Larisa Grizilo, Larisa Grizilo, Glavni direktor ljudskih resursa i komunikacija, A1 Srbija i A1 Slovenija

Austrian corporate culture - teamwork, mutual trust and agility

The business community in Austria is playing an increasing role in the Serbian economy, and through our business it has been present on the Serbian market for 14 years. This synergy was further strengthened this year when we officially became part of the A1 family, which operates in seven SEE markets and provides support to more than 25 million users. Such an international environment provides a broader perspective, is an outstanding "hub" of ideas, exchange of knowledge and expertise, but also nurtures local values.

A1 Telekom Austria Group operates in all countries under one international brand, and in addition to the same name, we share common HR standards and values of corporate culture, which has more than 18,000 employees. Working in A1 is primarily belonging to a team that cares about people and supports their development, but also the balance between business and private life, which goes hand in hand with the importance that the traditional family has for both countries. We are especially proud to be the first holder in Serbia of the Family Friendly certificate, a kind of recognition for corporate culture and employee relations, awarded by the certification body TMS CEE, according to the certification scheme "Equilib" of the Institute from Slovenia. Mutual respect, cooperation, respect and cordiality in communication are very similar, and we both like to hang out, celebrate a job well done and celebrate the holidays through a symbolic and modest token of attention that is in line with the current code of business conduct.

When we talk about employment, qualities such as ambition, communication, openness, reliability, organization, pragmatism, proactivity, good functioning in a team and willingness to work in a dynamic environment are universal, both for different positions and cultures. The most important thing for a candidate is to have a balance between expertise and communication skills. If you are involved in IT, marketing, sales, at least basic knowledge is needed. Communicativeness enables functioning within the system with colleagues you work with every day, but also from other teams. In addition, it is desirable to know the area and work of the company for which you are applying. To know where the market competition takes place. For example. for telecommunications these are our branches, call center and online channels.

In all markets where the A1 brand operates, teamwork, mutual trust and agility are important. In addition, we appreciate candidates who have a "growth mindset", because it is the basis for openness to innovation, learning, but also giving and accepting feedback. There is a lot we can learn from each other, but we also improve through internal education programs. So once a month we organize the Brown Bag, a format in which we present internal and external use cases and talk about interesting topics inside and outside the industry. Leadership circle is a comprehensive program for employees in management positions within which we address topics from the industry, such as innovation, 5G, good practices and the like, and there is a special program for new leaders. Then, there is a skills fair within which soft skills trainings are held, and our employees have at their disposal more than 1000 courses from all countries and Udemy license, which is valid at the level of the entire A1 Group. Each colleague has his own individual development plan and special trainings are organized in accordance with his needs and ambitions.

All this gives us good support to encourage greater autonomy in employee decision-making, greater responsibility, but also learning from mistakes, because it creates a connection with the company's identity. People feel that someone cares about them, that they are part of the collective and that their work contributes to something bigger. From such a relationship of mutual support, an agile team is created, resistant to external social and market challenges, which we have recently faced.

Working in a large, serious system such as A1 Serbia has many advantages. Among other things, it will teach you to develop a sense of organization for yourself and others, learn from mistakes and progress. To test what works and what doesn't, which in the long run contributes to being one day, especially when it comes to a leadership position, a better manager, a better person and a better leader.