A speaker in the All-Star | Employer Branding panel at BR’s recent Working Romania conference, Doina Filip, Head of Reward & HR Budget at Orange Romania, sat down with us after the event for another exclusive #HRSpotlight interview. Read below her answers to the 5 questions of the #HRSpotlight2022 series!
- Starting with a bit of background, how was 2021 from an HR perspective and what were the most important actions and programs you undertook for your employees?
2021 was the second year that challenged us to become stronger and more creative, to listen more and find new ways to bring colleagues closer to each other. Nevertheless, 2021 was the year that marked the acquisition of Orange Romania Communications, formerly known as Telekom Romania Communications, and, since October 1st, 2021, we started a new journey that is focused towards becoming the #1 team & the #1 customer choice for convergent services in Romania. A cultural alignment journey lays ahead of us and we have already made our first steps towards it. In 2021 we launched a Well-being & Recognition mobile-friendly platform for our colleagues that gathers over 500 online well-being resources, valuable workshops, live sport sessions, emotional support services, challenges, peer-to-peer recognition module and a community.
In 2021 we celebrated over 600 colleagues during the first Recognition Gala, and we decided to create an entire ecosystem for Well-being and Recognition since they are so strongly related.
- Employee wellbeing is no longer seen as a benefit, so how can employers and HR leaders take this concept to new heights and get more involved in the personal wellness of their people?
At Orange, for the last couple of years, well-being is more than ensuring on site food treats or chair massage. After two years of continuously supporting the mental and physical health of our employees with valuable online programs in the Covid context, last year we took well-being to a whole new level. We discovered that recognition and well-being are intrinsically related and can coexist in the same ecosystem. Recognition nurtures happiness and increases the level of serotonin, the hormone that regulates the activity of cells that are responsible for our mood, memory, social behaviour, performance and focus.
In July 2021 we had the first Recognition Gala for our employees, a hybrid event that gathered over 1000 colleagues online. We have put on the spotlight over 600 colleagues that were nominated for their outstanding contribution in key projects and we had connected online with almost 100 colleagues that were winners at each category. Our strategy reached a new milestone in September 2021, when we offered a new well-being & recognition platform that came as a response to the needs of colleagues to find all the resources, live sports classes and workshops available in an intuitive, easy-to-access platform both on desktop and smartphone.
All available resources, articles or videos, have been grouped into 7 pillars designed to cover all their needs: emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental and financial. We offered our colleagues a community and challenges designed to support an active lifestyle. For instance, besides the active lifestyle that we promote, the last challenge was focused on supporting a planting action that Orange Romania will sustain after reaching 20 million of steps made by 100 colleagues during 20 days.
Our main focus, starting 2022, is to support the cultural alignment between Orange and Orange Romania Communications. We have different backgrounds and different work styles, but we discovered that there are so many similarities between us, as humans, as colleagues. The second Recognition Gala, on March 4th, was dedicated to having the spotlight on colleagues from both organisations, based on our Cheers from Peers recognition module.
This peer-to-peer recognition module, launched both for Orange and Orange Romania Communications, gave our colleagues the opportunity to offer “recognition” at all times, whenever they feel the need to appreciate another colleague for their efforts and extraordinary results. We are proud to say that in less than 3 months from the launching day there were over 12,000 badges and „Thank you” messages sent on both platforms.
- We can’t talk about the #futureofwork without talking about the future workplace. Is it going to be back to office or WFH? How does WFH impact HR activities?
I think the #futureofwork means to be flexible, to accept the new way in which the people perceive the “place of work”. In Orange Romania, a hybrid model was applied and the set-up was a result of two vectors: what do people really need? And what does a business really need?
As an agile company, we have reshaped & adapt all the HR processes to the “new reality” being convinced about the impact of pandemic on people life and habits. From HR perspective, there were no significant impacts, but, for example, the on-boarding process for new employees can come with challenges for both employees & managers. However, it could be mitigated by modelling the people rotation on site.
- Recent studies show that many employees expect their employer and business in general, to be a force for good in society. How involved are your employees in your CSR and Sustainability programs and what are you doing to increase this involvement?
For us, at Orange, getting involved in contouring a more responsible future for the communities we are part of is not optional. Both our company and Orange Foundation invest resources and knowledge to make sure they contribute as much as possible to reducing the digital gap in Romania, as well as in building a more eco-responsible lifestyle for present and future generations. Moreover, for two years now, social responsibility is part of our strategic plan, as we focus on creating a culture of sustainability with the help of specialists whose jobs have an impact on CSR. It’s what we call CSR by design.
All of our company`s initiatives are possible, of course, due to our extremely passioned and involved employees. They are always willing to help and be part of the greater good and us, as an employer, support them as much as possible – by offering them days off for volunteer activities, or organizing internal communication campaigns through which we invite colleagues to participate in specific volunteer actions.
Social responsibility involves joint efforts, therefore in 2013 we launched, through the Orange Romania Foundation, the “Support an NGO” program, which allowed our employees to team up with an NGO and obtain funds for a social responsibility project they would implement and manage. Up until 2021, approximately 50 of our colleagues` projects were financed with over 250,000 euros.
- Summing up the previous questions and adding your own insights which might not have been covered so far, what are the most important trends that HR leaders will focus on in 2022 (and beyond)?
We are facing an unprecedented situation marked by both pandemic and Ukraine crisis. And specifically, for Orange Romania, we are working on huge transition, and here I’m referring to the new entity in our perimeter – Orange Romania Communications. This means that we have to adapt and innovate again. First priority remains people. And here, our main pillars are: cultural alignment, people development (including reskilling & upskilling), well-being & recognition as an integrated ecosystem, and new ways of working (monitor and open to adapt if necessary). Moreover, as the HR domain, in general, is in a continuous process of transformation, the HR leader should be a stronger business partner, who understands the business needs and puts on Top Management’s table a set of data & analytics, that, together with people, are key elements for success.