Compliance nightmares: Keeping Human Resources human

Compliance nightmares tempt us into forgetting that Human Resource Management is about humans and not just data. There are Covid-19 protocols, SETAs, Employment Equity, B-BBEE, COIDA, Health and Safety and, of course, POPIA and AARTO. Each has its own requirements, processes, spreadsheets and audit trails.

There are countless definitions of the HR function. Peter Drucker summed it up clearly, although perhaps a little cynically: ‘Hire employees with caution, launch them with clarity and eliminate poor ones with great dispatch.’

We cannot avoid compliance, but having the right people doing the right things is half the battle won.

Sam Walton said, ‘The most important decision managers make is who they allow in the door.’ And Ray Kroc of McDonald’s agreed: ‘You’re only as good as the people you hire.’
But we so often allow haste to drive the process. We might not be bad at hiring, but how can we get better?

What one thing could you do to improve your hiring?

And after we have hired them? William Boetcker, an American religious leader, said, ‘You can employ men to work for you, but you must win their hearts to have them work with you.’

And Richard Branson said, ‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.’

Do our employees enjoy what they do and enjoy doing it?

What one thing could you do to improve the environment in your workplace and the level of engagement?

Systems, data and compliance are critical, but they don’t make customers happy – people do, and happy employees will do it even more effectively. Put the data aside for a moment, and bring your employees to life.


Contact Simply Communicate ( to help with your compliance and employee issues.


Ian Webster

From Methodist minister to Customer Relations manager in a computer bureau to HR Manager in a newspaper printing and publishing company. Now focussing on training and developing people and HR & people-management consulting.

Have your say; join the discussion ....