Against a backdrop of relatively poor economic conditions in 2012, the consulting industry generally took strain. Over the past 12 months Work Dynamics saw a decline in the demand for assessment services. This can be attributed to the flat economy caused by a decline in business confidence and a lower than expected economic growth rate. Very few companies in the private sector are making new appointments, hence the decline in the demand for assessments for the purpose of selection. This trend was also more evident in the Western and Eastern Cape than in Gauteng whereas the demand for assessment services within the public sector remained more or less unchanged.
Shift towards improving effectiveness and retaining talent
Work Dynamics experienced an increase in the demand for services such as organisation redesign, performance management, coaching and skills audits which all focus on an increase in effectiveness and efficiency. Another interesting trend was in the field of remuneration where companies addressed internal equity issues through the introduction of job evaluation practices. Internal equity exists when an organisation’s staff perceives that they are being rewarded fairly according to the relative value of their jobs within the organisation. Despite the economic downturn, the key economic sectors continue to experience a shortage of skills, resulting in companies carefully gauging the salary trends in the market and responding appropriately to retain scarce skills and talent.
Deep impact of unprotected strikes
The unprotected strikes over the last couple of months also had a profound impact on employer – employee relationships. Unrealistic pay increase demands were fuelled by never ending increases in living expenses, as well as the discontent with the disproportionate wage differential between executive pay and the lowest paid employees in organisations. Inevitably, these trends potentially have negative consequences in terms of job losses, a decline in South Africa’s productivity and the broader community’s perception of a fair and just society.
In the next twelve months Work Dynamics will continue to offer innovative and customised solutions to our clients throughout our service lines. Although the tough economic conditions will continue, we are confident that there will still be a demand for the expertise that we offer the market. It is also our intention to augment our consulting services with state of the art products. In this regard, negotiations are underway with potential technology partners and we are looking forward to concluding these partnerships early in 2013.