Work at HELLA in 2021: new skills, capabilities, and the power of self-reinvention

 

1.    What do you think will be the main business drivers for business growth in your company in 2021? 

We will continue to focus on our most important resource, people. It is a concept that involves strategies of supporting work in a secure environment, as well as an enhanced virtual connection. In constant quality communication with our employees, we can manage to boost enthusiasm and root commitment toward teams and work, in general. Furthermore, we are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with our customers, to better understand their needs and try to meet them. We are, at the same time, working constantly on innovative technologies, with projects that will lead us to the future of electrification and autonomous driving.
 
2.    Will we assist to a Great Reset-oriented strategy in business or returning to business-as-usual? – 

If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us is that looking into the past and hoping, even working, to return to “normal times” is a waste of resources. Change is something that comes in disruptive times like these, whether you want it or not. We have accepted it and it helped us see the opportunity rather than the crisis. So, yes, the Great Reset type of mentality is the correct one in our modern business strategy. We chose to reinvent ourselves and to adapt to this new reality. It has made us more flexible and more open to new ways of keeping the work going and achieving our objectives. We have adapted to a different kind of communication, with even more focus on the human relationships in our teams, faced with new personal challenges, such as isolation or disconnection with the new type of remote work. We have yet to find the perfect balance, but it’s one of our priorities. Because the real reset will be felt here: the way we are going to stay together as human beings, even if there is not common physical space where we can meet. 
 
3.    What is the flag-ship project of 2020 in your company? 

It has a broader approach: HELLA for People, with two main aspects. First, it is about establishing solutions that will preserve the employees’ stability, by keeping their workplace and income unaffected. Of course, on top of our people strategy is their safety, in the actual context, and our efforts will continue to be made in this direction. HELLA is considered widely as a best practice model of how the company has handled the COVID-19 situation so far. The second aspect concerns our colleagues well-being, through programs that support their inner balance and nourish the spirit of togetherness. 
 
4.    What kind of workspace culture & values is to be consolidated in your company in 2021?  

We have also promoted the healthy strive to be together, a kind of state of mind that helps people relate to each other on the personal level, the level that is the engine for professional connection. This year, we add to this increased flexibility in our activities, especially because the remote type of work is still going to be a reality in 2021. At the same time, we plan to implement more and more standardized processes and introduce automated solutions in our business services, to give even more freedom to our employees. We implement programs that encourage innovative ideas, efficiency, proactivity. If there is something that will define our organization in the upcoming year is this: human creativity.
 
5.    What is a manager’s role and skills in order to maintain and enhance a team’s cohesion? 

One of the most important roles of a manager is to bring clarity – and this is becoming more challenging now when we live in the VUCA environment. Whatever is valid today tomorrow can be different and you need to adapt yourself. It means that you need to take fast and inspired decisions, stay close to people and continuously communicate with them. We had to discover new ways to connect with our teams and to also give a model of how to do this to the other managers in different sections of our company. A manager, a leader is the one who is more than an inspiration for this colleagues: he or she is a down-to-earth fixer, who can actively manage the external factors that can negatively influence people, who can offer clarity and traceability of day-to-day tasks. In other words, not only talking about support, but providing it. In our specific case, we have been working on establishing, at a large scale, the digitalization process, so as to ensure the work efficiency and to help our teams do their work in a predictable, comfortable environment.
 
6.    What kind of skills and capabilities need to be improved in your company / team in 2021? 

Continuous improvement is part of our work culture, but in this respect, I would rather say that we are thinking of new capabilities to acquire, rather than improve. The communication process is something that you can always improve and now we must do it in a different way when the direct contact is reduced a lot. Out of the box thinking, innovation-oriented mindset, eagerness to find and apply bold solutions have reached a different level. If we look back one year, we are doing many things differently, whatever we considered is not possible to be done in a certain way in 2019 became a way of doing things nowadays. We need to continue to be adaptable in a fast-changing environment - to consider this as the way of doing things, resilience is becoming the new norm. At the same time, empathy and common sense will always be our compass.
 
7. In term of general business & teams’ core-values, which are your 3 power words for 2021?

Collaboration. Responsibility. Open-mind. 

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