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Conclusions of the 20th KPMG Human Resources Symposium

In the context of celebrating 20 years of organizing the longest HR conference in the Greek market, KPMG realised the wish of a child

23 Feb. 17, 9:00AM - 6:00PM, EET

Conference Center of the Ethniki Insurance

The 20th KPMG Human Resources Symposium was concluded successfully. In the context of celebrating 20 years of organizing the longest HR conference in the Greek market, KPMG realised the wish of a child through Make A Wish Greece, with the participation of all those present in the event during an interactive session in the Symposium.

As part of the Symposium, the KPMG Human Resource Awards were awarded for the 16th consecutive year to companies that undertook significant and innovative initiatives in the field of Human Resources. The three companies that received n award this year are: HENKEL, in the ‘HR Department Creation’ category’; METRO SA, in the ‘HR Management in cases of mergers & acquisitions’ category; and OTE GROUP, in the ‘Personnel Selection & Retention’ category.

The conference opened with a speech by Anna Diamantopoulou, President, The Network for Reform in Greece and Europe, who provided data on employment in Greece, mentioning that during the third quarter of 2016 there were 4 million employed, 1 million unemployed and 2.7 million retired individuals. 42% of households regard migration as a solution to the problem of employment - a rate that increases dramatically among those aged 18-35 years. Mrs. Diamantopoulou said that ‘We should not fear the phenomenon of emigration, given that most workers, when they return to Greece, will carry a new culture and mentality with them, which will be very useful for our country in this phase’.

During the event, the results of a survey conducted by KPMG on the phenomenon of ‘Brain Drain’ in Greece were presented. The survey, presented by Peggy Velliotou, Partner, Department of Human Resources Advisory Services, KPMG, involved the responses of 285 employees currently working abroad. 50% of them are younger than 35 years old and 85% work in Europe, 10% in the Middle East and 5% in the US. The reasons why employees seek work abroad are (starting with the most popular): ‘I had no alternative solution for my life’, ‘Administrations of companies in Greece lost their vision and cannot handle the pressure’, ‘I wanted work - personal life balance’, ‘in Greece the opportunities for professional development are limited, ‘I wanted to work in a company that invests in the training and development of employees’, and ‘I wanted my income to be balanced and stable in relation to the cost of living’.

The keynote speaker of the conference, Javier Bajer, Cultural Architect and CEO of ‘The Talent Foundation’, said emphatically that businesses must abandon the ‘carrot and stick’ practice if they want to win the commitment of their employees. He said that research shows that only 9% of workers worldwide want to go to work in the morning, which demonstrates that ‘traditional methods’ have failed. He also stressed that people's behaviour does not change merely because someone tells people to change their behaviour. Behaviour changes only when the individual shares the deep conviction that change is necessary. For this to happen, Javier Bajer advises businesses to focus on the ‘purpose’ that they give to their employees, which, as he stated clearly, ‘is not only about benefits or a good work environment. It is something deeper and more meaningful that takes workers from the “I take” phase to the “I give” phase, because I believe in what I do’.

A panel discussion on what the future holds for Human Resources followed, coordinated by Martha Mylona, Strategic Advisor - Outgoing President, SDADE. The panel participants were Georgios Drossos, Human Resources Director, Pharmathen Group, Elena Papadopoulou, Human Resources Director, OTE Group, Alina Papageorgiou, Chief HR Officer, Intralot, and Dimitris Tsouroplis, Human Resources Group Director, Libra Group. They all agreed that the role of the HR Directorate is more critical than ever in business, as the changes that are now taking place in the market decisively influence the workforce and require strategic management. In this context, the HR priorities have changed, and the speakers stressed the need for companies to focus on strengthening the necessary culture that will enable a higher-quality customer experience.

In her presentation, Caroline Mac Sweeney, Director - People Development & Engagement, Crown Europe, underlined the importance of a uniform culture within organizations and stressed that the best way for employee training is on-the-job training.

Then, Anthonie Wurth, former Olympic Games athlete in martial arts and founder of Mindmarker, referred to examples from the world of sports to show that, often, the companies ‘coach’ their employees insufficiently but seek ‘Olympic Games-like’ performance. He suggested the continuous strengthening and training of Human Resources through 7 principles.

The conference ended with a panel discussion on best practices of HR Transformation within companies, coordinated by Veroni Papatzimou, Partner, Department of Human Resources Advisory Services, KPMG. The speakers were Sandy Zoupanou, Commercial HR Business Lead Greece, Mondelēz International, Elena Orfanidou, Digital Banking Group Director, Piraeus Bank, and Vanessa Chormova, Head of Recruitment & Manpower Planning, Group Human Resources and Organizational Learning, Piraeus Bank. The discussion highlighted the demographic change that is currently taking place in the workforce (e.g. entry of millennials to the labor market), which forces companies to rethink the way they work (e.g. flexible forms of employment, mobility, new technologies, etc.). In this context, companies are required to form new structures and make better use of information that exists within companies in order to meet the various expectations of workers. This is a great opportunity for the Human Resources Directorate to provide services that are focused on the needs of workers, so that they remain competitive in the market.

The 20th Human Resources Symposium was sponsored by the following companies: AVIS, Audi, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Endenred, Genesis Pharma, OTE Group, Greenmind, and Speedex.

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20th HR Symposium - Theme & sponsors

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