Another episode of the #HRSpotlight Interview Series sees us talking once again with one of the speakers of BR’s recent Working Romania HR Conference, Adrian Dincă, HR Director EMEA at Vertiv. For him the most important thing over the past year was to keep his team safe and healthy. “Working from home comes with different challenges and can damage employees mental wellbeing and resilience,” said Adrian Dincă, at Business Review’s #futureofwork – Working Romania HR Conference.
2020 Overview: the most important actions and programs in your organization?
Keeping the team safe and healthy was our no. 1 priority. We moved all our employees who could work from home to remote work the day after the government recommended this and we focused not only on their physical health, but also on their mental wellbeing and resilience. Working from home is not easy and is not for everyone, therefore it was essential to take time and train everyone on how to prepare for it. One way to do this was by organizing trainings on remote work and mental health – an initiative that was very well received by everyone.
Training and personal development programs have deep roots in Vertiv, so it was more of a readjustment process: we had to find new ways to make it work remotely. Therefore, we focused on helping our employees connect more often, feel empowered and have their voice heard. Luckily, there were so many digital tools already available – such as Microsoft Teams, Digital Whiteboards and other virtual design thinking tools. Now, looking back, we can truly say we have succeeded!
Keeping an eye on the future, with so much change and uncertainty on the horizon, how is your organization now to accelerate the 2021 changes?
Vertiv designs, builds and services mission critical technologies so we are at the forefront of the changes that our world is experiencing. To achieve this, we follow Richard Branson’s mantra, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your company” and we are lucky to have an Executive Chairman, David Cote, with deep experience in successfully managing companies through uncertainty. Our work in HR has never been more important, whether it’s focusing on Health and Safety or supporting our leaders with Organizational Development work.
Which will be from your perspective, the 2021 top 3 most important trends that HR leaders will follow?
1. Learning how to build a strong company culture and engagement while working remotely. It doesn’t look like we will back in the office this year and, even when we will be back, most likely we will follow a hybrid model – so we need to be fantastic at it.
2. Challenge our workforce model. Do we really need to hire all our employees in the same location? Can we hire them remotely and bring them to office occasionally? What is the best talent strategy in this model?
3. Unlearn old habits (such as the 100-year-old practice of Monday-Friday, 40 hours workweek). Companies didn’t believe in remote work earlier, but now it seems to be working fine. This is an opportunity for organizations to test new practices (flexible time, 4 days-workweek, sabbatical etc.)
How will your organization adapt to the future normal, shaping the future workforce and keeping the engagement?
We don’t know what the future normal will be. Many companies believe it will be hybrid work, but it’s unclear if this will work and how.
Vertiv already adapted to remote work and our teams show both great productivity levels in the reports and high engagement (as shown in our last Engagement Survey). We continue to pay close attention to our employees and their needs, whether it’s the need for connection (we organize various activities), wellbeing (we are offering to our employees a 12-session Mindfulness program – with fantastic feedback) or better understanding the drivers for productivity.
The recent changes have proven a fantastic opportunity to support our business with Organizational Development work and bring similar teams under a commonly agreed ways of working, to challenge our organizational structures and find better, more efficient ones by co-creation. We have been piloting many new ideas, new ways of hiring, growing and promoting, new Compensation & Benefits strategies, so we are excited to see what’s next.