Benjamin Franklin has said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
This famous expression gets more value nowadays for large business companies, especially when they have partnership in their values, which means that employees are not considered merely as subordinates to do the job, but as partners, sharing responsibilities and achievements.
This is certainly the case of Balfin Group in Albania, which has a special program for the most prominent employees, who are given the opportunity to promote and give them a qualitative boost to their career.
This program is called "Talent Pool" and consists in the identification, training and professional development of talents and their preparation for taking on the highest professional and managerial positions at Group level, up to CEO level, of each company that Balfin Group owns. The program identifies the steps of developing talents, realizes them and enables the creation of a team of prepared employees (who work in different Group companies) who then are offered the opportunity to advance their career into the leading and challenging positions that Balfin Group offers.
Steps that are followed to identify and train the talents
Selection is done according to a well-thought process and divided into several steps. The first step is the announcement of the program's opening to Group companies.
Subsequently, each company submits proposals to candidates who must meet certain criteria and assessments in defined and specific formats for this purpose.
After selection at this stage, all selected candidates pass a number of written tests in logical fields or areas related to professional and managerial skills.
Talent Pool program is designed to develop participatory candidates in three directions: the one of leading and technical knowledge, knowledge taken in the format of training courses. Work knowledge, which is training made by following the day-to-day work of the group leaders (job-shadow) combined with their coaching instructions, both in group companies and at Balfin headquarters. Training continues with the pursuit of the candidate through the mentoring technique, where highly qualitative leaders of the Balfin Group are attached to the talents, which are a support point in their advance through the remote support.
Effective talent management is accomplished by choosing the right individuals in key roles, guaranteeing integrated interventions that support the creation of new leaders, developing new paths, and empowering the young generation to be successful on these paths. Thus encouraging and rewarding high-level performance. The project is organized once every two years and is led by the Balfin Group's Human Resources Department. This process includes 15 candidates.
"Talent Pool" candidates successfully completing the training process are the first candidates to be considered for the new managerial positions that are available in the Balfin Group.
Below we have asked four protagonists of this program who have been promoted in important assignments, from Executive Director to the Human Resources Manager, both within companies where they worked before, and also being transferred to other companies within Balfin Group.
Eva Kallavaresi was the Director of Brands at Fashion Group Albania, a company she today leads as the Executive Director thanks to "Talent Pool".
Eva narrates her experience:“ "It is true that I got the maximum that can be obtained from participating in Talent Pool 1 and I feel proud of it. It took years of effort to achieve this. Learning is a continuous process and I think it never ends. Unfortunately, in the Albanian market, even when employees have a lot of knowledge about work, promotion may not come because there are no such mechanisms as Talent Pool where an individual can be identified, where his knowledge through qualitative training can be passed to one master level and finally to be evaluated.
One area where I think that I made concrete progress thanks to Talent Pool is the strategic management. The 'Canvas Business' model has remained in my mind. I think that the blending of the Canvas Business Model with Swot Analysis is easy to apply to business, so I plan to share this model with my workgroup and I am very confident we will succeed. I also think that I'm getting better on 'design thinking' and 'problem solving'. During the training, much focus was given to creativity and process design. In the first year of work as Executive Director of Fashion Group Albania I used the tree of algorithms in decision-making and the inspiration for this I took from design thinking and problem solving training, "she says.
Nertil Myrtollari before the training at Talent Pool and the relevant promotion has operated as Mobile Category Manager for Neptun. Now he is Group Category Manager of TV / IT / Mobile / Digital / Audio and Video, at Neptun.
Nertil shows how Talent Pool's experience was: "All the time at Talent Pool 1 has been quite productive, but what remained to me is that the company we work on is far more than the position we cover. It taught us to see it as a complete organism, where every individual, every department, every process has its own importance and to hold more responsibility by contributing to the best functioning of this organism as a whole. I think we can see the importance of this program in both participating parties; first, for the candidate, a good development opportunity with very good coaches and programs is given. It also promotes inclusion and self-motivation of the fact that you are in such a project with other ambitious candidates. Moreover, the participation in this program expresses the appreciation of your superior and Balfin Group. Secondly, for the company, because it identifies and develops potential candidates for important positions within its structure. We often fall prey to the daily routine and look only at the micro situation of our work desk, but we have to understand that even this is part of the company's macro environment and that we are part of a chain that needs to be always moving. "- he says
Ogerta Manelli, formerly the Neptun Wage and Administration Manager, is now Human Resources Manager at Mane TCI.
Ogerta talks about the group work and the progress made by her: "The program directly influenced my professional perception. Upon the completion of this program, I did not look at myself as an employee in a company separated from other group companies anymore. I now had a clearer picture of my possibilities, which were not limited to the company I was operating in. Beyond the fact that the company constantly covers its needs with the best, from the employee's point of view this program creates opportunities, the right environment, sharing of experiences, professional challenges in the context of continuous improvement, which does not stop only in personal aspect but also wider, enabling these improved skills to find a coherent application in the company's daily processes.
Thanks to the knowledge gained through the program there have been several areas in which I have seen a remarkable improvement, but if I were to specify one, it has been the group work. Working to build a business plan with casual members who did not always share the same vision with you was a challenge that taught me a lot in this direction,"- she says.
Dorina Ferhati from Manager at the Leasing Department at Acrem, today holds the position of Asset and Services Manager at Green Coast.
She shows the positive impact the program had on its professional skills
"I believe that the most direct impact that Talent Pool has had is to increase my managerial and decision-making knowledge. I think that such a program on both sides is important for the participants because it is an assessment and motivation for other career steps and for the employer a space where it identifies qualitative candidates that it could potentially engage in the future within the structures own.
One of the aspects that has had a direct impact on me has been in the field of finance, where through the trainings made during the program I gained in-depth knowledge of the financial aspects of business. This in itself enables more objective and sustainable decision making. This program is an investment for the professional career, as it can be used and applied in every field and career moment, " Dorina says.