Interview With Rania Shaker, DHL COUNTRY HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER


FIRSTLY, CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING 2017 EGYPT TOP EMPLOYER AWARD.

Thank you, we are very proud to have won this award again.


IF YOU WERE TO SUM UP DHL HR POLICY WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Having motivated people is the 1st pillar in our DHL Focus Strategy. Without our DHL superstars we wouldn’t be DHL. Having this as our HR policy and focusing on it led us to be TOP EMPLOYER in 2016, 2017. We were able to raise our Employee Opinion Survey scores by +6 % between 2015 & 2016, and increased the scores even further for 2017, giving us top results across the MENA region.


WHAT IS YOUR MAGIC DHL FORMULA?

• Our focus on Employee Engagement, Team Communications and Active Leadership, which allows us to have the right people on the bus.

• More thought-out and strategic engagement benefits such as affordable medical services, discounted external offerings, entertainment & sports based outings, and team member involvement in company CSR activities.

• Continually finding ways to improve the positivity and productivity of our employees.

• Clear and transparent communication tactics that dilute mistaken perceptions within the team and keep them correctly directed and energetic.

• Active leadership involvement in employee learning and development that enhances employee commitment and dedication, through a series of internal training programs, and policy-man-dated L&D requirements.

• Collaboration with selected providers for team building, engagement activities and events with external partners.


HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN THE MOMENTUM OF THE MAGIC FORMULA?

We create action plans from the information and scores collected from our previous year’s Employee Satisfaction Surveys. We also benchmark “best market practices” to maintain an employer branding edge to our HR unique selling proposition. We collectively aim to remain at the top of the game, and to continue leading the corporate employment market here in the MENA region.


WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS OF DHL WHEN IT COMES TO HIRING TOP NOTCH EMPLOYEES?

DHL is all about hiring the most suitable candidate for the job. We ensure that we hire people who will not only fit into our corporate culture but also have potential to take on bigger roles, and who reflect our internal values at the highest levels.

WHAT ARE DHL’S THREE BIGGEST CURRENT HR CHALLENGES?

• The first challenge we have is keeping employees motivated in the current economic situation. We are trying to overcome this by enhancing our employee benefits; both financially and non-financially - cheaper medical, discounted outing locations, awards for best ideas campaigns, etc.

• The second challenge is retaining our high potential employees. In the current climate a lot of our talented people are thinking of leaving Egypt to work abroad. We do our

best to overcome this by building strong career paths and recommending them for other jobs inside DHL worldwide.

• The third challenge is employee engagement. We work on this by having a yearly plan for employee engagement activities on a DHL worldwide level and local level. We also focus as mentioned earlier on employee development through various internal and external sources, such as our internal certification programs and our partnerships with third party team building organizations.


WHY DO YOU UTILIZE EXTERNALLY PROVIDED TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES AS WELL AS YOUR INTERNAL ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES?

It is very important to keep the employees across different departments engaged and enhance communication across the organization to avoid silo mentality. We regularly conduct team-building events through outsourced providers who come in with an unbiased and directed approach to our team building needs and who provide a fresh and subjective outlook to our team members and their needs.


HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR HR DEPARTMENT REMAINS CURRENT?

We participate in many events such as employment fairs and university visits where we educate students about DHL and find out what they are looking for in the employment market. Moreover; we participate in HR forums and regularly attend American Chamber of Commerce events as well as other business groups. Also, our global multinational corporate HR policies and procedures, which are dictated by our head office, remain in constant practice in all our branches and keep us guided within the margins of global HR practices.


HOW DOES DHL ENSURE A HIGH PERFORMANCE CULTURE?

We have common goals across departments to ensure business alignment from all functions. We have various recognition programs like Employee of the Quarter and Employee of the year which are based on performance and attitude.


WHAT ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT RETENTION STRATEGIES THAT DHL PRACTICES?

  • Career-path and mobility

  • Promote from within Employee benefits

WHAT ARE THE KEY CHARACTERISTICS THAT GOT YOU INTO THIS DYNAMIC POSITION?

My strategic exposure from working in multinationals in various industries has given me a wide range of HR experience in handling more than one function and a broad scope of knowledge. I am also someone who keeps updated with what is happening in the market in terms of HR challenges, changes and updates. In the fast pace that business now operates, it is vitally important to keep your finger on the pulse.


WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED IN YOUR CAREER PATH?

My greatest challenge on an HR level up until now; is changing the perception that HR is merely a personnel or administrative role and convincing colleagues that HR is actually very strategic. A large part of the misconception is because many times people are put into HR positions when there is nowhere else to place them. However, not everybody can handle HR, as it requires very specific competencies and it is very strategic


HOW DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF HR EVOLVING IN EGYPT?

The HR function has changed a lot in the last 10 years. It is evolving from being an administrative function to more of a strategic role and being viewed as a business partner. Senior HR executives are now being involved in very strategic decisions, and this is good news.


WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN

THE FMCG INDUSTRY AND OTHER INDUSTRIES REGARDING HR MANAGEMENT?

I believe HR is HR in any industry. The main difference will be in manpower: How many employees are you handling? Is it a service or product company? My belief is that the service industry is more challenging than the FMCG industry


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE ON HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE FUTURE?

Life is challenging. So work hard and gain experience in whatever job you do. Make sure you do your best and do not jump quickly from one job to another.

WHAT THREE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO BEST DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

• Persistent

• Creative

• Hard working


WHAT SPECIFIC HR ROLE DO YOU ENJOY DOING MOST?

Definitely training.


WHAT ABOUT THE ONE YOU DISLIKE THE MOST?

I don’t actually dislike anything about HR, but compensation & benefits is my least favorite.


SUM UP YOUR PHILOSOPHY IN ONE SENTENCE?

Always leave your fingerprint wherever you go and make sure to add value to the job you are in.


NAME A LEADER WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?

Ken Allen, CEO DHL Express. He is extremely people oriented and very dynamic as well as being a great business leader.



© 2018 by Evolve Magazine