SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS BALTICS EXPERIENCE

Gvido Liepins, Samsung HR Director in the Baltic states
August 6, 2021

FEEDBACK — A NECESSARY ELEMENT FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND CREATIVITY

The main challenges of HR

The main challenge of the drawn-out pandemic, in my opinion, is to maintain a relationship with employees and retain their involvement and motivation. Our company has successfully survived the first crisis of learning how to ensure a positive work environment at home in practice. But we need to understand the challenges that are difficult to overcome for the entire society — the environmental uniformity, physical inactivity, and a lack of new experiences. We must also learn how to foster a positive environment at home, how to maintain the focus and attention of employees while our communication is limited, and how to broaden our experiences and form new relationships. Nowadays people are generally becoming more distant from one other, and companies attract less employees, which is why new tools and solutions must be introduced, in order to revert these indicators to the way they were before or keep them balanced.

 

How we survived this period

First, we have done everything we could from a technological viewpoint so that employees can comfortably and efficiently work from home, meaning we provided them with office chairs, bigger monitors, etc. After dealing with the technological aspect, it was also important to consider the emotional well-being of employees, and we implemented several on-site and remote initiatives — online physiotherapy sessions in order to decrease physical inactivity, Health week, offering a plethora of activities supported by small deliveries of “health kits” to all of our employees, a wide variety of online lectures, where guest lecturers from different fields shared their theoretical and practical knowledge regarding healthy living (a seasoning school, healthy diet, laughter yoga, etc.), and we involved our own employees in interesting and exciting challenges (to reach a certain number of steps within a week, to go for a run), etc. During the holiday season at the end of last year we started to use feedback technology PEERO APP to thank our colleagues and share good thoughts. The messages were generous and pleased everyone. At the same time, we are aware that our employees miss on-site work and communication, creative collaboration, which is why we need something else.

 

Feedback, recognition and appreciation

Feedback, recognition and appreciation are crucial elements in fostering productivity and creative ideas. An environment where the employee feels safe and appreciated is important so that the employee feels free to express his/her ideas and reach his/her maximum potential. If this element is lacking, the employee loses his/her sense of direction, motivation and pulls away from others.

Feedback is an important element in any workplace because it ensures high efficiency. If the feedback is constructive, it can increase the motivation of employees and their growth potential. Recognition and appreciation is important for a large portion of employees, and this type of acknowledgement should not be spared.

 

Tips & tricks to motivate employees

Until now we have been motivating our employees by organising corporate events with high employee engagement and attendance. Team building events are important to maintain a good atmosphere. Now that the options are limited, we must search for other solutions or tools, such as digital communication, which is undeniably different from the regular environment, but at the same time can ensure the fulfilment of necessary needs. For example, technology PEERO APP is key to motivating positive feedback, and it is informal, as well as easy and quick to use. We also offer all kinds of goods to our employees — gifts and activities to maintain high spirits, and their pride to be working at our company.  Currently, the biggest challenge for employers is to create an appealing virtual work environment where employees want to participate and feel welcome, such as training, classes, competitions, praise, and these elements must be balanced out so that they are appealing but not overwhelming.

Technology — an obstacle or a trustworthy ally

Technologies are our new language. They are created to help us communicate quickly and easily, however, the challenge here is to find out how to do this efficiently and humanely, and with a true sense of presence. This is where technologies might either pose an issue or become our best friend and companion. High-quality video calls that are also available on mobile devices have now become an irreplaceable tool, just like other creativity platforms that feature a game element and help maintain a connection for people to get to know one another better and work together, while it is impossible to come together in real life.

A single compass — values

A common compass is just as important as feedback, as it helps people move in the same direction and in the same manner. During the selection process this aspect became very relevant because not only the candidates’ professional competences, but also their value system and character determines whether the company’s environment and culture will be suitable for them. Common company values are what constitutes who we are and help us stay on the same wavelength. Our values allow both parties to understand the principles of employment relationships, which is what our employees expect from each other and are allowed to demand. The values of our company:

PEOPLE — the key to our company’s success are our talented employees, and each SAMSUNG employee must feel appreciated and important, just like all our partners and clients.

EXCELLENCE — both in our products and innovations, and in our own attitude, that we employ to step out of our comfort zone daily and make the impossible possible.

CHANGE — SAMSUNG must quickly react to the changes happening all around us, which we managed very well during the Covid crisis.

INTEGRITY — ethical conduct at all times and everywhere in compliance with our principles.

CO-PROSPERITY— to be a responsible member of a corporation and give back to society.

 

To be flexible and capable of reacting quickly

The majority of employees will already be used to the increased independence in their workplace. We must also keep in mind the changes in regard to partners and clients, and learn to adapt to the business models of other companies. Right now it is important for companies to become more flexible and capable of reacting to different situations. We must remember that nothing is set in stone.

 

Every crisis creates new opportunities. The good practices must be spotted in time as well as what aspects of the “new normal” work well. We must create new ways to measure work efficiency and establish a different and motivating work environment. It is clear that companies are not going back to the old standard.