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HR Leaders Conference 2016, Egypt ~ Day 1

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COVERAGE: MAHMOUD MANSI

PHOTOGRAPHY: ALIA FARAMAWI

“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.”

THE CONFERENCE

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.

THE EVENT / DAY 1

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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?

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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”.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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”.

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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.”

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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.

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How did studying a CIPD qualification with ICS Learn change my career?

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Journalism: Mariham Magdy

“Choosing ICS Learn has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!

I personally struggled for nearly two years trying to kickstart a career in HR and as we all know, HR is one tough industry to crack. “After choosing ICS Learn, I had a number of recruiters contacting me for HR roles and I couldn’t believe it! The level of attraction I received once putting the words ‘Studying towards CIPD’ on my CV was immense.

“I finally managed to gain an HR Administrator role in one of the best companies and couldn’t have been more pleased with being offered such a fantastic opportunity.”

Anika Parmar, CIPD LEVEL 3 & LEVEL 7 STUDENT
HTTPS://WWW.ICSLEARN.CO.UK/BLOG/POSTS/2017/JANUARY/ICS-REAL-STORIES-MEET-ANIKA/

” Other course providers did not offer upfront information about how support would be given and by whom. ICS Learn proudly promotes the tutors and high levels of expertise. This gave me confidence that I would be in good hands.
Just one month after enrolling with ICS Learn for my CIPD course, I landed my first HR role and am over the moon!”

Nikki Long, CIPD Level 3 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2019/november/ics-real-stories-nikki-cipd-level-3-review/

“I really wanted to break into HR/Learning and Development roles, but the jobs I was applying for required a CIPD qualification, so I then took the leap and started with ICS Learn. “From not being able to get an interview for roles I started getting offers as soon as I mentioned CIPD on my CV.”

Nin Sandhu, CIPD Level 3 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2019/august/ics-real-stories-nin-online-cipd-level-3-review/

“As a recent student of ICS Learn, I have completed my Level 5 Diploma. Prior to starting the course, I didn’t work in an HR role, so after shopping around and a lot of Google searching, I got into contact with a student advisor at ICS Learn.

The gentleman I spoke to was very endearing and friendly, as I didn’t work in an HR role and had no HR qualifications I was looking to start the CIPD Level 3 qualification, however, the advisor suggested I started with Level 5 as I had a university degree. “This was possibly the best choice I made as it has helped me become more recognised academically and I was able to get my first HR role in Alstom within 2 months of starting my course.”

Rukhsaar Hussain, CIPD Level 5 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2021/april/cipd-student-stories-rukhsaar-hussain-cipd-level-5-review/

“I have been able to use my studies in making decisions at work and able to relate the practical way of my work to my academic studies. “The tutors on my modules are friendly and approachable which has made me feel very supported throughout the course.”

Bernadette Aquino, CIPD Level 7 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2019/october/ics-real-stories-bernadette-cipd-level-7-review/

“Since I decided to enroll onto a CIPD Level 5 qualification with ICS Learn in April last year, it has already had a tremendously positive impact on my change in career direction.

After careful comparison with other learning platforms, ICS Learn stood out to me as the best one available, as I knew people who had done this course and were able to gain successful entry into HR, either like myself during studying, or very quickly after completion. 

They had good testimonies from students and offered an excellent flexible payment programme which made it accessible.

ICS Learn also offers good study support, from your own tutor, or even from fellow students!

Even though I’m still working towards my qualification, it has 100% helped me secure my future as an HR professional.”

Taj Chelvaiyah, CIPD Level 5 Student
https://www.icslearn.co.uk/blog/posts/2021/february/cipd-student-stories-taj-chelvaiyah-cipd-level-5-review/





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Articles

Which Certification is right for me PHRi™ or SPHRi™?

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Written by: Mariham Magdy

When deciding to take a step forward for their international certification, many HR professionals hesitate between choosing the right credential that suits their professional experience and practice; whether the PHRi™ or the SPHRi™?

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive comparison between the two credentials, to help you decide which certification is right for you.

First, we will highlight the eligibility requirements for both:

Let’s elaborate more about what is meant exactly by a “professional-level experience in an HR position”?

HRCI defines a “professional-level” HR position as one that includes:

  • The ability to use independent judgment and discretion in performing work duties.
  • A level of specialized knowledge in the HR field with some authority for decision-making.
  • In-depth work requirements, such as data gathering, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Interaction with a broad range of individuals, including key personnel.
  • Individual accountability for results.

The Exam Content Outline for both certifications.

While the PHRi builds a professional mindset for the HR professionals on how to manage soundly the different HR functions, standardizing the steps they need to follow for the successful implementation of various HR processes; the SPHRi enhances the strategic aspect of HR Management Practices.

In other words, both certifications curriculum complements each other, and it depends on where you are on your professional career ladder to decide whether you are lacking the knowledge on how to professionally manage certain HR functions or are you ready to expand your strategic views and practices in the HR field?

The Certification Renewal:

  • You must earn 1 ethics credit during your three-year certification cycle.
  • This is a part, not in addition to your 60 required recertification credits.

I believe that the “Recertification” condition mandated by the HRCI increases the value of the certification itself since it ensures the continuous learning of the certified professionals.

One of the valuable slogans of the HRCI Certifications, is that it is “Earned not Given”, and thus the eligibility and merit of earning, must be continuously evaluated and confirmed.

Recertification is one of the many reasons that HRCI certifications are the most recognized and trusted by HR professionals and the organizations they serve. And now, recertification credits are easier than ever for you to access and earn.

And now let us know more about the Exam Format & Length:

The Exam Questions are either multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, drag and drop, or scenarios.

The scenario questions present typical HR situations, followed by a series of exam items based on the scenario. These scenarios require you to integrate facts from different subject areas.

The HRCI website provides extremely useful bundles for the exam preparation material along with trial tests to assist you to get familiar with the certification exam questions and exercise them widely prior the exam itself.

In addition, the HRCI offers a “Second Chance Insurance” which is a pre-paid and non-refundable fee allowing you to take the exam for a second time in case of failing your first time.

Whether being certified as PHRi or SPHRi, the certification has three main advantages for you:

  • Requires specific work experience, competency, and education.
  • Requires recertification, which makes sure that you stay current in the HR profession through continuing education.
  • Allows you to put the letters after your name.

Through the HRCI valuable certifications, you get connected to an exclusive network of motivated HR professionals around the globe – Nearly 145,000 certified HR thought leaders working in more than 100 countries and territories.

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Emotional Intelligence and Business Excellence

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Written By: Dr. Maha Magdy

Many of us as soon as they hear about ” Emotional Intelligence” think that it’s only related to love and relations with your partner, but have you ever related it to your business? How would it help you achieve your goals? Increase your income? Enrich your resources?

In business world, we usually care for IQ of candidates and consider it one of the main aspects to use for the performance evaluation of employees, ignoring their EQ which is proved to be the strongest predictor of positive performance and long-term success according to recent studies.

Let us first identify what is meant by EQ to be able to discover how foundational it is for a thriving workplace.

EQ or Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of your emotions, moods & motives and to redirect them and manage your behaviors.

In other words, emotions are energy, and “Emotional Intelligence” is the ability to use or direct this energy to push you towards achieving your goals, which means you need first to identify your emotions then deal with them wisely.  

If you aim to be a unique leader you must know that rising your EQ enables you to influence other’s emotions and interact with them successfully and even direct their reactions!

This is not a bare claim, but a scientific truth that I am going to explain now.

Scientifically, EQ is the ability of your brain to build strong neural connections between: “the limbic system” (center for emotions in your brain) and “the prefrontal cortex ” (the rationale thinking center), the more neural connections your brain build, the more emotionally intelligent you become.  The good news is that you can train your brain to build these neural connections through emotional intelligence coaching techniques.

Emotional Intelligence, as I mentioned before, is mainly about emotional awareness, which is the ability to recognize your feeling, understand your habitual responses to events and realize how your emotions affect your behaviors and performance which is critical to your business.

Emotional Intelligence also enables you to acquire the ability to manage your emotions, stay focused and think clearly even when experiencing powerful emotions, which is crucial for your productivity, and would be reflected on your decisions, motivation, and relationships with others.

Emotional Intelligence coaching techniques will help you discover your limiting thoughts and beliefs and reframe them to unleash your potential and achieve the goals you though before to be unachievable, simply you would be able to choose how to react and whom to be.

One of the most important skills you acquire through emotional intelligence is the ability to master your personal power, the secret to become limitless through realizing your real capabilities and use them to put yourself where you deserve to be.

In these quick changes and surprising events, we face every day, emotional intelligence allows you to cope with stresses in a healthy way and minimize your negative thinking, this will protect both your physical and mental health and would reflect on your business.

Enhancing your EQ promotes you to build better relationships which reflects directly and indirectly on your business whether you are in a managerial position or an employee.

From all that we have mentioned above, we can realize how emotional intelligence would benefit your business through greater performance and productivity, greater income, improving personal skills, improving leadership skills, and acquiring a more healthy and stable work environment especially that it could be developed through training.

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