HR Post Covid
NSO Group: The needs of each employee are different in lockdowns
When all your employees are sent to work from home, they each face unique challenges that they need to overcome, explains NSO Group’s Chief People Officer.
“We realize that the needs of a 25-years old single employee are not similar to the needs of a 45-years old married employee with three kids… (so we) made sure that different groups get the right solutions for them, and that the unique needs of different individuals are catered properly.”
Ferder has joined CTech for its ongoing ‘HR-Post-Covid’ series to better understand how a large company like NSO Group can care for the individuals, not the groups, that work for it.
Company Name: NSO Group
HR Leader: Chen Ferder, Chief People Officer
Field of Activity: Technology
Number of employees/location:
Approximately 750 employees, mainly in Israel and Europe
Professional background of HR Manager:
I started my career over 20 years ago in various HR roles in startup companies. Later on, I moved to work for large corporates such as SAP and Amdocs, serving in various HR leadership roles. In my recent role before joining the NSO Group over a year and a half ago, I served as the VP HR of the Global Business Unit at Amdocs.
I am passionate about building state-of-the-art HR teams. The HR world fascinates me as it is ultra-dynamic, it requires diverse skills and knowledge domains and covers a wide range of topics from strategy to execution (leadership; culture; infrastructure; relationship; collaboration; communication, and many more). A strong HR function is pivotal to the success of any organization.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did the coronavirus pandemic disrupt operations at the company?
As any other company the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic caused a disruption in our operations, but the exciting thing is that this disruption brought with it a major leap forward – we adopted new efficient ways to connect with our customers from remote, we made the required changes and enhancement to allow our employees to work from home and we see how these changes will serve us well in the years to come.
What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?
When the Covid-19 started, we realized that we must replace the ongoing communication channels we had with new ones that are accommodated to current work practices. We have started broadcasting our very own “Newscast” on different topics through which we maintained a dialog with our employees.
We have created a few original “TV series” with our employees as the main stars.
We have increased and enhanced our investment in our employees’ learning and development particularly while they are working remotely; and for that purpose, launched a new rich e-learning platform. The platform allows employees to explore their professional profile and the skills and capabilities they need to develop. The learning is diverse and relies on multiple learning vendors. It also offers a tailor-made solution to each employee per his/her specific needs.
What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?
Trust – the Covid-19 outbreak allowed our employees to feel the high levels of trust we have in them, in their integrity and professionalism, while working from remote. This also came out as one of the strongest points in the annual engagement survey we recently held.
Personalization - we strongly believe in personalization and in tailor-made solutions per need. We realize that the needs of a 25-years old single employee are not similar to the needs of a 45-years old married employee with three kids. We have personalized our entire offering to employees and managers during Covid-19, made sure that different groups get the right solutions for them, and that the unique needs of different individuals are catered for properly.
What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?
The major challenges we are busy with these days are staying connected while working partly from remote (capsules), and to continue innovating and co-creating together while some employees are away and are not meeting each other at all.
NSO is characterized by a very unique culture; a very friendly environment and a special vibe. When Covid-19 broke out, we had to shift to working remotely and while doing so strived to maintain the energy and the unique “glue”.
In order to mitigate these challenges, we have decided to heavily invest in the following areas:
We have launched a program named ’Giving Back‘ (to the community). Through this program, we contribute to the society we live in and at the same time allow our teams to meet up and create shared memories together, under the limitations and rules of the ministry of health.
We are providing our leaders with unique practical tools that fit this period: managing resilience and engagement; managing productivity from remote locations, and more.
Further, at NSO we have over 10 internal communities (such as Parenting; DIY; Foodies, etc.) that are based on common interests or hobbies of their members. We are investing in strengthening our communities and launching community activities under the current Covid-19 limitations and rules.
Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process and where can the applicants find you?
We have dozens of open positions. Our most significant source of hiring has always been our employees who are eager to have their friends come work with them at NSO - about 60% of all new hires are coming through our people. The rest are coming either through sourcing companies or our own direct sourcing. We believe in a diverse environment and are very open to hiring people from different professional backgrounds.
Talented versatile and curious people are welcomed to submit their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which changes forced upon you by the circumstances will stay in place after Covid-19 is over, and which are you most eager to revert back to normal?
Prior to Covid-19, we didn’t work from home at all. In the future, we will create a flexible working arrangement which will allow our employees to work from both the office and home. I also believe that we will be considering opening remote offices in the more distanced areas of Israel to increase our available talent pool. We are eager to go back to brainstorming on a whiteboard, we are eager to party together, and ultimately, we just miss meeting each other in the office hallway and cafeteria or at the desk.