HR Post Covid
During Covid-19, it’s important to “manage your energy,” says AllCloud
There are things we can control and things we can’t - AllCloud’s Noa Shomrony-Gal breaks it down for CTech
“I believe our biggest challenge lies in energy management,” says Noa Shomrony-Gal, VP HR EMEA at AllCloud. “According to a concept I take from positive psychology - it’s impossible to manage tasks as they are given and it’s impossible to manage time - as it’s not under our control at all.”
According to Shomrony-Gal, there is one thing we CAN control as we battle Covid-19 and the burden of lockdowns. “It’s possible to manage energy - deciding which activities and people during your day ‘waste your energy’ or conversely ‘charge your battery,’ and which appointments or tasks can be moved or even canceled.”
AllCloud has joined CTech to share some positive psychology insights, as well as personal anecdotes, that helped the company combat the pandemic.
Company Name: AllCloud
HR Leader: Noa Shomrony-Gal, VP HR EMEA
Field of activity:
AllCloud is a global professional services company that provides organizations with the strategy and tools for cloud enablement and transformation. Through a unique combination of expertise and agility, AllCloud accelerates cloud innovation and helps organizations fully unlock the value received from cloud technology.
Number of employees/location:
A total of 230 employees across several offices worldwide including North America, Israel, Germany, and Romania.
Professional background of HR Manager:
I started my HR career in the world of fashion and retail at retail chain Castro and then moved into corporate where I was the VP of Human Resources for Golf & Co. Group. After that, I set out on my own, I launched my own company as an entrepreneur but unfortunately, I became one of the statistics of entrepreneurs that didn't succeed in a viable business. Despite that, I continued as an organizational consultant specializing in HR and as a lecturer at the Maytiv Institute for Positive Psychology of IDC's organizational unit. While I was contemplating which would be the better career option for me - to continue as an external consultant or lead the HR process from within a company - the phone call came from AllCloud, a company and opportunity I couldn't refuse…
On a scale from 1-10, how much did the Coronavirus pandemic disrupt operations at the company?
I would have to say 3. I can’t say that there was any real disruption in the work itself as we are a cloud-native company, but there was a significant change, as with everyone, in how our daily lives look. An employee can't just hop over and consult with a colleague for a moment. I can’t bring my team a cake that I baked yesterday and basically can’t enter a client's office and understand the atmosphere and "unwritten" difficulties. Overall, in general, it is challenging to close significant projects through Zoom. It's not the same as buying a shirt. You want to meet, shake hands, tell a joke, or discover a mutual friend over a cup of coffee.
On top of all of these challenges, we are a company that operates on three continents. In North America, people have not left home since March 2020. In Europe, the restrictions change daily, and with us here in Israel, you just don't know. It really is a rollercoaster. I, for one, have not seen my boss who is located in the U.S. to date. To be honest, up until a month ago, I was sure he was pretty short until he told me by chance that he was a basketball player and nearly two meters tall. So at the end of the day the professionalism, the service, and the solutions we give to customers didn't suffer any real impact. But our daily lives are just different.
What interesting technological tools do you use in employee management/recruitment?
In recent years, we have tested and are still trying out new technologies for recruitment and management and, of course, recruit on social networks using the Comeet platform. We will soon implement an advanced HR system. But, I must honestly say that we have not yet found a technological substitute for the most effective recruitment method which is referrals from employees and people we know and appreciate. More than 50% of successful recruits are friends of friends at the end of the day.
What positive and/or negative impact did the outbreak have on the human capital of the company?
Most of all, we lack human interaction. A fantastic expression of this was in the "Zoom Chef" workshop we did a few months back. Each employee from all over EMEA received a basket of groceries designed to be used for a unique cooking workshop broadcasted live from acclaimed chef Erez Komorovskii's house somewhere in Galilee. By the time the workshop had ended, and the chef was already gone, dozens were still online, talking amongst themselves, eating what they just finished cooking together. They showed each other where they lived and even brought a guitar and played music together. The next day, it emerged that one of the participants was actually the parents of one of our co-workers. They sat with us through the whole Zoom session and said it was the most lovely evening they had experienced all year.
What are the two major challenges you are coping with these days?
During a round table session we had, we asked our employees what would be considered an essential component for any future work plans. The most common answer that we got was to help them draw boundaries between work and home and especially help them conserve energy.
You're at home all day, and the computer is open constantly. You eat with the kids at lunch but take a look at the screen. You put them to bed in the evening and come back to the screen just to solve another issue - and all of that without even changing out of your pajamas.
I believe our biggest challenge lies in energy management. According to a concept I take from positive psychology - it’s impossible to manage tasks as they are given and it’s impossible to manage time - as it’s not under our control at all. But it is possible to manage energy - deciding which activities and people during your day "waste your energy" or conversely, "charge your battery,” and which appointments or tasks can be moved or even canceled. Also, identifying the people with whom interactions, even simply through Zoom, consume most of your energy during the workday and addressing that. Maintaining the unique energy is our real challenge and one we deal with daily at every level.
One last challenge I’d like to address revolves around recruitment. With more and more industries relying on technology, and Covid-19 has multiplied the use of technology, the ability to find the right talent can be challenging.
Are you actively recruiting? If so, what is the process and where can applicants find you?
AllCloud is actively recruiting and looking to add more great talents and leaders from the cloud world to join our ever-expanding team. All the open positions can be found on our career page.
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?
Everyone is talking about the “hybrid” workplace nowadays. Something that only a year ago was a term mostly only used in the automotive world has become, in a span of a few months, the basic concept of the future workplace as we move forward and navigate through these challenging times.
Covid-19 brought AllCloud together despite the many challenges, both professionally and socially. If there was ever a silver lining to the situation, it probably lies in the newly created hybrid workplace. On the one hand, it enables us to recruit without geographical restrictions, so basically - if you are talented, you can work with us even if you live in the southern or northern regions of Israel. And on the other hand, it allows us to maintain a socially connected workplace and meet at least once a week in the office to recapture the atmosphere that made AllCloud a great place to work in the first place.