Transparent communication and involvement of people in the processes´ creation is crucial today

The Human Capital 2022 conference took place on May 24 in Prague. Those who directly cultivate people in companies met in person. The program was dominated by data, those from the labour market and also the data usage to strengthen the business. The topics of communication and employee turnover were reflected among the speeches.

The conference was opened by joint presentation of Ondřej Přerovský and Marcela Provazníková from the Human Capital Advisory Services team of Deloitte on trends in the development of human capital. They described instinctive reactions to factors influencing work with employees and strategies for success working with these factors. Marcela Provazníková shared her experience directly from Deloitte: “Within our own tool, we decided to define the principles of hybrid work. It was necessary to co-create and involve people in the process to define how they will work. The key was to collect data on how the team is doing and how the organization is prepared in terms of technology and management. When you have data, it's a good idea to create a model that you implement for a period of time and verify it over always the time.”

Tomáš Ervín Dombrovský from LMC followed up with up-to-date data from the latest LMC Jobindex survey on the satisfaction and motivation of people at work. He pointed out that people's job satisfaction has been declining for a long time. In this context, employees mentioned the most feeling of insufficient appreciation, especially in relation with the increase of workload or appreciation of the work. “As many as 46 % of people have a problem to make ends meet, in combination with rising inflation, people are starting to be under the pressure,” he warned and identified great opportunity on the labour market in part-time jobs. These offers have high potential to attract wide range of applicants, however, they are not increasing.

Magdalena Wavle from Vodafone spoke provided an example of part-time job implementation. The company has been offering all part-time jobs for a year. At the same time, this possibility was offered to current employees too. The European leader in this area is Netherlands, where 42.7 % of employees work part-time, in the Czech Republic it is less than 6 %, while the European Union average is 17.7 %. Magdalena Wavle's goal in Vodafone is to reach 20 %. She emphasized that it is a long-time process and had some challenges from the perspective of the managers: “The main concern of managers was that they would have to manage more people. However, during the covid, we enhanced team contracts and collaboration rules — where people meet and what tools they use — and that helped us a lot in the implementation of part-time job contracts.” Responses to job offers rose by a fifth with part-time work possibility.

Chaos and change of mindset will help us evolve

Addictologist Aleš Kuda focused on the mental health of employees. He described how to work with people who need support: “We have to count with the fact that these people will have concerns. The employee must know what will happen next when he asks for help.” Aleš Kuda concluded his speech by urging the audience to free their minds from the rigid adherence to the certainties that bind people: “Chaos opens new possibilities.”

Radko Sáblík, director of the Smíchov Secondary Industrial School, shared his experience with involving students into running of the school. Alumni usually teach at school while studying at universities and running their startups in parallel. “The whole transformation of education is about a change of thinking, and that is the most difficult change. If we don't change our minds, we will educate students for the 20th, not the 21st century.”

The end of the first block of the conference belonged to the story of Anna Polišenská from TON. On her way within this traditional Czech company, she illustrated how important it is to give people the opportunity to find their own way within the company. In TON, people move from a worker position to a technologist or foreman without any difficulties. Students do not join the company on specific position, they have to find out in which area they are the strongest. In her presentation, she appealed: “Don't be afraid to educate leaders and be happy that you have raised someone better than yourself.”

The next part of the conference focused on technology and work with data. Michal Harásek from Tymbe took the audience into the near future. He introduced a system that, based on the data, decides autonomously how many temporary workers need to be ordered according to the workload and thus increase employee performance per unit processed: “In 2025, the shift system will be completely useless. If I have a system with dynamic analysis, I can only call people to cover the peaks and I can afford to give these people higher salary because they come for less hours.”

Pavel Vaněček from Česká spořitelna presented the value of data at work with people. “Feelings can form hypotheses that can be verified by data or not.” The data analysis helped the company to how big the gender gap is or they identified the causes of the fluctuation at affiliates.” The ambition is to decrease the latter by 10 % that would mean earning of 300 million CZK on lost revenues per year.  Pavel Vaněček emphasized: “Data alone will not change anything, it takes courage and a human to take concrete measures based on them.” At the end, he called for the connection of the worlds of HR and IT, which, according to him, have the strength to move business forward.

When Michal Debreceni joined the management of Compass Group, he had to deal with a loss of market confidence as a result of bad steps of previous management. He had a transformation ahead of him, this would not have been possible without people. Skilldriver helped the company with hybrid training of 157 team leaders from Litvínov to Košice. The principles of the training were explained by Pavel Fáček. As the biggest advantage, Michal Debreceni highlighted the opportunity to monitor how employees manage the trained skill, how they are able to put it into practice and how active they are in the program. “People enjoy it, training is the subject of coffee chats and people challenge each other, it makes them competitive.”

Vítězslav Havliš from Canadian Medical and EUC Plus introduced the Doctor 24/7 service, by which employees can contact a doctor via video call. He demonstrated how this service work directly in a live video call with a doctor. In the past year, people consulted cases related to respiratory problems, coronavirus, colds or sore throats the most often. The doctor can also issue a request or e-prescription remotely.

The morning part of the conference was closed by Radovan Jirka from BizzTreat, a company that was founded from the very beginning on purely remote cooperation bases. This ensured that it never lacked talent from the regions, but also from all over the world. Radovan Jirka wanted to self-determine at the outset: “I would like to defend myself against the stereotype that IT people are, in principle, introverted non-humans who are very reluctant to go to the office. Take this out of your head if you have it there, otherwise the IT guys will run away from you, even if you let them work from home.” According to him, in order to work remotely, the company needs regular order, high-tech equipment needs, people attending video call with camera switched on and time tracking that monitors the work done. “And when you have all this, you find out that without meeting regularly in person it does not work.” Joined cooking in the offices turned to be a good way how to integrate rather introverted colleagues.

How to communicate?

The afternoon part of the program started with the presentation of Lukáš Tóth from Behavio Labs with data on the sense of belonging of employees to companies. This strengthened especially during the pandemic. He pointed out shortcomings in communication: “It happens managers respect employees, but often employees do not know it. People without a high school diploma feel to be the most beneficial for their work. The least beneficial feel those with a university degree, these people are also more sensitive to communication.”

The afternoon part of the program started with the presentation of Lukáš Tóth from Behavio Labs with data on the sense of belonging of employees to companies. This strengthened especially during the pandemic. He pointed out shortcomings in communication: “It happens managers respect employees, but often employees do not know it. People without a high school diploma feel to be the most beneficial for their work. The least beneficial feel those with a university degree, these people are also more sensitive to communication.”

Communication was a key topic in the following panel discussion. In the context of inflation, supply chain outages and the proximity of the war, Ondřej Přerovský from Deloitte sees communication as key. “Everyone should be prepared to share the load that falls on both companies and employees. It is important to communicate transparently.” Jan Musil from LIKO-S added that: “Transparent communication is great when a company is doing well. But how to communicate the fact that we will no longer doing as good as we should without demotivating people, is more complicated.” He added that people get more involved on the basis of success. “Our answer to this is that we set strategic goals in line with the company's vision and then let the teams to create their strategic goals and measures that follow up on them and adapt them themselves. Although the company may not be doing well, teams achieve at least partial successes.”

Martina Černá from Albert Czech Republic shared how to communicate strategy in an entertaining and authentic way. “We have a board game on how to explain strategy and how time goes by, we are constantly updating it. People from the headquarters come to visit the stores with the game, get to know each other, compete and like to look back on this experience.” Martina Brixí from added to the topic of communication: “We are not perfect. We have several channels through which we communicate. What did not work for us was to send a single message to the entire company, we are now diversifying the messages.”

“Often a manager comes to me and says that an employee left because he got more money elsewhere. During the exit interviews, it is found that the initial reasons are completely different. People may feel that they do not have sufficient decision-making powers or that they do not have complete information for their work. If they receive a dedicated care, it is possible to prevent these situations,” Lucie Dostálová from Heineken answered when asked if she is worried about employees leaving because of a higher salary offer. The fluctuation in Heineken is now around 7 %.

The Human Capital conference was brought by Blue Events company with the support of a number of partners, namely by Deloitte. Michael Rozsypal from DVTV was moderating whole conference.


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