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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.”





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



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.”


” 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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



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



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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