May 3, 2023

Q&A with Giedrė Teresevičienė: developing a company culture & getting support from CEOs

When you look for organizations which take care of the people’s health, look no more than Affidea – European leader of advanced diagnostics and outpatient services.

We have asked few questions a person who takes care of the people at Affidea Lietuva – Giedrė Teresevičienė, HR director at the company that employs 900 professionals in 24 healthcare centers.

Which personal qualities would you advise to develop for HR managers and why?

One of an HR manager’s role today is to be a strategic business partner to the business and the organization. This means that a successful HR manager must first understand the business and the market it operates in. Strategically thinking HR managers are able to design and align HR policies to the needs of the business.

Moreover, an HR manager should also be an exclusive communicator to be able to communicate and collaborate with different people and groups – from employees to executives. In my opinion, this is one of the most essential qualities in HR managers’ position.

Finally, HR managers must strive to become empathetic business partners, as they often have to empathize with other people’s situations, be it employees or customers.

What would you name as the easiest action to improve culture in the organization?

Well, organizational culture is not born overnight. This is something we all nourish and build every single day. In some organizations the word “culture” is still associated with a fuzzy concept. Luckily, the fact that culture is gaining more and more attention from senior executives who understand that the right culture can lead to success or failure forces HR leaders to emphasize culture daily. One of the “quick fixes” could be to engage our cross-functional teams more often so that we create a room for more interaction, expertise sharing, and problem-solving together.

Our organizations still greatly lack cross-functional teamwork, projects are usually designed to work in isolation, function by function. And this creates a lot of mistrust and missed opportunities. One of the means to improve organizational culture could be cross-functional team buildings and projects.

How can HR managers get more support from their CEOs?

HR managers should build a sustainable HR role brand within their companies. I sometimes hear excuses from my HR peers in other companies that an HR role is somewhat undervalued in their organizations and usually overshadowed by other functions.

I would say that this is a two-way street: HR managers must demonstrate the strategic value and impact of HR role to the overall organization and its success, talk about HR related matters to their CEOs daily, bring people agenda on the table, and establish strong and credible relationships with other executives. Modern HR leaders today understand their impact and how they influence the bottom line of their companies.