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Solving the People Management Confusing Equation: Freedom within Control

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As HR professionals in Egypt; we have been recently facing the dilemma of how we can balance between the Employee welfare while applying a sound management system able to control my people by different means; tracking their attendance, their performance, their behaviors & their attitudes.

I have recently met with, whether management professionals or employees who have a misleading interpretation for the concept of “Employee Welfare” in their minds, which unfortunately results in: or a wrong application of management systems, in the case of management professionals, or a non-justifiable dissatisfaction, in the case of employee.

Now let us go in more details for the above case.

The misleading concept I have recently found for the “Employee Welfare” in the understanding of some of, whether management professionals or employees, which is most probably inspired from “Google” as they strongly assume, is that they believe that opening the utmost limits for flexibility is the right application for a “Google” working environment that will perfectly lead in a better employee satisfaction.

The problem is that just hearing “peels” about a workplace or a management style without going in details tackling what goes in the background of such application, will definitely lead to shocking ends.

It is quite known to all of us that “Google” was named for four consecutive years as the Best Company to work for, “the Employer of choice”, relevantly as a result of all the efforts they really exert to customize all suitable perks they can give for their people, and how they can foster a work environment capable of energizing people to give their best ever.

However, let’s go deeper in examining the “Google” Employee Welfare concept. Is it all about giving employees an utmost flexibility & bestowing them with swank perks? Could this be my only perception, whether as an employee or as a manager for the wished work environment I hope to work in or apply?

My dear employee, please don’t just take the story from outside ignoring the inside details which most probably represents the golden threads that mainly lead to the final destination you are limiting your view to it.

In 2015, Laszlo Bock, Google’s People Operations Department Head, issued the “Work Rules” book in which he explains with more details a lot about Google internal work rules & their people management perspectives.

If you just went in reading this book you will initially learn how much do they force a very strong system for hiring aiming to maintain the quality of people-in “Google” so that not to affect the “Google” life/work quality inside, to the extent that “Google” at a time became infamous for asking prospective candidates to endure lots & lots of interviews.

They do believe that focusing intensely on hiring processes, helps them in choosing people well and reaping the rewards from its selectivity. The Company is incredibly choosy with who it picks to become “Googlers”.

My dear Manager, a moment here please, aspiring to apply the “Google Environment” in your work place, are you pretty sure that you first have inside all the people fitting in to the maturity of the freedom you will be granting?

If yes or no, do you have an internal well-designed system capable of tracking whoever could abuse whatever freedom you will be granting?

Another example from “Google Operations” is that, they apply a goal-setting performance management system deliciously complicated to make sure that if the rating of an employee is a hair higher than someone else’s he would be rewarded, as a result, with a slightly higher raise.

My dear Manager/My dear Employee, I think we shall not debate anymore the necessity & the effectiveness of applying the right performance management system in place, with the claim of fostering a flexible work-environment. You can rather change your perspective for how you are going to manage the results of your people ratings and how you will relate them to impact on other HR functions, so the debate now is different! It is no more about applying or not the performance management; it is how to just apply it in the way that can most benefit the main stakeholders of the process: the Employee & the Company.

Don’t ever misinterpret the Google concept by having loose internal systems in place for people management, claiming that you are applying the “Google” flexibility style.

It was really astonishing to me to see this in reality, to the extent of refusing in some cases to implement an internal attendance tracking system, failing in this way to track any record by any means for the basics of employee systematic tracking.

I chose only those two functions as slight examples to support my idea, I don’t want to go in more details about their internal processes & policies, but I just wanted to indicate the complicated systems in the background that apparently seem to who doesn’t study well the case, as if it is only about applying flexibility without exerting all these efforts in the background for the control.

The main characteristics we can simply deduce from Google’s People Operations policies then, it is not the uncontrollable flexibility that can realize the “Employee Welfare” in its right meaning, but rather partnering the employee as much as possible in every perspective related to his well-being this is number 1, in addition to making all people decisions informed by data which definitely requires,  first of all, implementing the right systems in place that can track consistently & accurately employees’ output by all means and in all functions, and thus foster fairness in each and every essence.

This is the title I chose for my article “Freedom within Control” it is neither an utmost Freedom nor a rigid Control; it is rather the art of balancing between giving your people their freedom within a mature essence of control, contributing effectively in formulating a such amazing and fair work environment.

I am totally with fostering every aspect of freedom & flexibility in the workplace, but I am against the illogic application of it, and the incorrect myths built in the minds of some employees about the “Freedom” concept applied in the most famous Companies highly rated internationally as “Employer of Choice”.

Written By: Mariham Magdy

Articles

How did the International Certification from the HRCI change your career?

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Testimonials from Certified HR Professionals in the Middle East

Journalism: Menna Hamdy

Mostafa Gallal (PHRi, Egypt) – Recruitment Manager at Al Ezz Dekheila Steel

“The most important thing about the certification content is that it helps us to understand the HR science from a global perspective. In addition, to updating us about the new HR trends.

Most of us don’t practice at work all the HR functions, so it allows me to learn about all the HR functions.

Being certified gave me the opportunity to take a role in many projects, as well as participating in many events that added a real value for me.

My mindset started to think about top management decisions and how I can solve the regular issues that happens between top management and unions. I learnt that when proposing any new idea, I should take into consideration how to apply it in a way that fits my company culture

I would advise HR professionals when approaching their HRCI Certifications content study; to try to understand the practical way of each module, and to get acquainted with the HR Expressions and abbreviations as they are very important; they have to study them very well.”

Ezzddin Malek (SPHRi – PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at Misr Capital S.A.E

“I acquired my PHRi and SPHRi certifications in 2017 and it gave me an edge to make 2 steps up in my career from senior HR specialist in 2017 to Head of HR in a multinational company within just 2 years and I was chosen by HRCI to be an exam development panelist since 2018.”

Mina Adel (PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at IRAM JEWELRY

“Knowing the latest internationally applied methods of human resource management and being a certified practitioner from the premier human resources certification institute (HRCI) made me qualified to undertake larger tasks and assume advanced responsibilities in the field of human resources”

Mohannad Albashabsheh (SPHRi- PHRi, Jordan) – HR & Training Section Head in JBC

“Practicing HR Professionally is an outstanding responsibility. Being SPHRi certified facilitated for me the knowledge, skills, attitude and resulting power to be successful HR Professional”

Dana Hasan (PHRi, Jordan) – TA, LD Section Head

“I have got my first HRCI certification in 2014, then I got my recertification in 2017 as PHRi. Getting such certification helped me to grow in my HR career, stand as a distinguished HR professional in international and multinational companies. 

One of the main reasons that enabled me to work for big companies and be a business partner is having a professional certification.

I advise each professional: Invest in yourself, strengthen your experience with knowledge”

Mariham Magdy (PHRi, Egypt) – HR, Strategy and Management Consultant & Trainer

“As an HR Trainer & Consultant I believe that one of the most important benefits of the International Certification by the HRCI is how efficiently it builds the mind-set of the HR professionals acquainting them with the technical know-how for HR, spoken and standardized in an international language.

The HRCI exerts sound efforts to provide learners with valuable framework that can help them understand technically correct the processes of the different HR functions.

The HRCI Certification enabled me to understand the HR science from an international perspective, which gave me confidence in my work as an HR practitioner and Trainer.

The knowledge learnt throughout the certifications content designs for us a reliable road-map for the right steps to follow for decision making in HR.

I strongly recommend the certification for each professional aiming to progress his/her career in the HR field. Take a step today that you will thank yourself for it tomorrow”

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Interview with Eureka (ICS Learn Student) Customer Service Agent – Qatar Airways

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Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

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

What special recommendations would you share with CIPD students to encourage them to progress in their study?

ICS Learn Student:

Going through a period of change is very challenging and emotionally draining with the end outcome almost always unforeseeable. Everything seems to be unpredictable, but that is okay! Take some time to adapt to this new situation, accept it as positive reinforcement to yourself. Add value to yourself. Break through the situations in life. Continuing to learn will bring you academic and professional value to be the person whom you always want to be.

2- HR Revolution Middle East: How did the online set-up provided by ICS learn supported you to finish your CIPD Certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As a CIPD student, I am very glad that I choose ICS Learn as my platform. The online set-ups are very easy to go through and convenient to manage time. Especially as I am a full-time worker, it is very challenging to manage time for study or attend classes. However, ICS Learn supports you with recorded classes and fast responsive tutor support. That connection always made me feel that I was in a live classroom.

3- HR Revolution Middle East:  To what extent do you believe that the CIPD has helped you to progress on your professional path and opened new doors for different career opportunities?

ICS Learn Student:

CIPD is an internationally recognised professional body. Most employer’s value and recognize the professional certification of CIPD. Being a CIPD Member gives professional values to my CV, especially in the field of Human Resources Management.

4- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your HR practice at your organization changed after acquiring the CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

My organization recognized me as an HR student as I am successfully achieving my professional qualifications with CIPD. I feel more confident as they look at me as someone whom they can rely on professionally at any given task.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What special support have you received from your Tutors at ICS Learn that evidently helped you to finalize your certification?

ICS Learn Student:

During my study period, the support that I received from all ICS Learn tutors is special. Personalized feedback with regards to any assessments helped to achieve pass grades. I highly appreciate that all my tutors are available to answer or clarify any inquires related to my assignments or theoretical doubts in the one-to-one online chat forum.

6- HR Revolution Middle East: The online administrative support is one of the most important things an online global learner need, how was it flexible to proceed with such important certification through the online platform of ICS Learn?

ICS Learn Student:

ICS Learn is one of the best and most recommended online learning providers. The online admin support is a click away as we all are connected in different time zones in the world. That is very important as an online global learner. They do not only support academically but also technically. As a path connecter to the CIPD body, ICS Learn have a very professional admin team.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your problem-solving techniques changed in dealing with HR challenges after finalizing your CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As an HR student, a CIPD qualification will enrich you with academic techniques. I have improved lots of skills that are helping me to handle challenges in a patient and professional manner. All the studies are practical scenarios rather than theoretical ones which allows me to improve as an individual and improve my behaviours as a people person.

8- HR Revolution Middle East: What would be your next academic degree in mind after the CIPD?

ICS Learn Student:

I would like to do a master’s degree in Human Resources Management.

9- HR Revolution Middle East: Do you believe HR/L&D professionals shall create communities of practice to encourage one another in finalizing their CIPD certifications and nurture the profession that way?

ICS Learn Student:

Yes, I do believe so. Being connected to a community that is driven by the same goals and targets is encouraging. It also helps to build confidence and practice some of the professional behaviours by supporting each other. Sharing each other’s knowledge and giving feedback and different viewpoints always achieves a better outcome.

10- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the needed competences for an HR professional to excel in his/her CIPD studies?

ICS Learn Student:

The field of HR is dynamic and our ability to process and understand it requires self-motivation. Growing in your job means being receptive to new ideas, wherever they may come from. HR professionals who never stop learning are well-positioned to translate well thought out industry trends and data into actionable insights. CIPD is the perfect gateway to our dream career. They support choosing the right course to up-skill your HR practice and stay motivated remotely.

THANK YOU

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Articles

تعاون بين شباب السودان ومصر لتنظيم النسخة الثامنة لتيدكس ودمدني بالسودان

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شباب من مصر والسودان يترجموا التعاون بين البلدين الشقيقين في المشاركة في تنظيم النسخة الثامنة لمؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني بالسودان.

يعتبر شهر مارس بكل عام بمدينة ودمدني السودانية شهر مختلف ومتميز وذلك لأنه على مدى 7 أعوام متتالية يشهد على تنظيم حدث لمؤتمر تيدكس العالمي، وجاءت النسخة الثامنة التي كانت بيوم 27 مارس 2021 نسخة متميزة ومنفردة بجمال أفكارها ومشاريعها وتنظيمها الذي تم الأشراف عليه من البلدين الشقيقين، وكانت المشاركات شاملة لكل المجالات التي تهدف لتنمية المجتمع والفرد ونذكر منها:

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم وكيف استطاعت أن تتجاوز كل تلك الصعاب بإرادة قوية حتى تم تسميتها باسم صاحبة الإرادة وتعتبر ياسمين الآن من الشخصيات الملهمة في السودان.

تحدث محمود منسي (جمهورية مصر العربية) على أعادة بناء الدول والمجتمعات بعد الثورات وجاء الموضوع مناسباً للمرحلة التي يمر بها السودان الشقيق وأستطاع محمود إلهام الشباب السوداني لأخذ دور في بناء البلد وذلك بتفاعلهم مع موضوعه.

تحدث كذلك أحمد رجب (جمهورية مصر العربية) على فكرة رقصة التانجو وعلاقتها بالإدارة والقيادة داخل المؤسسات.

وكذلك سها هيكل (جمهورية مصر العربية) وجهت رسالة توعوية للمجتمع لتغير نظرته تجاه الفنيين باعتبارهم شريحة مهمة في المجتمع، وأن محاربة العنصرية والتمييز في شتى مجالات العمل.

بينما وعد عصام (جمهورية مصر العربية) تحدثت عن الصعوبات التي تواجه طلاب الثانويات خصوصاً في تعلم اللغة الإنجليزية وكيفية التغلب عليها بنصائح سهلة بسيطة ومباشرة ووضحت وعد أن اللغة عبارة عن مهارات تكتسب وتمارس.

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم

ومن المشاركين كذلك من البراء عثمان (دولة الأمارات العربية المتحدة) الذي تحدث عن تجربته مع الاكتئاب وكيف استطاع تجاوزه بتوجيه طاقته تجاه ممارسة هوايته وهي الموسيقى وكيف أن ممارسة الموسيقى تساعد على التوازن النفسي.

فاطمة أحمد (جمهورية السودان) التي دعت للمحبة والسلام وتقبل الاّخر لبناء سودان جديد مستعرضة تجربة رواندا.

وكذلك تحدثت ماب خالد (جمهورية السودان) على أهمية التوعية بالعلاج النفسي وتجربتها في إقناع الحكومة لتضمين العلاج النفسي في التأمين الصحي وتوعية المواطنين بالصحة النفسية.

وعن السياحة تحدث بشغف محمد مجذوب (جمهورية السودان) وعن تاريخ السودان الذي يمتد ل 7000 سنة وعن حضارة الفراعنة داعياً الحكومة للترويج للسياحة في السودان معتبرا مؤتمر تيدكس مدني مؤتمراً يساهم في دفع عجلة السياحة بالبلاد وذلك للمشاركة الكبيرة من المتحدثين والجمهور من المناطق المختلفة.

وتحدثت أصغر المشتركات أسيل يوسف (جمهورية السودان) عن إمكانية استغلال الموهبة لمصدر دخل وتنميتها بالممارسة داعية شباب جيلها لحذو طريقها وختمت خنساء سيربال (جمهورية السودان) المؤتمر بحديثها على دور الممرض في المنظومة الطبية.

بالإضافة إلى الإعلامي إيهاب مجدي من مصر معد ومقدم فقرات برنامج المؤتمر، بالمشاركة مع الإعلاميين السودانيين خالد علي وآية عابدين.

وبختام المؤتمر قدم محمود منسي درع الأكاديمية العربية للعلوم والتكنولوجيا والنقل البحري للمنظم د. وائل العائد الذي شكر بدوره الأكاديمية العربية على دورها الكبير في إنجاح المؤتمر باعتبارها الشريك الأساسي وشكرها للمنحة التي تم تقديمها للمؤتمر وقام كذلك بتوجيه الشكر لكل الجهات التي ساهمت في إنجاح المؤتمر:

السيدة مونيكا وحيد، ممثل شركة تاركو للطيران مكتب مدني

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