Personal tools
You are here: Home School of Public Health Managing Human Resources for Health managing-human-resources-for-health Conclusion: Key Challenges in Human Resource Management Today

Conclusion: Key Challenges in Human Resource Management Today

Document Actions
  • Send this
  • Print this
  • Content View
  • Bookmarks

Key Challenges in Human Resource management Today

You have almost reached the end of the module on Human Resource Management For Health. Clearly, we have not exhausted the topic. Many topics were introduced, but could have been elaborated in much greater depth. Many topics could have been added, were it not for the lack of space and time. We had to make choices. We tried to aim for a mix of understanding the importance of HR Management in the context of developments in the health sector and of gaining some knowledge and skills that will help you in your day-to-day practice as a human resource manager.

The challenges facing HR managers in the health sector today are serious and seemingly endless: HIV/AIDS, brain drain, low morale, transformation fatigue, to name just a few examples. We have not spent much time discussing these challenges per se. This would probably warrant another full module. However, many of the topics covered in this module are influenced by or influence these challenges. For example, motivation plays a crucial role in lifting low morale. So does a good supervisory system. Thorough staff induction and development can go a long way to reducing role conflict.

Before we let you go, we want you to spend another two to three hours working with the HRM assessment tool we introduced in Unit 1 Session 4 (Task 2) and reflecting on the key challenges we face in human resources in South Africa specifically, but also in other African countries today. We recently wrote an overview article for the South African Health Review, which talks to these challenges. The article focuses on Human Resource Development in general, but you will see that most topics relate directly to HR Management.


By the end of this session you should be able to:
  • Conduct an HRD assessment of your organisation.
  • Reflect on the key HR challenges facing your organisation and how they can be addressed.


You will be referred to the following readings in the course of this session

Publication Details:
Management Sciences for Health (1998). HRD Assessment Instrument for NGOs and Public Sector Health Organisations. MSH: 1-15.
Lehmann, U. & Sanders, D. (2003). Human Resource Development. In South African Health Review 2002. Durban: Health Systems Trust: 119-427.


We asked you to have a look at the HRM assessment tool on page 91 of the Reader at the beginning of the module. This tool aims to help you to assess the state of Human Resource Development in your organisation and to come up with possible solutions to problems.
Now, at the end of the module, we want you to go back to the tool and to work through it systematically, in the end making a summary assessment of HRD in your organisation, which you may want to present to colleagues.



Read Lehmann, U. & Sanders D. (2003). Human Resource Development. In South African Health Review 2002. Durban: Health Systems Trust: 119-427. (Reader page 412).

This chapter provides an overview of recent developments and key challenges in the human resources in the health sector and develops an agenda for intervention. It concentrates on issues of:

  • Legislation
  • Capacity and skills
  • Workloads
  • Management and support

The chapter highlights problem areas, but also gives examples of good practice and encouraging initiatives, such as the use of Action Research for building capacity.

Do the topics raised in the chapter resonate with your own experiences and challenges? What are the commonalties? What are the differences?

What is your organisation doing to tackle these challenges?

This last reading and reflection concludes the module.


 While many issues remain outstanding, we hope you leave the module feeling somewhat better equipped to Tackle Human Resource Management in your organisation.

We also hope that you found the module both enjoyable and challenging, providing some new ideas and maybe putting existing knowledge and skills in context. Please don’t forget to give us your feedback on the module.

We thank you for choosing to do this module and wish you luck with the rest of your studies!


Copyright 2007-2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. nondumiso. (2007, August 13). Conclusion: Key Challenges in Human Resource Management Today. Retrieved November 21, 2014, from UWC Free Courseware Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License : Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. Creative Commons License : Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0