Job success guided by fate and diligence

Johanna Shitaleni exemplifies how a friendly smile and continuous hard work can go a long way.
Jamie-Lee Loss
Johanna Shitaleni was born in Ondangwa and grew up in the seaside towns of Lüderitz and Swakopmund.

She later returned to northern Namibia, to Ongwediva, to complete her grade 12 at Mweshipandeka High School.

As the first born of four children, she always endeavoured to serve as a role model for her younger siblings. These days, Johanna is also a wife and a mother of two. She believes that because she was raised in a multicultural and diverse environment, she can get along with practically anyone.

Shitaleni is the senior organisational development officer at the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) of Namibia.

She explains that she was drawn to the profession by fate.

She had originally intended to study something else but was accepted into the industrial psychology programme at the university. She pursued a job in her industry after graduating, which ignited a fresh interest in organisational development.

Objective oversight

Her job entails coordinating quarterly organisational performance reviews and institutional performance management practices. She ensures that business unit targets are in line with institutional goals. She is a member of the performance development evaluation committee, which is in charge of the institutional performance review.

She is also in charge of the overall performance management module on the EBS system, the monitoring unit, and the individual objective setting and completion of appraisal performances.

Improved performances

Her roles include supervising and coordinating the training department to ensure that training administration and enquiries are handled in a timely manner for all training interventions, including scholarships, bursaries, and short-term trainings.

She says organisational development is important in general because it helps companies shift into a more productive phase. It is an effort that aims to improve an institution's capability to align structure, people, rewards, and management procedures with overall organisational strategic goals.

Finally, it assists organisations to develop, upgrade, and reinforce strategies, structures, and processes in order to increase their capacity to change and achieve better effectiveness.

A family at work

What she appreciates most about her work is the true sense of collaboration and shared objectives devoted to not just assisting clients but also fostering a healthy work environment.

Everyone at work is committed to the company's objectives, which fosters a family-like atmosphere that she says is fulfilling. In addition, she likes that her work always challenges her to grow and puts her in a position to influence decisions positively. She appreciates the company's leadership as it promotes employee engagement and offers professional growth opportunities. Shitaleni emphasises that she is remarkably organised with good networking skills, and her million-dollar smile distinguishes her from her co-workers.

"In a world constituted by change and social media distractions, it is imperative to stand sternly alongside your beliefs and remember the road map of where you came from and where you are headed to," she says.