What would you do if it were you?

Four weeks ago, Lisa started working as the HR director in a pharmaceutical company called Salutto, which is an Italian company with a Turkish partner and has operated in Turkey for ten years. The director before her had worked with a team of three people and executed many inappropriate practices.

Four weeks ago, Lisa started working as the HR director in a pharmaceutical company called Salutto, which is an Italian company with a Turkish partner and has operated in Turkey for ten years. The director before her had worked with a team of three people and executed many inappropriate practices. The employees didn’t have faith in the human resources department and the rumour that “You cannot be promoted if you are not close to the HR director” was widespread. The employee turnover rate was far above the acceptable limit but even under these circumstances, the employee engagement research yielded good results. As a matter of fact, they had received the “best workplace of the year” award and all the employees including the HR department were surprised by the result.

Having learned everything that had happened from Carlo, the general manager, Lisa accepted the position believing that she could contribute to a positive change in the company. In her first week, Lisa had one on one meetings with all the managers in the company and obtained a better grasp of the situation.

Among the topics they discussed during the meetings, were the results of the employee engagement research. The managers said “Our teams either do not participate in the questionnaire believing that nothing will ever change or, even if they do, they rarely give high points.”

The Turkish partner of the company was affiliated with a big holding and some top managers who were appointed by the holding company considered themselves to be untouchable because they were close to the owners. Carlo, who had taken office two months ago, was aware of the situation the company was in and he had started the change with the HR department. He had transferred Lisa from outside the holding and wanted her to establish a bigger HR department, which would be in closer contact with all the employees. He wanted to convince all of the employees that some things would change now.

The following is what came out in a meeting held at the headquarters of the company, operating in 33 countries, for the next year:

1. Global business strategies;

• Deepening the existing markets, broadening the product range, and increasing sales across all product lines

• Penetrating new markets.

2. Areas to concentrate on for organizational development;

• Providing a strong leadership formation – This item has been put on the agenda because the newly appointed executives in the rapidly-growing organization do not have the requisite competencies.

• Developing the IT infrastructure and employee competences and increasing the number of personnel in those offices with long working hours (including Turkey).

• Preventing a silo mentality among strategic business units – There is a silo mentality among the 3 main business units arising from the nature of the work done.

• Increasing cooperation among sales, marketing, and operations.

In line with the global growth strategy, just like in all the company’s offices around the world, the focal point of recruitment is senior sales specialists, senior product managers, and newly graduate product manager candidates also in the Turkey office. Recruitment and activities to increase employee engagement has been left to the initiative of each country’s respective HR team.

The following are the actions Lisa is going to initiate in her first three months as a result of the talks she had with the managers of all levels and some of the employees, the strategies and development priorities that came from the global office, and her talks with Carlo:

• Providing a strong leadership formation.

• Strengthening the HR team with new recruits.

• Shortening the long working hours, which makes the employees unhappy the most.

• Recruiting personnel for the sales and marketing departments.

To read more, please download my free ebook on www.lp2.aliayaz.com

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