With South Africa still in the grips of a three-week-long bus strike over salary increases, Arnoux Maré, MD of Innovative Staffing Solutions (ISS), suggests outsourcing could be the answer to avoiding labour action and its attendant detrimental impact on the economy:
Strikes at a local level could be avoided if organisations opted to outsource their staff. ISS currently employs more than 8 000 staff members who are contracted out to various clients. Experience has shown that if you take care of your staff, they will take care of you. Strike action is not a natural occurrence, but the result of an unanticipated or poorly managed situation.
Bus drivers have been on a three-week-long, no-work no-pay strike over salary increases. They are demanding a 9,5-percent salary hike for the first year (2018) and 8,5 percent for 2019, but employers are offering an eight-percent salary increase for this year, followed by 8,5 percent for the second year. To date, there has been no resolution on the matter and thousands of bus commuters have been left stranded.
ISS has been able, through focused management, to offer staff benefits that are significantly better than regulated industry packages. At the same time, ISS clients’ operational costs have been reduced by up to 60 percent. However, the main advantage has been to ensure that ISS stays on top of human resource legislation and industrial relations developments to manage all labour situations and deflect them long before they become a problem.
Many companies are not able to weather the storm of industrial action and the effect it has on operational matters, which results in a loss of business and income. In the event of a strike, ISS immediately deploys alternative staff to ensure no halt in operations.
Meanwhile, the wellbeing of ISS staff is non-negotiable and employees are well taken care of so that they can, in turn, deliver the industry-leading services that the company offers its clients. The company’s focus on the wellbeing of its employees and their families means greater productivity and efficiency for everyone.
When clients know their workforce is taken care of, well trained and productive, they can focus on their core business capabilities and grow their businesses. Outsourcing their staff to ISS reduces their business risk in terms of industrial action and enables them to spend capital funds on their business, products or customers. Managers and other key staff members can focus on strategic business functions instead of getting embroiled in day-to-day staffing issues.
In 2017, the company employed one person for every working hour in the year, across various industry sectors, including transport, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, hospitality and agriculture – despite a challenging economy.
ISS is delighted that it has changed many lives by permanently outsourcing employees to new job opportunities in the various industry sectors in which it operates. The outsourcing industry is a key enabler of much-needed growth and full-time job creation in South Africa.