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HR Leaders Conference 2016, Egypt ~ Day 1





“If you have not attended the event, you will know what it was exactly about, and you will learn a lot. If you were from the ones who made it, this will be a comprehensive documentation to all that you have experienced on that day.”


It is said that Egypt is the future land of opportunities and investments, and gradually the world’s interest moves towards Egypt. First as a source of history and tourism, then as a source of politics and contemporary art, and recently as human capital.

HR Leaders Egypt Conference & Expo – one of several annual conferences organized by informa mainly in Dubai – has chosen to be exhibited in Egypt 2016 for the first time ever, in cooperation with JOBMASTER Human Capital Solution – a Leading organization in the vast field of Human Resources. One of the main aims of the conference was to gather the Egyptian HR Leaders towards a future vision of a better HR in the Middle-East.

The prestigious speakers who currently hold powerful positions, were very well selected based on their biography as well, and the positions they held before. This reflected how deep their experiences are, and how each spoken word was backed up by powerful estimations, examples, and reasonable debates.

The wave this year was fiercely focusing on the impact of HR business partners, employee engagement, using technology creatively to develop a smarter HR, and retaining employees.

The following article will lead you towards the semi-detailed points tackled by each speaker. If you have not attended the event, you will know what it was exactly about, and you will learn a lot. This article will be your reference in many of your upcoming plans. If you were from the ones who made it to the event this will be a comprehensive documentation and revision to all that you have experienced on that day.



Ms. Sandrine Bardo leads the conference

The organizers have carefully chosen a very unique person to lead the conference, this person was Sandrine Bardot – an international HR consultant, trainer, speaker and a blogger with over 200 published articles.

She started her speech by welcoming the prestigious audience, speaking about the important and impact of this event, and introducing the speeches.

The first speech was led by the outstanding Rania Salah – Head of People Capability in Vodafone. The title of her speech was “How can Career Development Strategies Effectively Retrain top Talent?


Ms. Rania Salah – Head of People Capability in Vodafone

Rania spoke about the importance of appreciating the employee and how this appreciation can mean the world to some workers. Quoting from her, “When appreciating your employee, be sure that he/her will work more than expected.” But appreciation has a deeper impact than that, a long-term one, Rania emphasizes, “When you provide your employees with a clear and developed career path, they will refuse the job offers they receive from other organizations.”

After the speech there was a very interesting “Leaders Pannel” that was under the title of: “The Role of Human Resources in Egypt’s Economic Development”.

The panel consisted of three leaders; Tamer Zikry, Nora Iskandar and Hisham El Badawy.


The “Leaders Pannel” consisted of Tamer Zikry, Nora Iskander and Hisham El Badawy

The three panel members discussed very important issues like “What does the CEO need from the HR?” One of the answers to this question was that CEOs usually think more about the results, especially the financial results. On the other hand, the role of the HR should be reminding the CEO that people’s development, satisfaction and motivation are needed in order to achieve these financial targets.

Another thing that was tackled through this panel was about the future challenges and opportunities for human capital in Egypt. One of the panel members highlighted that leaders exist within each company but they are not mainly existing in the most suitable place in the company.

The second speech was led by a very special speaker who had an influential fingerprint on the audience. Not only that, after his speck many of the following speaking were quoting from him in their own speeches. This speaker is Brad Boyson – Executive Director, SHRM. His speech was entitled “The Role of Human Capital in Creating Business Value in Egypt”.


Mr. Brad Boyson – Executive Director, SHRM

Brad spoke about the importance of HR as being part of the external community and society. He also spoke about the impact of having different HR communities and clubs in Egypt (which is something that already exists and that just started to boom in the past year). He referred to this as “networking opportunities” and shared with the audience a chapter written by him entitled “Global HR Economics”.

Moreover Brad shared a very interesting piece from his own library, a book written in 1964 by Gary S. Becker Human Capital” and how the author tackled this issue in such a very early era. He recommended the book, and that it would be a very interesting source of knowledge especially when comparing it to the changes that really happened. He focused on analyzing a certain issue, that the “Value of Human productivity is becoming less physical and more intangible.” He spoke about Facebook as the third largest country, and the huge content of pictures, ideas, words, and businesses, that are all outsourced!

Brad spoke about some problems that not only face HR in Egypt in specific, but they do face other countries as well. He said, “The problem with HR is that they talk a lot, but little changes.” Another vital problem he highlighted, “Credibility has a wrong approach that we should change: How much your boss likes you, reflects how much credible you are!”

The third speech was an international case study “Line Managers: The Lynchpins of Outstanding Engagement Success” that was led by Sandhya Nagee – Director, Talent & Development at MENA, Russia / CIS, SSA Thomson Reuters.


Ms. Sandhya Nagee – Director, Talent & Development at MENA, Russia / CIS, SSA Thomson Reuters

Her rich speech was about people development, and how important it is to develop a good corporate culture, and that this culture will “bring the corporate strategy to life”. Sandhya also spoke about the importance of role modeling in managers, and she then director her speech towards noticing the importance of each individual in the organization. Sandhya assured that “The Middle-East is an emerging market, it is becoming the center of attention.”

The forth speech contained a very interesting approach. It was led by Emad Nasr – HR Director of Lecico Egypt & the CEO of AHRA (Alexandria Human Resources Association). At the beginning of his speech he described the qualities and strengths of the cheetah, and from here he spoke about the title of his speech “Developing Agile Human Capital Strategies in the Times of Change”.


Mr. Emad Nasr – HR Director of Lecico Egypt & the CEO of AHRA

Emad highlighted these qualities in the cheetah; speed, direction and efficiency, and how the cheetah reacts immediately according to the circumstances. All this defines the meaning of “agility” which was the main theme of the speech. Emad described how these qualities can be acquired by organizations. As an example he forecasted the changes in the Egyptian business environment after the revolution. He also explain how the rapid organizations were able to get advantages out of the unstable environment at that time.

Emad dedicated a noticeable time of his speech highlighting the problems facing Egyptian companies. He said that there is a “low level of employee loyalty” and that the management does not “have a plan B” as long as everything is going as they want it to be. They wait for the problems then react. Emad also spoke out of his own experience about the common mistakes in companies. One of the major things he stressed on was “ignoring small problems” that manager leave small problems until they grow, then they start dealing with them. Adding to this, Emad spoke about the “importance of having ideas from young employees, and giving them more weight because they think different”. It is true as Emad depends on the youth in his own organizations, and he crowned the speech by stating that “Young employees are the future, not the old ones”.

After the break Nora Iskandar – Talent Director; Africa & Middle-East, Groupe Danone – led the fifth speech that was entitled: “Making the Leap: From HR Administration to HR Strategy”.


Ms. Nora Iskander – Talent Director; Africa & Middle-East, Groupe Danone

She spoke about career development and how in such an era anyone can learn anything, specialize in it, and become a professional. Many people are not working in the career that was drawn to them when they were university students. “You can learn anything,” said Nora, giving power to the learner and to the audience, and highlighting that same as education and self-learning is becoming a choice, careers are too, and HRs should be aware of this fact in the recruitment, training and other HR functions.

The sixth speech was “not” from a person with an HR degree, yet it was from an IT expert from the Netherlands. This person is Guido Helmerhorst – Innovation Technology and Learning Lead, Air France KLM. His speech was entitled: “Making it Stick: Gamification Strategies within the HR Domain of a Corporate”. Our IT person here has added a lot to the HR in his own organization, and now he is spreading it worldwide.


Mr. Guido Helmerhorst – Innovation Technology and Learning Lead, Air France, KLM

Guido started his speech by explaining the “Attract, Retain and Develop” concept that should be applied with employees. He then show the audience several pictures of people’s faced who seemed entirely excited and focused. These shots were of people in the middle of a video game. He said to the audience, “Do you see how engaged these people are? This is what we want our employees to be like.” He then re-explained the “Attract, Retain and Develop” from another perspective, stating that this is how a videogame is like, and this is how it does to the gamers. Guido explained that there are two types of people in the work place, those who “work & play” and those who believe that “work = play” and this depends on how the organization culture is designed. He also asked the audience, “What makes a game interesting?” then he explained that each game has certain rules, and depending on the rules the game would sound interesting or not.

Moreover, Guido showed examples of how games can be involved in training the employees, and that some games are even used as a recruitment tool.

Speech number seven tackled a superb theme: “People Leave Managers, Not Companies – The Manager’s Role in Engagement and Retention Strategy”. This speech was led by Mohamed Hany – Human Resources Manager, Egypt & North Africa, DuPont.


Mr. Mohamed Hany – Human Resources Manager, Egypt & North Africa, DuPont

“What is the difference between Rational & Emotional engagement?” asked Mohamed. He explained that most employees are engaged because of the salary, benefits and other utilities, this is the rational engagement. Other employees feel that work is their home, and their boss is their mentor, these are the ones who are emotionally engaged. It’s all about the “commitment between the employer and employee” and then work becomes “something they love and believe in”. Mohamed gave several examples and empowered them by adding a new bullet in every manager’s job description, “My job as a manager is to make my employees emotionally committed.”

Mohamed explained the impact of having a disengaged working environment. He said that the disengaged type X employees will remain in the organization, while in the same disengaging environment the type Y employees with high potentials will quit.

Last but not least, Mohamed closed his speech by a sentence of wisdom, “Know your employees inside out.”

The eighth speech was a Dual Presentation held by HR Leaders Karim Hamdy & Tamer Zikry. Their speech was entitled: “Identifying, Attracting, Engaging and Developing High Potentials”.


Mr. Karim Hamdy – Corporate OD Director, Ezz Steel

Karim Hamdy – Corporate OD Director, Ezz Steel – spoke about employee retention, and how retaining an employee is much more effective than hiring a new one, unlike what happens in the employment market. The employer does not invest much in retention yet invests more in job ads, and when we speak about investment here it’s not only financial investment but mental and strategic investment.


Mr. Tamer Zikry – Head of HR for Middle-East Operations, Ericsson

On the other hand, Tamer Zikry – Head of HR for Middle-East Operations, Ericsson – spoke about building talent. He used his company as a case-study and a proof for the models and methods he explained in his presentation. He spoke about the changes Ericsson has done in contrast with the aggressive business environment and external changes. Tamer shared a very exciting method that was applied in his organization, this was the “young advisory board” that is created with different members each time to advice and perhaps coach the other employees and departments. Moreover, Tamer explained in details “ways to developing the entire leadership pipeline”.

The last speech of the day was led by Wael Mousa – Talent Management & HR Transformation Director, Eli Lilly and Company. His speech was entitled: “Understanding Why Talent Management Initiatives Can Fail”.


Mr. Wael Mousa – Talent Management & HR Transformation Director, Eli Lilly and Company

Wael spoke about key elements for developing employees, yet his approach and theory were totally different and realistic. He said, “Some organizations are very good in developing leaders, but are not so good in retaining them.” This is a dilemma that face a lot of organizations that HRs work on developing people, then these people leave in the end! However, Wael had the simple answer, “No suitable promotions for the developed people,” Organizations work on developing their employees without stating a clear career path for them and a job title that suits their development. In the end, Wael ended his speech and crowned the day by sharing the “10 Steps for Implementing Change”.

The event gathered many prestigious guests, one of them, which is considered one of the most important HR people in Egypt, Mohamed Rifaat Khattab – General Secretary and one of the founding members of the Egyptian Human Resource Management Association (EHRMA). He explained, “I have attended several national and international HR events. HR Leaders was one of the most powerful ones I have attended in Egypt. You are able to measure the success of an event through the audience attending and I see myself surrounded by many HR professionals. I am proud that HR in Egypt is moving forward.”


Dr. Enas Elkhatib

The event was empowered by two professional interpreters who worked on translating the speeches according to the speakers and the audience. Dr. Enas Elkhatib does not only convert the words, she first understands the content of each sentence as she translates. This means she is totally focused on the language and vocabulary on one hand, and on the other hand she is focused on the knowledge and content of these words. From an interpreter’s perspective Dr. Enas has her own analysis on the event, “I enjoyed the diversity of speeches in the event, and the speakers tackled human resources issues in a very skilled way. They did not only focus on theoretical aspects, but their theories were all down to earth, and relevant to each manager and employee. Through their speeches they highlighted many dilemmas that were of a sort of interest to the guests, and thus covered many question marks that revolved around each. Another way to measure the success of any event is analyzing the questions asked by the audience. It was very clear in this event that they were engaged, aware and inspired.”

Overall, it was a long inspiring day, with contentious short breaks in the middle, a lot of conversations and business deals, and people were very eager for the next day.

Day Two, published soon on HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine.






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



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:

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



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



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

Global 24 hour virtual event | 19 and 20 January 2021

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:

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:        Contact:   #WSDM_BI
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