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  • Foto del escritorThe Corporate Reviews

Mai Refaey

People & Culture Director, CIT VERICASH

 

What is your current organization?


CIT VERICASH is a subsidiary of CIT GLOBAL Group; the group has been a leading provider of e-Commerce and m-Commerce software solutions and services with 29 years of expertise since its establishment in 1993. CIT Global Group has served clients in over 50 countries, including North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.


Since 2011, CIT VERICASH has enabled financial institutions and financial service providers by offering innovative digital financial services. We are proud to be an Enablement Platform for Fintechs across the world.


Why is the focus on People & Culture versus Human Resources?


We used to call the department Human Resources like any other company when I was first hired back in 2018 however prioritizing the focus & attention to our people not just as resources but as human beings who have their ups & downs; have families & personal life and who also want to be part of a family to perform better.


Especially in high context cultures like the Egyptian culture; Stronger bonds and relationships at work get people to enjoy working together & performing better with higher levels of Engagement towards achieving our objectives.


What is the foundation of CIT VERICASH culture?


We built a very strong foundation for our family like culture with strong set of values:

  • Ownership & Accountability

  • Trust, Integrity & Transparency

  • Teamwork & Motivating Each Other

  • Customer Experience

  • Innovation


We all started to walk the talk on a daily basis; everyone attended workshops that focused on understanding our company values, with stressing on the good and bad behaviours related to each Value. 


We believe that aligning behaviours with organizational values and incorporating them into performance evaluations can be a powerful tool to create a positive company culture and turn the talk into real actions.


We also ensure all new hires are culturally fitting through proper related assessments before joining so we would be all well aligned all the way.


Could you tell us about your biggest challenges being in charge of the People and Culture department? 


Being accountable for People Management is a very tough job, especially in a very competitive market like the high-tech.


You need to ensure not only that your people are well paid, but they are well-developed, well engaged, not just satisfied but happily enjoying their working experience…Otherwise, they would start catching opportunities that are already coming on their way every single day even if they are passive candidates or not looking actively for a job.


Being in charge of CIT Global and VERICASH, how would you describe the importance of having solid teamwork? 


As mentioned above, Teamwork & motivating each other is one of our core values.

A Team allows people with a diverse set of skills to work together and collaborate to achieve better results. With agility & cross-functional teams working together, they learn and exchange a variety of skills and perspectives, leading to more broad and innovative solutions.


People would be supporting and motivating each other, when someone is emotionally or physically down one day, the whole team would rise up to support and take their back.

People working together increases the whole organization morale level and delivers much higher productivity and better results.


How does your department promote productivity, efficiency and good relations between every team?


First of all, we have a very strong compensation system which is based on delivering results and outcomes not based on efforts; on the individual, team as well as the whole organization levels to ensure people would work together and celebrate together.

We Foster a culture of open and transparent communication. Encourage feedback from people at all levels, and ensure that all of our leadership team up to our CEO are accessible for expressing concerns, ideas, and suggestions.


We also celebrate small successes as well as big ones along the way and we talk about what heroism examples and lessons learned to become better & learn from each other.

Away from milestones celebrations, we celebrate all national & international events and get people together as much as we can for stronger bonds and relationships among all teams.


How new technologies are affecting HR processes?

 

Technologies are helping us big time getting all of our processes more efficient & effective.

It starts with virtual initial interviews for a more efficient recruitment cycle for both the company’s side and the candidate’s as well.


AI has been helping us lately in our policies, job descriptions and even strong employment branding campaigns.


In addition to our internal ERP system that helps to fasten tracking of all talent acquisition activities when it comes to Recruitment… then moving the candidate once hired to an employee with all data ready in addition to better reporting and analytics.


What changes do you think need to be made in order to improve companies’ working environment?


Our focus shall always be on people’s experience since the early message we send to attract candidates until their last day with the organization, as people are the real ambassadors for your working environment, not the too many social media campaigns you will shoot. 


Companies need to listen to the needs of different generations; we cannot just keep on doing things the way we have always been doing and expect different results.

Specially Post-pandemic, people are not being able to go back to a full-time from the office set-up & at the same time working completely from home has proven to decrease engagement levels, getting teams to work in silos & people would be leaving easily as their attachment to a vision or a purpose is lost...


So a balance with a hybrid environment is highly recommended, so people would have the flexibility of working from home, spending more time with family, saving the time spent on commuting from and to the company, however at the same time enjoying going to the office. 


This why our office includes game boards, swings and set-up that people can work in the garden to enjoy the greenery and the sun and we have been strengthening our Engagement Calendar with a lot of enjoyable activities throughout the year


Companies also need to establish a continuous feedback process through surveys measuring people’s engagement and happiness levels, as well as understanding people's major concerns and working proactively on the raised issues.


Finally, a working environment becomes perfect when people feel they are part of something big, develop & learn throughout their journey; enjoy achievements & celebrate successes together as one team.

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