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Civil Work & HR

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Written by: Rana Khaled Awwad

Edited by: Yara Mohamed

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”

Edgar Allan Poe

When I was a teenager in high school, I used to think that life is all about education followed by work, with no transitional phase; phases, you get you get your “academic” degree from school, then this knowledge is sufficient to qualify you for practical life. Afterwards, I figured that it is a misconception and, unfortunately, also a fatal illusion.

In high school, there were a lot of extracurricular activities; and in order to raise my GPA, I had to join at least two of them. I was an academically advanced student, so I did not have any aspirations to lower my GPA due to my lack of interest in these extracurricular activities, so I found no other option than to join these activities. I did join the Broadcast team for one year. Through this year, I learned what public speaking means; what presentation skills are; and how it feels like to talk confidently in front of an enormous number of people of different ages. This was something I never gained from attending academic classes, and my academic progress did not fill me with these simple, essential skills. I realized how important and essential these skills are: What is the benefit of knowledge if I do not know how to articulate it and pass it on to other people, which simply requires powerful presentation and communication skills. The year after, I became the leader of a team and trained a lot of students from lower grades. Ever since, I became more passionate about volunteering even after school, that’s how I found my way into civil work.

Based on my perspective and experience, civil work is greatly related to practical life; it seems like a simulation for the professional life you are going to have one day after you graduate. I came to join different positions in the HR Committee. However, people at civil work – and any other field – have a false, negative impression about the role of HR: The HR member is portrayed as the one who observes people’s behaviors to write a report at the end of the day, takes notes about their attitudes, and is usually poker-faced. And yes, the HR member is the one who takes notes, but for your own benefit, so you could know your points of strength and be provided with more opportunities to use them. They also focus on your points of weakness to develop them into powerful and advanced tools, so that they would not become obstacles in the future. Moreover, it is just PART of the committee’s job description to take notes to and from participants and staff members to ease communication and help deliver feedback from different angles, which is called the 360 degree feedback. And this system is more commonly known in companies as “performance appraisal”. When the HR are done with their feedbacks and observations, the “Training and Development” part comes into play.  How is it possible to aid to the development of someone without knowing him or her in the first place?

After the HR receive the feedback from participants of staff members and vice versa, both participants and staff members become aware of their points of strength and weakness. Besides, staff members will be more aware of which points specifically need to be developed in each participant. The benefit of civil work is that you are driven by values—you never ask for money or any financial exchange for what you achieve, as they are value-centered: a participant joins specific projects because he or she is truly eager to develop, and the staff member joins them to train and help develop other people without waiting for anything in return but the progress of development. I have a friend at college who suffers greatly when it comes to presentations or any activity that requires public speaking skills and teamwork because she has never joined any civil work where she could develop these skills.

But why do people volunteer in the first place?

Stephan Covey wrote in his best-selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that what justifies most of our actions is that they are value-centered. When you ask yourself about your objective, you start doing what feels right spontaneously. If you are a natural leader; if you aspire to lead and train people for the sake of the “value”, you will find your way to civil work. Covey also illustrated in his book the method that helps you identify your values: write a mission statement and ask yourself: if you are dead and different people who know you well – a close friend, friend, husband/wife, children, boss, and colleague – are at your funeral, what would you like them to say about you? That should be your objective in different aspects of your life. Besides, your achievements as a volunteer play a great role in your life, because it brings positivity to influence other people.

In the civil work field, you widen your scope not only about professional life, but also about yourself: it helps you identify your passion, skills, and personality, and develop them. That is the transitional phase between education and practical life, where you get all the required professional development and become ready to face practical life; not to be qualified, but to be unique in whichever place you aspire to be; to leave your own fingerprint. Do not aspire to getting a job afterwards, but to succeed in whatever field you choose. How could you do that when you are like a blank page – not devoid of experiences – but of passion. And that is the difference between civil work and practical work; in professional life, you are asked about your previous experiences; in civil work, you are asked, “Are you eager to join us?”

If yes, if you have a desire to learn and explore yourself, it is the place for you.

You have everything and all the tools that qualify you to be where you want. There’s a quote from the movie Sucker Punch that is strongly related to the point I want to deliver:

You have all your weapons, now fight!

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Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – where balance, resilience and authenticity break the Mental Health Stigma

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Written by: Cinzia Nitti

Globally, 2020 has been a year like no other. Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive business disruption; transformation has been key in supporting employees and catalyzing workplace changes. There was a rush to adapt and reinvent Business Models. Organizations had to rethink and reconsider how they deliver services and strengthen their Organizations through a forward-thinking Digital strategy. To be more agile and responsive in such uncertain times, we need to respond to challenges and adapt quickly to new scenarios by moving from rigid hierarchies to leaner and more flexible structures.

But what about Mental Health at Work, and why is it essential?

What’s the Office of the Future?

Within the Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021, HR Leaders tried to normalize the conversation about Mental Health by putting the topic first, enabling self-care and professional support, raising awareness, and building knowledge around its related issues. Nowadays, personal and work life are more intertwined than ever, so it becomes vital to create balance: the more employees feel free to talk about Mental Health, the more they can prevent struggle and breakout at the Workplace. HR leaders play a crucial role in making an IMPACT by pushing new solutions, promoting work-life balance, redesign workloads, and supporting their Teams.

In this general frame, Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader at EY) affirmed: “Workplaces that are inclusive foster enhanced employee wellbeing; employees with high levels of wellbeing are more inclusive”. How can Organizations increase employees’ resilience and embed sustainable Leadership behaviors in the post-covid reality?

Dr. Irada Aghamaliyeva introduced the Mindfulness practice in the Workplace and highlighted its benefits on a large scale: improved wellbeing and resilience on a physical level; positive emotions, self-regulation, empathy and awareness of social dynamics; learning and innovation thanks to the implementation of flexible thinking, intuition and problem-solving processes. So breaking the stigma is possible, starting from personal wellbeing to sustain positive energy and fuel resilience.

About the Power of Empathetic and Authentic Leadership, Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury (EVP & Chief Human Resources Officers at Datamatics Global Services) stresses the importance of Leadership roles today. The virtual environment employees are working in, makes them more vulnerable due to a lack of balance between emotional and authenticity traits. Authenticity is the primary factor in effective leadership, regardless of the leadership style. Putting employees first as a strategic priority and hearing their voices to guide strategy; embracing agility to work more effectively in tumultuous time; including a multigenerational work-force: these are the key concepts within Dr. Rima’s motto “Empowering is to enable”. Through motivation and filling emotional support needs, the Empowering Teams Process leads to employees’ safety, esteem, and self-actualization. 

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. To know more about the FOW Future of Work Insights platform around the world, click here: https://fowinsights.com/

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The Wellbeing @ Work virtual Summit Middle East returns for its 5th annual event on 22-24 February 2021

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The summit provides an innovative and experiential virtual learning opportunity for our audience of CEOs, benefit and reward business leaders and senior HR professionals. The information and knowledge gained from attending this event allow the opportunity to make strategic wellbeing and mental health decisions within an organization, supporting our mission to create more flourishing and thriving workplaces. Never before has the mental health and wellbeing of your employees been so important. The Wellbeing @ Work Summit includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and fireside chats alongside unrivaled networking with leaders across the Middle East using our AI-enabled matchmaking platform. This is far more than a webinar! An engaging 3-day event providing you invaluable insight and tools to create thriving workplaces.

Key Reasons to Attend:

  • An engaging AI-enabled matchmaking platform to make invaluable connections & host virtual meetings up to 2 weeks before the three-day festival
  • Learn how multinational organizations are creating workplaces where employees thrive in the new world
  • Campfire panel discussions informing workplace change & mental health solutions
  • Middle East-based employer case studies providing the secrets to employee wellbeing success
  • International experts bringing best-practice from across the globe
  • Invaluable networking with business leaders from across the Middle East

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit delivers strategic direction, advice and inspiration from employers and experts from across the world to help you create a more compassionate corporate culture that delivers results. The design and implementation of a holistic wellbeing and mental health programme that delivers healthy outcomes and a more productive organization is paramount right now. 

In addition, the results of the extensive Middle East region-wide survey on wellbeing and mental fitness in organizations across the region made in partnership with Cognomie will be presented during the event.

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

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DECODING FUTURE HR: Today’s challenges are tomorrow’s trends and opportunities

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

www.decodinghrevent.com

The world in 2020 has changed to a ‘new normality’ but what’s that ‘new normality’ everybody talks about? Is it here to stay? How is it affecting us in our daily lives in the different versions of ourselves? As a customer, an entrepreneur, a parent, a friend…a worker…

Our job is a key part of our lives and we are indeed living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and other HR challenges. It has become clear that few organisations are likely to revert to pre-pandemic practices even after a vaccine is found.

Decoding Future HR 2021 is bringing you the ideology of how today’s challenges are becoming tomorrow’s trends and opportunities resulting in HR excellence.

Why you should attend:

  • Learn about the trends and best practices shaping future HR
  • Get valuable insights from expert speakers
  • Share ideas and research to help your organisation reach its goals
  • Understand what do employees want in ‘New Normal’
  • Develop new vision for HRBP and Centre of Expertise
  • Identify, integrate and understand stakeholders to create an intentional employee experience
  • Approaches and elements to leadership development.

Some of our confirmed speakers:

  • Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi , Human Resources Director, The HEINEKEN Company
  • Sarah Tabet, Global HR Director/ D&I Leader | Author for “Inclusion Starts with U”, Schneider Electric
  • Wadah Al Turki, Country Talent Manager KSA and Bahrain, IKEA
  • Lesha Chakraborti, Head of HR – EMEA, Travelex
  • Shaban Butt, Director HR & Administration, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Sajjad Parmar, Head of Rewards – APAC, eBay
  • Katey Howard, VP, Talent Management AMESA, Pepsico
  • Chen Fong Tuan, HR & General Affairs Director, Samsung Electronics
  • Prerna Ajmera, Senior Director, HR Experiences and Solutions, Microsoft
  • Václav Koranda, Vice President Human Resources / Member of the Board of Directors, T-System
  • Amy MacGregor, VP Employee Experience, Global HR, Manulife
  • Adwait Kashalkar, People Analytics and Programme Management Leader, APAC, Mastercard

Click here to view all speakers: www.decodinghrevent.com/speakers

At Wisdom we remain positive that ‘normality’ will soon return and that we will be able to physically meet together once again as speakers, delegates and sponsors at our beautiful venues around the world. But meanwhile, life continues and we need to keep in touch and learn from each other. This 24-hour virtual event will be of great benefit and value to your businesses and its continued development during these challenging times. While this virtual event comes at a lesser cost, it provides for now a wider reach into an international audience, with flexibility of access to content as well as allowing you to have the same opportunity as at a face-to-face session for one-to-one business meetings. We look forward to welcoming you in January.

Date and time: 19-20 January 2021Where: Virtual engaging platform
  Further information and bookings: www.decodinghrevent.com        Contact:
marketing@wisdom.events   #WSDM_BI
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