Workplace management in a digital world.

The buzzwords of the last decade have ranged from ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ to ‘the Internet of Things’ and a myriad other terms inbetween. All of these boil down to digital disruption. The workplace is no exception. The digital world is pervasive and, more importantly, social media has somehow led people to blindly trust that what they see in any kind of media must be real – so much so that authenticity and validity might be too old school for today’s managers. Everyone seems to be caught up in managing perception in order to manage career paths. So where does that leave us, as humankind?

That being said, there are situations where many of us, as employers, have to face environments that require strict compliance with rules and regulations. Many of us do not feel reassured that these are being met or complied with by our staff. In these high-compliance environment scenarios, a workplace incident could shut down productivity until the matter is resolved, resulting in significant financial loss to the company.

This is especially prevalent in mines, where the evidence file to conclude an investigation could sometimes take a few days or weeks to compile, hurting productivity and operations in a big way. To this end, there are tools that employers can now implement to ensure that this information is maintained on a live basis. We spoke with one such company, Neo Africa, who provides workplace solutions that address these key issues with a system called AXIOM.

AXIOM was conceived, designed and built for companies of all sizes. In fact, whether you employ only a handful of people or manage thousands, AXIOM’s perfectly symbiotic system can smoothly integrate with almost any other system that allows integration. It is a solution that evolved out of various other technologies the company has deployed to other environments, using technology that is underpinned by key elements including biometrics, electronic data management, communication and workflow management by the system in both office-based and mobile applications.

AXIOM is an intelligent system that manages safety compliance and staff development related to personnel.

Employee information is stored on one secure platform, ensuring that compliance and adequate notification of all expiration dates of respective certificates (i.e. health and safety training, driver’s licenses, competencies certification and training certificates, insurance, etc.) remain current and exempt from lapses. The system also manages personnel development as the AXIOM is premised on the principle of balance between wielding a stick and waving a carrot.

With this platform, companies can plan ahead with confidence and minimal disruption to the operations that ensure industry compliance at all times. The system generates auditable, accurate information as well as detailed profiling of the workforce. Future developments will include detailed personality and job suitability assessments to assist in ensuring worker satisfaction, thereby further improving on productivity.

What is this Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act that is causing such a ‘buzz’? Quite simply, the PoPI Act ensures that all South African institutions conduct themselves responsibly in the areas of collection, processing, storage and sharing of employee information and ensures a reliable system of checks and balances designed to result in solid accountability for acts of abuse or the

compromising of sensitive personal information.

Ever since the introduction of the PoPI Act, companies have felt pressured to meet the requirements for compliance. All companies gather some form of personal information about their respective employees and, consequently, need to assure that

this information is secure and that stringent controls regarding access are vigilantly implemented, thus avoiding compromised security. Such breaches may be detrimental to a company if negligence is proved.

AXIOM addresses these risks by guaranteeing that the employee’s personal file is digitised and highly protected. No more documentation floating about the office, piled on administrative desks or stored in cupboards and/or binders. Such situations are rife with privacy violations.

With AXIOM, all information is stored in one central and secure environment, allowing platform access only to those with biometric authentication. Anyone without said permission – directly proffered by the system administrator – will be unable to access any data regarding fellow employees.

The simplified AXIOM system becomes even more of a game-changer for companies with more than one office. For mining, construction and other businesses that maintain operations in different parts of the country, the benefits of central and secure record keeping cannot be overstated. Gone are the associated vulnerabilities of breakins and other security issues. Imagine: streamlined record keeping and deadline management that reduces risk, complies with government guidelines and allows

business owners to do what they do best: Promote their industry without worrisome and weighty concerns that have little to do with the business of business.

Labour brokering has become a contentious and sensitive topic in the last few years. Certain industries are also under more pressure when it comes to labour brokers, especially in the mining and construction sectors. For many decades, companies have used the services of labour brokers or TES (Temporary Employment Services) to manage their labour pool, but in many cases, unions have pressured industry to cease working with these brokers.

Consequently, companies are beginning to consider alternative models; managing your limited duration/temporary employees internally, for example, no longer needs to be a daunting task. In fact, many companies will save money by insourcing this function instead of paying labour brokers to manage it on their behalf. Additionally, it no longer seems prudent to pay absorbent fees when the company is still severable and jointly liable for an employee who was hired via a labour broker. With AXIOM, companies can supervise staff with fewer top-heavy management and administration personnel, and instead focus on management, forever putting to bed the outdated myth that HR needs to be expensive.

AXIOM Core Engine System features the following (customisable to client needs):

  • Personnel Information System
  • Employee information
  • One secure platform
  • Minimised physical storage space
  • Biometric System
  • Secure employee data
  • Security level access control
  • Full audit trails
  • Integrated HR Solutions
  • Management of information
  • Online attendance
  • Payroll

With AXIOM, your company will meet the challenging requirements imposed by the government while, at the same time, allowing your employees to work at full capacity. Human Resources will no longer serve as ‘office police’ but instead focus on developing the talents and abilities of your precious employees and, consequently, your hard-earned business.