Employers understand the value of settling a new employee into their role through a well-organised induction programme. The aim of an induction programme is to make sure that new employees are given all the support and guidance they need for them to do their job as expected.

The University of Venda hosted a successful two-day Induction and Orientation Session for new employees that took place at Tshipise Forever Resort on 12-13 September 2017. About 74 new staff members attended the workshop. The participants included both academic and admin staff. The majority of the new employees were young professionals who made the University Venda their employer of choice. The first Induction and Orientation Session was attended by 43 males and 31 females. Days three and four of the programme will continue on 19-20 September 2017 at Khoroni Hotel and Research Conference Centre respectively. Equally so, new employees are urged to attend the remaining two days where they will interact with executive and senior managers. To show that Univen is on the right track in terms of empowering women, 70% of the people who presented on behalf of their departments were women.

The Head of Human Resource Planning, Recruitment, Remuneration and Benefits Administration, Mr Victor Sigama briefed new staff members about the Human

Resource benefits and processes. The most common benefits presented included provident fund, medical aid, UIF, 13th cheque and leave applications. Mr Sigama also spoke about fringe benefits such as remission of tuition and boarding fees, long service awards, cell phone allowance, Dean allowance, etc. He also touched on the matter pertaining to the purpose of employee benefits which are meant to attract and retain staff members, increased economic security of staff as well as branding.

The Head of Organisational, Development and Training, Mr Patrick Rachidi detailed the staff development opportunities in the University and performance management processes and probation management. Mr Rachidi highlighted on a number of issues that every staff member in the higher education sector should worry about such as high dropout rate, low graduation rate, few NRF rated researchers, low success rate, poor representation of women in leadership positions including professorship as well as inflexible policies, systems and procedures. Mr Rachidi said “in order for the University to achieve its mandate it needs staff members who are competent, capable, confident and committed.

With regards to fears about probation, Mr Rachidi indicated that while it is perceived as a punishment by many employees, probation is simply a period used by the employer to establish the suitability of an employee in terms of his/her performance. This is done through establishing expectations, accountability, support and the consequences of not meeting the set standards and execution excellence. Mr. Rachidi indicated that a staff member on probation must receive guidance, counselling, evaluation, instruction and training from the employer. He also emphasized the fact that the conditions of service for staff member on probation are similar to those of other staff members in similar positions.

In terms of capacity development, it was reported that the University is investing a lot of money in capacity building of staff members. Mr Rachidi also highlighted the issue of growing our own timber initiatives that include interns, teaching assistants as well as the nGAP programme.

The Director of CHETL, Prof Nancy Mutshaeni facilitated a presentation on behalf of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academic, Prof Jan Crafford titled ‘Becoming effective in the workplace’. The presentation dwelled much on the responsibilities of an academic.

The Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning Team(CHETL)led by the Director of the Centre, Prof Nancy Mutshaeni and her team, made presentations about the services they offer such as eLearning at Univen, University Teaching and Assessment: Theory and Practice, Developing a Learning Guide for Students, Student Counselling and Career Development, Services for Students with Disabilities at Univen, as well as Evaluation Practice and Personal or Professional Development.

These were followed by presentations about Auxiliary Services and procedures by Ms Ivy Mukondeleli, Switchboard and telephone services including procedures by Julia Mutenda and Problem Based Learning (PBL) by Ms Vanessa Mbhatsani from the school of Health Sciences.

Some of new academic staff members pose for a photo on day two of the workshop

Some of the presenters in action

Issued by:
Department of Communications and Marketing,
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525
Date: 15 September 2017

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