As experienced and written by @TimJBarry of African Heart Celtic Soul.

On Thursday 8th September the leading HR professionals in Cape Town descended on the Table Bay Hotel at the V&A Waterfront for HRworks 6th Annual Conference & Expo. They were treated to a series of talks from industry experts in employee engagement, employment law, emotional intelligence, occupational health and wellness and remuneration amongst other topics.  They also had the chance to meet leading providers of HR and payroll software, medical, recruitment and training services such as HFM Talent Index, Juta Law, Sage SA, Akeso, Shamrock Recruiting and Dyna Training.

Georgeous morning to be at the HR Works conference in CT with @facultytraining @HRWorks #HRConf2016 #ftisa

The conference was kicked off in great style by regular host and MC Mark Baker, who for the first time would also be in one of the speaking slots later that morning. He introduced the first speaker of the day, Dr Mark Bussin, Chairman of 21st Century. Dr Bussin gave a highly informative talk outlining the global trends, affecting not only remuneration, but HR practices as a whole.

Children need to be taught IT & problem-solving as these will be the most important skills at work in the future @DrMarkBussin #hrconf2016

Next up was

Jonathan Goldberg, CEO of Global Business Solutions, who took the delegates through the recent amendments to the Employment Equity and Labour Relations Acts, how they have been interpreted by the courts and the consequences for HR professionals.

Companies need to get their act together in regard to equal treatment before matters go to court @JGoldbergsnr #hrconf2016

— Tim Barry (@TimJBarry)

Before the first break Mark Baker introduced his colleague, Theran Knighton-Fitt, who had been working on a very exciting project with HRworks – the launch of a series of HR podcasts where leading figures in HR in South Africa give advice and tips for their fellow professionals.

If you’ve got to go far, go together - Theron announcing @HRworks #HR Podcasts, first one is about onboarding #hrconf2016

During the refreshment break I did a quick tour of the exhibition hall and was fortunate enough to grab a word with Gary Willmot of employee recognition platform Hi5, Cuen Sharrock from skills assessment tool Lucent Sea, Learnability and David from Dyna Training. I got so carried away talking to these fantastic exhibitors that I missed the start of Lele Mehlomakulu’s talk about “The Daring Way – How to Show up, Be seen, Live brave”!

Inspiring talk from @LeleMehlomakulu - be courageous, believe in yourself, practice self compassion and forgiveness #HRconf2016

We were then treated to a case study in employee engagement from Alinda Nortje, Founder of Free To Grow and Wicus Maritz, MD of Rotolabel.

Culture & Employee Engagement is the most important challenge as per @Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report #HRconf2016

Rotolabel: the results. Employee attitude & contribution, quality of relationships, culture & business results improved #HRconf2016

Before lunch came a special moment for the delegates and regular host of the HRworks Conference Mark Baker as he got the opportunity to present “Developing EQ for bottom line impact” and the work of his company, Mygrow.

MC Mark Baker of MyGrow doing a great job @HRworks #HRConf2016 and now it’s his turn to present

At lunch I hit the exhibition stands whilst most of the delegates were eating and got to hear from Bioss SA, Complete Gifts, Drake International, iLearn, MBAT and Sage HR & Payroll. By the time I had made my way around the exhibition hall most of the food was gone as the hungry delegates refuelled for the afternoon session.

Eden from MBAT told me about their Graduate Development Programme to bridge the varsity/work skills gap #HRConf2016

There was an unexpected change to the schedule as Nomzamo Ngkulana-Kasana was called away to attend to an urgent matter, so a stand-by speaker was called up with 15 minutes’ notice and he did not disappoint. Luc van der Hofstadt is of Mentally Fit Institute South Africa who was worked with South Africa’s rugby sevens team and, most recently, the Belgian men’s hockey team who won the siver medal at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Status quo = suicide in business. You have to get out of your comfort zone in order to grow #HRconf2016

The final speaker of the day was the passionate Liiza Gie, Head of Department for Human Resources Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, who espoused a holistic employee wellness programme to promote employee-organisational health and wellness.

Poor employee wellness costs employers. 82% of employers said healthcare costs affected by workplace stress #HRconf2016

To close of the day the sponsors and exhibitors handed out wonderful prizes such as a braai hamper, iPad, spa vouchers and subscriptions for their services to the fortunate winners of the lucky draws.

The overriding feeling from the delegates was of a day well-spent listening to entertaining and informative speakers and networking with like-minded peers, as well as finding out more about the excellent products and services offered by the exhibitors and sponsors.

Congratulations to @HRworks on a successful 6th Annual Conference & Expo with fabulous speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, delegates #HRConf2016

I can’t wait for the next HRworks Networking Breakfast and look forward to hearing who the speakers will be and the theme of next year’s Annual Conference & Expo on 14 September 2017!

Written by Tim Barry of African Heart Celtic Soul  @TimJBarry