Showing the public sector how it’s done

Proactively stimulating the morphing of the organisational culture into a rapidly changing, learn-on-the-fly, technology-driven typology that remains caring and humanistic, both in the workplace and towards clients and stakeholders … this is Legal Aid SA, Public Sector Industry Leader.

Legal Aid South Africa has been certified as a 2019 Top Employer; it’s the 10th consecutive award, and it was also named an Industry Leader in the Public Sector for the fourth consecutive year. The public-funded legal service provider is thrilled to be recognised as one of these successful organisations that lead the way in outstanding people-first human resources practices. Being named a Top Employer confirms that Legal Aid SA is part of a global community of forward-thinking organisations that continue to strive for only the best people practices.

Human Resources executive Amanda Clark explains the relevance of this certification: “Top Employers are organisations of the highest calibre that have worked with intention to create, implement and progress their people strategies to a proactive level of maturity. They provide an outstanding experience through strategic and thoughtful workplace programmes that preserve the environment and empower and develop employees.

“As a Top Employer, Legal Aid SA continues to benchmark its programmes against other top performers and to globally align its human resources practices. Our focus is on growth and improvement, in order to better perform our organisational mandate of making human rights a reality.”

It is particularly remarkable for a public-funded entity to aspire and strive towards achieving world-class standards in its talent management approach, resulting in Legal Aid SA scooping the prestigious Public Sector Industry Leader position yet again. Clark says that public sector clientele, who are often the poorest and most vulnerable, deserve a world-class service.

“They deserve to be affirmed and to have their dignity and human rights prioritised in their interface with public sector service providers. Being a Top Employer provides assurance that our human resources programmatic interventions attract, retain, grow and develop the talent profile calibre of empowered and committed professionals, who show up for duty in order to positively affect the lives of their clients.”

Legal Aid SA has developed a keen focus on sustainability, and is proud of its sustained high recruitment levels, low turnover, and a buoyant throughput of its talent pipeline — 99% of promotions to management and executive levels have been internally sourced. Sustaining the Employment Value Proposition has been a hefty task for Legal Aid SA, which is faced with budget cuts of R503-million over the next three financial years.

Clark says: “Although we are currently challenged by extreme financial constraints, we are striving to stretch beyond our material circumstances to bring value to the business through innovation and by encouraging mind-set shifts towards greater agility and resilience. In this way we are constantly ensuring that our talent programmes support the organisation and employees through this period, while tenaciously contributing to the maturity growth path of the organisation.”

Looking to the future, given the support and direction provided by Top Employers, the Human Resources function is poised to partner with the business in its sustainability drive by leading in the areas of a more agile organisational design approach; leaner and more efficient processes including digitalisation; solid succession management and leadership development, and proactively stimulating the morphing of the organisational culture into a rapidly changing, learn-on-the-fly, technology-driven typology that remains caring and humanistic both in the workplace and towards clients and stakeholders.

We remain committed to the continuous improvement of our people practices during the next decade — and beyond!

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