Hottest information about 12th Annual Achieving HR Excellence in Telecom Summit

18 May 2018


Executive Vice President HR

3 Questions for Markus Schwarzenbock

How does gamification affect your company?

Gamification is affecting our company more and more. It supports your strategy to create a great employee experience and makes us in certain parts of the company even more effective.

What is the role of engaging managers in the process of building a corporate culture?

From my perspective, managers have to become or be cultural architects, i.e. they need to understand what culture is needed or how it has to be changed, have to be able to adjust/refine at the right point and try to be role models for the desired culture.

What is the importance of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud tools in the employees’ work?

The challenges in a more digital future require employees to work in agile networks, for which all these tools play a critical role to ensure in time communication, connectivity of global and flexible teams and to provide high quality solutions.

Markus is the EVP Global HR Business Partners for Siemens. In this position he is heading all Global Business Partner (HR BP). An HR BP supports Divisions or Business Units on a global scale, derives a People strategy from the business strategy, implements the People strategy and acts as a coach and trusted partner to the top management. In his position, Markus is aiming for being truly global thinkers, strategic positioner/entrepreneurs, credible activist in order to tackle all business challenges in today’s VUCA world.

23 March 2018


Director Group HR
A1 Telekom Austria Group


Head of HR – Northern and Central Europe

3 Questions for Eva Zehetner &
Burak Bakkaloglu

How does gamification affect your company?

E: We use elements of gamification in various areas – Learning, competitions, etc. I am sure this will increase in the future, although I think there will be a “gamification fatigue” soon, so I believe it should be used selectively.

B: We have used gamification to a limited extend for a few pilot projects. It did bring a fresh look and a new angle, which created energy and “buzz” around the projects. A substantial effect was difficult to see.

What is the role of engaging managers in the process of building a corporate culture?

E: Managers play a key role in a corporate culture. Ideally, they are role models for their employees. If they are not, that is probably the biggest hindrance for having the corporate culture that you want. So engaging managers early on and also very specifically is crucial, although we should not underestimate the “bottom up pressure” that comes from the employees.

B: Leaders of the organization define the corporate culture and pockets of variations of the overarching culture. Engaging leaders through conventional communications channels are important. However, not enough. The leaders mostly cascade down the climate that they work in to their teams and their peers. We have learnt that it is very crucial that the behaviours we want are the ones that the leaders are exposed to. Then they start showing those behaviours, eventually building a culture from those everyday behaviours.
Practically it means that every meeting, every correspondence and every casual interaction is a means to convey the wanted behaviour and to make sure it gets adopted. If we defined “engaging leaders” from that broad angle, obviously it is imperative to the success of building the right corporate culture.

What is the importance of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud tools in the employees’ work?

E: We use workplace by facebook as our internal social network and it has fundamentally changed the way we communicate – everyone has a voice and the same access to information. Mobile access to tools and processes is also very important – no new tool that doesn’t provide a seamless mobile experience is being implemented. Employees increasingly request that. Analytics and cloud tools are currently more in the background for most employees. They are there but nobody is really thinking about them – and I think we will see that even more going forward.

B: This is a broad question with many aspects. Two main headings come up from them:

  1. The employee experience affected / designed by social media, mobile and cloud tools. In our daily lives, we are used to reach information very fast through Google, buy anything with a good bargain with price search engines and online retail companies. We share information and our feelings very easily with social media and reviews. We expect a similar experience in our “corporate lives”. The social platforms and tools like HR, admin at work are far from giving us a similar experience. Few companies offer a better experience to their employees, and that makes a significant difference in the employer branding and belonging of the employees. Companies who can leverage their Instagram pages, reflect a user-friendly approach to their internal tools are seen as “high tech” and rise in the ranks of “good place to work” for talent.
  2. The corporate “capability” that is enhanced by analytics and related tools: In our digital context, decision-making needs to be fast and accurate. Analytical approach as a culture and the necessary tools to reach accurate data on-demand are 2 crucial aspects in the digital era. We are used to work with “snapshot data” that comes in standard report formats. We switched to “online data” with our talent acquisition infrastructure and saw great advantages. All business intelligence systems will move towards that direction. Enabling employees draw crucial insight from accurate data is a competitive advantage.

Eva  Zehetner studied International Business Administration at the University of Vienna. Parallel to her studies she began her career at HP, where she worked in various HR roles as well as in Finance. In 2011, Eva Zehetner joined the A1 Telekom Austria Group as a Head of Compensation & Benefits for Austria and A1 Telekom Austria Group. Since November 2017, she has been heading up the Group HR.

Burak Bakkaloglu is a business-oriented professional with a wide range of consulting and line experience. He value a digital world and believe in the difference people can make with a growth mind-set. Having led several successful transformations through great HR teams, he experienced power of collaborative and diverse teams. Burak started his career as a consultant in Hay Group and after working with more than 150 companies delivering HR projects, he spent 4 years as an operator in HR leadership roles. Burak switched to Ericsson where he found himself in an amazingly multinational environment with great people and diverse challenges. He also enjoy being in the board of TEDx Stockholm since 2018.