We spoke with Mojca Domiter, executive director for People and Culture from Atlantic Grupa, and learned about her perspective and strategies that lay the foundations for a stimulating work environment in the organization!
What is the most important thing in building a balance between private and business life?
The basis of everything is good listening to the needs of our employees. We know from experience that the optimal approach is one that combines several different listening formats; from a broad survey of employee engagement to listening to employees through focus groups and interviews. Another thing that I consider important in the context of building a culture of a healthy balance between business and private life is a holistic approach to the person. If we know people as a whole, it is easier for us to understand and support their needs and professional ambitions. With the offer of several different models of flexible work, extended holidays or days off for special family moments, what makes a big difference is that we proactively approach parts of the organization and individuals when, as a direct manager, the People and Culture team and even as a colleague, we notice that a person needs additional support in balancing all aspects and challenges of life.
You actively promote the idea that each individual within the company can contribute to the growth and development of Atlantic Grupa with their unique insight. What do employees say? How important is it to them?
The basis of everything is good listening and understanding of employees. I would also add that an indispensable part of that is (re)action to the inputs you receive so that people know that you really hear them. We have been listening to Atlantica for more than a decade and we know that an integral part of this process is regular monitoring of progress, we ask them not only whether they have been presented with results and action plans, but also whether they are satisfied with the action plans implemented based on those results. We can see how important this is to them from the turnout for participation, which was as high as 89% this year.
What are the basic elements that make up the basic ESG mix in Atlantic Grupa and how do you involve and educate employees in promoting sustainability? What is the role of HR in promoting ESG principles?
At Atlantic, we systematically take care of sustainability and report according to the criteria of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) since 2014, and after careful consideration of stakeholders and global trends, new strategies and goals, and taking into account the European Green Plan, in 2021 we have singled out the most important pillars on which we build high-priority social and environmental goals: employees, products, emissions, water and recycling. In order to transparently measure progress towards the set goals, key performance indicators were defined and balanced, which together form Atlantic’s sustainability index. In this way, economic and financial indicators of success are balanced with social and environmental goals, showing the sustainable performance of the entire organization.
This index is part of the structure of the business goals of the leading people in the company, which ensures that its importance is not lost sight of, and we continuously educate employees through a series of educational initiatives. The year 2022 was particularly filled with ESG educational programs, from the implementation of sustainability modules (glossary, carbon footprint information labels, carbon footprint, packaging scenarios, water, how to involve a supplier) to numerous trainings for the implementation of environmental management standards.
As the executive director for people and culture of a company with one of the most successful HR teams in Croatia, what would you say to managers who are in the first phase of building a successful HR system?
I personally avoid using the term “Human Resources” because I believe that people are not resources in an organization. I think it is more accurate to say that people are a kind of investors. Each of us invests our time, energy, experience, knowledge and skills in the organization and in return receives value for ourselves from the organization: from material compensation to development, experience, community, professional purpose. I think such a perspective is more inspiring for People and Culture professionals who want to be successful.
A key factor in the success of the team we have at Atlantic is its diversity. When I look at the sixty or so people who make up our team, I am delighted with the diversity of energies, experiences and views on the world, and I witness every day how a slightly different perspective of one colleague can significantly improve the work of another team member. I witnessed the strength that comes from the diversity of the team very concretely during my six-month sabbatical leave last year, when despite all the challenges brought by the turbulent business environment, above-average results were achieved. It can certainly be challenging to manage a plurality of opinions at times, so in addition to the diversity of the team, the key to success would be the importance of mutual trust. This is mainly achieved by constant work on developing the capacity of team members to skillfully see things from “other people’s shoes”.