By The Villager Newspaper
The 5th Annual Institute of Personal Management (IPM) Conference, a two-day conference, brought together professionals from around Namibia to discuss the importance of Human Resources within companies, under the theme, ‘HR Towards Namibia’s Prosperity.’
The HR professoinals discussed the importance of reframing HR, personalizing goals, financial wellness, poverty empowerment and employee taxation laws to name a few. Speakers also brought up the negative repercussions of absenteeism and how to foster a more efficient work environment to increasesproduction.
Tim Ekandjo, IPM’s President, noted IPM’s dedication to HR and stressed the importance of leaders within companies to be accountable, respectful and have integrity, “I encourage you all to continue living and leading by example in everything you do especially when we are entrusted with the privilege to lead others.” His introduction was followed by opening remarks by Mrs. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Namibia.
Various professionals then shared the importance of transforming the workplace in Namibia through Human Resources. Donna Rachelson, Ceo Branding & Marketing YOU Author-SA shared her thoughts on the importance of rebranding HR. "There has been a paradigm shift; CEOs are no longer looking for just HR managers but for a business partner and leader with HR skills to help steer change the organisation it is going through," she said.
Thebe Ikafaleng, the founder of Brand Leadership Group SA, then emphasized the fact that the journey to success is personal and that it is dehabilitating to judge ones success against another’s, “A lot of us judge our success through other people’s journeys, failures, mistakes thus bringing fear in us and [we are] not [able to] move ahead.”
Ikafaleng noted that it is important to understand your passion and purpose as it will guide you to your goal, “Success isn’t easy and it is personal. You cannot share it with just anyone else and if you keep your eyes on the ball, it becomes easy.” He also encouraged the crowd to think about the people they are surrounded by within their networks and whether these individuals will encourage and support their ambitions.
The issue of absenteeism was discussed by Sam Januarie, the HR Director at Dundee Precious Metals. He emphasized that absenteeism can cause various problems including lagging production, increased overtime costs and financial loss for the company.
Absenteeism can be caused by a variety of factors including the quality of supervision and too much flexibility in the absenteeism policy or the absence of policies. To solve this issue, Januarie said that it is important to boost employee morale and to make them want to come to work. The employer can adopt technics such as, “Appreciat[ing] their presence and work value, mak[ing] them feel integrated and giv[ing] them a deserved break."
He went on to say that the company should prepare an absenteeism prevention program. And most importantly, the company must keep communication flowing among employers and employees.
Deloitte HR Manager, Retuura Balotti noted in her presentation on 'Leading in the new world of work' that, "HR needs to be redefined as an enabler and builder of talent." She later said that there is a need to invest in HR development and skills as the business depends on it. HR also encompasses the benefits that employees receive as well as their obligations.
Justus Mwafongwe, the Commissioner of the Revenue department in the Ministry of Finance discussed the role of the employer when it comes to employee taxes. He stressed the importance of informing employees about what these taxes are and how they benefit from them.
Finally, Isack Hamata, the Manager of Corporate Communications and Consumer Education, discussed financial wellness in the work place. He stressed that financial ‘unhealthiness’ leads to workers being stressed which in turn results in being absent from work.
Sharing some research, he cited that, “Financial issues costs employer 25 hours of lost productivity.” Thus, he emphasized the importance of monitoring financial behaviour of employees to ensure that they have strong financial well-fair.
The 5th Annual IPM Conference highlighted the importance of HR within companies and how it can help lead to improved production and overall increased prosperity in Namibia.