One of the reasons cited for the need to retrench at the SABC is the alleged imbalance between ordinary workers and management.
The SABC is using the Peromnes grading (job evaluation) system, solely owned by Deloitte Consulting. Other grading systems include JE Manager, Hay and Paterson.
The Peromnes method is a points scoring method of evaluating jobs. The method examines each job in terms of eight factors. These factors are the different aspects of the job worth. The factors are examined to cover the job’s total content and requirements. Each of the factors will be represented to some degree in all jobs, although to a minimal degree in the case of the most unskilled work. The first six factors are concerned with job content. The last two factors are concerned with job requirements, that is, the basic expectations of an incumbent who will be able to perform the job competently.
The eight factors are as follows:
– Problem solving: examines the quality and complexity of decision-making processes that are demanded in jobs;
– Consequences of error of judgement: probes the effects of adverse decisions on the activities, well-being and prestige of the organisation (or any of its parts), taking into account the controls and checks that may exist to prevent such errors or their recurrence;
– Pressure of work: scrutinises the level of stress inherent in a job;
– Knowledge: measures the level of knowledge required, in operational (not formal qualifications) terms, to perform the job competently;
– Job impact: rates the extent of influence that the job has on other activities, within and outside the organisation.
When rating this factor, points are scored for both internal and external impact. The average of the two is the score that will be used;
– Comprehension: evaluates the requirement of the job in undertaking written and spoken communications;
– Educational qualifications or intelligence level required in the post: measures the essential requirements that are considered, not merely desirable ones; and
– Subsequent training/experience: examines the period necessary to achieve competence in the job by the shortest possible reasonable route of advancement.
All eight factors denote inherent aspects or requirements of jobs. The peripheral matters such as physical working conditions, or supply and demand considerations are not included because they are considered to be very inconsistent. They may vary from place to place and from time to time.
A management to staff ratio is calculated by dividing the number of managers in a company or department by the number of employees working in it. Typical staffing ratios range from 4-to-1 for direct reports to a senior manager, to 20-to-1 in an administrative area. For most areas, approximately 10 workers per manager is common.
Span of control is a big determinant, even within the same department. If employees have been in their jobs a long time, the work is easily understood or there is little variation in the type of work, a larger span of control is possible.
The Case for Larger Ratios
Larger ratios are best when managers are experienced and comfortable in their position. They need to be clear in their directions, to reduce one-on-one time with so many employees, and good at cutting through roadblocks. Managers with larger spans need to be speedy decision makers. Or, they need to be willing to delegate authority and not second-guess or override employee decisions.
The Case for Smaller Ratios
Smaller ratios allow more coaching, direction and mentoring. They support new managers, who need to have a small team so they can grow into their role. Getting rid of middle managers also frustrates staff who may then feel there is no room for advancement. Smaller ratios can enhance effectiveness by ensuring that managers aren’t pulled too many ways. Focused managers with small teams often enjoy more time for communicating with their staff, which can help with employee engagement and retention. Communication is critical in matrixed organizations where more time is required to adequately align efforts between departments.
The average HR-to-employee ratio ideally must be 2.57. As staff size increases, however, the HR-to-employee ratio decreases. For example, small organizations had a significantly higher HR-to employee ratio of 3.40, compared with medium and large organizations that had ratios of 1.22 and 1.03 respectively.
At the SABC scale codes 407 – 300 are defined as the bargaining unit. These are the workers. From scale code 130 to 110 are management. From time to time employees on scale code 300 are called junior management, but employees on these scale codes are generally specialists.
According to the latest figures provided by the SABC, its management workforce (scale 130 to 110) is made up as follows:
Management @SABC %
Commercial Enterprises – 9.70%
Group Services – 25.53%
MTI – 7.77%
News – 13.37%
Provincial Operations – 7.24%
Radio – 18.34%
SABC Sport – 22.22%
Television – 11.37%
Grand Total – 14.78%
85.22% of people working for the SABC are therefore not on managerial level, and not management.
Sales Operations – 3.17%
Logistical Services – 6.86%
TV Licences – 6.98%
Radio Broadcast Resources – 4.49%
News Resources – 4.35%
Eastern Cape Operations – 4.00%
Limpopo Operations – 5.26%
Sport Operations – 5.88%
SABC 2 – 7.89%
SABC 3 – 6.25%
These departments are made up mainly by professional occupations, like lawyers and Risk Specialists. To properly reward them, they are put on managerial scale codes, which will match their pay bracket, but without being a manager.
Governance Risk and Assurance – 63.16%
Legal Services – 57.89%
Market Intelligence – 57.14%
Office of the GE – 66.67%
THE 130 SCALE CODES
This scale code is mainly used to match salary brackets of specialists, like Assignment Editors who has no people reporting to them as such. They are therefore not managers in the real sense, but being appointed on this managerial scale code to match their salaries. There are 268 employees on this scale code.
If they are excluded from the calculation of management vs staff, the percentage management vs staff drops to 6.64%, which is in fact closest to the real situation at the SABC.
The SABC employs 3296 employees.
The staff to management ratio is 6 to 1, and if the scale code 130 is removed from the total of managers, the ratio increase to 15 to 1, that is 1 manager for every 15 employees. This is well within the requirements of a normal organisation.