Mental Health Awareness Month: Removing the Stigma
by Justene Smith

October 2015 October is recognised as national Mental Health Awareness Month. This year, the South African Department of Health has highlighted the importance of mental health in the workplace and supporting colleagues with mental health conditions. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) an estimated 450 million people worldwide experience or live with mental or neurological disorders or some form of psychosocial condition.  This places mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. It is further estimated that only one third of individuals diagnosed with a mental health condition will seek and participate in treatment from a professional health practitioner. The South African Federation for Mental Health believes that stigma, prejudice and discrimination brought about by lack of understanding and education around mental health conditions are the le...
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Understanding the role Universal Design plays toward an Inclusive and Accessible Workplace

August 2015 Hiten Bawa, Architect and Universal Access Consultant unpacks the various considerations of Universal Access within physical environments and the critical role it plays in enabling full participation for everyone. The introduction of inclusive policies and non-discriminatory legislation in the workplace is encouraging companies and institutions to be more inclusive in their approach toward a diverse workforce, including individuals with disabilities. In a recent article by Progression’s Diversity and Disability experts, the issue of Reasonable Accommodation was unpacked, assessing the benefits that inclusive and accessible workplaces bring to organisations.  Recognising the importance and benefits of managing diversity in the workplace, the first step to creating these enabling workplaces is through accessible work environments. Universal Access is a concept that addresses t...
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Accessible workplaces unlock potential

July 2015 “The right to work is a fundamental human right. However, persons with disabilities are often not considered in employment due to negative perceptions regarding their ability to contribute or the high cost of accommodating their disability or inaccessible workplaces. Often, employers are unaware of the valuable contribution persons with disabilities can make in a diverse workplace, through the use of adaptive and assistive technologies, and other reasonable accommodation measures.” – UN. Members of the Progression team, Justene Smith, Disability Specialist, and Julia Wood, Organisational Development Manager, have unpacked what reasonable accommodation is and how it can improve the accessibility of a workplace, unlocking potential and creating an inclusive environment for all individuals to grow and participate. People with disabilities are becoming more integrated into th...
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The importance of training and developing Soft Skills in an organisation
by Tarryn Mason

July 2015 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...
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What is a Learnership?

June 2015 Much “hoopla” exists at the moment around the new B-BBEE codes and the many and varied implications for small and big businesses. There has been much frustration and many questions raised as to the efficacy of B-BBEE in general in response to these new codes. However, when it comes to the true spirit of the B-BBEE codes, it is important to remember why they were instituted in the first place – it was all about effecting change and Transformation, which in reality is still very much needed in our turbulent, adolescent economy. B-BBEE: a catalyst for TransformationWhen looking specifically at the Skills Development element of both the new and old B-BBEE codes, it is clear that the aim of this element or pillar in particular is to encourage corporate South Africa to allow people access to skills, qualifications and ultimately economic and social upliftment. Skills Developmen...
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Strategic Training and Development: Implementing a comprehensive skills plan using your WSP & ATR

May 2015 Workplace Skills Plans and Annual Training Reports are often seen as simply compliance driven reports, something which many organisations treat with a begrudged attitude. Alana Perumal, Progression’s Skills Development Facilitator, looks at how these reports can actually be used to strategically plan training and development and add real value to a business. The Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) state that the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) is a strategic document which articulates how the employer is going to address the training and development needs in the workplace. They further emphasise that the process should be an all-inclusive one. The Annual Training Report (ATR) is to be submitted concurrently with the WSP and reflects on the implementation of training initiatives undertaken in the current year, based on provision in the previous years&rsquo...
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Organisational excellence through creative, effective talent management - treat your people like the driving force they are

April 2015 In last month’s opinion piece, Progression highlighted the importance of finding and placing the right talent through strategic and effective recruitment and placement strategies. Once this talent has been found, it now becomes imperative to manage and empower the individuals to reach their highest potential. Julia Wood, Organisational Development Manager for Progression believes deeply in the importance of managing the talent a business has. “The business landscape holds unlimited people potential; exploring and tapping into this potential is a rewarding process for all parties involved” she says. Julia holds a degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology and understands that by using strategic HR (including recruitment and people management) processes, organisations can improve their business value and make it all the more possible to achieve their business goals...
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Partnering with the right agency could boost your talent pool
by Melanie Bothma

March 2015 Business leaders are realising how vital a sustainable recruitment strategy is, for the health of their organisation This is according to Melanie Bothma, Recruitment Manager at Progression, leading Recruitment and Skills Development managament consultants who specialise in placing people with disabilities. Melanie, who has over 15 years experience in the recruitment industry, believes that recruiting the best people for the job, using the best methods and partners possible, is becoming a definitive driver for many forward thinking organisations. Aligning the HR and Recruitment partnership The question on many HR and Talent Manager’s minds though is how? How do we know which recruitment agencies to partner with? The answer is simple, it’s all about alignment! Melanie believes that the agency you select needs to align with your vision and values. “An effective and ethic...
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Using the hard lessons from 2014 to your advantage in the New Year
by Beth Cook

January 2015   A comprehensive strategy coupled with well-executed implementation can turn your organisation’s workforce into your most competitive advantage. This is according to Beth Cook, the CEO of Progression, a leading Human Capital and Transformation Solutions Service Provider. She says that there are four distinct trends that emerged from 2014, which her management team have identified as key drivers for the development of successful and sustainable skills development and diversity strategies. Develop a learning organisation The extraordinarily rapid growth of technology and new digital platforms has provided unrestricted access to a wealth of information at our fingertips. We’re now living in the “everyone’s an expert” age, where expertise is less sought after in a world where people are more aware of what is going on around them, and if in doubt they ...
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How to Change a Life - Using the Power of Technology to Change Attitudes Towards People With a Disability in the Workplace.

December 2014  Could the power of technology be the vital weapon in our arsenal that we use to break down those barriers created by the stigma for people with disabilities in the workplace? While legislation has come a long way in addressing shortcomings in our society, including the previous marginalisation of individuals with disabilities, we still have a long way to go in changing individual beliefs. This is according to Lutendo Mpfumba, a Support Coordinator at Progression who recently engineered a campaign in celebration of National Disability Rights Awareness Month. She shares some unique insight into some of the challenges surrounding people with disabilities, and the need for equal and fair participation from all. As we reflect on the 2014 National Disability Rights Awareness Month (3 November to 3 December 2014), the UN Enable Report states there are currently more than one billion pe...
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