Started in 2020 and updated in 2021, the #HRSpotlight interview series enters its third era receiving another revamp for 2022. Together with the best HR professionals in Romania, Business Review will keep exploring the #futureofwork and to find out how leading companies have balanced out all the challenges of recent years, creating strong employer brands and great working environments for their employees. For the latest installment, we sat down with Monica Daliu, Regional Head of People Development and Recruitment – Central Europe at Endava.
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?
Since the pandemic started, we had strong focus towards a more global and virtual approach of teams, projects and processes. If in 2020 the major goal was to ensure a lean transition of all the HR functions into a fully online setup, in 2021 we explored more the benefits and prospects that such a setup can provide. We fully adopted the hybrid way of working not only in response to the current pandemic context, but especially because Endavans said that they would like to have more flexibility and be able to work either from home or from the office.
Being a people-centric company, the evolution and wellbeing of our staff remained a priority for Endava. We continued to ensure the growth and development of our people and also focused on attracting new talents.
Endavans are encouraged to take part in learning and development programs, both professionally and personally, delivered inside the company by their colleagues or by external trainers. We also developed an internal online platform, which covers a high number of courses. We encourage people to become part of our internal technical communities, groups designed to deepen and exchange information, and also support them to share their knowledge with each other through regular Pass-it-Ons that they are organizing.
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?
In Endava, we are continuing our Wellbeing program which offers people masterclasses that focus on managing emotions, meditation, building positive relationships with those around them, and so on. We recently introduced in the medical subscription we are offering a new benefit – „Therapist on Duty” – a 24/7 support Help Line provided by certified specialists, trained on the latest strategies and methodologies in mental health quick interventions.
More than that, we have among us many Endavans passionate about psychology and personal development that are willing to share from their knowledge and tips with the others. I am grateful to have such people in our teams and I think this kind of knowledge exchange is positively contributing to the wellness of our people.
As for the leaders in an organization, I think that leading by example is really important – when it comes to overtime, taking time off, promoting a truly flexible work environment. Also, trusting and empowering their teams to self-organize in order to balance delivering results and effort. One small example of what I personally did in my team is blocking everyone’s calendar on the last Friday of the month and „declared” it a no meetings day.
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?
The future of work at Endava is a hybrid of both working remotely and together in the office, enabling flexibility and choice over how we do our best work every day.
The last 2 years proved that we could remain productive and true to our company values while working from home. According to an internal survey conducted by Endava, 75% of those interviewed said they prefer to continue working from home at this moment, and 47% said they would like to continue to have the option to work both from home and from the office. The company opted for the hybrid working model because remote work offers employees flexibility, and office-based work ensures much-needed in-person collaboration and coming together as a team for project activities such as the Agile ceremonies.
In terms of Employee Engagement, we are also looking into accommodating both worlds by organizing hybrid events, adopting new internal communication channels, creating opportunities for our people to join internal activities offline and online.
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?
We care about contributing to the societies we are part of and, more broadly, to the Technology and Services industry. We concentrate our community and fundraising activities where we can have the greatest impact in the areas of Education, Health, and the Environment. Our people volunteer their time and expertise to local causes, bringing our values to life in practical ways.
I am really proud and grateful to witness the generosity of our people on so many occasions. Besides our junior internships programs, we are constantly partnering with different NGOs on a number of social causes and it’s a joy to see how many Endavans and jumping in to help or contribute.
Summing up the previous questions and adding own insights which might not have been covered so far, what are the most important trend that HR leaders will focus on in 2022 (and beyond)?
I think 2022 will be the year HR adds value to the transformation it has witnessed in the recent past. – going beyond “functional excellence” and leaning into the digital transformation, mental health and employee wellbeing, people analytics, and workplace flexibility, to keep staff on board. In the context of “The Great resignation” era, attracting and retaining talent will be the hot commodity in 2022.
Also, I would add here that flexible learning and development will be one of the top HR trends leaders should act on quickly. Employees need to be able to reskill, upskill, and develop new skills where and when it’s most convenient for them.