The Intelligent Automation Round-up #36

Intelligent Automation

We wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of our listeners, as we hit our 36 episode many of you have been good enough to give us your feedback on the process and automation podcast – we recognise that real-time use cases provide a great basis for understanging automation applied, and we will continue to ensure that we serve you with plenty of these to help guide you through your upcoming automation journey.  Let’s dive into this episode.

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Hello and welcome to another episode of the process and automation podcast with the automation guys. Today’s episode is another special one for us. Usually you hear with just Arno and myself about all things process and automation. And after the great feedback we have received after our first interview session with Richard Farrell from Netcall, we thought it would be great to invite more interesting people along who share the same patient for process automation as we do. And, uh, it is with great pleasure to welcome our next interview guest, uh, his social media profile states he’s helping companies to achieve the business goals with cloud-based HR solutions that align with their unique requirements.

We welcome Thomas Schilling, managing director of Tugela People to the podcast. Hello, Thomas, thank you for joining us today. Hi Sascha, thank you to you and Arno for inviting. So, yeah. Please tell us a bit more about you and what you’re doing in Tugela People. Um, thanks, Sascha. Um, so we are an HR consultancy, uh, as your first sort of introduction explained, we focus on mid-sized multinational companies, typically between 250 to 500 employees and we partner with them to implement, integrate and enhance their best in breed HR systems. You know, there can be anything from core HR systems, recruitment systems, learning management systems, payroll systems, and, and the list goes on depending on what sort of best in breed systems they’re looking at.

Great. Um, uh, yeah, HR is a very complex topic. Um, so Arno and I, we, we helping companies in all sorts of industries with all things, process and automation really, and that most likely across different departments, uh, where do you see that spot for, for automation specifically.

I think one of the things I’ve realized is that because of the advent of cloud, Based HR systems, a lot of the other departments get excluded from the selection process and the management process, uh, of HR systems, uh, which in one way is a good thing. And in another way, sort of creates the unintentional silos because really what we look to do is to.

HR departments be part of the wider business and because the information that the HR departments have and the effect that HR departments have on the wider business is far reaching for further reaching than they recognize. And maybe if I take a quick step back, um, when I started to gala just under 10 years ago, uh, you know, I realized a.

That this target market of ours have the same needs as your large enterprise businesses, but they don’t have the same deep pockets. And that’s where I sort of sourced cloud-based HR systems because it gave HR the autonomy to. Purchased systems. It’s at a price that fits their pockets. And also in terms of the systems capability did a lot of what the enterprise systems did at a fraction of the cost.

So that empowered HR to be able to. You know, purchase these systems, but then suddenly they then have all of this inflammation that really should be fed into the wider business systems to help make informed decisions based on facts. And so, you know, the sweet spot for what HR automation a is the obvious one, uh, automating all of the disparate HR systems.

Um, and often that’s a, uh, an ironic statement to make, because a lot of these HR systems come either with automation built in already. And an example of that would be automatically if somebody raises a absence request or a holiday request, that request would go to the manager for approval, and that should be built into a core HR system.

Um, and that will, most of these systems come with. The processes where you can actually put in those workflows for notifications if required. So automation’s there, but then there’s automation between the other HR systems, maybe a learning management system where you take. All of the existing employees and make sure that they are up to date in the learning management system and the HR system can see what skills they need and make sure that they’re assigned to the right training courses in the learning management system.

And it’s similarly from the learning management system, that information can be fed back into the HR system so that you can run reports to show what skills you’ve got and what skills gaps you’ve got. Now you can start having. Uh, conjuring up this image where suddenly that information can go into a BI tool and the business can say, well, we’re going in this direction.

And therefore we’ve got these skills and that could be language skills. It could be product skills, knowledge, and experience and all of that. Uh, and they can make assessments about where the skills gap is. And I can then see what the probability is of, you know, of this. Um, succeeding or failing, um, or similarly what they need to do to fill the gap.

Yeah. I guess my view, if I can jump in Thomas of HR is I sometimes look at it from the perspective of the employee. Right. And I think, you know, most businesses out there, um, if you speak to people, you say, you know what, what’s your most valuable asset? And I’m like, well, our customer base and, you know, Uh, they’ve got concepts, like know your customer, for example, customer 360, all of, all of these, of these kinds of attributes that you can tie to a customer to enable you to serve them better, retain them.

Great, better journeys for them, sell them different products, um, you know, or services. Uh, for me, when I look at HR and the work we do in HR, And I will be honest to say that, you know, we, uh, apart from kind of doing leave requests, automation, expense, claims, personal development plans and objectives, um, in terms of kind of using, uh, you know, Loco to create an enterprise grade HR systems.

That’s not something we generally do, but I think if I look at HR as a whole. And trying to tie it with, with, with, with know your customer. I almost think it’s the internal version of, uh, you know, human capitalistic kind of th the internal version of, of the client, but it’s an internal facing client, right?

Where it is a very valuable asset. Um, and you know, having a, a really, almost client centric view of your human capital or human workforce is so beneficial for, for your business. Because if you, if you look at. Your employee force or your employee base. Um, you look at, uh, their requirements, how you can serve them best, how you could ensure that you retain them, how you could, um, obviously, um, you know, ensure that they succeed in their career.

It’s almost like the same amount of effort that, that you need to spend on customer retention and the way you do with customers. I mean, which you agree with that and, and kind of my view, or how do you see.

Um, so company, in terms of a business, your employees are your internal customers. And totally agree with that, but you’ve got to remember that your, you, your employees, your HR. Also has an external focus, and this is about attracting. So not just about the retaining element in the development element, it’s also about attracting colleagues and you want to be able to put a stamp on your digital persona.

Using your attraction tools, your recruitment tools, you know, um, how accessible all your terms and conditions. If you’ve got any questions, how can you interact with the right person to ask those questions whilst you’re going through the recruitment process. Now you’ve been hired, but you’re going through your notice period.

What’s happening during your onboarding. Remember you still haven’t started either. They could still take the contract away from you. So you’re still external and that all sets. Okay. Um, now you’ve left the business. Now you’re external. Again, you might’ve probably hopefully left on good terms. Um, and you can become part of the alumni for that business.

And when the time’s right, and the, and the business has tracked you as a individual who has experience of this company and its culture, and you were a good fit, but there was a better opportunity elsewhere. And that’s the reality of life. Uh, I want to now attract you back into the business because we feel we’ve got a role for you.

You’ve got some external experience. So I do feel there is an external element, but I do totally get what you’re saying in terms of, you know, the customer element from a CRM point of view is akin to the HR system from an employee’s point of view. I agree. Actual use cases here on this podcast. And it’s, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s a very popular topic.

Um, because we are technologists by nature. We solve business problems by deploying automation. And, um, you know, obviously making companies more efficient in, in, in that process. Um, so, so with the inside HR, um, you know, what do you think is the most exciting or impactful use cases out there in, in, in the automation space specifically for HR?

Um, the traditional ones are integrating with, with payroll is the first and foremost core HR with, uh, your payroll system. And then. Others that really help with data protection or integrating with your, um, uh, it systems, making sure that those that have left or removed from your, your, it systems all about access, but I’m always surprised at how few companies actually make use of those integrations.

They’re straightforward. They’re simple, but the impact is huge. But the one that excites me the most, and we’ve gone to a. Uh, gambling company based out of central Europe that we work a heck of a lot with, and they have taken a lot of inflammation from the HR system, Sage people in this case, and we’ve integrated into their data warehouse, uh, and they are using power BI to generate org charts, do scenario planning, um, and actually have factually.

Decision-making based on the information that goes into that data warehouse, um, and their analytics tool. That for me really is the most exciting where you’re integrating into a decision-making systems and you’ve got real time information available to companies and business leaders to make decisions.

Right. That’s always wonderful. Yeah. I think, um, the insights you could do, if you can pull that data together, um, there’s probably some very interesting insights you can derive. And some very interesting, um, you know, decision-making information that, that, that can surface that allows you to do quite interesting things in that space.

Um, ’cause what they do is they, they visualize the data too. So they’re got all charting tool linked, not to the HR system. They use the HR systems or charting tool for that purpose. But are you using a scenario based or not charting tool, which is linked to the data warehouse and then they do EMS scenario planning, but visualizing it, which I think is quite groundbreaking.

Yeah. Sounds very innocent. Yeah. I think, um, I think lots of, lots of growing companies are really, really struggling. So we have lots of companies that are growing really fast at the moment was the startups. And then they, they, they really need to get to get, um, get these, uh, these topics covered, uh, earlier than later I would say is not otherwise, uh, implementing those systems.

And those use cases, it becomes quite hard later on. Um, but, uh, Yeah, ideally we can, um, we can help as many, many people, um, was, was that information now? I totally agree with you, Sasha. Um, yeah, typically companies, you know, through their evolution first system, they would get, uh, and I I’m happy if you disagree with me would be a finance system.

You know, something like zero in the line. And the next thing they’d get is a CRM, um, which probably it’s a kin to the comments you were making. Um, and I really think. Th the third system, if not all getting all three at the same time should really be an HR system and said that will help scale the business so much quicker.

Yeah, especially the whole, the recruitment, um, when, when you start growing your team and you don’t have that right system in place, it becomes really, really painful very quickly. And that’s not necessarily even a problem of automation or automation is not really necessarily the data answer is not. So just by putting this tool in place, uh, without automation, this already a big, big building.

But actually automation is part of the solution. So you get an best in breed. Let’s say for argument’s sake, you go with a workable, uh, for whatever reason, uh, you know, your business. That’s the reason why you’ve gone with workable. And now you’ve got an ITSC then suddenly you weren’t, uh, people, HR for your core HR system.

Um, and automation will then, well take the pain away because it will get those two systems to talk to each other. So really. I think it’s a part of the solution. Yeah. Do you see a lot of innovation in this space? Um, people using progressive technologies like robotic process automation for. Or to avoid integration of chat bots.

I mean, we we’ve talked a lot about chat bots in the last month or so, and on this podcast, um, you know, what, what, what, what is the, what is this sort of exciting innovations that’s happening and, and this sort of thing to people embracing the inside the space. I be listening to a couple of your podcasts around chatbots with interest.

And mainly because there’s not a lot happening in the space that we’re working on. So it’s sort of mid-sized companies, uh, around chatbots. And I think it’s twofold. One is. You’ll be surprised at how many businesses are moving off spreadsheets onto HR systems. I’m not talking about core HR systems. Yeah.

Tracking head count, salaries, benefits, uh, absences, just core information like that. And you know, I’m talking about multinational companies that are, you know, 500, 1,002 thousand employees. So. In terms of evolution, we’ve got to get onto the letter first and foremost. Um, and so, and I’m talking about very high percentage of companies that are still making that leap into systemizing their HR.

So in terms of all of the other automation, you know, machine learning, RPA, uh, chat bots, uh, artificial intelligence, uh, it’s not being talked about in this space, but listening to you. Your chats. Um, you know, there’s so much that, cause there’s so many rudimentary questions that HR get asked, you know, how much holiday have I got?

Um, Y you know, what is my pay for this month, even though in a way, can I find it? No, and I read it and I think you guys have even mentioned, you know, you can have a 30% reduction in workload if you just. You know, things like chatbots and AI, they’d already answers those questions on behalf of HR. Um, and HR would bite your hand off because they, they are typically under resourced.

Uh, and it’s not recognized how many questions they get asked, and they’re not value adding questions to the business at all. So if you can save that time from the HR administrators, you know, then they can spend more time doing things like when you’re doing recruitment, uh, assessing the candidates.

Paying attention to the candidates, moving that candidate through the process or moving the whole recruitment process forward for quicker. So you can get your candidates into the, in the door a lot quicker as an example. Yeah. Yeah. We, we certainly see, um, you know, especially chatbots these, they sort of synonymous with HR use cases because it’s, it’s more than just.

Glorified FAQ, you know, what’s, what’s the company’s policy on leave, you know? Um, can you tell me this policy, that policy it’s, it’s more what I was saying, intelligent FAQ, where, um, it’s the value add to the employee to have a quick chat with a chat bot, knowing that this will respond straight away and just tell them, you know, what is my remaining leave balance, for example, how many sick days have I taken this year?

For example? Um, so, so it’s, uh, I, I definitely predict that a lot of the mainstream, I guess, HR products out there or HR products will probably start to see. With modules and already probably do have modules like that. I think the challenge start to happen is when you have indeed interdependencies between various systems where you have to have a, more of a holistic view on employee data and records, that’s when it becomes quite challenging, because I couldn’t imagine that a core HR system, if the information was, is not in there and is perhaps in another system, that’s where some of the gaps stopped.

And I think this is where leveraging. Uh, at a very robust, best of breed, um, chatbox technology with AI built in it, um, with robotic process automation, perhaps in the background to, to be able to do some of those complicated cross system lookouts. I think that that’s almost for me a no brainer right. To, to start with.

And you know, you look at these technologies available. It’s so easy to get started with, with chat bots. It’s all over. Um, and you know, it’s fairly, fairly straightforward to, to stop picking off some of those there’s lower, lower hanging fruit to, to, to, to also, um, like you say, free up the HR staff so they can focus on human resourcing and rather than human administration.

Without a doubt. Yeah. Unfortunately, and things are getting more complex in the world of HR over and above the fact that they’re working in multiple countries or multiple legislation, the legislation in, uh, in, uh, in each country is becoming more complex and the requirements become more complex. You know, just in the last few years you’ve had pensions auto enrollment and there’s been a whole host of automization automation.

So that has had to happen in that space. And then you’ve had HMRC RTI, um, where you have to feed real time information back to HMRC. Uh, and so the list goes on and that’s not going to stop, you know, and real, real, proper thought out reasons for doing this. And I’m, I’m pleased for it, but it does mean that if.

Get your ducks in a row as you explained, or no, then you’re going to end up in a horrible twiddle. The other reason I started to gala because my background is. I used to help recruit people and hire and fire people. Um, uh, and, but I realized that cause there’s the chartered Institute of personal development does a, an annual survey of its practitioners and the two competencies that language at the bottom, the, the.

The capabilities of HR. One is HR technology and I’m content. And I think that’s the lowest ranking of all of them. And then the other one is a HR reporting or reporting in general. And yet, you know, with the one fee to the other. Feeds the rest of the, uh, you know, if you were in training, you couldn’t understand who’s got what development needs, unless you had the system to do it.

Yeah. And if you were in organizational development or if you were in employee relations, you know, that you need to understand what history there is for somebody in terms of poor performance, so that you can understand the risk before you let somebody go for argument’s sake and that’s reliant on an HR system.

And so, you know, we. We feel that we want to work with companies to understand what their requirements are, what the opportunities are to, to free them up, give them the right information at the right time to make the right decision. No, very wide topic, uh, as it seems. Um, so when, when we look at the intelligent automation, hype automation, I think you hear us talking about these, uh, these fancy buzzwords all the time in our, um, um, uh, Um, cup hall sessions and so on.

Um, so what do you think is the next, uh, next, next big thing, um, uh, for, for companies in the future and what is the next sort of the, yeah. How does the future look like specifically for HR departments? So I think that was a difficult one. Really. If I go back to the. Uh, previous point I made, you know, in terms of the maturity model, I feel that the, the HR functions that I work with are, uh, you know, way behind on the curve.

And so there’s a long road for them to walk, just to get on onto the, onto the rang of being able to. Uh, have systems in place that they can manage and maintain themselves and then get the data out because, you know, we’ve seen that those that just started small have wanted more and more, and then certainly realized how they can use the data to make informed decisions.

Um, the, if I look at more of the enterprise level that they’re starting to look at things like service now, and they’re looking at. The tools to actually now improve the types of things we just related to. So bringing in AI tools, RPA machine learning, uh, and, but that’s only really, um, you know, at an enterprise level, which I, which we take our lead from and I’m quite excited about.

But the other thing I thought of, uh, you know, Potentially using sort of I-PASS or, you know, middleware, um, where, when you’re looking at choosing a core HR system for argument’s sake, but knowing in the back of your mind, you you’ll need a payroll system, a learning management system that actually you choose a HR system that is, uh, has already.

Put itself out in a marketplace on, on, for instance, a middleware, something like integral Mart for argument’s sake and all of the best in breed systems in the other disciplines are already available. So that opens up your opportunity and takes away some of the noise. Uh, you know, so probably for my mid-market clients, I potentially say that that’s probably the next best, big thing.

Uh, Do you ever see a future where we have got a, uh, open HR type standard where, and it’s not just a protocol for communicating between different HR systems. And if you lean a, you use the Integra Mart example, which, which is a great one for, you know, um, for example, aware a, uh, HR profile is linked to. And employee, and it can be backed by blockchain to ensure that obviously there is, uh, uh, uh, you know, it is fully traceable and that there is a ledger.

Um, but what, what it actually means is that if you do employ somebody that, um, you have got a, um, a profile for that person, Um, and that profile is something that could potentially, um, be, be shared somehow to a degree, uh, you know, almost like, uh, uh, uh, with their permission of course, but, uh, uh, open, uh, open profile.

Um, let’s call it your open HR profile, your qualifications. Is there your skills where you are, you know, all of those things that. Uh, it’s non non-intrusive and non-invasive, you know, I experienced things like, you know what, what’s your favorite color because you might go to a business and they don’t like the color red and you don’t want to be punished for that.

Do you think something like that?

But, um, it’s not anything I’ve ever been asked or asked myself and I don’t ever see myself as a thought leader, so you’re not necessarily gone down that road, but as you were talking, I think there is already that there, but in control in the control of the person themselves. So you have a LinkedIn profile, do you have an indeed profile and you get the option when you’re.

Applying for a specific role to click on a button that says, use my LinkedIn profile or use my Google profile to fill in that information. So, you know, that. Um, prospective employees would be feel comfortable with, um, and you you’re in control of what information is fully in there. You know, you want to flip that on its head and say, well, the employer then feeds into that information or validates that information as much as I see the value.

In doing that, um, especially for a prospective employer, you know, you’re getting essentially a reference check done for you because the employers, you know, I love the idea, but I don’t think it’s ever going to cotton on for all of the data protection issues that come with it. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be the bold one to put that out there.

The same as they said, cryptocurrency will never catch on, but look where we are now with blockchain. So these centralized. Instead of how to the people cause benefit, you know?

Um, right. So, you know, I, I’ve just got one kind of, one more point really on, on innovative technologies and, um, And again, I know we touched slightly on it earlier where you mentioned, you know, advice that you could give is for somebody to get a core HR system out there. But, um, you know, we, we often get questions from our listener listeners on, on, um, you know, the sort of broad range topics we talk about.

We might cover a topic to, you know, if I bring chat bots in again, and then people come and ask, well, where do I start with this? So, you know, from, from. Obviously being a specialist in this field, you know, what’s your advice for companies getting started with the HR processes and specifically automation?

You know what? What’s a, what’s a fairly good. Lice a good bullet proof or a good blueprint, rather that, that, that could guarantee them at the, you know, they, they could reach those, the short-term and medium, uh, term sort of benefits from, from adopting, um, either processes automated or not. Back in system is systems with good integration points.

I mean, what’s your key advice there? Really good question. Thanks. And I, I’m a simple guy and I always look to try and strip things back. The first thing I always ask, or if. Ask this question or where, you know, where would you start if somebody was looking to do their own assessment of, you know, where to best automate, um, you know, w what is it that you want to achieve?

And I think that question for me is always critical because when you’ve then completed the project, you want to go back to that key question of what is it. The outputs that you wanted to achieve. Uh, you’ve hopefully quantified them and you’ve applied the smart principles and you’d be able to then assess whether you’ve achieved that particular goal.

And that needs to be something that’s been signed off by the sponsors and they can see the value in going into this. Deep dive into the process and then you take a step back and you then look at the processes that you go out and do some process mapping and look at the resources that are taken, that are used in there.

Uh, and see whether there’s anything that. Duplicated where there are potential to automate any of those processes, whether they’re existing systems that can actually pick up the work that you’re currently doing manually for argument’s sake. Um, so look at the, the systems architecture you’ve got, uh, Don’t, you know, we’ll look where there’s duplicate duplication there and then start asking yourself, well, you know, this is the process.

This is what we’d like it to work, which system could potentially take care of the work that we can’t do through, uh, the existing systems and processes we’ve got. And then start looking at working potentially with a consultant who, you know, can. Um, sort of second guessed, um, or, you know, be that critical friend you really need to carry on doing this process.

Is that adding any value and you sure this has to be done manually because we often get that. And the typical one is, uh, I need to see whatever data goes from my HR system to my payroll system, before it gets sent to my payroll system. Uh, and you won’t you’ll believe me when I say that. Payroll consultants or practitioners, uh, after the third or fourth time suddenly realized that it’s a waste of their time into the system is getting it right.

And they offer, you know, they do payroll previews before they get processed. Uh, and you know, you you’re devolving a lot of the responsibility to the managers who approve the salary increase or approve the sickness and absence. And so really it is down to the system can do a good job and is based on that.

The information that’s there. So, you know, to come back to your question or no, I think, you know, keep it simple. Look at your processes, look at your existing systems where you can pick up things and to be critical about, you know, the work that you’re doing as it, is it adding any value and you’d be surprised how much of the automation or opportunities will jump out at you.

Yeah. True. I think we, we, we do something similar. I mean, we. Followed it, the trail off spreadsheets. And, uh, we try and eradicate them first. So, I mean, generally that’s a good place for us to start and also monitor shared inboxes and how people actually, um, monitor their emails and conduct business, you know, using outlook and January for us, that that’s a really good place to start, but it sounds like HR is just such a wonderful place where things are pretty.

Um, defined green things are pretty well structured and it is such a, a good place to start automation. If you don’t have any automation or to fulfill automation. Um, sort of ambitions, right? And there’s like you mentioned, um, you know, payroll with core HR, you know, I would imagine D these are kind of known entities.

That is, this is not, uh, is not a lot of proprietary things in there. And it’s, it’s almost, uh, for a business to, to look at the HR department. It just sounds like a no brainer to get started there in terms of automation, ambitions, which I agree. Oh, without a doubt. Um, often we, well, in the past, we’ve been asked to compare one HR system to another.

And, uh, and exactly, as you said, gardener, the processes captured within those systems are very similar and I’ve worked in too many companies to mention, uh, and you know, the. Performance review process is very, is very similar from one company to the next, you know, the absence approval process is exactly the same in one company to the next.

So there is a lot of similarities. Um, and so without a doubt, it’s very similar to finance. Uh, running a balance sheet or running a PNL, uh, is no different in one company to the next. Um, you know, the only difference is that a lot of it is governed by legislation and finance. And a lot of it is governed by.

Logic in HR and I, yes, I admit I’m oversimplifying it. And yes, there are some HR practice practitioners that will over-complicate the processes. But if you strip it back, the underlying principles are definitely the same and the systems are pretty much the same. Right. And a part of the actual processes, as Arnaud said, looking at the just spreadsheets and emails that.

Go go really in the, in the details of the process itself. I think that’s, that’s, that’s for sure. Something to, to address who is priority. Um, great. Yeah. Yeah, very, very useful, um, uh, uh, session so far. Um, so we, we don’t have any sort of topical question anymore. Uh, uh, Thomas, um, but we, in our listeners like to get to know our interview guests a bit more than just the expertise around the topics technical and the business side.

So that’s why we like to ask a few questions if that’s okay. So some, some more casual questions. Yes, gladly I’m quaking in my boots. So be surprised it is some, some really interesting ones. So who is your idol and why? Yeah, that’s a good question. So I probably going to default because you can tell from my accent, I’m south African, even though my parents are both German.

So I straddled the ocean, um, Nelson, Mandela, Springs to mind. Only because of my, as I said, my south African roots. And if you ask why I always felt, uh, and the sort of interactions and I didn’t meet him personally, um, I know others that know him personally, but he always put himself first. And when I did the tour of Robin island, I’d learned something about Nelson that has always stuck with me. And it’s really closely aligned to one of my passions, which is education.

Uh, I’m a trustee for a local multi-category trust in the, in the Milton Keynes area. And so, um, you know, that’s where I would sort of do voluntary work and I involve myself quite deeply, but what they did on, on Robin island, they were limited to.

To prisoners together, you know, when they were chopping away at that limestone and doing useless work, but he, he instilled a process where everybody had a skill, you know, and some of those would even be something as rudimentary as fixing a lawn mower. So this was a tour guide who had served a Nelson dealer, who I was fortunate enough to be taking around the prison, um, tour with, uh, To if he had the skill of fixing a lawnmower, he would impart that skill to somebody else.

And obviously as a trained lawyer, Nelson Mandela used his expertise and pass that onto others. And so they were, even though they were isolated in their cells through the one opportunity they had, they took to learn. Uh, and that’s always stuck with me over and above the fact that he always put others before him.

Yeah, great. I mean, it’s quite interesting that our previous guests, as well mentioned Nelson Mandela as, as they idle. And, uh, of course, uh, he, Nelson Mandela famously said, it’s always seems impossible until it’s done. And I think you would see that quote in a lot of our internal documents as well. When we have to write a brief to, to our developers.

Especially when it’s a challenging piece of work and it’s, it always astonishes me when people read that quote, that it actually installs confidence in them. Uh, no matter how, how high this mountain looks like as you need, it kind of just breaks things down and, um, you know, energize people. So, yeah, that’s.

Oh, thanks. So let’s, let’s bring it forward and test your HR knowledge. So, um, and then now I’m just kidding. You don’t have to mention any HR books. I know my mind will be HR for dummies 1 0 1, um, was mentioned you, you can get all of the contents and knowledge of the book, instant date, uh, which, which book would you choose?

It can obviously be work-related or not. Thanks for, for letting me look at non-work-related as well. Um, if I’m not a bookworm, when I do get into a book, uh, I love reading it and I think to myself, why don’t I read more? So when you make this a reality, Then, yeah, I want to be first in the queue to be able to do this, but yeah, I’ve had a sailing theory that I’ve wanted to learn for years and haven’t done.

I’ve wanted to learn about astronomy, birds, and animals, and I haven’t done so at the top of the list for me at the moment would be plants and trees. Cause we’re fingers crossed. Close to buying a house with a blank canvas garden. And I’d love to be able to go to the nursery and know which trees and plants I’m picking.

So if anything, it’d be something like that,a nice, nicely designed garden yet. It’s very useful. Well, especially in a lockdown. And I think looking at the neighbors around us, their gardens is just pristine because people are forever, you know, nurturing things and, um, making sure everything is nicely tie-dyed so.

Um, I think if there’s one good thing about this lockdown is that everybody else has got a really, really good garden and has got green fingers and a veggie patch and, you know, nicely manicured lawns in the city. Well, that’s it. You can always have a rooftop lawn there next to your alley.

You should watch Gordon as well. They’ve been previewing, a few people that have got literally their living room full of plants. Nevermind their patios. That’s possible. That’s true. So, so another interesting question is, uh, what’s the best advice you have ever received. Oh, it’s a good one.

And received. I’m going to use the word probably very loosely in this context, but, you know, do unto others as you would want to do to them. And, and you might not be surprised to hear, you know, for somebody like me, I’m probably very service orientated. And I literally got some feedback on some psychometric assessments that we’re busy testing at the moment and looking to partner with them.

And when I got my feedback, it reminded me of, you know, how to together. And, you know, obviously a lot of that stems from, you know, my background and, and the like is service orientated, you know, helping others to, to do a better job. So that’s probably what Springs to mind, you know, do unto others as you would want them to do to you.

Nice. That’s great. And just kind of continue on this track of knowing you better. I think that every question in your answer, um, is, is achieving that goal. Um, so, so just, just one more for you from me. Um, if you could be an Olympic athlete, what sport would you choose? And also if you identify that sport, Um, you don’t have to answer the second part of the question if you don’t have the athlete’s name, but you know, who, who do you aspire to be?

Do you want to be the next sprinter? Do you want to be the Olympic juggler? I know you haven’t seen these short legs before, so sprinter. It won’t be. And if you I’ve tried to do the Hussein bolt move, you know, I, I, I, my teenage kids. Yeah, really dad. Um, so because it’s an Olympic sport, uh, once again, south African, you won’t be surprised, you know, that I’m sports med, so can’t be cricket and AB devalues or rugby, you know, the 1995 south African team or Liverpool football club or ultra marathons, Bruce Fordyce or Ernie ELs and golf.

So all of those have been discounted at the only one that Springs to mind is probably heptathlon athlete. Um, it’s a multidisciplined, uh, you know, event and I’m an absolute all that these guys, you know, if you put them in a a hundred meters or a high jump, you know, they would be competing with the best in the world.

And then they do that for 70 years. You know, so Johnson. Yeah. Yeah. Katrina Johnson, Thompson currently, or Jessica in us or, uh, Jackie Joyner, Kersey, those types of athletes. It just absolutely boggles my mind that they can do so much. And hopefully, you know where I’m coming from. But for me, if I could be the heptathlon athlete, I’d be.

Yeah, good, good. At many things, it sounds a bit like my day job, right? Master of none. Join the club.

It’s almost, it was, it was a real pleasure to have you on the show. Um, so one last thing, um, if our listeners are interested to get in touch with you, so how would they get in touch with you? And it was Tugela People, um, the easiest, or what do you, Um, the website is a good starting point. So and more than welcome to email me directly at tugela people or admin at tugela people there they’re all similar.

Uh, contact details on the website or chat function yet we’ve got a chat function on our websites and feel free to use that. And our, our contact forms, uh, integrate straight into our CRM so we will know about it and, you know, feel free to put my details, uh, on the chat. Bio is. Absolutely. Yeah, we will link, all the information.

We’ll put this all into the show notes. Thomas, thank you very much, for being, being here and sharing your expertise and your insights in the HR world. I’m sure there’s plenty of useful stuff, our listeners can take away from today’s episode.

Yeah. Thanks again. Thank you for having me on the show and, looking forward to, to the next, catch-up. Thank you to both of you. It’s been a real pleasure. I like the relaxed atmosphere that you’ve done it in. And yes, like, as you said, love to catch up again soon.

Unfortunately, that’s it again with this episode of the process and automation podcast. If you liked this episode, please give us a five-star rating and don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any upcoming episode. We hope you will tune in next. And until then let’s automate it.

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