Cre­at­ing de­mand with train­ing to meet it

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS - By Christo­pher Ma­son

Fund­ing sees mar­ket­ing and train­ing pro­grammes gather pace

y the time you read this, the cold of Win­ter will be re­ceed­ing, with the warm, longer days of Spring some­thing to look for­ward to. Let’s hope we don’t have a re­peat of Spring in 1981 where on 10 Septem­ber, Jo­han­nes­burg ex­pe­ri­enced the rare oc­cur­rence of heavy snow­fall.

You al­ready know that at Avi Africa, mem­bers ap­proved the new SAPA Con­sti­tu­tion, and we ea­gerly await the fi­nal ap­proval from the SARS Com­mis­sioner. The SAPA sec­re­tariat re­struc­ture has been fi­nalised and on 18 Au­gust, the Egg and Broiler Or­gan­i­sa­tions meet to plan a way for­ward for your ‘new’ SAPA.

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Gal­liova Awards 2015

Ar­range­ments for Gal­liova are well un­der­way with a suit­able venue for the awards iden­ti­fied in the Western Cape. We in­tend to host this year’s event at Cavalli Stud farm in Som­er­set West. A pre-judg­ing event will take place in Jo­han­nes­burg and a suit­able venue is be­ing sourced for this. A re­minder that there’s a Food­eg­g­cel­lence Face­book page, and the num­ber of ‘likes’ has sur­passed the 4500 mark. Pro­tac­tic are work­ing closely with SAPA on all the lo­gis­ti­cal ar­range­ments for these pres­ti­gious awards.

DAFF funded farmer train­ing

DAFF funded train­ing has started, with 37 farm­ers hav­ing ben­e­fited from this ini­tia­tive so far - 16 from Mpumalanga and 21 from Kwazulu-na­tal. Cour­ses in the pipe­line in­clude the Western Cape with an ex­pected at­ten­dance of 25 farm­ers, Mpumalanga with 15, the North­west Prov­ince with 17 and a fur­ther 27 from the East­ern Cape. I’ve re­ceived sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions from var­i­ous re­gions and am in the process of mak­ing the nec­es­sary ar­range­ments for the train­ing to take place.

AGRISETA fund­ing

Last month, I men­tioned the AGRISETA has com­mit­ted a fur­ther R500,000 to SAPA to put to­wards train­ing in the sec­tor. The in­ten­tion is to use the fund­ing for a spe­cific in­dus­try train­ing need yet to be iden­ti­fied. The fo­cus for previous grants has been on Poul­try Meat Ex­am­iner train­ing and in­di­ca­tions are that we need to look at other ar­eas for this par­tic­u­lar in­ter­ven­tion. Should any read­ers wish to sub­mit sug­ges­tions as to what skills ar­eas need to be ad­dressed, please send your sug­ges­tions to me at christo­pher@sapoul­try.co.za.

The im­por­tance of soft skills train­ing

Soft Skills, of­ten as­so­ci­ated with an in­di­vid­ual’s EQ (Emo­tional In­tel­li­gence Quo­tient), are per­sonal at­tributes that en­able some­one to in­ter­act ef­fec­tively and har­mo­niously with oth­ers. EQ im­pacts how in­di­vid­u­als recog­nise and man­age their be­hav­iour in re­la­tion to their so­cial en­vi­ron­ment and is con­sid­ered as the foun­da­tion for a host of crit­i­cal skills.

Soft skills are an im­por­tant area of de­vel­op­ment in the work­force. While not as easy to iden­tify as hard tech­ni­cal skills, soft skills en­able a so­cial, pro­duc­tive or­gan­i­sa­tion, ul­ti­mately sup­port­ing both in­di­vid­ual and or­gan­i­sa­tional growth. Tar­ryn Ma­son, Gen­eral Man­ager of Pro­gres­sion, looks at what de­fines soft skills, their im­por­tance within an or­gan­i­sa­tion, and how your or­gan­i­sa­tion can help to im­ple­ment soft skills train­ing.

The im­por­tance of soft skills in an or­gan­i­sa­tion can­not be over-em­pha­sised. Soft Skills are sup­port­ing skills; they sup­port in­di­vid­u­als in their job func­tion, com­ple­ment­ing their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence (hard skills) by cre­at­ing a plat­form to en­gage with peo­ple when do­ing that job. They en­cour­age ac­count­abil­ity and ul­ti­mately are what make an in­di­vid­ual ex­cep­tional at their job.

Soft skills in the mod­ern busi­ness land­scape

The mod­ern busi­ness is a peo­ple-driven, so­cial land­scape. Soft skills give in­di­vid­u­als the op­por­tu­nity to en­gage with the cul­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. As a work­force grows and di­ver­si­fies, it can no longer be taken for granted that peo­ple will fit in to their roles or fit in with their team. In fact, many chal­lenges that sur­round cre­at­ing an ef­fec­tive work­force lie with a leader’s abil­ity to fos­ter that sense of shared val­ues amongst em­ploy­ees. On-go­ing im­prove­ment in tech­nol­ogy also means that ac­tiv­i­ties which were pre­vi­ously done by peo­ple are now eas­ily pro­cessed by a com­puter. There­fore it’s the charis­matic, in­no­va­tive in­di­vid­u­als who re­late well to oth­ers who are get­ting the jobs and keep­ing them.

The Mckin­sey 7-S Frame­work, de­vel­oped in the early ‘80’s, speaks to or­gan­i­sa­tional ef­fec­tive­ness and high­lights the im­por­tance of soft skills in the work­place. The frame­work con­sists of 7 el­e­ments bro­ken up into two cat­e­gories: hard el­e­ments and soft el­e­ments. Sys­tems, Strat­egy and Struc­ture form the hard el­e­ments of the frame­work and are eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able and

in­flu­enced by man­age­ment. Soft el­e­ments in­clude Style, Staff, Skills and Shared Val­ues. The in­tan­gi­ble na­ture of these soft el­e­ments makes them less easy to iden­tify and in­flu­ence.

Although the frame­work is over 20 years old, it con­tin­ues to in­flu­ence and sup­port man­age­ment think­ing, steer­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions to­ward in­vest­ing in a work­force which is en­gaged, com­mu­ni­cates clearly and shows cre­ative po­ten­tial.

Bring­ing Soft Skills into your or­gan­i­sa­tion

In or­der to un­der­stand where soft skills fit within your or­gan­i­sa­tion it is im­por­tant to iden­tify the gaps. This can be done at an in­di­vid­ual and or­gan­i­sa­tional level. Start with the com­pany strat­egy and an­a­lyse where changes are re­quired in or­der to achieve strate­gic growth in the work­force. This is also a good point to con­sider the in­di­vid­ual’s ca­reer paths.

Con­sider an ac­coun­tant who wants to be­come a fi­nan­cial man­ager. He or she may re­quire cer­tain ex­pe­ri­ence and hard skills in or­der to qual­ify for the job, while as a man­ager he or she is re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing and lead­ing a team while meet­ing strate­gic / or­gan­i­sa­tional ob­jec­tives. In or­der to gain the nec­es­sary ‘soft’ skills for this role, the ac­coun­tant might con­sider at­tend­ing a man­age­ment and lead­er­ship course where he/ she will be able to learn about how to en­gage with em­ploy­ees, man­age con­flict in the work­place, per­for­mance man­age in­di­vid­u­als, of­fer recog­ni­tion as a form of re­ward, en­cour­age team par­tic­i­pa­tion and so on. These skills have very lit­tle to do with bal­anc­ing ac­counts and cre­at­ing bud­gets, but with­out them this ac­coun­tant has lit­tle chance of be­ing an ef­fec­tive Head of De­part­ment.

In this way we are able to un­der­stand how the soft skills land­scape can help ad­vance in­di­vid­u­als be­tween po­si­tions. This in turn re­sults in or­gan­i­sa­tional growth from within which sup­ports an ef­fec­tive re­ten­tion strat­egy.

Once a plan of ac­tion has been out­lined re­gard­ing soft skills im­ple­men­ta­tion can take place. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is very im­por­tant to gain buy-in - the in­di­vid­u­als who are be­ing trained need to be in­vested in the process as they are ul­ti­mately go­ing to bring their new soft skills to the work ta­ble. Out­lin­ing the in­ten­tion be­hind the train­ing is an ex­cel­lent way to en­cour­age full par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Although the ben­e­fits of soft skills are some­times dif­fi­cult to mea­sure, it of­ten helps if the train­ing is linked to a com­pany ob­jec­tive and di­rec­tive. Cat­e­gories F&G in the learn­ing pro­gramme ma­trix (LPM) of the B-BBEE codes recog­nises in­for­mal, oc­cu­pa­tion­ally di­rected non-ac­cred­ited train­ing. Types of pro­grammes that can be im­ple­mented in­clude on-the-job train­ing, EQ, Lead­er­ship & man­age­ment train­ing.

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