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5 Major Benefits of attending a Course at Higherway Institute of Learning in South Africa

Prof. Sheperd Sikhosana

Introduction

Higherway Institute of Learning is a fully accredited training company based in Pretoria, South Africa. Attending a course at Higherway Institute of Learning provides a participant with a plethora of benefits which are articulated in section 2 of this write-up. Training and capacity building is a strong weapon that can boost the performance of organizations as employees play a major part in the production of goods and services. At Higherway Institute of Learning, we have courses for Directors, Senior Managers, Middle Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders, Operations staff as well as general staff members. We have courses that meet the specific needs of individuals, sections, departments, divisions, and organizations.  This paper highlights the major benefits that will accrue to a participant that attends training at Higherway Institute of Learning in South Africa. A detailed list of our short courses can be seen on our website which is at www.higherway.co.za.

Five Major Benefits

Benefit 1 –  An accredited training institution
Higherway Institute of Learning is an accredited training institution.  An accredited institution gets its accreditation from Government appointed accreditation bodies. These accreditation bodies, before they issue accreditation certificates, conduct a rigorous assessment, moderation and endorsement of all training related policies, curriculums, learning materials and course delivery methodologies. There are a lot of compliance issues that such accredited training companies must comply with. Higherway Institute of Learning prides herself in being accredited by 7 accreditation bodies including the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Benefit 2 – South Africa, a fairly developed country
South Africa as a country has a lot of lessons to offer to most developing countries in Africa and other parts of the world. South Africa has developed infrastructure, working systems, a track record of successful Public Private Partnership in various sectors of the economy and a functional economy.  The country enjoys two levels of development, namely the first world development and the third world level of development. The parts of the country with a first-world level of development are comparable to some developed European countries and such development has many lessons for participants coming from other parts of Africa.


Benefit 3 – Qualified and experienced Facilitators
Higherway Institute of Learning prides herself of a team of highly qualified and experienced facilitators whose professional mix is: industry captains, consultants, engineers, university lecturers, professors, former CEOs and company executives and other professionals. These high profiled facilitators will share their experiences with the participants and provide the necessary leadership and coaching where necessary. Every course is delivered by a professional in that given area.

Benefit 4 – In-Class and Educational tours
The methodology of course delivery is designed to provide in-class training as well as educational tours for participants to familiarise, first hand, with the South African cities, infrastructure, socio-cultural setting and the general South African outlook and environment.

Benefit  5 – Exchange of experiences from different countries
The interaction between participants from other African countries, in similar positions, provides a wealth of knowledge and experience. This allows for the exchange of ideas and experiences from organisation to organisation and country to country among participants.

Conclusion

 The training out of your country can bring about enumerable benefits as one gets to visit places in a different country and see how other people have approached development. The lessons gained will be good take-homes that will help in developing organisations in particular and the countries in general. A course out of one’s country requires that a participant receive his/her training from fully accredited institution that is constantly being monitored by accreditation bodies. Higherway Institute of Learning is a fully accredited institution that is ready to provide an excellent capacity building experience to its delegates.

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Four Methods of Crafting Strategy

Prof. Sheperd Sikhosana

Introduction

This article briefly discusses four methods of crafting a strategy. The methods or approaches discussed are the Chief Architect Approach, the Delegation Approach, the Collaborative or Team Approach and finally the Corporate Entrepreneur Approach.

The Chief Architect approach A single person

The owner or CEO assumes the role of chief strategist and chief entrepreneur, single handedly shaping most or all of the major pieces of strategy. This does not mean that one person is the originator of all the ideas underlying the resulting strategy or does all the background data gathering and analysis: there may be much brainstorming with subordinates and considerable analysis by specific departments. The chief architect approach to strategy formation is characteristic of companies that have been founded by the company’s present CEO.

Michael Dell at Dell Computer, Steve Case at America Online, Bill Gates at Microsoft, and Howard Schultz at Starbucks are prominent examples of corporate CEOs who exert a heavy hand in shaping their company’s strategy.

The Delegation Approach:

In this delegation approach, the manager in charge delegates big chunks of the strategy-making task to trusted subordinates, down-the-line managers in charge of key business units and departments. A high-level task force of knowledgeable and talented people from many parts of the company who are self-directed and who work as teams are granted authority over a particular procedure or function, or, more rarely, a team of consultants brought in specifically to help develop new strategic initiatives.

The Collaborative or Team Approach

This is a middle approach whereby a manager with strategy-making responsibility enlists the assistance and advice of key peers and subordinates in hammering out a consensus strategy. Strategy teams often include line and staff managers from different disciplines and departmental units, a few handpicked junior staffers known for their ability to think creatively, and near-retirement veterans noted for being keen observers, telling it like it is, and giving good advice.

Electronic Data Systems conducted a year-long strategy review involving 2,500 of its 55,000 employees and coordinated by a core of 150 managers and staffers from all over the world. Nokia Group, a Finland-based global leader in wireless telecommunications, involved 250 employees in a strategy review of how different communications technologies were converging, how this would affect the company’s business, and what strategic responses were needed.

The Corporate Entrepreneur Approach

In the corporate entrepreneur approach, top management encourages individuals and teams to develop and champion proposals for new product lines and new business ventures. The idea is to unleash the talents and energies of promising corporate entrepreneurs, letting them try out business ideas and pursue new strategic initiatives. Executives serve as judges of which proposals merit support, give company entrepreneurs the needed business and budgetary support, and let them run with the ball. W.L. Gore & Associates, a privately owned company famous for its Gore-Tex waterproofing film, is an avid and highly successful practitioner of the corporate entrepreneur approach to strategy making. Gore expects all employees to initiate advancements and to display innovativeness.

Conclusion

The four strategy crafting approaches discussed above have all yielded results in different circumstances. It is important that when formulating a strategy, one looks at the prevailing circumstances and apply the right approach to strategy formation.

 

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SCAMS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Prof. Sheperd Sikhosana

Social media is a term that means social networks facilitated by technology such as Face book, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Though these technologies help one to be in touch with the public, recent research reveals that scammers take advantage of this technological advancement, making many to get into the social media scams that cost valuable money and personal information. The root cause for this online fraud is quite simple; there is no proper awareness among people on how to protect their identity online, growing trust on social platform providers and the need for social media to generate revenue. The combination of all these factors have generated the propensity for many people to fall victim to social media scams.

Together with many benefits that social media has brought, it also has brought a plethora of online crime where scammers have “stolen’’ innocent victims hard earned incomes. Social media is proving to be a powerful platform for advertising almost anything and most businesses have exponentially grown their client base using its power. On the other end, criminals are also advertising services and products which they can’t deliver nor offer.

Users of social media are bombarded by these adverts and it becomes difficult to tell genuine from fake people. A sad reality is that even those in the spiritual healing field have taken advantage of desperate people in different situations. Its only after one has lost his money that he discovers he has been scammed.

It has become very imperative for all and sundry on the social media domain to exercise great caution, especially on these get rich quick schemes. Many benefits offered in these adverts are not true. The scammers are simply looking for those gullible so that they can take advantage of. There is need for the government to enforce legislation and regulations that deal with such social media scammers. 

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Stay Relevant At Work - Training for Managers and Staff

Prof. Sheperd Sikhosana

Introduction


With emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain and Data Visualization, which are transforming businesses digitally, the importance of continuous training cannot be overemphasised. The professional environment has really become very dynamic and this is evidence that we are living in the days and times of Fourth Industrial Revolution. Business strategies and processes require constant alignment to the environmental changes if organisations are to be sustainable is this dynamic environment. One of the alignment activities needed are staff training and development to ensure the most important asset at the workplace is fine-tuned to meet the expected standards.

Training presents a golden opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, but many employers in the current climate find development opportunities expensive. Employees attending training sessions also miss out on work time which may delay the completion of projects. However, despite these potential drawbacks, training and development provides both the individual and organisations as a whole with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment. The return on investment from training and development of employees is really a no brainer. Regular trainings ensure that employees and organisations stay relevant to the economies they operate in.

Benefits of training to both employers and employees


Benefit 1 – Improved employee performance
An employee who receives the appropriate and quality training is better able to perform well in a given job. The well-designed training intervention gives an employee a good understanding of her responsibilities within her role, and in turn builds and boosts one’s confidence. This confidence enhances one’s overall performance and this concomitantly benefits the organisation. Managers and staff members who are competent and on top of their game, at the work place, add a lot of value to the organisations they work for and resultantly such organisations with such employees become industry leaders.

Benefit 2 – Improved employee satisfaction and morale 
When organisations invest in training their employees, such an act projects a positive image and the fact that such organisations place a high value or premium on their employees. When employees feel valued by their employers, their morale is boosted. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their jobs. A happy and satisfied employee is a productive employee.  Employees, when offered such training opportunity will feel that the workplace is a supportive workplace and this improves employee retention. Employers who have a strong staff development policy ensure that employees gain access to training which they would not have otherwise known about or sought out themselves.

Continuous process re-engineering due to technological improvements will result in employees having some weaknesses in their workplace skills. A training program allows strengthening those skills that each employee needs to improve. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so that they attain similar skills and knowledge. This helps reduce any weak links within the company who rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks. Providing the necessary training creates an overall knowledgeable staff with employees who can take over for one another as needed, work on teams or work independently without constant help and supervision from others.

Benefit 4 – Consistency 
A well designed and planned training and development program ensures that employees have a consistent experience and background knowledge. The consistency is particularly relevant for the company’s basic policies and procedures. All employees need to be aware of the expectations and procedures within the company. Increased efficiencies in processes results in financial gain for the company.


Benefit 5 – Increased productivity and adherence to quality standards
Productivity usually increases when a company implements training courses. Increased efficiency in processes will ensure project success which in turn will improve the company turnover and potential market share.

Benefit 6 – Increased innovation in new strategies and products 
On-going training and up-skilling of the workforce can encourage creativity. New ideas can be formed as a direct result of training and development.

Benefit 7 – Reduced employee turnover 
Staff are more likely to feel valued if they are invested in and therefore, less likely to change employers. Training and development is seen as an additional company benefit. Recruitment costs therefore go down due to staff retention.


Benefit 8 – Enhances company reputation and profile
 
Having a strong and successful training strategy helps to develop your employer brand and make your company a prime consideration for graduates and mid-career changes. Training also makes a company more attractive to potential new recruits who seek to improve their skills and the opportunities associated with those new skills. Training can be of any kind relevant to the work or responsibilities of the individual, and can be delivered by any
appropriate method.

Conclusion


Organisations, as part of their strategy, should include training as one of their key initiatives as it ensures that staff members become motivated, more knowledgeble, effective and efficient and that in totality results in a highly performing organisations. A highly performing organisation tends to be highly profitable thereby increasing the shareholder value and contributing to the economic growth of the country.



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Useful Facts About SEO and Social Media

Prof. Sheperd Sikhosana

How do SEO and social media help drive traffic to your online business?

When it comes to driving traffic to your business, SEO and social media platforms both play major roles. To better understand how SEO and social media platforms help your business, it would be easier to look at facts and statistics so you can understand how companies similar to yours have succeeded by using these two traffic driver

Facts About SEO

SEO has a major impact on long-term lead generation. 59% of marketers agree that SEO has had the biggest effect on their lead generation goals. Social media was second with a percentage of 21%, while pay per click is 20%. It is not surprising, therefore, that most businesses plan to increase their SEO budget.

When it comes to lead generation, 49% of marketers in the B2C business seem to agree that SEO ranks in the first place when it comes to impacting their businesses. Pay per click and social media followed closely in that ranking with 26% and 25%, respectively. If you are considering doing SEO yourself as opposed to hiring an agency, make sure to give that decision a second thought. 21% of marketers agree that SEO agencies are far better at SEO than doing it in-house. Only about 11% agree that in-house SEO is preferable.

Social Media Facts

More searches are taking place in social media search engines than ever before. In 2016, searches in popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo dropped by 1%, while searches on social media sites increased by a dramatic 8%. Networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon account for a majority of these searches. That does not mean you should ignore the power of organic search; it still carries significant weight. However, it is an important indicator that shows people are becoming more and more geared towards utilizing social media sites for acquiring their information.

Trends in Traffic Generation

The demand for SEO skills has risen dramatically in the past year. Job boards like Indeed.com recorded a 1900% increase in SEO job postings. It has also affected LinkedIn; there has been approximately a 112% increase in the number of profiles containing the word SEO.

Equally powerful is the use of emails for spreading the word about your brand. There are over 62 billion emails sent every day. An average person spends a certain amount of time each day reading emails. This is a powerful tool to use if you know how to utilize it effectively. What this tells you is that there are inherent benefits in utilizing different forms of marketing in your social media pages and websites.

Incorporating email marketing as part of your campaign will help you expand your reach even further. This can result in finding valuable customers over time. 81% of marketers that use this strategy call it “effective”. It’s true that SEO drives traffic, but it is email that actually drives conversions. 29% of marketers agree that traffic converts at the highest rate when done through email marketing. 22% say that email is their main source of conversion.

Don’t Forget About Blogging!

Of equal importance is the need to make blogging a part of your SEO and social media strategy. Over 92% of Fortune 500 companies are not utilizing the power of blogs for their businesses. This opens a window of opportunity for small and medium-scale businesses to take their fair share of the market.

It has been estimated that companies that blog at least 15 times per month generate over 5 times the traffic of companies that do not blog. A high percentage of companies that blog have acquired customers through their blogs. If you are thinking of going into social media marketing, you should be aware that blogging is the core of many social marketing strategies. 59% of companies say that blogging contributed significantly more to their business than any other method.

Time Tested and Effective

The facts and figures explained above should be enough to demonstrate the importance of SEO and social media when it comes to your online business efforts. However, it’s also important to realize that social media marketing isn’t simply utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media giants. While using these sites can make a big difference in increasing visibility, there are other forms of social marketing that are considered less often but are equally powerful. Email and blogging are older forms of social media marketing compared to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but they are time tested and effective. Even with the changing trends in our modern lifestyles, email and blogging have still managed to be a very effective method of driving traffic to your business.

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