A year ago, when the pandemic started, at Schneider we were lucky that we needed no more than one meeting to decide that we will work from home, said Cristina Mancas, HR Vice President for SEE at Schneider Electric at Business Review’s #futureofwork – Working Romania HR Conference. „You need agility, to be able to quickly adapt to changes,” explains Cristina Mancas, adding that Schneider Electric will implement, starting April 1st, the Government Ordinance regarding the additional payment for employees working from home.
Business Review: Schneider launched a big project last year, Open Talent Market. What is Open talent market and how was it received by the employees?
Cristina Mancas: The Open Talent Market platform was launched globally last year during the pandemic, in April. There was a lot of discussions at HR level at the time about whether we should launch it, that we are in the middle of a pandemic and people will not have time to dedicate for this type of program. However, there were many employees who said they wanted to join the platform as soon as it is launched.
On Open Talent Market all employees can enter and connect with mentors from all the Schneider world, if they want to develop their skills. They can connect or apply to local or global projects, but also apply for full-time roles. At South East Europe level, the area for which I am responsible, Romania is leading, we have an adoption of 78%, in less than a year, according to last reports.
I am also a mentor on this platform, I tried to test it to see how it works and I connected with a colleague from the USA, one from China and one from Mexico. The last two had nothing to do with HR, but they wanted to understand a little bit more about the domain. With Jennifer, from USA, I also became friends on social media. She wanted to understand how we can bring people out of the inactivity zone, how we can attract them to use the platform actively.
What other projects are you preparing?
Career Week, is another project that will be launched in June. In this learning week we want to be able to offer content both locally and globally, on five main directions: technical career, functional career, cross-country career, a career that involves interaction with clients and, last but not least, a career in the area of leadership and management.
It is a new project that we are starting in pandemic and that has attracted a lot of global resources. We will see how it will turn out and if we succeed, we will try to replicate it at a global level, not only in Romania, to offer colleagues opportunities to develop and improve skills no matter where we work, from home or from the office.
Have you returned to offices? Do your colleagues feel safe?
Because there was a discussion around safety and office redesign, I can tell you that we have a project now, just launched in Romania, on how to make the work environment look better, for when we return to the office. We are currently in a hybrid mode, we have been working from home since March 2020.