While Namibia experiences an oversupply in human resources (HR) practitioners, their competencies are mostly below expectation resulting in poor service delivery, a local HR expert has charged.
In the spirit of enhancing the skills of human relations (HR) practitioners in the country, the Institute of People Management (IPM) has organised a convention in the country.
IPM Namibia which was launched in 2011, was established with the aim of providing HR services and advices, as well as provides HR leadership and direction to HR practitioners in the country.
Tim Ekandjo president of IPM Namibia said that the 1st year of the organisation was intended for developing strategic alliances with other IPMs in southern Africa.
“IPM Namibia is still in its infancy stage so we have a lot to learn from other IPMs, especially the one from Zimbabwe as it has been operating for over two decades. IPM Zimbabwe is at an advanced stage where it is mandatory for all HR practitioners to register with the organisation; they have also set up IPM courses which are designed from an HR perspective. Those are methods we would like to set in due time.” Ekandjo said.
This year’s IPM convention set for 24- 26 September is organised with the focus on the next HR generation: “How to get HR evolving from the old way of doing to positioning themselves as strategic partners of any business.”
For Ekandjo who is the chief human capital and corporate affairs officer at Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), HR is no longer what it is used to be and it needs to evolve.
“HR practitioners used to be personal managers just meant to make sure of the hiring and salaries of employees. However, as time evolves so does the profession. HR managers need to become strategic partners of the business they operate in; they need to add value to their work place. Hence, there is a need for them to understand fully the business they work in order to have an HR strategy that will complement the business,” Ekandjo emphasised on.
With regard of competency of the HR practitioners, Ekandjo noted that there seems to be an imbalance between the oversupply of HR practitioner the country has and the under supply of those who are greatly competent in that profession.
This issue is on the agenda of the IPM mission where they are looking at how to curb that incompetence. They have decided that businesses need to be cooperative with tertiary institutions in opening their doors for internship in order to prepare the next generation of HR into competent and strategic partners.
The oversupply of HR in the country is shown in the huge number of Namibians who enrols at university in the HR department, hence creating an imbalance when it comes to creating Namibian exercising other professions.
Another concern that Ekandjo pointed out is the increasing strikes that have been recorded around the country since last year. Most of it erupting because of miscommunication between employees and managers as well as caused by those small issues that HR might not look into, hence building up to big issues.
In this regard, the coming IPM convention has on its carte a discussion on labour action whereby labour leaders were invited to participate.
Minister of Labour, Immanuel Ngatjizeko will be guest speaker where he is set to defend the recent labour amendment law, currently being disputed.
“This year convention will be packed with discussion on different subjects that regard HR managers, CEOs and businesses at large. There will be different speakers, be it locals and internationals to share their expertise and empower other HR practitioners. It will be a platform where the stakeholders will together work on resolutions on pertaining issues regarding the human relations at work place.”
The convention will also have an exhibition of different business and there will be an award giving ceremony in different categories such as: -Best CEO of the year, - Best IPM HR practitioner, - IPM Director of the year, - IPM Centre of excellence just to name but a few.