Newly appointed head of HR at Bryte Insurance, Tebogo Baloyi, has excelled in the insurance industry while managing a global workforce.
Hailing from Diepkloof, Soweto, a vibrant and culturally rich neighbourhood, Bryte Insurance head of HR Tebogo Baloyi grew up in a family where education was highly valued. His parents, both educators, instilled a deep passion for learning in him. This early exposure to the world of education would go on to influence his career choices.
“Their passion for teaching and learning has been a significant influence in my life. After completing matric, I pursued a BCom at Witwatersrand University, and this was a pivotal phase in my life, where I gained a solid foundation in HR and economics. It was my studies that inspired my career path, which started with working within the talent development space and later progressed to looking after the entire HR value chain.”
Throughout his career, Tebogo has gained diverse experience working across various HR functions. These roles provided him with a holistic understanding of the employee lifecycle and the importance of aligning HR practices with organisational goals.
Prior to joining Bryte, Tebogo held a number of HR-related positions at companies such as Momentum, Silica and Cohesion Solutions. These roles, he says, allowed him to appreciate the entire employee lifecycle and the importance of aligning HR practices with organisational goals. “I've also continually expanded my knowledge through professional development and certifications in HR. All of this has made the transition to my new role seamless.”
HR industry today and technology
Tebogo acknowledges that the HR industry faces significant challenges, primarily due to the rapid societal changes that affect individuals and organisations. “It is an interesting time for HR. I think the rate of change in society has also presented opportunities.
“For example, we are in the golden age of HR technology due to advancements in generative AI. For the first time in history, HR technologies have caught up with all other technologies. The other example relates to skills and talent. Skills required for any given role are rapidly changing, and we are also seeing an increase in talent mobility since Covid-19. Organisations are looking at HR teams to produce data-driven solutions for these business problems. Overall, these changes have helped with the strategic positioning of HR.”
He strongly believes that HR must play a more prominent role in helping organisations navigate this change effectively. “As an HR team, we need to align closely with our organisation's digital transformation, customer and enablement strategy. We are playing a role in upskilling our employees to embrace new technologies and processes, ensuring that our employees can adapt and thrive in the digital age.”
He notes that this was visible most recently in his department when the organisation’s customer and enablement strategy prompted the HR team to focus on talent acquisition and development, ensuring that teams were not only skilled but also aligned with the organisation’s external focus approach.
Tebogo also shared an example of a particularly challenging HR issue related to COVID-19. “The pandemic forced many employees to work from home, impacting the organisation’s culture. In response, my team conducted a culture audit, identifying a risk related to employees feeling a lack of psychological safety. This led to the implementation of a behavioural science-based culture initiative to keep employees connected and engaged.”
Advice for aspiring HR professionals
For those aspiring to excel in the insurance industry and manage a global and diverse workforce, Tebogo offers some advice. “Embrace continuous learning, cultivate cultural sensitivity, focus on building strong communication and interpersonal skills, and stay adaptable, open to change, and committed to innovation.”
He adds that one should also know oneself, find one’s thing, and never stop learning.
Speaking on his own aspirations, Tebogo says he finds inspiration in playing a role in reducing unemployment and inequality in the world, follows a life mantra centred around courage and vulnerability and enjoys collecting music and reading. “Outside of HR, I have a secret dream of being a chef,” he says with a chuckle.