Humans can no longer be just be seen as just resources – just seen and not heard

7 May 2020

In this episode, we talk to Julia Makhubela – a consultant from 54twentyfour who is passionate about disrupting human resources. She uses human-centred design to create employee experiences that are inclusive: it’s about how we can be different together. She shares some personal stories that have guided her understanding of what we need to change for the employee of the present and the future.

Julia talks about her experience as an employee – how this has brought her to where she is now and has lit her fire for creating humanised employee experiences.

She explains what customised and human-centred employee experience design mean, as well as their benefits, and how this could translate into an employee for life, even after the employee leaves.

Julia takes us through the history of corporate work, how it’s changed, and how this has influenced her view of the steps to building great employee experiences. It turns out the employee experience begins long before the employee starts working at the company and continues for long after they’ve left.

Julia shares her view on the current employee experience landscape in South Africa, and how we could use our resilience as South Africans to show the world what a diverse yet inclusive workforce looks like, and what it can achieve. She also talks about how, as a society, we should be using the principles of design thinking to solve some of the major challenges faced by South Africa. We talk about the future of the workplace and how women can and should fit into this, and how the role of men in the workplace and at home has changed, as this is a major focus for her currently.

Finally, pinpointing the example of how children were once told to be seen and not heard, Julia explains how our upbringing (in the industrial revolution) still affects us and forms the basis – more so than our current landscape – for how we react to things.

If you are unfamiliar with design thinking, listen to episode 1, where we discuss the methods and mindsets of design thinking and clear up some of the terminology.