Retail Consult - Happiness is a Priority

Retail Consult is recognized as a "Best IT" due to how it lives its corporate values, according to Tânia Azinheiro, the head of People & Brand. "Happiness" and "Care" are fundamental pillars that guide the organization's culture, promoting a work environment where employee happiness and well-being are a priority.

Tânia Azinheiro highlights that Retail Consult values each employee as unique, with initiatives that ensure personal and professional fulfillment. The company, which implements global technological solutions, offers a dynamic and challenging environment that allows employees to grow and explore different business areas. Additionally, the people management strategy includes individual support programs, such as the "Buddy Program" and the "Talent & Mentoring Program," not forgetting the academy for continuous training.

What are the main factors that distinguish Retail Consult as a "Best IT"?

The main factor that distinguishes Retail Consult as a "Best IT" is how we live our corporate values. They are much more than just words written on motivational posters. They are in our DNA since the company's inception and are lived out daily. One of them is "happiness," which means that everyone's happiness is an objective in itself. This is achieved by creating an environment where people feel engaged, fulfilled, and able to be themselves.

"Care" is also a corporate value that reflects the concern for looking at each employee not as just another person but as unique. Each person is seen as someone with individual characteristics and concerns, treated with trust, respect, and care. All of this creates a positive organizational culture, where team spirit and mutual help reign, creating an excellent work environment.

Furthermore, we are in an extremely dynamic business area. As implementers of technological solutions for retailers, we are at the epicenter of a rapidly growing and constantly evolving sector. Since we work on projects worldwide, there is never any monotony. Employees might work today with a fashion retailer client in Barcelona and tomorrow on a new project with a food retailer in the USA. This not only provides a dynamic and challenging environment but also offers growth opportunities and the exploration of different business areas, making each project and professional challenge a new adventure.

How would you describe the People Management strategy that led to this result?

The people management strategy is based on the happiness and well-being of employees as a fundamental value. At Retail Consult, this is not just a trend recently put into practice due to labor market pressures. It is a genuine principle since the company's creation in 2011. Thus, our strategy involves looking at our employees holistically, considering both their professional and personal sides.

On the professional side, we clearly feel the responsibility to help people achieve their professional goals and feel fulfilled. In this sense, we have a talent management structure that provides regular and individualized support to each person, aiming to help manage each one's career. Difficulties and preferences are discussed, paths and objectives are outlined, and strategies and tools are developed to achieve them. We have our own academy, the Retail Academy, which offers people training opportunities in various areas, from technical and functional to personal development and soft skills.

However, we believe that the personal side can and should be supported. In this regard, we have developed a well-being program, Wellness@Work, with a strategy based on four fundamental pillars of well-being: physical, emotional, social, and financial. Our approach consists of working on these dimensions through different tools: programs that provide personalized care and support for each employee; raising awareness and literacy on various topics; promoting socialization opportunities; and offering special benefits to our employees that support each of these dimensions.

Much like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we build a foundation that addresses basic needs (physiological and safety/security), focusing on physical and emotional health and providing self-care tools and strategies. From there, we build the social dimension and address belonging and esteem needs, promoting respect and recognition among colleagues to achieve self-actualization, empowering our people to become the best version of themselves.

All of this creates a supportive, engaging, and contagious work environment, as values are transmitted not just top-down but in all possible directions.

What good practices were introduced or reinforced in the last year?

Initiatives focusing on individualized support for each employee have received special attention. In this regard, we have a "Buddy Program" and a "Talent & Mentoring Program" that prioritize regular support and feedback, as well as a follow-up and psychological support program, which have a profound impact.

On the other hand, we create initiatives that extend our values and concern for others beyond our office walls, allowing people to connect with each other and with society. In our "Hands on" program, our teams get hands-on to help disadvantaged people. We embrace various causes, from those related to sick children, the elderly, homeless people, children and young people at risk without a family structure, to food support institutions or environmental causes. It is an initiative that aligns the whole company towards a greater goal. Because giving back not only brings happiness to others, but it also gives us purpose and takes our value "happiness" one step further.

How does the strong connection to IT benefit or influence People Management?

This connection requires us to be constantly evolving and to have innovative management. We are in an extremely competitive market, where attracting and retaining talent are crucial. This compels us to think outside the box and create ways to motivate people.

On the other hand, the connection to IT benefits us because we are in an environment of constant innovation and technological evolution. This dynamic helps keep employees motivated and challenged, allowing them to continuously develop new skills and regularly face new challenges. The possibility of working on different projects and areas also increases professional development and satisfaction.

How have transformations in the world of work (hybrid regime, among others) influenced People Management practices?

Transformations in the world of work, such as the hybrid regime, have influenced People Management practices by requiring greater flexibility and adaptability in team management. It is necessary to adapt our practices to the difficulties that distance brings. Being aware of the impact of proximity on organizational culture, we encourage people to be together, whether in events and activities or in daily interactions, with practices that promote interaction among them.

From the feedback collected from employees, what do they consider essential in a "Best IT"?

Employees consider that in a "Best IT," a supportive and collaborative culture is essential. A company that lives the values it preaches and, in parallel, employees feel that they are not just another number within the organization, receiving personalized care and personal treatment. Professionals also value transparency, open communication, and accessibility at all hierarchical levels, where an "open door" policy makes a big difference. Increasingly, a healthy balance between personal and professional life is highly valued.

What factors do employees most value at Retail Consult as a "Best IT"?

What employees most value is the team spirit, mutual help, strong organizational culture, and the fact that they are not just a number to the company. Additionally, they appreciate career opportunities, the possibility of working on different projects, and the challenging environment provided. The well-being programs and continuous communication with management are also highly valued by our employees.

How is Retail Consult working to maintain or increase this level of employee satisfaction in 2024?

We will continue to focus on the professional and personal development of our employees, whether through career development strategies, mentoring programs, or our Retail Academy, as well as well-being initiatives such as "Wellness @work." We will also continue to invest in ways to balance personal and professional life, ensuring that everyone is satisfied and happy.

Is being a "Best IT" a good calling card for your Employer Branding strategy? How are you working to enhance Retail Consult's attractiveness to candidates?

The IT industry is extremely competitive, with a fierce fight for talent. It's no coincidence that at Retail Consult, the Marketing and Human Resources areas merge into one department called People & Brand. It was a conscious decision, made recently, because the organization recognizes that employees or candidates must be viewed similarly to clients or potential clients. Thus, they need to be won over and retained. This involves an Employer Branding strategy that was carefully developed and, especially nowadays, is based on authenticity. We have a well-defined EVP (Employer Value Proposition) and messaging strategy, with specifically developed content for this purpose, as well as a media dissemination strategy. Being a "Best IT" is undoubtedly an excellent calling card for this strategy. And it will, in essence, cement what we, as Retail Consult, are both internally and externally.


This interview is part of the Special "Best IT" published in the June edition (No. 162) of Human Resources. - SOURCE: Human Resources Portugal