- Oct 15 • 2 years ago
Walk & Talk with Federico Russo 3 of 3: Future Initiatives and More Agency for Employees
In this final part of our conversation, Federico starts with the present and looks to the future to reveal some very interesting initiatives the Human Resources Department has in the works for NetRefer employees. He touches upon three different performance-based rewarding plans that empower employees by giving them agency.
I’ve been hearing phrases like talent and skills, training and focus, team-driven and goal-driven performance. Is that why we’re here today at Ta’ Qali basketball Pavilion?
Yes, precisely. Setting up a team in a company is not different from setting up a sports team. It can be a basketball team, football team, whatever. You have to understand the right chemistry and understand each role within the team, and define what they’re contribution will be, what their strong points are, their weaknesses, who is going to support the team to make up for those weaknesses.
It’s like having a Playmaker and expecting him to slam dunk. If you have another player who’s over two metres tall, you won’t usually expect him to be the playmaker, but rather the one to slam dunk. The same applies to the company. We are understanding where each employee fits in best. And this is why we’re implementing the Skill Matrix, development, defining career paths, and all these initiatives we’re putting in place.
Being the Head of HR or a Manager in general is like being a coach. You have to find your best talent for specific purposes and roles. You may have top quality talent like Ronaldo and Messi, but if that chemistry around them is missing, they cannot function as they would in a different environment. And my role and goal are to advise managers on how to have their team functioning at its best.
As mentioned earlier, our company is driven by efficiency and results. And that is mainly my job: to understand individual talent and recognise where each one fits within the organisation.
The sporting analogy is an interesting one: the idea of all these components or players on the team, contributing towards an overall strategy. It sounds like everything in HR at NetRefer is functioning like clockwork. Tell me, what’s next in terms of future initiatives for the company and for Human Resources?
As we speak, we’re releasing something we call Performance Culture. This is composed of different tools, such as the Skill Matrix we’ve already touched upon. This is already something that’s part of the business. It will also reward employees based on their performance, but not by measuring it. To give you an example, we already have a reward called Cheers to Peers. This one’s a form of peer-to-peer recognition. Employees can recognise each other’s efforts, without the need for me to go through a performance monitoring process. If you acknowledge that I’m doing a great job, going an extra mile, or mentoring someone, you can reward me by showing this kind of recognition.
Initially, this wasn’t linked to a monetary prize. But now, we’re introducing a quarterly challenge among all the people rewarded with the Cheers to Peers. The one who gets most points will have a chance to fish for a golden ball from the Thank You Tank I mentioned before. This will contain a very nice prize for them to mark their accomplishment.
In the future, we’ll introduce other rewards with the same concept. Rewards based on contribution to the business, cost-saving, initiatives that are innovating the business. And we’re looking to introduce a remuneration compensation to these bonuses.
Then, the next step is another initiative called Master of Your Own Money. It means that employees will be able to define how much money they take home. We’ll introduce a performance-based bonus, based on KPIs, and how these KPIs and goals are achieved. And of course, increasing your contribution, efficiency, the effort you’re pouring into your job, increases the amount you earn. This is something that will give multiple options to the employees to increase their earnings.
The final step, which will really be taking us into the future, is being Master of Your Time. By then, we’ll be a company that is 100% performance-driven. We’ll have all the tools in place to monitor performance, to reward and appraise performance, and to develop people into the next level, opening up additional opportunities for them. At this stage, you can decide to spend more time with your family if, for instance, you have a task allocated for the next five days, but you know you can get it done in two. If, instead, you want to be master of your own money, you can spend those freed up three days working on achieving your next goal or KPI. Here, our employees will be completely free to decide what objectives and goals to achieve, while embracing our vision and strategy. And once that’s done, they can decide where to go.
And beyond that, moving further into the future?
Coming from our own CEO – Raphael Arnold. Simply put, our platform provides loyalty and gamification features, among many others, to our clients. And Raphael is sharing this vision with all of us. And as Head of HR, I’m taking this vision and looking for ways to translate it into HR initiatives and practices. So, the future would rest on these three elements: master of your money, master of your time, and loyalty and gamification. By gamification, I mean that every employee joining NetRefer will step into a different reality the minute they walk into the office – a virtual reality.
Federico, this was really interesting. So many fascinating insights. I wanted to say thank you so much for being with us today.
Watch the next entry in our Walk & Talk series with Head of NetRefer’s Commercial Department – Dexter Cutajar.
A special thank you goes out to Andrew Bonello for conducting the interview.
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