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Interview with Jorge (J.D) Nomdedeu, Director of International Business Development and Partnerships at HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®).

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“We know the value of HRCI certification programs, and we know that listening, observing, and adjusting is how we can remain relevant in very different markets while continuing to explore ways to expand in others.”Jorge (J.D) Nomdedeu

Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

Brief Biography about the Interviewee:

Jorge (J.D) Nomdedeu is Director of International Business Development and Partnerships at HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). During the almost four years tenure, J.D. has connected with numerous HR associations, academic institutions and government agencies world-wide to expand the reach of HRCI professional certifications.

J.D. has lived in Washington, D.C. for over ten years working in international relations for several nonprofit organizations. J.D. was born in Spain and educated in the United States. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from North Carolina State University and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of the District of Columbia. He is also HRCI-certified with an Associate Professional in Human Resources – International™ (aPHRi™).

1.HR Revolution Middle East: Mr. Jorge, welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.

From your perspective as an International Relations Professional, how do you see the value of professional certifications in equalizing talents capabilities across borders, and thus creating an international language for professionals from different countries?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

The concept of professional certifications is something that most countries and cultures understand and value when it comes to practicing certain jobs. Some professions are highly impacted by national or regional legislations driving the daily practice. It makes sense in those circumstances for national certifications to emerge and guide best practices and expectations. But in a globalized world, the only way to have the same type of impact is to rely on international certifications that harmonize practices, identify universal best practices and benchmark the minimum requirements to operate across borders with a unifying approach and technical language, no matter what the local legislation is. To that effect, HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) embraces that role as a global certification body and cultivates its certification programs keeping in mind the international reach of its standards for the HR profession.

2- HR Revolution Middle-East: Can this have an impact on the Global Economy?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Without a doubt. While countries might have political disputes and different points of view due to their own power aspirations, people and businesses will continue to interact with citizens and organizations worldwide out of a need for products, services, and information they simply cannot access in their home countries. Globalization is here to stay, and it is in everyone´s interest to figure out what are the best ways to work with other countries and cultures in a constructive and respectful way. HRCI Certifications that have global recognition in professional fields like program management, accounting, or HR are intrinsically connected to the global economy. Multinational corporations recruit talent in markets where professional standards are at par with their corporate expectations.

3- HR Revolution Middle-East: As the HRCI Director of International Business Development & Partnerships; can you share with us what kind of partnerships does the HRCI seeks to make in order to reinforce its presence and services all over the world?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

When HRCI was created over 45 years ago in the United States, the first certifications created defined the HR profession creating a benchmark and a career path for HR practitioners. For a few years now, we have seen how some emerging economies and some countries transitioning their workforce to international standards to compete in the global economy are finding HRCI certifications as the perfect match to lay the foundations of the HR profession. As a result, HRCI is in contact with government agencies dedicated to professional development, national HR associations, higher academic institutions, and professional training institutions. In some cases, we establish strategic alliances that help countries elevate the profession by establishing certification programs following the HRCI standards, and in some cases, we create partnerships with organizations that facilitate the preparation and training for the HRCI certification exams.

4- HR Revolution Middle-East: To what extent do you believe that the International Scientific Institutions play a role in shaping the future of work?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Now more than ever, we live in the world of data. Everyone is collecting and making decisions based on data. Data analytics is the skill that every organization wants employees to be versed in. HR is no different, and in fact, it might be one of the most important areas influencing the work of tomorrow. Concepts like productivity, ROI in professional development, or talent management and professional evaluations are tracking results and using the methodologies founded on data and analytical research. Someone must look at all those concepts, study the trends, and separate what is temporary or insignificant from what is impactful to society. The pandemic is one of the best examples. Nothing we do right now is normal. Some newly acquired habits are here to stay post-pandemic. While some of these new practices will be adopted by people and organizations in a natural way, other decisions will be made by governments through legislation. Such norms must be based on the research, analysis, and recommendations of institutions that track the everchanging evolution of human interaction and the way our societies operate. 

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What impact do you believe would on-line education have on the Global Economy? Can this change the future of work as well?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Indeed online education is probably the largest, most impactful change we are going to see in the upcoming years. In 2020, there was an exponential growth in learning out of a need to replace in-person learning at all levels. I have witnessed how cultures and countries where online education was not widely accepted, and are now fully adapting and operating using remote education. We are lucky that technology is at a level that allows virtual education in multiple ways at a fraction of the cost. We have been forced to try and perfect online interaction and information sharing through conference calls, virtual events, and learning management systems. Some of them will continue being as relevant because we have lost the skepticism of the new way of doing things, but others will be back to the way we used to know. However, online education has allowed opening the doors to people who had never been able to afford education or have a medium to learn and improve themselves. In addition, a whole generation is now used to getting their information through online interaction. They don’t need a live, in-person instructor, they can absorb the information on their own and still be able to interact with a subject matter expert to bounce ideas and evaluate the learning objectives. Still, online learning is not for everyone. At least not in the way that is currently offered, which is why I expect we will continue to see new ways of remote education. Virtual reality might be one of the most recent ones, but it will certainly not be the last.

6- HR Revolution Middle-East: As a role model for other businesses; how does the HRCI tailor the business development approach to suit different markets all over the world?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

Above all agility, respect, and understanding for the needs, cultures, and realities experienced in countries across the globe know we build exceptional products. We know the value of HRCI certification programs, and we know that listening, observing, and adjusting is how we can remain relevant in very different markets while continuing to explore ways to expand in others. The concept of globalization is one that drives every decision at HRCI. We know that improvement is a road traveled through flexibility and fine-tuning.

Our wide portfolio of educational offerings cater to the needs of individuals who want to advance their career assist with their employees’ professional development defines the future of people management. We like to say that people and organizations perform better because of HRCI. I think every country can benefit from our certifications and learning catalog.

7- HR Revolution Middle-East: Can you share with us if the HRCI might consider holding International HR conferences in the coming period, as part of its role in developing HR professionals worldwide?

Mr. Jorge Nomdedeu:

HRCI has never hosted an international conference. Our focus is dedicated to the development of certification programs and expanding our learning catalog. Most of our resources are allocated to support the development and maintenance of HR professional programs that are affordable and accessible to HR practitioners worldwide.

Historically, HRCI has been present in conferences with the opportunity to serve or expand our HRCI community. We recognize the value of networking, live interaction and training workshops that take place at traditional conferences, but we don’t want to simply add yet another conference to the already crowded conference tour. We like to offer something meaningful, that makes sense, serves a purpose and supports the needs of our HRCI certification holders.

Recently, we have partnered with organizations that have more experience hosting events as a way to provide the HRCI global community with the possibility to earn free recertification credits and maintain their HRCI credentials. Due to the pandemic, and following the model of bitesize learning that has become the preferred way of professional development, we began online events covering a specific topic that HRCI refers to as micro-summits.

The intention is to offer free access worldwide to quality learning opportunities delivered by subject matter experts that go beyond our weekly Alchemizing HR webinar series. Our community should expect more additional half-day events covering current topics of international relevance affecting the HR profession in 2021.

The global community can look forward to HRCI participating as a partner in the Hacking HR’s 2021 Global Online Conference taking place March 8 – 12, 2021 with the theme HR Innovation and Future of Work where attendees can potentially earn recertification credits through attending multiple online sessions.

THANK YOU

Articles

Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – Diversity, Inclusion and the Holistic Wellbeing approach

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Written by: Cinzia Nitti

A working environment characterized by greater Diversity & Inclusion has more chance of being a place where new ideas and perspectives flourish: inclusive businesses benefit from those who feel very included and motivated in the Organisation. Companies with more culturally and ethically diverse Teams are 33% more likely to see better than average profits (McKinsey, 2017).

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 brought to light the need and urgency to put individuals and interactions over profits within the panel session dedicated to Creating a Holistic and Inclusive Wellbeing Strategy. The panel has been moderated by Chris Cummings (CEO Sonas Events) and joined by Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader – EY), Funda Kalemci (Global Leader, Diversity & Inclusion – Nielsen), Mimi Nicklin (Author and Empathetic Leader) and Öykü Kayaalp (Diversity & Youth Programs Professional – Vodafone Turkey).

According to the valued speakers, true Diversity and Inclusion have to create a sense of belonging, breaking the Mental Health Stigma and Empathy. So Emotional wellness turned out to be the core of those two elements: in fact, it generates wellbeing and inclusiveness at all levels.  

The covid-19 pandemic showed employees how frustration and emotional fragility affect performance and inclusion, even within the most well-structured and diverse Team. Filling the gap between self-expectations, dealing with such an unexpected “new normal” and an Organisation’s goal, proved to be a complex challenge that both employees and leaders had to face suddenly. Creating a work-life balance has been crucial to supporting the new “Smart Working Model” imposed by the pandemic.

How to maintain and strengthen a sense of belonging through screens and virtual work-spaces?

Irada Aghamaliyeva and Öykü Kayaalp firmly agreed on “connecting and communicate through a deep understanding of various cultures at the Workplace, whether physical or from home”. It is key to set a balanced environment where employees feel totally appreciated and valued – the reduction of work stress highlighted a decrease of stereotyping and a more open-mindedness towards intercultural awareness. It can be faced and strengthened through coaching sessions and encouraging employees to speak out freely and fearlessly about what makes them feel inadequate. Break the workplace Mental Health Stigma thanks to self-acceptance is the first step to creating a more inclusive culture, relation and support between employees and leaders.

What role plays Empathy in this framework and why it so crucial in an inclusive culture?

Empathy is the pixie dust that bridges the Diversity and Inclusion gap. Practicing and nurturing Empathy within the Organisations is the starting point from which Leaders and employees should consider the value of their interactions. Listening – not just hearing – is crucial: so often in HR and Leadership people listen to respond, but they don’t really stop and focus on what’s the inner need on the other side. To empathize is the choice to understand, it is a skill that we all can own through practicing kindness and active listening. “True Diversity and Inclusion has to begin with Empathy because if we don’t understand each other, how are we going to integrate?” Mimi Nicklin

Also, when employees are largely satisfied of their experience within the Company on an empathetic level, they are more likely to report high intent to stay with the Company and be high performers. “At Nielsen IQ we have a Global Wellness Framework lead by global HR Teams that works on four pillars: physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, financial wellbeing and environmental & social wellbeing”, Funda Kalemci affirmed, highlighting the importance of Mental Health within Global companies.

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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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