invited to PERITUM (AGRI Institute) seminar on human capital in June 2018 to do a presentation on behalf of the SABPP.  To my surprise, when I looked at other presentations, the HR standards by SABPP were quoted.  Thus, there is some awareness of the existence of SABPP and what it stands for in the Free State Province, however, more work is needed to advance the HR profession in the province.  After I did the presentation, a lot of interest was displayed by leaders who wanted to register as professional members as well as extending this to their respective employees in their HR departments.  They further demonstrated interest in having SABPP perform HR audits in their respective companies.  Having said the above, it became clear to me that there is great potential of growing the HR profession in the Free State.

The following are some of the initiatives which I believe could be considered in growing the HR profession in the Free State Province:

  • To continue with the networking sessions to create awareness to the HR professionals
  • To do road shows at least quarterly, until a satisfactory level of awareness is achieved
  • To visit the HR units in different departments, which can optimally be successful through the field agents
  • To have field agents who will be more focused on company visits on a regular basis
  • To communicate the SABPP agenda with the significant role players in government, such as MECs and the Mayors in municipalities
  • To clearly state the benefits that companies and individuals can get by registering with SABPP as professional members

When the results are achieved, the same initiatives could be implemented in the Northern Cape because these two provinces always share services.

The Free State is a beautiful province, with a high potential of growth and this is our mandate as the professional body to grow it.  We will not rest until it happens.

“So little done, so much to do” (Cecil John Rhodes)

Kgomotso Mopalami is SABPP Chairperson in the Free State.  She attended the SABPP AGM in Pretoria on 21 June 2018.  The full annual report of SABPP can be downloaded from Twitter @SABPP1