BR Exclusive | Main Story: Employers to watch in 2024

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 07/06/2024 | 10:00

The world of work is ever-evolving, with the latest shift from offices to remote workspaces bringing up challenges like managing hybrid arrangements and balancing productivity pressures and expectations. Employers need to adjust to the new realities of the labour market, focusing on their employees and on the new technologies that are about to shape the future of work. Business Review sat down with some of the most relevant employers of the moment and learned what makes a successful Human Resources approach.

By Anda Sebesi

 

Andreea Voinea, Chief People & Culture Officer, BCR

  • Number of employees: >5,000
  • Programmes for employees: Step into the Future, Money School Teachers, Learning Corners, Online Campus, Data Bootcamp, MindfulParent, BCR Communities
  • Leadership style: democratic

 

“We are a community bank, today and for the long run. In short, this is the main reason people love to work with us. We have a community spirit as part of our culture of innovation, collaboration and diversity: we learn from each other, we get inspired by each other, we support and celebrate each other. We co-design our strategy: in 2023 we engaged our colleagues in a national project of co-creating our strategy together with our clients. We also co-design our learning programmes, such as our leadership development programme called Step into the Future, with ongoing input from our colleagues. If there is something you want in BCR, you say it and then make it happen, together with your work community—this is our simple philosophy for a relevant employee experience.

Our company’s commitment to fostering vibrant internal communities, together with our high-impact external initiatives and our distinctive organisational culture positions us as an employer of choice for the long run. Our focus is on fostering a sense of fulfillment and belonging that goes beyond the classical workplace dynamics. We encourage a DIY spirit in terms of the workplace. We foster an environment where all colleagues feel empowered to voice their ideas, contribute to decision-making processes, and collaborate effectively. This open culture attracts top talent and also creates a sense of trust and loyalty among our existing employees, driving engagement and retention. We approach the future with three key concepts: community, innovation, co-creation. We believe that the future is not something that will just happen to us, like a given.”

 

Sorin Sandu, Senior HR Business Partner, BAT DBS Romania

  • Number of employees: >1,200
  • Programmes for employees: Leading Teams and Leading Self, Women in Leadership, Growth Academy, etc.
  • Leadership style: anchored in the company’s core values, “Empowered Through Trust.”

“BAT DBS Romania provides more than just a job; it’s a journey towards a fulfilling career. We prioritise nurturing our employees’ growth and development through various opportunities such as continuous learning, tailored training programmes, and accessible online resources. Our long-term strategy revolves around prioritising our people. Diversity and inclusion are central to our values, making us an attractive employer for individuals of all generations. By fostering a culture of value and respect, we create a workplace where everyone feels empowered to grow professionally. Our workforce demographics reflect our commitment to diversity, with over 70% female representation and a diverse mix of generations (11% Gen X, 72% Gen Y, 17% Gen Z), nationalities, and languages spoken.In terms of career progression, we offer transparent paths for advancement, ensuring that employees at all career stages have opportunities to reach their full potential. Whether it’s through internal promotions, lateral moves or involvement in cross-functional projects, we prioritise individual growth within the company. Additionally, our structured learning agenda, which includes programmes like the Management Trainee Programme, Internship Programme, and Growth Academy Programme, is designed to cater to the development needs of younger generations. We believe in the power of recognition and celebration, with our recognition system being based on our core values, emphasising the celebration of success for our talent and trailblazers. Our goal is to provide lifelong learning opportunities to transform talent potential into performance, with programmes designed to equip employees with relevant skills at every stage of their career, from intern to senior management.”

 

Zsuzsanna Toth, HR Director, Vodafone Romania

  • Number of employees: 3,500
  • Programmes for employees: Tech, AI & Design thinking learning and development, coaching and leadership, volunteering (Blood donation campaign, Letters for Santa Clause, Scoala din viitor ran by Vodafone Romania Foundation).
  • Leadership style: transformational

“The buzzword these days in every company and every industry is AI. As generative AI is integrated in our business operations, it is crucial that our employees are equipped with the necessary skills to leverage this technology effectively. This is a transformational moment, and we think that by leveraging AI we empower our employees and grow our impact on our customers and communities. In this endeavour we are partnering up with the well-known MIT to create foundational learning for everyone within the organisation and to get people certified. What we also think contributes to our attractiveness on the labour market is the talent programmes we are running to ensure the pipeline for the executive committee and the extended leadership team.

A very important aspect for Gen Z is having sense of purpose in everything they do, and since 1997, Vodafone has proven itself to be a trusted partner in building the Romania we all know today. Considering the diverse population we have in our shops, call centres, on the ground, and in the door-to-door teams, we need to be flexible with working schedules and appealing from the point of view of compensation and benefits. Gen Z also puts a lot of value on the workplace, and in this regard we have made investments in redesigning our offices in Timisoara and Cluj and remodelling our stores network. Last but not least, Gen Z pays attention to ethical behaviour and corporate integrity, and we have a clear Code of Conduct as we truly believe in an inclusive, safe, and respectful workplace for everyone.”

 

Gina Cruceru, Group HR Director, Rompetrol KMG International Group

  • Number of employees: >1,200
  • Programmes for employees: Knowledge Transfer, Trainings for Technical and Soft Skills, People Development
  • Leadership style: Grounded in care and respect

“Our commitment as an employer is illustrated by our Employee Value Proposition (EVP): “Together We Grow People.” We have gathered our projects and initiatives in four pillars of contribution, thus providing the framework for Rompetrol people to create communities based on their areas of interest, to motivate each other and build together, while growing the next generations of leaders and experts in the energy sector.

Excellence requires practice and perseverance, but equally important is the need to have role models in our industry. For us, these sources of inspiration are and will continue to be the Rompetrol people, our colleagues, representatives of all active generations on the labour market. We have learned that it is their stories that inspire and drive candidates to apply even for technical, niche roles. At Rompetrol, we promote a culture of learning and growth, with all generations actively involved in development initiatives.

We understand that the energy industry is constantly evolving and keeping abreast of the latest technical challenges requires a skilled and agile workforce. Our goal is to provide our employees with the expertise and flexibility to effectively respond to emerging challenges in the energy sector. Also, recognising the merits of current colleagues who get involved and are otherwise our brand ambassadors and mentors, as well as supporting partnerships with the academic environment are other ways of investing in human capital, which support and complement our other actions. The result is a culture which is oriented towards learning and adapting to the new challenges of the labour market. Together we are building a community, generation after generation.”

 

Cristina Mancas, SEE HR Vicepresident, Schneider Electric

  • Number of employees: about 300
  • Programmes for employees: personal and professional development, Open Talent Platform which enables employees to seek international careers within the organisation, WESOP -Schneider Electric’s Worldwide Employee Share Ownership Plan
  • Leadership style: participative

“2023 was a successful year for us and we were very proud to be awarded a Top Employer distinction in Romania, by a well-known online platform that collects candidates’ or employees’ candid opinions. It was a very rewarding result following several years of continuous efforts in recruitment, motivation, career development, and organisational culture. Now more than ever, with sustainability as our core business, we see that people rally around us and stay with us because they find that what they do in Schneider Electric really matters, really makes an IMPACT. As purpose is something all employees are looking to find in their jobs, we believe we will continue to be an employer to watch in 2024, because on top of a cool organisational culture and numerous career opportunities, we can offer our people purpose, as they truly create a positive impact in environment and society. At Schneider, we all believe IMPACT starts with us.

We are a specialised company. We look for well-trained professionals or people who are willing to learn on the job. But like I said, our business is sustainability. Therefore, it is easy for us to quickly demonstrate, even to the younger generations of employees, how important our contribution to the environment is, how dedicated we are to energy efficiency, how significant of an impact they can make. They respect that and they embrace our organisational values and objectives.”

 

Alina Podaru, Group Chief People Officer, Leviatan Group

  • Number of employees: 220
  • Programmes for employees: Benefit online, eLevUP, Leviatanul Calator, Ubiceiuri sanatoase, Organizatorul de ganduri, From Passion to Action/Open Your Heart for Hospice
  • Leadership style: a mix of democratic and transformational leadership

“Our company stands out as an employer to watch in 2024 and beyond due to our commitment to embracing cutting-edge technologies across all our workflows. We firmly believe in leveraging innovation to drive efficiency and effectiveness in everything we do.

Moreover, our unwavering focus on our people sets us apart. We prioritise the continuous development of our employees through special programmes and ongoing support, fostering a culture of growth and learning. We understand the importance of achieving a balance between one’s personal and professional life, and we actively promote initiatives that support this balance.

Overall, our dedication to technological advancement, combined with our emphasis on employee development and well-being, positions us as a forward-thinking employer in the long run. Our company maintains its status as a remarkable employer for both new generations of employees and existing ones through a multifaceted approach that prioritises sustainability in all its forms. We integrate sustainability into our projects as well as into our day-to-day operations, both in the office and on construction sites. By implementing sustainable solutions and practices, we not only contribute to a healthier environment but also create a more attractive workplace for current and future employees. Our people-centric approach ensures that we continuously invest in the development and well-being of our employees. We provide opportunities for growth, encourage innovation, and foster a culture of inclusivity and collaboration. By placing people at the centre of our actions, we actively contribute to the ongoing development of society, embodying a positive attitude and encouraging growth at every level of our organisation.”

 

Alina Gamauf, Executive Committee Board Member, Human Resources, CSR, Corporate Affairs & Property Director, Carrefour Romania

  • Number of employees: 17,000
  • Programmes for employees: Digital Retail Academy, School of Leaders, Women encourage Women, Including YOU!, etc.
  • Leadership style: based on a deeply people-oriented culture

“In the Carrefour World we all share the mission of promoting a stable, inclusive, and positive work environment through active involvement, open communication, and balance between professional and personal lives. The TOP Employer certification we received in 2023 and 2024 represents for us the best proof of the effectiveness of our human resources strategy. An important aspect of the Carrefour strategy, both globally and locally, is the fact that we offer equal opportunities to all people who apply for our roles. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, skills or experience, any candidate can find a suitable role on the Carrefour team. Our goal is to make all our colleagues feel understood, appreciated, and listened to. Our new employer branding campaign titled “Oameni suntem. Te intelegem!” speaks about the strengths identified by our colleagues and about the aspects that differentiate us and are appreciated by all members of the Carrefour World: flexibility, collaboration between team members, growth opportunities.

The continuous expansion of our store network and the variety of the roles are the reasons why Carrefour is a preferred employment option for a large number of candidates. This brings us great satisfaction and, at the same time, a great responsibility. The presence of different generations on our team determines us to always focus on creating optimal working conditions for both current and future generations. In a team as large as ours, which brings together members from different generations, communication plays an essential role. The recent integration of the Cora team into the Carrefour World has strengthened our belief that communication is key to building the sense of belonging and cohesion.”

 

Nevenca Doca, Senior HR Executive Director, Banca Transilvania

  • Number of employees: >10,000
  • Programmes for employees: Constructive leadership for managers;  re-skilling; up-skilling; health management and prevention; cancer prevention; mental health management
  • Leadership style: Constructive: encouraging a sense of achievement; affiliative; creating an environment for self-actualisation; caring for people.

“We are extremely happy and grateful that Banca Transilvania is The Most Attractive Employer in the Finance Sector according to the 2024 Randstad Employer Brand Report. Permanent care for all employees’ health and wellness, a constructive organisational culture, and managers who are trained to communicate efficiently, care for their colleagues, and contribute to their growth are among the distinctive criteria Banca Transilvania is appreciated for as an employer. We treasure our caring and performance-driven culture and we will continue to invest in developing these features which we internally call human banking. The need to be appreciated, listened to, and cared for is a universal and trans-generational need. If these needs are addressed well and consistently, they will create trust, commitment, and engagement from employees of all generations. We made it part of our strategy to do that years ago and we’ve never stopped. This strategy has helped Banca Transilvania navigate through rough times and thrive despite certain obstacles. We are also continuously investing in upgrading our colleagues’ skillsets. Our re-skilling and up-skilling programmes are strongly appreciated internally and admired and recognised externally, and have been for many years now. One such programme received the Gen Z Award granted to Banca Transilvania at the HR Club Annual Award Gala in 2020. Continuously investing in technology to enhance our colleagues’ performance and improve their employee experience is another highly appreciated and awarded initiative. Building trust, investing in our people, and caring for them are among the strong pillars of Banca Transilvania’s reputation of remarkable employer.”

 

Lacramioara Daraban, Head of HR, Continental Sibiu

  • Number of employees: 4,600
  • Programmes for employees: innovative learning & development; attractive career paths; reward and recognition; diversity, inclusion & belonging initiatives; employee engagement activities; complex Benefits Package
  • Leadership style: Transformational & Values-Based Leadership

“Our 20-year anniversary in 2024 strengthens our vision of making and sustainably keeping Continental Sibiu The Place To Be for people & business, now and in the future. But in order to really be “The Place To Be,” we must truly enact this manifesto on all levels and dimensions. If we were to summarise three reasons why Continental Sibiu stands out as an employer to watch in 2024 and beyond, they would be: the stability and resilience of a company like Continental; our agility and the entrepreneurial ways we are always reinventing ourselves; and the ownership and skill level of the #PeopleOfContinental. We are promoting a learning culture that empowers and supports each employee to develop in terms of both technical and personal skills and to choose the career path that suits them best. We are also investing in our future talents through strong partnerships with high schools and universities.

Over 300 students work at Continental Sibiu, within a paid internship programme with a flexible schedule. Most of these students decide to stay with us after graduation. Apart from opening our door for the ramp-up of their career, we also support their education by having over 40 Continental experts teaching in partner universities and by working closely with over 50 Continental Ambassadors. But while they are learning from us, we are also learning a lot from the new generations. Courage, creativity, the search for purpose, innovative learning methods, and tech-savviness are just a few of the traits we notice and value among our younger colleagues.”

 

Monica Mardare, HR Director, Luxoft Professional Romania

  • Number of employees: 2,400
  • Programmes for employees: professional and personal growth programs, recognition and evaluation, professional networking, mental and physical well-being activities, diversity and inclusion programs, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs
  • Leadership style: approachable and coaching

“We believe that what sets Luxoft apart as an employer to watch is our commitment to employee growth and stability. We understand that every person has their own dreams and goals, and we’re here to help them on that journey. Luxoft’s biggest strength is its people and we’re committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that resonates with both new and existing employees. From the moment you join Luxoft, you’re part of a diverse community that values every voice. We’re big on open communication and teamwork because we believe it’s essential for creating a place where everyone feels heard and belongs. Another thing that helps us stand out is the variety of our projects. We cover almost everything from automotive, telecom, and retail to banking and capital markets, which means there’s always something new to learn and exciting challenges to tackle. This variety keeps our days interesting and ensures that everyone has the chance to work on something that excites them.

Another important thing is that we take employee feedback seriously. After all, our people know best what makes Luxoft a great place to work and what needs to be improved. By listening and adapting, we keep improving and making sure our community is where everyone wants it to be. It’s not just about the work, it’s about building lasting connections¬—that’s what makes us more than just a workplace. We’re a place where you can grow, belong, and make a difference, in your career and in the wider world.”

 

This story was featured as the Main Story of Business Review Magazine’s June 2024 edition.

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Mihai-Alexandru Cristea | 06/06/2024 | 16:28
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