Exclusive Pre-Event Interview - Farnaz Ranjbar

Written by: Fleming. Team

Farnaz Ranjbar

DHL Express

VP – Business HR, Global & Europe

Fleming.: The need of career development strategies for the millennial workforce – your opinion.

Farnaz Ranjbar: There is definitely a need to address this issue, especially at DHL. Being the most international company in the world and having 100k people globally, we not only have to have strategies to address generational needs but also cultural. What we did to address this was to establish a global development program called the Certified International Specialist. Using different learning techniques such as, roleplaying, in-class/e-learning sessions, gamification, 1:1 feedback dialogue and others, we have been able to provide a diverse and fun way of developing regardless of your generational needs or styles. But it goes beyond just the development, what it does is creates a global community of international specialist with similar behaviors and beliefs. We find millennials are drawn to the social landscape and we mix technology in there to make it timely such as training is done using tablets. Another key to these programs, is the senior leadership buy-in. Senior leaders are the facilitators which gives them front row seats to understanding the millennial workforce. We find this helps in creating our strategies.

Fleming.: Do you think there is a growing need for non-conventional HR strategies and reward practices? If so, Why?

Farnaz Ranjbar: I do agree but it’s not easy and there is no magic bullet which does it all. It’s a journey to get there. At DHL we have many non-conventional recognition programs such as, Employee of the year, EuroCup festival, Appreciation weeks, CIS weeks, global give always just to name a few. This compliments our reward practices and we find people appreciate them more. Once you meet the basic needs of an individual, they look for more of an engaging reward experience. We put most of our energy into that because those become a lasting memory. When it comes to HR strategies it aligns to our companies strategy. The first pillar of our strategy is Motivated People. Our leadership believes that Motivated People will drive Great Service Quality (2nd pillar) which in turn, creates Customer Loyalty (3rd pillar) and then drives a Profitable Network (4th pillar). It all starts with our people and HR is focused on helping people helping our customers. In HR, we look at what our customers’ needs are then change our people practices to remove barriers which slow our people down to meet those customer’s needs. This also aligns with the behaviors each DHL’er need to have Speed, Passion, Right 1st Time and Can Do spirit. Similar to a start-up, DHL is an entrepreneur company and HR needs to be flexible and adaptable. In short, we have one strategy which is molded by our customer’s needs.

Fleming.: According to you, what would be one's key takeaways from this conference

Farnaz Ranjbar: The opportunity to understand what other companies are doing and how we can learn from them. Iron sharpen iron and therefore I believe there are some great companies out there and we can all learn from each other. In addition, if we can help people improve their companies through better understanding of DHL practices, then we are better for it because anyone here can be a customer of DHL.

Fleming.: According to you, how would one align the educational institutes with the requirements of the labor market? What would be the challenges faced during the same?

Farnaz Ranjbar: Even with all the advance technologies, social media forms, videos clips, online meeting there is nothing like coming together and meeting people live. Conferences like this touches on a fundamental quality of all people, the ability to interact and feel the expressions of a live person. No technology can replace that. This is why I find these conference very beneficial. To establish a live connection.

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Middle East HR

9th Edition MENA HR Summit

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