Working From Home
Recruitment & on-boarding
As the world is experiencing a shift towards adapting to the new virtual workstyle, hiring managers saw their processes being moved to the screen.
At EI-Technologies MENA, we ensured that all steps of our on-boarding process were digitalized, and optimized.
Firstly, all candidate tests and interviews were moved online; and evaluations were shifted to virtual meetings to replace the classic face-to-face approach. Once a candidate becomes an employee at EI-Technologies MENA, their training begins. The training and follow-up sessions are also virtual, but employees and instructors provide all the same support to new joiners, as part of the existing growth mindset at EI-Technologies MENA.
Follow-up and Certifications
Preparing for a certification consists of a journey of trails and modules wrapped up in a custom trailmix, and what better way to prepare than going on that journey with others. From this belief, a new procedure emerged: consultants preparing for the same certification would make online study groups, with a company expert in each group for support throughout their preparation.
On the certification day, the IT departement is actively present to provide the consultant with the logistical support for passing the certification exam from home without any technical difficulties.
Remote workshops & trainings
As it is the case with most companies, working from home impacted our processes; our main focus was to make sure that this would not affect customer relationships.
Our previous experience working with team members and clients abroad gave us an advantage to this regard: our employees can lead workshops virtually with the same expertise as how they do physically. We used additional sessions and close follow-ups, as well as retrospectives when needed to maintain our standards of result-oriented communication with our clients. This includes the trainings we provide as well, where the format of the session is of utmost importance; our trainers did the necessary trails on virtual delivery and with constant assessment and feedback, were able to adapt the sessions to the participants’ new needs.
In response to the uncertainties of the global situation, our regional general manager, Jamil Nakhle, explains how EI-Technologies MENA smoothly managed the transition to the change in workplace dynamics.
How did you tackle the working from home challenge in a 100+ employee company?
During the pandemic, as we were all transitioning from the office to new setups, every aspect of our daily work had to be adapted and we needed to come up with efficient strategies to handle the new challenges the whole world was facing.
I believe that the strategy we adopted at EI-Technologies MENA can be summed up with two words : Trust and Agility.
Trust is what keeps our employees going. They need to feel motivated and to work freely in order to be productive and to deliver the great results that they’ve always been capable of giving. This trust did not appear overnight. It’s something that had been built over the years between our employees and management. We felt like we were prepared for it and that’s what helped us the most during this period. As a result, we could notice that the employees’ productivity and engagement exceeded our expectations.
Agility, especially in management, allowed us to stay on track. We had to be flexible in order to adapt all our processes and strategies and to come up with new ways to follow-up with our clients and maintain their satisfaction. We also had to respond very quickly to every new challenge that arises : checking our options, making a decision and acting fast; we had little time for change management but we always kept in mind our clients’ and employees’ best interest.
What measures did you take to improve customer relations and communication ?
This phase was extremely difficult for everyone, we felt like our “Humanity” was put to test. In the business world, the situation wasn’t any different ; people needed someone to be there for them. Support and solidarity were crucial for business continuity.
Our senior and sales managers would check up on clients on a weekly basis, on a personal level rather than just on the business or project level, which was appreciated by our customers.
This approach answered to some clients’ need to have visibility as well – we made sure they are kept informed of the progress on the project.
Throughout this global pandemic, business wasn’t necessarily going to stay the same, it was important for us that our clients knew that we were ready to stand by their side.
What were your biggest challenges working from home?
Our biggest challenges can be summed up in three categories:
I. Logistical issues: the IT team made sure all employees had all the tools to work from home and to be comfortable, from a reliable internet connexion and good bandwidth, to all software needed for innovation in their workshops.
II. Coordination within management: the team of managers that used to see each other every day, needed the right tools and reflexes to maintain daily cooperation.
III. Conserving our unique friendly environment: the first impression of new comers at our company is usually built thanks to our friendly and supportive environment; the latter was the glue which allows us to quickly evolve together, which was rather hard to do with face-to-face interactions being reduced to different sides of the screen.
How did you answer to those challenges?
As for the coordination among the management team, we set a daily meeting for a period of 6 months dedicated to share challenges, analyse employee issues and problems (hardware and logistics), generate back up plans as well as anticipate future issues to find solutions ultimately allowing us to move in the same direction.
Finally, in maintaining our friendly environment, we organized multiple virtual team bonding activities. Even our weekly “Moment Musical” moved online, allowing our unique work culture to remain strong and for our newcomers to be fully integrated despite the major changes that the world has experienced.
What were your successes during this period ?
Satisfied clients and happy employees were our biggest successes during this period, where we actually lived by our values more than ever: innovation was crucial in all areas, Customer engagement, transparency and Human values were at the core of everything we do.
How did working from home evolve throughout the year ?
At first, everybody thought it was a temporary phase but we slowly realized that this was our new norm, leading to an incredible shift in workplace dynamics.
During this year, we started thinking about employees’ health and wellbeing at home as well, not just at the office.
We equipped ourselves with new tools to communicate (WhatsApp group with the whole company / small teams that work together as well as slack).
Salesforce- as a platform- was of much help: we used it as a base for recruitment, risk mitigation on projects, client satisfaction, certifications, skills management, as a knowledge base; it was a major boost in our efficiency and in management’s ability to follow-up and provide employees with libraries and resources to be autonomous and find everything they need.
Finally, this evolution paid off; the management team has all the information they need – via clear and easy follow-up on Salesforce, which led to the successes previously mentioned.
We’re more open today and closer to what customers seek than ever before, and we aren’t going anywhere.