Leading African growth

HR manager for SAP Africa, Queen Mokonoto

HR manager for SAP Africa, Queen Mokonoto

Since joining the company in 2012, she has worked closely with departments and executives to achieve best results through targeted recruiting, talent development, retention and mentoring change.

“Technology has enabled HR to focus more on strategically delivering and supporting business objectives. HR can no longer be seen as a separate division of a business. It has a critical role to play in developing employees, talent acquisition and retention, as well as enabling employees to develop a successful career path,” she says.

For Mokonoto, the role of the HR manager must run parallel to the needs of the changing organisation. She says that successful organisations are becoming more adaptive, resilient, quick to change direction and customer-centred.

“Within this environment, the HR professional is a strategic partner, an employee sponsor or advocate and a change mentor. In this role, the HR person contributes to the development and the accomplishment of the organisation’s business plan and objectives.”

And with approximately 400 employees spread across four hub offices in Africa, she has quite a task ahead of her. As part of her role, Mokonoto is driving awareness for the SAP “Skills for Africa” programme aimed at developing ICT skills on the continent.

“With growth and the scarcity of skills in Africa a priority, this programme will offer selected students the opportunity to develop world-class IT and business skills to contribute towards the future economic growth and infrastructure development of the continent.”

This programme forms a critical part of the global SAP Workforce of the Future campaign to ensure that the company not only contributes to the skills development and economic sustainability of the continent, but also to the workforce sustainability internally.

“With fewer conflicts and economic growth rates that are now competitive with those of other developing regions, Africa has experienced positive change and has a substantial amount to offer. However, the environment is complex and doing business in this rapidly expanding region requires a different set of skills.”

Africa is a growing hub of innovation, particularly in terms of business and technology innovation in mobile and software solutions.

Mokonto says: “The continent is full of promising opportunity, yet it also faces immense challenges of skills scarcity, lack of infrastructure and social inequality.

“At SAP, we are well-positioned to address these challenges from a technology, business, education, and corporate social responsibility perspective.”

Companies are realising that to be successful they should not only focus on profits and financial figures, but also on nurturing their human capital and motivating their employees to reach their goals.

“Having an understanding of employment priorities and putting measures in place to ensure that employees’ professional needs are met are important for optimising the overall employment experience.

“This also enhances the performance and future possibilities for growth of the organisation. Our mission is to attract, develop and retain the best employees — individuals who will drive the organisation’s vision of enabling the world to run more efficiently and improve people’s lives.”

Earlier this year, SAP embarked on a global programme to hire people with autism as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists.

“In addition, the SAP Early Talent programme is a critical success factor in developing a pipeline of future leaders to take the company to even greater heights. This initiative drives our diversity and inclusion agenda, bringing in new ways of thinking to the organisation, and impacting both gender and generational diversity positively.”