SABPP has been running its Ethics in HR Workshops since 2014 and has put more than 500 SABPP members through the first workshop Ethics Foundations and around 50 through the second workshop Organisational Ethics. 2019 saw the first workshop run in Durban with our new facilitator, Penny Milner-Smythe, the first workshop ran in Bloemfontein by Kgomotso Mopolami, 3 workshops in Cape Town with Professor Karel van der Molen, and 8 regular workshops in Gauteng ran by Kgomotso and Dr Penny Abbott. A total of 202 members attended in 2019. A few of the workshops have been in-house with HR teams, but most of the workshops are public and allow for delegates to share experiences across organisations. Two of the workshops were for members of the SABPP Ethics Committee.
Many of the delegates are newly registered with the SABPP, as they are required on registration to attend the Foundations workshop within the first 12 months of registration. However, some delegates attend as part of their CPD, and some even come twice as a refresher. The workshops are arranged as a sequence so that attendance at Foundations is required before enrolment for the Organisational Ethics workshop. This is because it is important to reflect on our own behaviour and professionalism as HR practitioners before moving to the contribution that HR can make in promoting better organisational ethics.
The delegate feedback from these workshops is extremely positive. The average overall rating for the Foundations workshop is 4.55 out of 5, and the average rating on the facilitators is equally positive at 4.57. Many delegates came expecting a rather boring lecture, and instead experienced a highly interactive and practical workshop. The terms “thought-provoking”, “insightful”, “learned a lot” and “stimulating” are very common in the feedbacks. Many delegates believe the workshop should be made compulsory for HR students and all HR practitioners.
The feedback on Organisational Ethics is also very positive, with an average overall rating of 4.52. Comments have included: “Best workshop I attended all year.”, “This was engaging, eye-opening. We discussed real issues in the HR space. Absolutely loved it.”, “Very informative and well prepared. Can definitely implement it in my job.”. The post-workshop assignment for this module involved writing a short essay on “What effective contribution can my HR function make to good governance in my organisation?” and the submissions clearly show how the workshop has enabled HR practitioners to gain new insights into their role.
Delegates often say they wish the workshop could be longer. At present the workshops are half a day. This helps to keep the costs down and also allows for busy HR people to avoid too much time out of the office. Since the price of the workshop is often an issue for HR practitioners, we are reluctant to move to a full day with a concomitant price increase. Delegates also ask for the workshop to be run for all line managers in their organisations. However, the SABPP workshops are specifically designed for HR practitioners and more general ethics workshops are better sourced from SABPP partners such as The Ethics Institute or Ethics Monitor.
Plans for 2020 include to provide workshops at different venues around Gauteng, to run more frequent Organisational Ethics workshops and to launch these in Cape Town and, later in the year, Durban. The SABPP Ethics Committee has reviewed the proposed design for the Ethics 3 workshop – Courageous Leadership – and it is hoped that a pilot workshop will be run during 2020. This will be open to delegates who have already attended Foundations and Organisational Ethics.
The 2018 SABPP CPD Policy states, in relation to CPD points for Ethics:
Ethics (mandatory): 4 points for all new members and thereafter 3 points for refresher p.a., this learning can be facilitated either in form of workshop or electronically subject to pre-reading with on-line assessment.
Further guidance on the interpretation of the CPD Policy will be issued in due course.
SABPP members are encouraged therefore to attend one of these popular and well-received workshops during 2020.