If ‘positivity’ were a person

Stephanie Viljoen believes in treating the janitor the same as the CEO.

30 August 2019 | Banking


Stephanie Viljoen wakes up every morning with the hope that she will impact somebody’s life and that they will be inspired by their interaction. Born in Windhoek and raised in South Africa, Viljoen recalls her best childhood memories as being her annual trips to Namibia with her family. “It’s the small things that make me happy; appreciating life and living in the moment,” she says.

Viljoen joined Bank Windhoek three years ago as human resources executive and was subsequently appointed as the Capricorn Group’s human capital and citizenship executive. She has over 20 years of experience as an HR executive. Viljoen finds her job very energising. Starting off wanting to become a private investigator, lawyer and even a microbiologist, she later chose psychology. She had the privilege of completing her master’s in industrial psychology at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. “I now get my criminal law fix by reading a lot of books in that genre,” Viljoen admits.

“My role in Capricorn Group is to ensure that the bank brings the focus of the organisation to each employee and makes it real for them.

“We need to allow employees to be the best that they can be irrespective of where they fit into the organisation.”

They do this through people practices such as recruitment, talent management, performance development and a learning framework to make this a reality. She says she has learned a lot during her time working at Capricorn Group. Admitting that challenges are always present when moving into a new role, she is appreciative of the rewards.

“What I appreciate most of this role is the relationships that you are able to build and the passion that you can ignite in people. There is a generosity and appreciation that is really admirable,” Viljoen says.

Viljoen believes that if you are passionate about what you do and you can live it daily, you are wealthy beyond the money in your bank account. For her, there are many proud moments when it comes to Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group.

“What I would like to highlight is the embedding of The Capricorn Way,” she says.

The Capricorn Way is a set of beliefs that guides each employee in the organisation in terms of nine behaviours. It gives them identity and is a moral compass.

“It helps us to foster a culture of being connectors of positive change, not only our work lives but also in our everyday lives. Seeing that the employees have embraced the norms and values of The Capricorn Way has been rewarding.”

She says it has enriched not only their professional lives but also served as a guide in how to approach situations in their private lives.

Her advice for overcoming challenges is to surround yourself with positive thinkers.

“Don’t give up because a challenge is not a difficulty, it’s an opportunity. So in that you need to change your mindset,” she advises.

In an era where digitisation is at the forefront of change, Viljoen would like to create a space where she can bring technology and people together to create magic. She believes that people need to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn with passion and speed.

“Personally, I want to adopt a culture where failure is embraced and where we learn from it. We can fail fast and fail forward.”

Photo: Contributed

Capt1- Stephanie Viljoen believes that a challenge is not a difficulty, but rather an opportunity.

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