Maja Nedučić: How do we "walk the talk"?
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Our employees are our value. We strive towards creating a culture where human relationships thrive leading to better results and happier workplace. It is in our interest to make sure that every single employee and team is living up to their full potential. We believe that two important factors for achieving this are relationships and results. We asked our Chief People Officer Maja Nedučić to share with us all the secret ingredients of a successful and happy workplace.
M: Recently, you were one of the main speakers at the HR Conference in Belgrade. Can you share with us your impressions?
M: The Conference was brilliantly organized. There were two key topics speakers focused on: employer branding and talent acquisition. But, there were also lectures on social networking as well as dealing with stress that the modern society is so much exposed to nowadays. There was a wide range of interesting topics I really enjoyed in and I can honestly say that this is the first Conference of this kind in Serbia where I really learned something new.
M: The name of your lecture was “How do we walk the talk”! How did you come up with it?
You must believe in what you say and act like it.
When we were in Copenhagen on the Conference on Happiness at Work last year, we noticed that the most lectures emphasized the idea that if leaders want to create a successful business, they “must walk the talk”. In other words, You must believe in what you say and act like it. So, I came up with the idea to show how we do that.
M: So, “how do we walk the talk”?
There is a big difference between what we call job satisfaction and happiness at work. While a variety of perks can definitely bring a job satisfaction, they don't necessarily make people feel happy at work. It is all the activities that we organize that have a direct influence on both the happiness of our colleagues and their results. Here are some of them:
- occasional talks with our colleagues that help them improve themselves both personally and professionally
- awarding our colleagues for their good deeds with totems “R2-D2” and “Yoda”. Totem awarding expresses gratitude, respect and admiration to those who deserved it.
- The Most inspiring Act of Kindness
- A variety of quizzes like “Tech Trivia” and “How well do we know each other” we organise during our happy hour events every Friday
- Organising different kinds of event such as “Take your extended family to work” or organising Crossfit kids where our colleagues and their kids train together and have fun
- Organising lectures and workshops presented by guest speakers
- Internal lectures, conferences and workshops
- a detailed feedback on the completed assignment of each and every candidate not only for a particular job position but also their performance during front-end development internship
Apart from this list of activities, there are so many small things we do on almost daily basis that cost nothing and mean a lot to our colleagues and the community that surrounds us.
M: What would you say are the biggest challenges you come across on this mission to create a happier workplace?
M: There are people, both in our working environment and outside of the company that simply don't believe that happiness at work exists nor that it is normal to feel happy at work. Here in Vega IT, we believe that in order to be truly happy about the things we do, we need to be in touch with our intrinsic values - our purpose, our relationships with other people and results we achieve. One way to encourage such attitude is to organize the activities I mentioned earlier. Naturally, we never explicitly say that the ultimate aim of what we do is to create happiness at work. There is no any particular strategy behind it. We simply do what we feel we should do, and this is where it all begins. This doesn't only have a positive influence on the relationships between our colleagues but also on the results. And, most interestingly, our colleagues are not aware of it. They simply feel it. So, yes, happiness at work exists.
M: Is there any particular activity that caught more attention among colleagues than others?
M: Although our colleagues react to most of the activities amazingly well, I would say that maybe the activity that caught most attention is “The most inspiring Act of Kindness”. Here in Vega IT, any time we see a colleague help another colleague or do something nice for them, we like to show them our gratitude by nominating them for the Most inspiring Act of Kindness. By doing this we don't directly promote our colleagues. We promote good deeds and this is what makes it even more special. And, every time we do that, many colleagues come to me asking questions like “Who is the nominee? What did he or she do?” It raises the curiosity. People like to know what and who is behind the whole story and they recognize the value of it.
There are so many small things we do on almost daily basis that cost nothing and mean a lot to our colleagues and the community that surrounds us.
M: I would say that is Robert Kopal. I was fascinated with the way how he approached the topic of social networking and how he presented it in a very educational and inspiring way for all of us. Overall, the lecture was very motivating and energetic.
M: What are you working on currently? What are your future plans?
M: Well, let's make it a surprise:)
M: What’s the thing you like the most about your work?
Everything! But if I need to single out one thing, I would say it's generally working with my colleagues. After all, our colleagues are our biggest value!
We hope you find this article useful!
How important is happiness at work for you? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!
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