How CEO empathy, synergy and brand ambassadors protect against crises – TEDIS Ukraine experience
Iryna Ivasyuk, Director of Human Resources, TEDIS Ukraine, shares the unique experience of the largest distributor in Ukraine
What are the trends in the labor market today and how has your company responded to the latest challenges? What lessons has the company learned from recent events?
The labor market today is a challenger’s market, it froze during the pandemic and lockdown and is now gaining momentum again. We also know that FMCG business is high speed and ambitious goals. Today, everyone works in a limited resource mode, and it is important for company management to find and maintain a balance between employee safety, which is a top priority, and the ability to solve complex business problems that have become even more complex. This requires empathy, because employees are ambassadors of our brand. They create value for the company and tell about it. To ensure safety, we follow all the rules, actively carry out explanatory work on vaccination, invite expert doctors, carry out vaccination in the offices and regional offices of the company. Our employees appreciate this, as evidenced by the results of the survey on involvement and loyalty, as well as the downward trend in voluntary turnover in 2020-2021 compared to previous periods.
Today, clear rules give way to quick solutions and communications: both internal and external. During COVID-19, our company made quick and correct decisions to protect people and businesses.
Another trend is the willingness to constantly transform, to change approaches to motivational programs, to implement new digital solutions, to be flexible in everything – whether it is a remote format of work of employees, or hybrid events that combine online and offline.
How is the corporate culture built in your company and how important is it in overcoming crises of various scales? What is the role of HR-manager in building corporate culture?
Corporate culture is the lifeblood of a company. It is about the values and the spirit that unite our people, attract them, stimulate them to new achievements. Since 2011, when TEDIS Ukraine was founded, we have focused on creating a unique corporate culture, taking into account feedback and team initiatives. Together with our employees, we have created a system of values. For us, respect, team, influence on the result are not just words, this is the work of everyone. Given the values, we were able to describe the key contexts of interaction between the manager and subordinate, internal and external customers and departments and adhere to these canons.
We have worked for a long time to ensure that our style corresponds to democracy, entrepreneurship and innovation. Most employees are not just involved, they are in love with the company and their business. Corporate culture creates an environment of synergy, teamwork, and the results of teamwork – the future. General Director Taras Korniachenko plays an important role in this, he is in close contact with everyone, and this inspires the team.
What is an employer brand? How have its characteristics changed since the last crisis? How does your company build an employer brand?
The employer’s brand is an image of the company in the mind of the candidate for the position, which shows how interesting and desirable the company is. This is a place where people want to work. Communications have always been an important part of the HR function, and now they and feedback come first. We build the brand of the employer, working closely with our internal audience – employees who are promoters of the company, so that they are satisfied and themselves approving of the experience and desire to work in “TEDIS Ukraine”.
When working with external audiences, we work closely with the PR and external communications department. We have updated our website, talk on social media about who we are, what we offer, who we are looking for, what we live for, what social projects and initiatives we implement to not only develop our business, but also to make the world around us better.
Corporate culture is the lifeblood of a company. It is about the values and the spirit that unite our people
In a few years, most employees in companies will be representatives of Generation Z. Is your company ready for this? What innovations emerged during the selection of applicants? Have the criteria to be met by an effective employee changed?
I wouldn’t say that most of the staff will be buzzers, but the role of Generation Z will be growing. In our company, the average age of employees is 37 years, no more than 6%. For Generation Z, the employer brand, social responsibility, corporate volunteering, interesting projects and initiatives are important. As I have already emphasized, we work a lot on both the brand and CSR. Since the company’s inception, we have realized the importance of volunteering, which is part of corporate social responsibility and charity. For 10 years, the company has been organizing events, including corporate volunteering as part of Remembrance and Reconciliation Day, International Children’s Day, Animal Protection Day, World Cleanup Day, Elderly Day, New Year and Christmas, and more.
Candidates are increasingly concerned about whether a company’s values are in line with their internal values. We conduct interviews not only by competencies, but also by values. During them we discuss what tasks will have to be solved and what results we expect, what new they can learn and what are the prospects for growth.
According to the latest GRC research, which was presented at the HRD breakfast in September, companies, in selecting employees, in addition to “hard” look at such qualities as interaction with people, teamwork, development and self-organization skills. Flexibility and adaptability are also important to us. We are for a healthy mix in teams of different generations, for diversity and synergy in work.
During the 2009 crisis, the corporate sector was rescued by CFOs, and during the corona crisis, human resources directors were called business saviors. Do you agree with that?
Of course, the role of euchar in business is very important, but in a situation of coronary crisis, I would not give the palm of the hand only to them. I would say that the saviors of the business are strong teams that are ready to change quickly, involved enterprising employees who are ready to go extra mile. This is a huge role of the CEO of the company and each top manager, as well as efficient and coordinated work of functions. We should not forget about the importance of IT, and about working at the forefront – “in the fields”.
The saviors of the business are strong teams that are ready to change quickly
What fundamentally new competencies will the HR manager have in the near future?
First of all, it is empathy, the ability to attract and retain professionals. Eichar must be able to educate line managers, transfer knowledge, teach them the same empathy, select appropriate development programs. Today, thinner tools for achieving goals and plans are coming to replace the focus on getting results at all costs. Aerobatics is important in how to inspire and motivate, charge and support. It is necessary to take into account the characteristics of new generations of employees and the needs of business, the ratio of work and leisure, wellbeing of employees and ensuring the company’s profits. And to set it all up, the euchar needs to be megaproactive and be able to build the right balance.
How has the implementation of HR-projects affected the corporate governance and economic performance of the company?
One of the interesting successful cases of functional interaction with a significant role of HR is the global project “TEDIS Ukraine”, focused on increasing the level of motivation, efficiency and involvement of sales team staff. The increase in turnover of sales staff, due to external and internal factors, has become an indicator of complex issues regarding the motivation of sales teams.
Thanks to the coordinated work of the Sales Force Working Committee (which included representatives of sales, finance, HR and IT, legal services, regional leaders, RSP leaders, top managers) and with the support of the CEO, we were able to achieve synergies that not only helped reduce turnover but also and contributed to business growth and staff involvement. We managed to expand the customer base, exceed the sales plan, improve the level of service and customer satisfaction, as well as increase the efficiency of the sales team, create conditions for the development of sales and senior sales managers, increase their professional knowledge and practical application of standards.
We managed to expand the customer base, exceed the sales plan, improve the level of service and customer satisfaction
With this project, TEDIS Ukraine won in the nomination “Motivation and Involvement of Trade Teams” from the “HR-Brand Ukraine Award” and grc.ua. Our victory is a high appreciation and recognition of our initiatives at the level of the expert HR community of the country!