Natasha Kuncheva, HR Director of bTV Media Group in an interview for economy.bg
Natasha, tell us about your candidacy in the Annual HR Awards of UABM 2021, the category of "Best HR Team of the Year".
Our candidacy came as a surprise from a colleague, whose identity we still do not know. We decided that after the colleague appreciated our work, we should respect the candidacy and join the competition.
Introduce us to your HR team - how many and what are the HR professionals in it, what is their expertise?
Our team consists of five people.
HR Director - Natasha Kumcheva - sets the main priorities of the department and determines the vision for its future development. Coordinates the overall implementation of projects in it.
HR business partners - Ekaterina Doncheva, Zdravka Angelova and Magdalena Petrova - by supporting the teams in their overall development focus on achieving the strategic goals of the business. They are also responsible for the administrative support of the departments in their department and facilitate the collaboration between corporate goals and those of employees. They often act as mediators and advisors to both managers and employees.
Human Resources Coordinator - Kostadin Krastanov - is responsible for identifying training needs for employees, providing and selecting suppliers and their organization. Analyzes all KPIs placed on the team and staff and project statistics and assists in making informed strategic decisions.
Present your projects in brief.
2021 was challenging for us in many ways. Along with the ongoing COVID pandemic, Central European Media Enterprises ltd., Of which bTV Media Group EAD is a part, was acquired by the global holding PPF Group N.V. Subsequent changes have increased the value of the HR team in the company and strengthened its role as a key partner that supports the transition and adaptation to new structural and cultural changes. The appointment of a new CEO and the subsequent replacement of key unit managers focused our HR team on the task of ensuring the smooth entry and successful integration of new managers, changed teams and policies.
We analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of managers and teams, identified key employees and their potential for development.
Digitization and improvement of the Induction program for optimal introduction of new employees. We are also working on meetings of managers with their teams and giving regular feedback.
Our projects are diverse and due to the relatively small size of our team compared to the size of the company (over 550 employees and 200 civil contracts for various projects), each contributes to their various aspects according to their own perspective and style.
Over the past year, like many other colleagues in the industry, we have used the opportunity provided by remote mode to upgrade some of our systems and move some of the internal administrative burden to a digital environment. The HR ticketing system allowed our colleagues to express their needs for documents and services in a fast and convenient way, and our platform for collecting training needs facilitated and accelerated the process many times over.
We are currently working to expand our range of digital tools. Our projects for the path / career of the employees in the company (employee journey) and succession planning are in the process of development by our software team. At the same time, in coordination with the Marketing and Corporate Communications Department, we continue the monthly issue of bTELLER - our corporate magazine aimed at our internal audiences, which combines traditional topics with such issues with more common lifestyle magazines.
We work in cooperation with educational institutions through the "Student Internships" program of the Ministry of Education and Science. The variety of departments in the company allows us to offer internships to students in a wide range of specialties. 15 young and ambitious specialists have already passed through our practical school, and we hope future colleagues as well.
2021 was also a successful year for maintaining the strong employer brand image of our company, which allows us to attract excellent candidates for all our key positions.
For another year, bTV Media Group was chosen as the most desired employer among the media, as well as the most desired media employer among students (according to the authoritative research Employer of Choice and Graduate Survey 2021).
Which one are you most proud of, what is its purpose and why did you decide to start it?
Our project to increase the competence and team spirit in the management team, R.I.S.E. (Respect Is Something Earned) Academy. The whole process is led by the coaches of "Toro Group C", and the first bell of the academy rang in September 2021.
What results did you want to achieve with the project and what did you actually achieve?
We hoped that the project would create a common basis for decision-making, improve the team spirit among the managers in the company and provide new perspectives, even to colleagues with many years of experience.
Fortunately, we can boast that these are the goals actually achieved. In communication between teams, colleagues can learn from their shared experiences with each other, and the initial encouragement of trainers to look for opportunities to implement what they have learned in a real work environment and share the results, led colleagues to try new things and share their experiences. Our positive evaluations are confirmed by the periodic feedback surveys that we send to the participants, as well as by the discussions we conduct with the coaches.
The project is not yet fully completed (the end of the group sessions is May 2022), but the results are so eloquent that we decided to create a second similar project for all colleagues at the director level - Rise 2 The Challenge.
Tell us what new HR projects you are planning.
In 2022 we will focus on further digitalization of the processes in the department, as well as on our integration with other HR teams from PPF Group. We are currently working with colleagues from the group to develop a global HR Dashboard, which will contain up-to-date information about all companies in the group in the media industry. Recently, we are also looking at digital solutions for setting and tracking OKRs (Objectives & Key Results), which will improve the traceability and effectiveness of the set goals.
We hope that in 2022 the above-mentioned projects for Employee Exeperiance & Succession planning and colleagues at all levels will appear in the world and see their real application and benefits. We are already actively using our digitized Employee handbook, which is part of our introductory program, which, in turn, is part of the big initiative for the overall experience of our employees while in the company and beyond.
And let's end with a quote from the great Walt Disney, which is also our motto - "Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it's done right!"