It’s a new year and we’re excited! Just a few weeks in and the buzz around CRS is hard not to notice. In short, we’ve hit the ground running this year and, without wanting to give too much away, we will be unveiling some new offerings soon. If last year was about process and consolidation, this year is all about the delivery, SLA value-adds and rolling out the new HR and Payroll tools that we’ve built to make your lives simpler.

I was recently asked what 2018 taught me and/or CRS as an HR brand. For me, there were two key lessons, or rather reminders as none of this is actually new. Firstly, human capital still needs to be viewed more holistically in Africa. Today, HR is just so much more than a department. It is an integral part of an ecosystem and a vital organ without which the rest of the business will stumble. Fail to integrate your human capital effectively and hang on to the old silo thinking, and soon all your other capital will reflect this. Because business is nothing without people and in a world where employees are more workplace ‘consumers’, I urge you to ask yourself, “Am I the employer that employees love? Would I want to work for me?” It’s a great starting point for re-developing your human ecosystem. We’re busy developing collateral/training material around this, so if you feel your colleagues and employees don’t quite love you enough, please drop me a line!

The second thing I bring into the new year is the fresh mindset that challenges can almost always be deconstructed and broken down into smaller parts, and in so doing, become more manageable. Plan plan plan. If you have invested in the right processes and have the right people, that is what will get you through choppy waters. A business need sails as well as anchor points.

Observing the current business sentiment and looking ahead, I expect ‘State Capture’ to be two words that will dominate media headlines this year, bringing some reassurance that there is still accountability in South Africa. Looking at things at a sectoral level, if you follow our regular news flashes (and you should!) you will have noticed that there are significant legislative changes happening on an almost constant basis in Africa. This can be a bit of a wild ride when you tackle this solo, but with a compliance partner such as CRS, we take the surprises out of the legislation that affects you.

I also start the year with an incredible team of legislative geniuses, Payroll and HR gurus and tech wizards that I really am proud of and have the utmost respect for. Our team has never been in better shape and there is something in the air at CRS – an unparalleled sense of excitement – which we are, in turn, excited to share with you. Hop on. Let’s do 2019!

Have a great month

Ian McAlister (