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Nermine Fawzy & Sherif Amer provide a Double Course in Alexandria ~ AHRA



Performance Management and Employee Engagement

Coverage: Youssef Abdelaziz

Photography: Alia Faramawi

Alexandria 24-3-2016. It was 9:37 in the morning, I was already 7 minutes late and it wasn’t the best first impression that could be given. I jogged until I arrived at the entrance of Hilton Cornish… I took a deep breath, and then I entered. After several good mornings and inquiries I reached the room which the course will take place in. A big flyer of AHRA “Alexandria Human Resources Association” alongside another big one of the main sponsor of the day “Prime Health” a medical insurance company and member of medgulf insurance group issued the entrance scene. The scene of the room was solemn; a scene full of people that looks so important must be. About 10 minutes later, everyone was in his and her seat, the quiet reined the room and a gentleman in a suit started talking.

Mr. Emad Nasr “CEO of AHRA & HR Director of Lecico” started the event by a speech; welcoming the guests and mentioning the participating companies and organizations. Then, he introduced the speaker of the performance management session “Ms. Nermine Fawzy” – Regional HR & Admin Director Middle East and Africa of Cargill Company.

emad nasr

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

Ms. Nermine started her talk with joking about the time of the course saying that she accustomed to give courses at 7 and 8 A.M unlike today. The main subject of Ms. Nermine’s talk was the change of the performance management system in Cargill from ordinary performance appraisals focused system to a new system without ratings. In the course, Ms. Nermine noted that the main reason of changing is changing the culture of the company from system that has traits like centralized decision making, rule based organization, bureaucracy, focusing on short term goals and policing into a system with traits like long term goals, focusing on growth interactive business reviews, empowered relationship, urgency and low cost of condor. She said that “the company wanted the relationship to be between the employees and their managers with no other third lines attached”. She also highlighted the change in performance appraisals approach from a one-way communication, rigid and annual rating to an agile, two-way communication and coaching and no ratings, clarifying that “I don’t go to my manager and say all what I have and he only shakes his head anymore, it’s now an ongoing discussion and two-way dialogue to make this or break that”.


Ms. Nermine Fawzy – Regional HR & Admin Director Middle East & Africa of Cargill

Then, Ms. Nermine turned to talk about the benefits of this transformation; explaining how hard the journey was but on the other hand the results are so comfortable. Empowering the employees-managers relationships was the most beneficial thing alongside the focusing on the on-going feedback and coaching, therefore employees feeling that they are not on a pass or fail exam. Then she talked about what is important to consider when you are intending or planning to change. Firstly, she talked about the bigger role of performance management than performance appraisals. Secondly, the simpler the process is, the better the progress goes. As she ended her session by saying that the managers and the HRs must know that: “We don’t give feedback to say that you’re either good or bad, it’s to say what you did wrong and how we should do it”.

After the presentation, questions took place and HR Revolution had a chance to ask her a question, “How did the team members who adopted the idea of system change deal with the black hatted colleagues and managers?” And she answered, “First of all, you must be so strategic about convincing people with your idea and know exactly when to talk to whom. Then, grabbing the opinion managers who influence a big number of people into the idea and also try to win middle managers who have a big capacity of employees and attract them to your idea”.


Mr. Ibrahim Saad – Sales Manager at Hapag-Lloyd Company & Mr. Youssef Abdelaziz – Journalist at HR Revolution Magazine

 Mr. Ibrahim Saad – Sales Manager at Hapag-Lloyd company – said that currently, his company applies the classical system of performance management but after the presentation of Ms. Nermine he thinks that the new techniques and mindsets will suit the sales directorate and other directorates as well, “We have obvious targets but we can easily count on the flexibility of performance management new system to develop the employees and their performance to reach our targeted numbers. I think that it will need some time to apply it in Egyptian companies. But internally, we can use some new techniques said by Ms. Nermine, maybe not all the system but some things that we can count on this period.”


Ms. Fatima El-Zein – Business Development Manager of Prime Health Company

After a 5 minutes break, Ms. Fatima El-Zein – Business Development Manager at “Prime Health Company” – talked with the audience about the company. Ms. Fatima explained the policy of Prime Health; she said that “we are focusing on the quality of their product, maybe some people accuse as for high prices. But on the long term with the more awareness people will gain, they will know who sells the best quality insurance”. Ms. Fatima summed it all up by saying: “We tailor according to the client’s request”. Then, Ms. Fatima pointed to the challenges that face her company to deliver the best quality with the third party “providers” like hospitals and pharmacies. She also highlighted an important problem which is that many TPA “third party administrator” companies deal with companies as insurance company, and they deal with them for only less value. Another important topic was mentioned which was justice in networking of insurance. Ms. Fatima explained that the networks of insurance must vary from the managers to the employees to the blue collars as everyone should have an insurance network that suits his salary. Ms. Fatima said, “You can’t give a blue-collar 200 pounds and say to him go and have dinner at Hilton, he will probably be pleased.. But he will have to pay extra 500 pounds to cover the dinner price”.


Ms. Mariam Bahgat – Administrator at AHRA & Mr. Youssef Abdelaziz – Journalist at HR Revolution Magazine

 All the attendees had a 20 minutes coffee break to refresh their minds. In the coffee break HR Revolution had a chance to ask some questions to Ms. Mariam Bahgat – The new Administrator of AHRA. She spoke with us about the plans she wants to implement in her new working environment. She said that all what is she trying to do is to provide new things and new ideas for AHRA and also increase the number of memberships. She also works on attracting more sponsors as she promises for special and important events organized by AHRA in the upcoming period.


Mr. Sherif Amer – HR Consultant

After the coffee break, Mr. Sherif Amer – HR consultant – spoke about the other topic of the course “Employee Engagement”. Unlike the course of Mr. Ahmed Badr two months ago, Mr. Sherif talked about the topic from a different angle which is “Value Based Engagement”. Before starting, Mr. Sherif applied with the attendees what he called “Value Exercise”. He started distributing pieces of paper among the attendees with number of values written on them and the attendees must pick five values that can’t be abandoned in their lives. After picking, Mr. Sherif asked the attendees to exclude 3 values from the five they have already chosen to remain only two. It was a very tough choice but Mr. Sherif said after the exercise that the benefits of this exercise was to know every once in a while to know what are the values you are carrying in your life depending on the changes that happens through your experience.

In the course, Mr. Sherif talked about the different between the values of the startups and big companies. “Startups are some people who look like each other in their mindset and values so it is so easy to run the startup in this case because you have basic values shared by everyone, unlike the big companies who have a lot of employees and managers with different minds and characters,” he explained further that you have to hire according to a value based system to hire the people who carry values similar to that of the company’s. “The previous behavior is the best indicator of a future success or failure,” those were the words of Mr. Sherif pointing to the importance of hiring according a value based system. He also highlighted the role of disengagement in the organizations that causes a 450 to 500 billion loss.


Also, Mr. Sherif presented one of the most important factors in engagement which is internal communication with your employees, stressing on the role of HRs in creating an engaging atmosphere to the employees by simple steps like team building and transparency, which he considered the most important of all. He said, “A happy employee makes a happy costumer”. He also went to an important point and explaining the importance of embracing failure and that it is as important as celebrating success. Then, Mr. Sherif turned to a powerful point which is “managers”. He explained that many employees leave their work because of their managers. Having an academy for managing is an important step to produce great managers. Adding to that, “Countries like Egypt hire managers because they are experts at their fields, and not because they are good managers, which eventually cause huge troubles.”


Ms. Lamees Maher – Senior HR at ABCO United Group & Mr. Youssef Abdelaziz – Journalist at HR Revolution Magazine

Ms. Lamees Maher – Senior HR at ABCO United Group – saw that Mr. Sherif was on point in his presentation as she thought that he covered almost everything. She also saw that lack of engagement is a huge challenge that faces all the Egyptian companies including her company as the employees don’t feel that the values of the company are meeting theirs but they are still working on it to settle this problem and make the employees more comfortable in their work. She was also asked about whom to hire, a very qualified person with different values than your company or a less qualified person carrying the same values of the company? And her answer was, “If the less qualified person is trainable he/she is absolutely the right guy.”





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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