Yevhenii Bondarenko: We Are Doing Our Best to Ensure That Our Obligations to Our Employees Are Fulfilled

Published Tue, 8 June, 14:11

Development and training are among the top priorities of our work. In addition to investing in our own expertise through training from external providers, we also develop corporate training on our own.

One of our projects is the University of Internal Trainers, where the company’s employees train and share their knowledge with their colleagues. We train employees who want to share their experience and skills with others, conduct well-designed training, draw up programs and then start signing up the applicants. The feedback is incredible. Moreover, knowledge sharing is not limited to training sessions.

Regular Management Practices, our global initiative of in-house training for primary and secondary executives, was launched this year, attended by more than 200 participants. The topic is the development of soft skills. Who are the trainers? We teach by ourselves, without involving external trainers. The format is the CyberBoss game.

We have also introduced corporate MBA training. During the year, our executives study and then write graduate projects that will be implemented in their current work.  “At the very least, you have to do the MBA program to meet your colleagues from other business units (the company has more than 2,500 employees). And every time my classmates present their own work cases, I’m slightly (very) surprised,” says a participant of the training.

As to career growth, one of our main rules when recruiting staff is that as a company we really do everything possible to ensure that our employees who aspire for professional development and are ready for new challenges are prioritised for available positions.

Євгеній Бондаренко: Ми робимо все, щоб  зобов'язання перед  співробітниками були виконані

One of our projects is the University of Internal Trainers, where the company’s employees train and share their knowledge with their colleagues. We train employees who want to share their experience and skills with others, conduct well-designed training, draw up programs and then start signing up the applicants. The feedback is incredible. Moreover, knowledge sharing is not limited to training sessions.

Regular Management Practices, our global initiative of in-house training for primary and secondary executives, was launched this year, attended by more than 200 participants. The topic is the development of soft skills. Who are the trainers? We teach by ourselves, without involving external trainers. The format is the CyberBoss game.

We have also introduced corporate MBA training. During the year, our executives study and then write graduate projects that will be implemented in their current work. A “At the very least, you have to do the MBA program to meet your colleagues from other business units (the company has more than 2,500 employees). And every time my classmates present their own work cases, I’m slightly (very) surprised,” says a participant of the training.

As to career growth, one of our main rules when recruiting staff is that as a company we really do everything possible to ensure that our employees who aspire for professional development and are ready for new challenges are prioritised for available positions.

One of the current trends is diversity&inclusion. How does the company integrate this into its business life, and how important is it for a media company?

Diversity and inclusion are not just a trend. This should become the normal way of life. The main criteria for each business should be professionalism and further partnership with its employees. In fact, when business processes involve diverse people, people of different nationalities, sex, ages, appearances, beliefs, people with disabilities, etc., it broadens the horizons. And this applies not only to the media industry. How do we integrate this into our business life? Let’s just say that we provide everyone with equal opportunities, and the main criterion for making a decision on cooperation is professional skills.

The Mass Media, Media, Journalism category is traditionally one of the five most attractive professional areas for applicants. Tell me, how do you choose your employees? Who is a perfect applicant for you? Given that thousands of people work in the Group, everyone’s hard skills will be different. But is there something that all these people have in common?

In addition to professionalism which was mentioned above, this is a partnership and willingness to be loyal to each other, implementing the principle of Win-Win. For us, our team are, first and foremost, individual people, and we understand that we shape not only their work experience as a line in their CV but also their entire life path. So it’s rather about our responsibility as an employer. Are we ready for this? Yes, and we are proud of it because we employ the best.

One of the current trends is diversity&inclusion. How does the company integrate this into its business life, and how important is it for a media company?

Diversity and inclusion are not just a trend. This should become the normal way of life. The main criteria for each business should be professionalism and further partnership with its employees. In fact, when business processes involve diverse people, people of different nationalities, sex, ages, appearances, beliefs, people with disabilities, etc., it broadens the horizons. And this applies not only to the media industry. How do we integrate this into our business life? Let’s just say that we provide everyone with equal opportunities, and the main criterion for making a decision on cooperation is professional skills.

The Mass Media, Media, Journalism category is traditionally one of the five most attractive professional areas for applicants. Tell me, how do you choose your employees? Who is a perfect applicant for you? Given that thousands of people work in the Group, everyone’s hard skills will be different. But is there something that all these people have in common?

In addition to professionalism which was mentioned above, this is a partnership and willingness to be loyal to each other, implementing the principle of Win-Win. For us, our team are, first and foremost, individual people, and we understand that we shape not only their work experience as a line in their CV but also their entire life path. So it’s rather about our responsibility as an employer. Are we ready for this? Yes, and we are proud of it because we employ the best.

The majority of respondents, including those from the media industry, said that due to the coronavirus crisis, companies have revised their social packages and employee motivation systems. For some, the changes have been for the better (remote work, extended health insurance, integration of well-being principles into working activity). For others, the changes led to reduced wages, working hours, and other unpleasant things for the company and employees. What did MGU do?

Media Group Ukraine is a responsible and reliable employer. Therefore, our company does not resort to measures such as staff cuts, reduction or delay in salary payments. We do our best to ensure that our obligations to our employees are fulfilled. We didn’t have a single day’s delay in paying our salaries. Not a single employee was reduced due to the introduction of quarantine. No one’s salary was reduced compared to the period before the pandemic began. Moreover, we have made an upward revision of salaries as of 1 March 2020 as well as paid the promised annual bonuses based on the results of the annual staff assessment, both last year and this year.

We continue hiring new employees. We continue to open new projects and recruit staff, offering an official and transparent salary (our company has a grading system where each position is described and evaluated according to the country’s media market climate), corporate health insurance and mobile communications.

Over the past year, there have been extensive discussions about the complete digitalisation of work processes in Media Group Ukraine (up to the development of automatic HR dashboards). Are there any practical outcomes? And how can you use digital tools to save a valuable employee? Is it even possible to automate the employee development process?

Yes, for the last two years, our team has been working on the automation of HR processes, analytical dashboards. And today we have a clear and tangible result: executives use dashboards and see figures that they rarely saw before. And there is no guarantee that these figures were correct, that is, the most recent. This allows executives to better understand the situation with the staff, teams and, of course, make more informed decisions. Now, the executives, managers, and HR staff have the same perspective on the big picture. When we use the same numbers to talk about turnover, reasons for staff layoffs, gender composition, etc., everyone benefits from this. There is no longer any dispute as to why employees leave. The numbers show everything, they reflect reality rather than someone’s conjectures, ideas or fantasies.

Before the introduction of dashboards, executives often complained that employees were leaving because of low salaries. It was impossible to know the real reasons because statistics were not kept. When we introduced dashboards with this information, many executives changed their rhetoric. Because now they know that there are several reasons for leaving the company: because of the amount of salary, for personal reasons, because of failure to reach target indicators, because the person is not suitable for a certain position, did not pass the probationary period, because of a conflict in the team or with the supervisor, etc. Moreover, leaving due to an insufficient salary can be the fourth or fifth reason, and in some departments, the main reason is the atmosphere in the team. When an executive sees this on dashboards, they can consider what kind of atmosphere they created in their team. This leads to a different perspective and a different dialogue with HR staff: let’s try to solve this problem together.

Dashboards have HR functions to communicate with businesses in the same language, the language of numbers. On the other hand, they help executives look at HR processes from the HR perspective. In a business where there are no dashboards, each function usually has its perspective, and it is difficult to come to an agreement. Automatic dashboards are the basis for starting a dialogue to discuss a particular issue in order to embark on the path of improvement or enhancing, since problem areas are visible. This is a good starting point for working on them.

 

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