In this interview with Naukrigulf, Ms. Emma Davies , People and Culture Director at Masafi LLC, located in the UAE, talks about her professional journey, employment during Covid-19 times, and a little about herself. Here’s what she had to share:
Please share your professional journey with us and how did you reach where you are.
I started my career in HR admin, and moved quickly to behavioral change which I thoroughly enjoyed. When I moved to the UAE, I was leading a Communications, Learning and Development team, and quickly realized I wanted to have a big impact on the way people are treated and how they behave at work, so I moved back into a generalist role where I get to oversee every area of HR. I joined Masafi in 2018 when they started to undertake a transformational journey of culture change which I was asked to lead.
We are about 18 months into this journey and its fantastic. We are well on track to challenge everything that we do, change what needs changing and move forward as an agile business.
Which aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
The part I enjoy the most is seeing people coming to work every day in our office with a smile on their face. That makes a massive difference since we all spend so much time at work. During the Covid-19 time, we had to work remotely and everyone really missed one another but we actually saw an increase in employee engagement during the period – due to us holding chat sessions, lunchtime learning, and offering people the opportunity to talk to our CEO and the rest of the team – all remotely, and engagement went up to 9.1 from 7.8 which is incredible. As in every role there are good and bad parts but I am lucky to have an amazing supporting team and leader working with me. So when I have a tough day I know I can talk it out.
What is the best part about working in your company?
During Covid-19 we knew our teams on the frontline would be the people who would need our support more than anyone, so we made sure they had 24/7 contacts, we increased allowances, made sure they had access to support, food and information when lockdown was on, so there was as little impact as possible to people who were potentially scared and away from their families. Our people repaid this by working harder than ever before. Working as teams and getting essential supplies of water out to all our customers. The best part of Masafi is our people.
They do this all the time not just when put in tough situations and I am very proud of each and every one of them.
What is your favorite way to de-stress after a long day at work?
I attend a workout class called Circuit Factory before work at 6am and that sets me up for the day! After work I like to spend time with my family. We have really connected during the period of lockdown and watched several movies series like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings as a family which we may not normally have done.
Please share your favorite books or authors with our audience.
I love to read, and I read mainly fiction as I find it de-stresses me and clears my mind after a long day. I read motivational HR pieces also. I am a member of the disruptive HR club and they have some great pieces on changing both the view of HR and the future vision of what HR should look like.
Do you live by any particular motto?
At the moment, this rings very close to my core values, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” We never really know what people are going through and its good to offer support even if you are having a tough time yourself.
What advice would you like to give to the jobseekers who are struggling to find a job during the times of COVID-19?
It’s been a really tough time. We have recruited extensively and we have been able to be really agile and work quickly, and we are not alone. Keep trying. Make sure you only apply for relevant jobs where you really fit the profile. If you apply for 100 non relevant jobs you will get disheartened with the lack of response. But if you apply for 10 roles that fit your experience and knowledge, you will likely see a response and this is encouraging. Do not forget to ask about the culture of the business. Ask how they treated their people during Covid-19 as that should give you some idea of how they behave.
Make sure your CV is up to date. Recruiters don’t want to see what happened 3 years ago. Make sure its clear and easy to read.
Any suggestions for jobsites to help them become more relevant in the post Covid -19 world?
Focus on people profiles. Years of experience may not be as relevant now if you have the right person in the job with the right attitude, they can likely learn the skills required easily.