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HomeCAREERSWith Orsolya Villányi on Building a People-Centered Culture

With Orsolya Villányi on Building a People-Centered Culture

Orsolya Villányi, Culture and People Manager for Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia at Stada, is an experienced human resources manager with a proven track record in the pharmaceutical industry. She possesses skills in sourcing, talent management, recruiting, administration, organizational abilities, and office administration.

C&B: Orsolya, with your extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, how did you initially get into HR and what has kept you motivated in this field?

Orsolya Villányi: During my studies in psychology, I realized that I really wanted to work with people, but not as a therapist. I was more interested in influencing an entire organization through people. This motivation is still in me; I can’t see it as a job, even on the hardest days. I like my job because every day is interesting. Partly because I work with leaders for whom HR is not a support function but an integral part of the business. On the other hand, here at STADA I have the freedom to implement my own projects, which gives me a sense of ownership and creativity. At STADA Hungary, I was the third employee back in 2018, so I was able to see how an affiliate could be built up from scratch with the help of the corporate team.

C&B: Orsolya, how do you define the role of HR as a business partner within your organization, especially in the pharmaceutical industry?

Orsolya Villányi: Here at STADA we believe that culture drives performance; we don’t even use the term HR anymore, we’ve been using ‘Culture & People’ instead since last year. The best example of this mindset is that last year we achieved 94% engagement in our employee survey and we also achieved record revenue growth with 19% EBITDA growth (FY22 vs FY23). HR is an important partner to our business; it is crucial that we work together to attract the right talent and keep each other informed of trends that are impacting our operations and strategies.

C&B: Can you describe how HR strategies are developed in alignment with overall business goals at your company? What’s your role in this process?

Orsolya Villányi: Our HR leadership team determines the key initiatives that we move forward with. It is an ongoing collaborative effort with the business and us HRBPs. My role is to implement these strategies in the organizations that I am responsible for. I am currently responsible for 3 markets that differ in terms of culture, size, and market position, and I try to align these strategies with the business objectives and priorities of the markets. Fortunately, we have a management team that also listens to ideas from the ground up and, if something has worked well in one country, we can present it to each other, learning from and inspiring each other.

C&B: How do you leverage talent management to drive key business strategies and outcomes?

Orsolya Villányi: Here, at STADA, we leverage talent management to drive key business strategies; this includes identifying and developing employee skills and potential to align with organizational goals. At STADA, we have a multi-tiered talent development program that helps us encourage talent to develop at all career levels and in different areas. We are constantly looking for them within the organization and have local and global development plans for them.

C&B: Given your expertise in sourcing, how do you strategically source talent to meet the future needs of the business?

Orsolya Villányi: First of all, I’m very proud that my colleagues like to refer our company to people they know, and they also check who can fit into our culture. I think this is the best way, but not the only way. We need a deep understanding of industry trends, skill requirements, and effective sourcing channels such as talent pipelines, and partnerships with educational institutions.

C&B: How do you align your recruiting strategies to support and stimulate business growth, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector?

Orsolya Villányi: We strongly believe that culture drives performance, so we incorporate our values throughout the recruitment process. This is achieved through targeted job descriptions, behavioral interviewing techniques (or hiring for attitude), emphasizing growth opportunities, and fostering partnerships with educational institutions for talent acquisition. Also, we put a lot of emphasis on our Employee Growth Value Proposition to send a clear message to the market about the people we are happy to attract and retain.

C&B: How do organizational skills play a role in executing HR strategies that are aligned with business objectives?

Orsolya Villányi: The world around us is constantly changing and presenting us with new challenges. If you think about the last few years, how companies have had to adapt at a strategic level, for example, how COVID-19 changed what we thought about home office, and then the geopolitical changes that have tested the supply chain. And in all these changes, HR has been there. The only way to succeed is to be able to manage these changes in an agile way, you need effective planning, coordination, prioritization, and efficiency in implementing HR initiatives that support organizational goals and adapt to changing business needs.

C&B: With constant changes in the pharmaceutical industry, how does HR adapt its strategies to continue being a relevant and effective business partner?

Orsolya Villányi: I think it’s crucial to implement agile talent management practices. We need to foster innovation across the entire organization, for which we have our own program at STADA. This program is for all employees in the company, from those working on the production line to the general managers. Everyone can come up with ideas to make us better, more efficient, or more sustainable. And it’s vital to collaborate closely with other functions.

C&B: How have technological advancements shaped the HR functions in your company? What technologies have been most impactful?

Orsolya Villányi: Technological advancements have significantly shaped HR functions, with impactful technologies including HRIS systems for data management and analytics. These have helped us a lot to help the business understand the HR KPIs. As we are able to show the return on investment of such initiatives, we are able to speak the same language. Recently, we have also been taking advantage of AI and using our own internal STADA GPT.

C&B: What advice would you give to HR professionals who are looking to elevate their role to that of a strategic business partner within their organizations?

Orsolya Villányi: My advice for HR professionals aiming to elevate their role as strategic business partners includes understanding the business context deeply. It’s essential to understand your managers’ and organization’s pain points, strategy, and vision. On the other hand, it’s important to learn to communicate effectively, and I’m talking about all aspects of that. It’s important to learn what active listening is, but also to be understood. Your managers need to understand what you want to say, and you need to be able to put things in different perspectives. The most important thing for your own development is continuous learning. There are plenty of good Ted talks and books which will help you achieve this goal.

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