HRM in the 21st Century

HRM in the 21st Century

On the 26th of February 2016, we hosted the first (hopefully of many) Namibia HR Forum breakfast sessions. We at Capacity Trust have embarked on an effort to GROW our local HR professionals’ capacity as people practitioners through a series of talks and presentations on various topics relevant to the field of human sciences. We hope that through this initiative we will enable and empower our HR fraternity to be the shining light in 2016 and beyond.

In the first HR Forum Breakfast session we had Prof Ian Rothmann form the Optentia Research Unit at NWU share with us the role and relevance of HRM in the 21st Century. 

You can download the presentation below, but a quick recap of what he said:

1. ) Work is Changing

Prof Rothmann mentioned that work is changing from “Work in the Hand” to “Work in the Head”. This is in line with Vision 2030 where Namibia wants to become a Knowledge Economy by 2030. He used an example of of the Digital Transformation in Estonia. He also references the book by Ryde and Sofianos – Creating Authentic Organisations.

2.) The Namibian Context

Prof. Rothmann highlighted three key issues:

  • Difficult to attract skilled staff because of a lack of the necessary skills and attitudes
  • HRM (retention, career development and performance management) poorly developed
  • Organisations find it difficult to retain engaged staff

3.) The Way We Think About Work Is Broken

In our current economic (and political) times, its seems that our concept of work is broken. Prof Rothmann asked the question: “Which of the following questions should we ask as HRM practitioners?”

A.) “How can I make my employees’ lives better by restructuring jobs?” 


b.) “How can I make my business better by restructuring employees’ jobs?”

We know the question that business managers ask most often is B, however the results of A could potentially have a better influence and result in the company (providing we can prove it with research and data).

He referenced Barry Schwartz TED talk and book.

We trust those who attended were enriched by the experience and enjoyed networking with like minded professionals.

The full presentation can be downloaded here:

HRM in the 21st Century – Finding, Absorbing and Radiating Light

To find out more about Prof Rothmann and his work click here.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

“Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything;
That’s how the light gets in.”

— Leonard Cohen —