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Interview with OD & HR Consultant; Sherif El-Ebrashy ~ Managing Director; SWIFT SERVICES

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Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

When HR is not involved in decisions like this (either to bring or not to bring a consultant), for sure they would be suffering skepticism and doubts and for sure will push back against consultants…”

Sherif El-Ebrashy

Managing Director of Swift Services

INTRODUCTION

Throughout my career I have had the pleasure to meet and deal with a number of professionals managing different HR consultancy firms, responsible to provide a wide range of HR services aiming to support the business, and interpret the HR professionals’ strategies into authentic results.

When dealing with “Swift Services” you will find a very distinguished concept of HR consultancy provided by their professionals, inspired and led by their respectful Managing Director Mr. Sherif El-Ebrashy.

A personal support sincerely given to each HR professional they are dealing with considering him/her not only a partner of success, but also a member of their professional family aiming to support him/her with all means as a “Human” not only as a “Client” to achieve his/her professional fulfillment; this is how SWIFT SERVICES apply the real meaning of what we have learnt and studied in marketing “Capitalize on your customer experience”!

SWIFT SERVICES, are able to capitalize on your experience on all the steps of your dealing with them, simply because the GODFATHER of this HR firm Mr. Sherif El-Ebrashy, was so professional to decide simply to manage an HR business from an HR perspective unlike many others who choose to manage HR businesses from a sales perspective, although it is an HR Company.

THE INTERVIEW

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: Mr. Sherif it is really a great honor for me to interview your good-self and learn more from your valuable experience. Thanks a lot for accepting my invitation, and thanks more for inspiring the HR community with this respectful model you provide for an HR consultancy firm as it should be.Please let us know, how were you able to create such an authentic mission to SWIFT SERVICES? How could this supportive approach facilitate as well the mission of your clients themselves?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: Throughout my career in HR, the basic principle I grew up with, is that HR is a “Support Function”. To me, this means: we are here to support all company functions to achieve their business goals and mostly, the organization’s. These functions are the customers for HR who is acting as their people (employees) consultant; and the satisfaction of these customers is the prime “Key Performance Indictor” for HR.

HR has to come up with all it takes from the people’s perspectives that perfectly satisfy the customers. Designing supportive people policies, effective rewards systems as well as workable succession planning schemes and an effective recruiting processes, are just few examples of what HR has to design/implement to flawlessly help their customers/organization achieve their goals. Hence, if this is how we operate in a business environment, then it is quite obvious that this should be the norm and principles for how private consultants should operate.

Our mission was created simply to make sure that all of in Swift Services applying and before we proceed with any client our pre-visit research will involve getting into know their mission/values to understand their culture. Actually, as founders to structure our mission, we spent so many hours trying to see what others have defined and how can we create for ourselves a direction that make us different to the best we can, in the market.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: As a seasoned HR professional with an extensive experience throughout the Middle-East & Africa not only “Egypt”; what major problems do these regions’ companies have in their HR SET-UP? And what crucial competencies do HR professionals need to have to be able to deal with these problems?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: Working in these regions was the highlight of my career; I was quite astounded by the diversity of the people and the richness of their culture which definitely impacts the way they operate their businesses. However, within the culture itself there are other factors that hinders the day-to-day activities; such are defined by the tribal influence and political arena. Specifically, in most of the African countries, you can find senior managers coming from the same tribe. Similarly, both a number of Middle Eastern and African countries, you may be forced by the political regime to hire or promote an individual and you have to bear the consequences if such was not carried out. The most common thing is that laws can be interpreted in many ways especially when it comes to labor laws.

As an HR practitioner, you can imagine how tough It is to manage such challenges, particularly if you are working in a multinational company with high ethical standards you cannot break. The key here is how strong top management are to never tolerate the professional integrity of the organization and support the HR endeavors. The HR manager has to fully understand the local environment and law and abide to it. Building on local capabilities is a key factor, do not try to think as something worked in country X will work in country B; adaptation or the word I would rather use is localizing world best practices.

Professionally, mingling with your local colleagues is a major support to get closer with your local colleagues and establish the necessary bonds with them and mostly gain their confidence. However, this can be double fold, as sometimes, they expect favors from you being their buddy.

Actively listening to your local colleagues and appreciate their experience is a vital competency that you need to demonstrate to them. Build on their experience and let them see that you jointly work things out, yet you are their “consultant/advisor” is equally important for your success.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: One of the most attractive consultancies you associated yourself with is the “Organizational Climate Assessment”; I believe that this type of assessment is not very common in other HR firms’ services, although it can be an essential key to solve many organizational problems. Can you please explain for us how can Companies benefit when carrying on such type of assessment?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: Before I get into the details, let me explain what we mean by “Organization Climate – OC”. The simplest definition comes from the answer of “How is it like to work in this place?” in another term, it is the perception of how people generally feel about the workplace. Exactly like the weather, it is a perception; people have different opinion about how they feel about the weather and it is exactly the same thing people have different perception as to how they like the place of work. Let me elaborate, think about a nice weekend with clear skies perfect temperature, everybody will be happy and eager to go out and enjoy. On the other side, in a cold rainy weekend, people will be reluctant and feeling upset having to stay in door. Similarly, in the workplace, OC can have a significant impact on the motivation/demotivation of employees who work in the organization.

There are many factors that impacts the OC. Swift Services, evaluate the perception of employees based on six dimensions that is believed to have a significant impact on how they would feel about the workplace. These dimensions are:

  • Team Spirit: The perception an individual has towards working together with his/her colleagues to achieve common goals, as well as the degree of trust and confidence between employees to one another as well as the organization.
  • Alignment: The perception of the individual has towards the kind of knowledge and direction s/he has versus what organization expects from him/her and how the individual perceives his/her role and achievements versus the overall strategies of the organization.
  • Rewards/Recognition: The perception an individual has about how s/he are being rewarded and recognized in proportion of his/her actual accomplishments and the results s/he achieve.
  • Accountabilities: The perception an individual has towards the confidence and opportunities the organization give him/her to make their own decisions and still be accountable for the results/he achieve and how far s/he feel about the authority delegated.
  • Organization Process: The perceptions an individual has about the kind of procedures, policies and general processes prevailing in this organization, and how far they support/hinder his/her achievements or help/prevent him/her to do work smoothly; it also involves how far s/he can take calculated risks and be creative.

The OC Assessment comes in a form of an anonymous, two-sets-questionnaire that detects answers on how an individual perceive the current/actual climate; while the second set assesses how the individual perceives, if s/he have the choice, what the ideal climate looks like. The organization here has the choice to assess the organization as whole, the climate as perceived by the first level supervisors versus senior managers or any set up that senior management want.

However, the process is by far more complicated than just filling and scoring a questionnaire; it involves meticulous analyses through the answer of each question that is done and reported by Swift Services. The most important part of the analysis involves a facilitated session/s involving senior management and the individuals who responded. The facilitator through a systematic scenario help all to draw the real facts of the results and clearly identify the gaps between the “Actual” and “Ideal” situation for each of the six dimensions. By the end of the session, the whole team identifies the priority dimension/s that critically impacts the performance of the organization; they also work out a detailed Action Plan that will help reduce the gap/s.

OC by all mean cannot be done except if senior management are committed and are in full support for the results, the team who responded and mostly to the action plan created. Swift Services consultants will not proceed unless they are fully comfortable that such commitment exists.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: From your point of view when an HR department decides to deal with an external consultancy firm, how can this impact the overall experience of the department as well as that of the organization?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: The angle I am looking at here is that the firm has decided to outsource a segment of the HR function, not just for a certain short-term task or to conduct a study, etc. This decision, of course, can have a very positive side economically and in enhancing the efficiency of HR through only focusing on the core side of their business i.e. having valuable time to think more strategically on other elements of how to support the overall business. The individuals who were involved in the outsourcing decision, for sure have gained substantial experience going through the process prior the decision as well as in monitoring the consultant and ensuring that s/he are meeting expectations. However, on the other side, when a segment/s of the function disappears through outsourcing, you lose internal experience to be gained and the buildup of the long-term bench-strength for HR. This is because you may be losing the diversity of HR experience within the department.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: Why do you think some HR professionals when leading their departments in certain organizations, refrain from dealing with external consultants? What fears might they have from this approach and could this have a positive or negative effect on the Organization overall experience?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: This is quite a natural feeling of security, especially during economic crises as companies may be going through downsizing or other activates; these individuals also may fear that the consultants may replace them.

However, to decide either to bring or not to bring a consultant has to come based on a very thorough thinking process and for absolutely valid reasons with the consensus of all people who should be part of it, including HR. When HR is not involved in decisions like this, for sure they would be suffering skepticism and doubts and for sure will push back against consultants.

In my view, the HR leader should not be drowned in the day-to-day routine, s/he should be always involved with senior management and demonstrate their full capabilities as their partners/advisors based on full alignment with full clear cut objectives; so, when a decision like this is processed they become partners of it not implementing it; even if this will lead to bringing eternal consultants.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: What piece of advice would you give to HR professionals when choosing an external consultancy firm to deal with? What points they have to consider before selection?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: The most important question to be answered is “Why We Need To Bring A Consultant?” If there is no answer do not bring one.

My assumption is that thorough analysis was made to evaluate should the organization bring-in a consultant; and there has been a number of valid indicators that led to the decision. These indicators are defined as the Key Performance Indicators “KPIs”. HR should go first in analyzing/assessing these KPIs and have them as their check-list that will dominate their process of identifying/selecting the consultant and evaluating the success of the mission.

I will not tackle the procurement/references and past history checking process normally done when selecting a consultant, my strongest recommendation, is that you should conduct an in-depth interview with the consultants to assess their experience and capabilities, through conducting “A Behavior Event Interviewing – BEI Process”: and the KIPs are like the competencies you are detecting when interviewing a candidate. BEI will help you validate all the information obtained from the consultant. Fair hearing for all the pool of consultants to be allowed before you short-list.

Another important element, is that when the final contract is drawn, specific KPIs has be listed and agreed upon i.e. how success looks like, with detailed time-table; check-points to signal progress towards goals to be able to step-in if needed; clear cuts for “who-will-do-what & when” has to be clearly defined; what are the resources i.e. facilities/information provided by the organization is needed and when. Obviously, financial elements and various payments along the way has to be made against the achievement of these KPIs.

Once again, the most important angle in this whole exercise is how the organization represented by its HR will partner with the consultant. Partnership in terms of genuinely working together and supporting one another; of course not doing the job for the consultant but to be aligned together.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: Throughout your experience Mr. Sherif, how was it common to find that the processes & procedures of an organization were a main reason to hinder her success & fulfillment? What points shall organizations consider when designing their internal processes in order to encourage achievement & what success stories have you witnessed in this regards?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: In my view, process and procedures (P&P) are roadmaps to achieve business results; in a way they shape the culture of the organization; they are also a framework as to how things link together in the organization i.e. what to do in a certain situation and how to do it; they should contribute to speaking one common language. They should be there for the sustainability and continuity of the business; people move and leave, and they are there.

However, I said earlier P&P can be a tremendous be a major element in supporting/hindering the climate of the organization; that is why they need to be instantly reviewed to ensure alignment with existing business drivers.

I have realized through many instances that P&P were not the problem at all as claimed during an assessment. The real problem was the people interpreting P&P; especially among the old-timers, who normally tend to let P&P act as the buffer for their decisions particularly when nobody is challenging them.

To avoid this, pertinent individuals in the organization should conduct full alignment session to explain P&P in details and mostly periodic reviews to be done to ensure validity.

It is quite common that the big gap or grey area comes in the P&P related to HR; the promotion/reward process etc. Here absolute transparency is required in explaining them. If necessary, conduct training programs to ensure proper implementation.

I was involved with one organization identified quite a number of unnecessary P&Ps that did not only slowed down the business but also was about to destroy the team spirit due to lack of trust a result of P&P misinterpretation, so people had to put everything in writing to protect themselves. One of the solutions implemented was to stop inter-office communication completely except when absolutely needed a new concept was derived “go directly to your colleague, speak to him/her and solve issues together”. Of course all the P&P were reviewed and only the must-have was left. The business results started to improve tremendously.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: One of the services I see SWIFT provides is the set-up of strategic Mission, Vision, and value statement; how often do you meet business leaders & HR professionals who have a real conception for the interrelated relationship between the business vision & mission statements and their role in realizing tangible achievement?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: Nowadays not that much as the assumption most of the companies by now have their own. That was something coming a trend, years ago particularly when it was a must-have item for quality endeavors i.e. ISO, etc.

It is a facilitated sequential process that guides the business owners to identify what is the vision, mission and values (VMV) of the organization; as well as to design together the process of how to communicate that through the organization.

VMV is the organization, the language spoken… VMV defines where the organization is going and how it will achieve its results. VMV tell the world what is the organization.

  1. HR Revolution Middle East: Finally what valuable piece of advice would you give to HR professionals, newly assigned as regional managers and have to deal with and care for people from different nationalities? How can they achieve this role efficiently, since you have already been in this challenge before for a long time with different Companies & in different regions?

Sherif El-Ebrashy: This is quite a holistic approach i.e. you need understand the culture and laws of the host country (home office of the company) as well as the countries involved by-heart. Not only as numbers or words but mostly as people, their history, traditions/culture education system etc. This is from a generic side, to be more specific, you need to fully understand the business your company is doing in your region: what are the current/future business drivers, who are the business partners and how influential they are on your company. These are just few issues HR has to know because they can impact your regional people strategies/decisions.

The most serious aspect of your role is your partnership not only with your local HR contacts but also with local management in these countries. They have to understand your role is to fully support them make better business decisions through your professional competencies. Your local HR colleagues are your strategic partners; do not underestimate them, you need them not matter how you feel about it; capitalize on their experience and competencies.

THANK YOU MR. SHERIF!

Corporate

Q&A with Yasmine Yehia | MEA Employer Branding Manager at Schneider Electric, Life Coach & Consultant

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Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi

“To be able to have a strong brand, you need to start from within – you need to have an attractive story to tell so if this is not there, it won’t be the right time for employer branding. I always tell the people I teach employer branding – fix internally first and then you will have something to say externally.”

Yasmine yehia

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How would you introduce yourself to the audience?

Yasmine Yehia: I am an Employer Branding expert, a certified life and career coach from the ICF, a public speaker and a certified trainer!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you define Employer Branding in your own words?

Yasmine Yehia: Employer Branding is the art of story-telling, each employer has a story to tell, and this story is very useful for those who are interested in the company. A story about values, a story about culture, a story about care – a story about authenticity and uniqueness.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What does an Employer Branding Manager do?

Yasmine Yehia: An Employer Branding Manager is someone who is an expert in storytelling, someone who is also an expert in the employer strategy and people vision and who is talented in showing what differs the employer from any others in the market.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Employer Branding is one of the new global trends in HR, yet still not implemented in several countries and among many organizations. Why do you think some organizations have concerns regarding implementing Employer Branding as a comprehensive initiative?

Yasmine Yehia: I don’t think it is a matter of a concern at all – I think it is a matter of time and maturity. To be able to have a strong brand, you need to start from within – you need to have an attractive story to tell so if this is not there, it won’t be the right time for employer branding. I always tell the people I teach employer branding – fix internally first and then you will have something to say externally.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you measure the ROI of your Employer Branding initiatives?

Yasmine Yehia: Oh God, there are zillions of ways to measure the ROI of our initiatives and campaigns, as sophisticated as a brand awareness analysis to as simple as the quality of CVs we’re receiving for open vacancies. Measuring the pride and engagement of employees, measuring engagements and reach on our employer branding social media posts.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Who are your main stakeholders and partners in the Employer Branding process?

Yasmine Yehia: And like I teach in my workshop – Employer Branding is never an independent function, actually we cannot even function or deliver alone, it is a collaborative work between us, HR and Marcom.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Can you share with us one of the challenges you have faced in your current job and how you overcame it?

Yasmine Yehia: Managing a complex region like MEA is quite tough and I think the deep knowledge of each country in the region was my main challenge – what is it that my target audience in each country look for in an employer? I overcame it with loads of study and education and also with using the help of specialized agencies to provide me with the needed reports.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: What pieces of advice would you give to organizations who want to empower their employer brand?

Yasmine Yehia: Be authentic! Start from within and have an authentic story to tell. You will reach the hearts of your target audiences effortlessly.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Jessie (if we may call you with your nickname), we are curious what is the first job you ever had and what is the most valuable lesson you have learnt from it?

Yasmine Yehia: My very first job was an IT Recruiter for fortune 1000 companies in USA – I learned the art of assessing and dealing with people, if there is one thing recruitment has given me, it is the strong people skills!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You are also a certified Life Coach, how does this help you in your role in HR?

Yasmine Yehia: In both HR and Employer Branding your main customer and target audience is people, right? A life coach listens to so many people, to their issues and struggles, it makes you a people person by heart – it gives you the perfect listening skills and it strengthens the way you interact and communicate with people, and this is exactly what you need as an HRian!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Life Coach, what advices do you have to professionals who want to sustain a work-life balance? Do we all need to have a work-life balance?

Yasmine Yehia: YES, we all need a work life balance definitely – you need time for yourself, to recharge, reflect and develop. I’d tell them, make the time for yourself a priority – do not miss it, this time is actually good for your work too because you will always have the right energy to continue. If there is a learning lesson from 2020, it is the importance of our mental health. Have a routine and this routine must include time for yourself!

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: As a Career Coach, how do you think Covid-19 impacted the employment market?

Yasmine Yehia: Well, from what I see from my clients – so many people are thinking to shift careers post covid-19. Some of them must because they lost their jobs and some of them realized the importance of mental health, so they decided to leave a very stressful career. I think moving forward companies will have to learn to be flexible in their hiring process and start accepting candidates having the right skills for a job rather than a big number of years of experience! It is hiring for talents not years! People also need to be more resilient and smart in using their skills.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Finally, as a Trainer – why do you think personal branding is very important? We know you teach the topic.

Yasmine Yehia: In a world that has gone totally virtual – people need to learn how to build a strong personal brand online, it is how you will smartly use your skills and get paid for it! You no longer have the big chance to meet your recruiters face to face, following the new ways of working, we are heading towards working from home and flexible hours more, your personal brand is the only thing that will differentiate you in the market and open doors for you.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Thank you for your time, would you like to say anything?

Yasmine Yehia: Thank you for having me – I hope I continue inspiring those interested in the employer branding career!

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Civil Work

Q&A with Sherihan Elkamash; Researcher at the Center of Strategic Studies, Bibliotheca Alexandrina & Charity Activist

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Interviewer:
Mahmoud Mansi

“I am always trying to not lead members, but inspire them and gain their trust by encouraging my team to work on new projects. I help them make their work plan, and I provide them with some guidance and coaching to finally have a successful deliverable to help impact more people in the community.”

Sherihan Elkamash

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Sherihan you are multi-talented and active in building the community in several different ways, one of your main roles is working at the Center of Strategic Studies at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, can you tell us more about your role?

My main work is about making strategic researches. I also, write articles about the recent international political events. One of the main roles for me is to organize virtual discussions to discuss different economic and political subjects. I am always in contact with high profile degenerates in the political arena to make interviews with them to be published. I am also the social media specialist for the center, responsible for managing the official page by managing and posting the news, declare about the new events and conferences for the center.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Across your career you have worked in different careers and gained different experiences. Can you tell us what did you learn from these experiences? And how those skills are helping you at your current role?

I have been working in many fields since a young age I have acquired professional experience in many fields for the past fourteen years; working in NGOs, media, research, translation and communications. These experiences taught me to navigate in different kinds of structures (public/private/international), as well as dealing with the internal dynamics of each organization. In my previous roles, I have demonstrated exceptional ability to manage external stakeholders including senior government officials, high-profile clients, and well-regarded organizations. As a trilingual officer, I can communicate effectively in Arabic, English and French.

Working in all those fields taught me how to work in full power with a great performance, deliver my work in a high quality and always being in time and following the timetable.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: You also have your own charity project “El Rahmoun”. Can you tells us more about managing people in a charity structured projects?

Let me first talk about myself when I was a regular member in NGO’s and volunteer projects. I starting volunteering since I was a 13-year-old school student. During those 21 years in charity, I’ve learned many things:

-I learned how to take the initiative to start new projects to help the maximum number of people in need.

-I learned more about contributing to the community and helping solve issues.

-I learned how to deal with all categories in my society, understanding their needs and being helpful to them.

-It is not only about leadership, but I have also been a great “team member”, by coming up with new ideas, working with enthusiasm and integrity.

As a founder or a leader for “El Rahmoun” charity group – like any business structure or project – it depends on the number of volunteers whether they are many or few, based on that we put a strong administration and operations management plan.

I am always trying to not lead “El Rahmoun” members, but inspire them and gain their trust by encouraging my team to work on new projects. I help them make their work plan, and I provide them with some guidance and coaching to finally have a successful deliverable to help impact more people in the community.

There is an interesting difference between a traditional corporate structure and a charity structure. In charity the individual is the one who deicides his/her responsibilities and commitment to the charity work. I cannot obligate them to attend the events or to do their tasks. Which means that I have to be their friend so they love me and maintain a good communication with the youth, meanwhile at the same time I have to be their leader when it comes to the big decisions. And this is the most difficult part. I think after 3 years of continuous work, while our volunteering community is getting bigger… my team and I are doing it well.

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: How do you define success your own way? And what would be your success tips for youth?

I have learned the perfect strategy to achieve success, it is balance. We all have the desire towards success but those who are working and planning for it are the ones who are reaching their goals in a steady way. We all grew up with big dreams, seeking success in life, but few of us who understood that sustaining the success is the hard part. Balance is the key, youth need to know the importance of balance in their life between their studies, hard work, community service and social life. Youth need to make balance between physical, emotional and spiritual elements, to keep the high performance in everything they do. When we maintain our balance it shortly affects our sense of security and helps us to move forward. The balance in all activities in our days helps us maintain our mental health in order to have healthy minds and lifestyles. Stress is a serious threat to Youth and one should make it a priority to keep the stress away because stress prevents success.

Balance = Success

HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: With the development of technology, virtual communication and accessibility to knowledge, do you believe that some jobs are in threat? Can some careers take another form, offer different services and still impact the community?

The whole world is turning digital. The easy access to knowledge and data is the way of living now. Well, the development of technology can never be a threat. It actually helps us and is not a threat to our existence nor to anything created or made by the human being. NEW careers have been created and much more are on their way to glow and have place due to the virtual life. Furthermore, thousands of activities and services are provided through the internet now (website- social media) which also supports entrepreneurs and organizations to easily create new projects.

The Egyptian Government is taking the same track now in most of its governmental institutions. The pandemic helped a lot. It was a red light to hurry and accelerate our path, not only organizations that are turning digital but also individuals are becoming more focused on e-learning and other daily life services and in their lifestyles. I am very optimistic; because of the development of technology, new jobs are opening and great opportunities for youth which is very advantageous, beneficious and profitable to the growth of our great Nation EGYPT and to the rest of the world.

Thank you Sherihan for this interview and for developing and inspiring the community in such a unique way!

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Articles

LA CULTURA DIGITALE AZIENDALE E I SUOI LEADER CORAGGIOSI. LA SOCIETA’ DI MARKETING DIGITALE ITALIANA “DERAWEB” COME ESEMPIO DI ECCELLENZA NELLA GESTIONE DELLE RISORSE UMANE

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INTERVIEWER: Cinzia Nitti

HR Revolution: Ciao Fabio, grazie per aver accettato la nostra intervista e per quanto vorrai condividere con noi. Cominciamo: chi è Fabio De Lucia?

Fabio De Lucia: Ciao e grazie per questa intervista. Sono nato il 21 marzo del 1986 e il percorso accademico mi ha qualificato come perito commerciale con il massimo dei voti. Dopo la maturità e coerentemente con il mio approccio pratico alla vita, trovavo inefficace continuare a studiare per qualcosa di “non-tangibile”, quindi sono partito per Parigi e una volta rientrato, ho trovato impiego presso un’agenzia viaggi nel 2005. Ho iniziato a interessarmi a piani di sviluppo per implementare e migliorare i prodotti offerti. Credevo in quello che facevo ma, non trovando riscontro positivo da parte del mio titolare, ho rassegnato le dimissioni. All’epoca conoscevo già il mio caro amico e colui che sarebbe diventato il mio socio, Andrea (Dettole), il quale lavorava nel settore utilities nel nord Italia. Unendo le nostre conoscenze e competenze, nel 2008 abbiamo avviato Sundera, azienda di vendita servizi Business To Business (o B2B) e assistenza nel campo delle utilities: mi occupavo principalmente dei piani di sviluppo commerciale.

HR Revolution: Come nasce la web agency Deraweb e quale la sua mission?

Fabio De Lucia: Dall’esperienza positiva pregressa, nel 2016 abbiamo deciso di fondare con Andrea la società di marketing digitale Deraweb, brand partner della primogenita Sundera. L’impreparazione dei titolari di partita IVA in fatto di marketing e digitalizzazione dei prodotti aziendali – riscontrata a livello nazionale – è stato il fattore chiave che ha dato vita a Deraweb. La nostra azienda ha l’obiettivo di fornire strumenti efficaci per lo sviluppo aziendale in prospettiva di promozione digitale. In quattro anni il nostro pacchetto clienti è cresciuto in tutta Italia e su piano internazionale, acquisendo 600 clienti e con proiezione di raggiungere quota mille entro fine anno. La famiglia Deraweb conta oggi 15 dipendenti e 20 consulenti.

HR Revolution: Le Risorse Umane sono le componenti-chiave per il successo imprenditoriale. Il COVID-19 ha inevitabilmente imposto un cambiamento degli equilibri nella gestione aziendale. Come avete affrontato la sfida in fatto di nuovi assetti, ripianificazione e gestione del personale?

Fabio De Lucia: Il nostro metodo operativo prevede la maggior parte del lavoro da remoto. Gli strumenti digitali dunque, si sono confermati lo strumento indispensabile nel nostro lavoro; la pandemia è stata un elemento positivo in fatto di consolidamento di Deraweb. Si è trattato di un periodo di transizione per tutti. Nonostante uno stop forzato per alcuni e il crollo degli incassi nel mese di marzo, i nostri dipendenti si sono messi a completa disposizione dell’azienda, dei clienti, contribuendo in modo non indifferente alla buona riuscita degli intenti. Ci sono stati tutti vicini. Sono stati bravi e vanno tutti elogiati per questo.

HR Revolution: Cultura Digitale Aziendale: la risoluzione di problemi attraverso l’utilizzo di strumenti digitali si è rivelata un elemento vincente nella gestione del pacchetto-clienti durante la crisi pandemica?

Fabio De Lucia: Da titolari di azienda, nel supporto ai clienti e per una gestione ottimale dei servizi offerti, abbiamo deciso di operare in modo differente rispetto ai concorrenti. Abbiamo fornito gli strumenti necessari alla “sopravvivenza pandemica” con metodo studiato e mirato, soprattutto gratuito. In che modo? Creando manuali, guide strategiche “BUSINESS WORKOUT”, webinar e consulenze gratuite a disposizione dei clienti per evitare il fenomeno dell’inazione. Non a caso, il feedback è stato assolutamente positivo: abbiamo rafforzato il rapporto di reciprocità e fiducia con i nostri clienti, premiando inoltre coloro i quali hanno rispettato le scadenze in un periodo tanto complesso, fornendo un’estensione gratuita di un mese del servizio. Quest’approccio ci ha permesso di registrare risultati esponenzialmente più alti nel nostro ambito, a dispetto delle previsioni che la condizione economica generale avrebbe imposto.

HR Revolution: Spesso si pone l’accento sulla fidelizzazione del cliente, sottovalutando che la riuscita di un progetto o l’acquisizione di un contratto, derivi da un’ottima commistione di professionalità ed energie di un gruppo omogeneo e coeso. Dicci di più del tuo team. Sono importanti la Diversità e l’Inclusione in Deraweb e perché?

Fabio De Lucia: Assolutamente sì, per noi Diversità e Inclusione sono importanti. E rendono Deraweb un ambiente stimolante: il clima aziendale assume il giusto equilibrio tra competenze, rispetto delle qualità di ognuno e dimensione umana. Abbiamo messo in atto un modello di leadership che ispira gli altri e invoglia a migliorarsi. Dal consulente commerciale al servizio clienti, ai tecnici grafici, addetti marketing, comunicazione e social media, l’elemento della formazione continua inoltre, ha permesso di stabilire la gestione dei progetti in cui, senza più necessità di definizione esplicita, ogni membro del gruppo conosce esattamente il suo ruolo all’interno del processo. 

C’è fiducia e stima reciproca, spirito di sacrificio e altrettanta collaborazione. Da parte nostra c’è attenzione alle proposte di ognuno. Il mio lavoro mi ha dato modo di visitare tante aziende e conoscere altre realtà, ma qui da noi c’è un clima diverso, un clima che piace e che permette di lavorare secondo un equilibrio che dimostra quanto i nostri ragazzi siano “allineati”: in Deraweb proprio non riesce ad arrivare qualcuno che non abbia i nostri stessi valori.

HR Revolution: La Parità di Genere è un obiettivo di rilievo in una realtà aziendale. Definiresti l’equilibrio di genere parte integrante del vostro successo?

Fabio De Lucia: Sì, le donne nella nostra azienda sono un valore aggiunto e particolarmente apprezzate. Hanno un approccio naturalmente diverso all’ascolto del cliente e alla gestione di una richiesta. Sempre attente ai dettagli, precise, sicuramente meno impulsive in fatto creativo rispetto agli uomini. È una scelta aziendale mirata, quella di impostare gruppi di lavoro misti: sono la sintesi perfetta che genera stabilità. In Italia si parla troppo poco di Parità di Genere sul posto di lavoro, noi invece siamo ben felici di dare possibilità di crescita e carriera alle nostre dipendenti, mamme incluse! Sono tutte ben accolte, troviamo che siano una risorsa irrinunciabile e grande indice di maturità nel nostro team. Da sempre puntiamo su piani di sviluppo aziendale assolutamente paritari; la famiglia Deraweb è un gruppo eterogeneo che ha fatto anche di questo equilibrio un punto di forza. 

Grazie Fabio per averci aperto le porte di Deraweb e condiviso con HR Revolution Middle East, l’esempio positivo di una realtà aziendale solida che ha fatto delle Risorse Umane il suo motivo di orgoglio!

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