Mercado Eletrônico, a leading Latin American company in B2B e-commerce, has much to celebrate, even in such a difficult year for Brazil and the world.
The company – which has been already granted the GPTW Brasil, GPTW Mulher, GPTW TI and Lugares Incríveis para Trabalhar awards in 2020 – reached 90% employee satisfaction level, and reaps now the results of the actions developed during the pandemic, even with impacts on the business: the hiring process, who had stopped at the beginning of last year, returned with a need two times higher.
Adriana Oliveira, HR Director at Mercado Eletrônico – who has worked for the company during 17 years, and a year ago rose to the position of director – has been at the action forefront, and provides us with more details about the lessons she learned along the way, in a chat with ‘VOCÊ RH’ channel.
Which actions would you highlight as the key ones in face of this 90% satisfaction result?
The past five years have been a period of transformation. When we focused on “people first”, we had this turning point. Along with my team, I started to take actions focused on the employee’s journey. We work hard on diversity and set up a committee for such purpose. We started to work in squads, according to the agile method.
And we transferred our offices in 2017, moving to an environment fully dedicated and designed for creation and well-being. We wanted to bring something new for those who had been working at ME for a long time, as if they were going to a new company. Everyone felt as if they were in a new home. We created an onboarding process for employees; we changed to add more value to our achievements.
This provided us with a very strong people management maturity. And the leaders were beside us in this effort. “ME Desenvolva” is one of the programs that make me very proud. We use a methodology composed by 70% on the job learning, 20% interaction learning – in an exchange of ideas with people and in what they believe is learning – and then classroom activities, which for us represents 10%.
At ME, the main role of the career doesn’t belong to the HR area or the manager: it belongs to the employees. They know that we believe in their role. For such purpose, we enable them to discuss their careers with the leaders.
Last year, we managed to implement an educational incentive of R$ 2,000, which could be spent on what every employee believed. Both the manager and HR act only as an advisory support, without any interference.
We also have feedbacks, which are semiannual, and recognition practices, because we believe that a wage alone isn’t enough. We can indicate, on a quarterly basis, a person who made a difference in my work, who helped me make a delivery, rewarding him or her with a score system; the points scored can be then exchanged every year for gifts at ME’s store. Today, my focus is to further develop our managers, to empower people to bring the best results.
What care actions had been taken for employees during the pandemic?
Eduardo Nader, ME’s CEO, was talking to experts about the new coronavirus in early March 2020. We discussed the matter with the board, and decided that we would go 100% to home office work.
As we already had part of the team in remote work, everyone had their own notebooks. And we would do any required adjustments. Then our actions started, and this was our first feeling of pride: having a direction for that issue.
We thought it was necessary to care for our employees as individuals and not as a group. Why in an individual way? Because each one had financial and family needs. And it wasn’t just about caring for the employees: we also needed to care for their families.
We called them, talked and decided that we would have a live meeting with Eduardo Nader every 15 days. Even with other countries where we have an office (Mexico, USA and Portugal). During such live sessions, employees can ask questions and provide answers, without any identification need.
The live meetings, which lasted one hour at first, now sometimes are extended up to three hours, as people liked the idea of being heard and welcomed.
Were some suggestions made by people eventually implemented?
Our main focus was to identify how people were feeling and how we were going to handle this issue. As we already had programs with psychologists, we didn’t have to create anything from scratch.
Employees could then have psychological and social assistance, and felt comfortable talking to someone (in addition to HR) about what they were feeling and going through.
“Medida Exata” was another of our actions. We did it thinking about body and mind health. We had a meeting with a health coach every Friday, so people could have a moment of rest and emotional balance. We arranged also group chat and meditation sessions.
Then we take the home office improvement actions: we gave a R$ 200.00 voucher to our employees, so they could buy items to improve their performance at home.
We provided also a drive-thru of chairs, flu shots and Covid-19 rapid tests. The pandemic was an emotional challenge for all of us, because we from HR must be balanced too, and keep working hard to keep up with all demands.
How can HR become even more strategic for the company’s business, particularly in this period?
The leaders must give an opportunity to us, from HR, to be together in the business strategy. How does this happen in Mercado Eletrônico? At every leadership meeting, I’m always there to understand what’s going on.
Persons from outside say to me: “you stay in the meetings so long, only as a listener!” It’s true! But I’m there learning about the company, how to set up our squads and what they expect from digital transformation. And how do I contribute to it? Speaking of the strengths of certain individuals, what must be developed in them, etc.
To assemble agile teams, if you don’t have this experience of what are such teams, what are their rites, how are tasks divided into smaller actions to be taken, if you don’t have it well defined, the teams will rack their brains a lot.
I’m saying this because we live it. We made a lot of mistakes. You must be in the business and participate in strategic meetings. Another person I have within my HR team is the one who monitors team health. And how do we monitor this?
We reserve a moment during which leaders can talk about all that is lacking in the team’s goals, in a very open way. Then they define the action plan and execute it by their own. HR is there once a month to perform this role, and then transform this action plan into a task list, with persons in charge and monitoring procedures.
See the article also on the Você RH website.
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