The CyHRMA Annual Conference was concluded once again with great success. The conference took place on the 18th June 2014 at the ‘Filoxenia Conference Centre’ in Nicosia. This year’s conference was really special first and foremost due to its original, innovative and interactive nature and due to the participation of foreign speakers and guests.

Many participants, members and non-members of the Association and other guests arrived at the conference area from all parts of Cyprus at around 8:15am and the participants’ registration started.

At around 09:00am, participants gathered at the conference room where proceedings began with a warm welcome by the Conference Chairperson and Secretary of the Board, Mr. Panagiotis Thrasyvoulou, who made an introduction about CyHRMA and this year’s Conference with great enthusiasm. The President of the Board, Mr. George Pantelides also welcomed the participants and thanked them for being present in this special event. The President then invited to the podium the representative of the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance Mr Andreas Assiotis, who on behalf of the Minister, Mrs. Zeta Emilianidou made a brief but comprehensive speech and spoke about the role of the Labour Office, the practices that are applied and the various challenges the Ministry currently faces.

The first main speaker of the conference was Dr. Stevan Rolls, Head of Human Resources at Deloitte UK. Dr. Rolls explained how emerging labour market trends affect the economy and also how HRM practices influence the creation and development of strategic HR organizations as the global economy emerges from recession. In addition, he spoke about his own practical experiences and also gave some good examples which he personally applies in his work. He referred to the trend towards ‘Outsourcing’ and mentioned the countries that are now considered to be of “high cost”, such as India. Furthermore, he also spoke about the importance of creating and having leaders at all levels of the hierarchy in healthy organizations (creating leaders at all levels). Amongst others, he pointed out that he does no longer consider the existence of rating scales in performance appraisal systems as necessary (Performance Management Ratings). He believes that it would be effective if a budget was given to each line manager who could then allocate their resources based on their own judgment, understanding and annual evaluations. Annual salary increases and bonuses can then be distributed accordingly based on this. In this way, the HR department will give more emphasis on the human relationships and will no longer be a department which will only follow and implement standard procedures.

He also pointed out that another important aspect is to be able to provide flexibility to your employees. For example, in his own organization any employee may request for an unpaid leave for up to four consecutive weeks without having to give any reasoning. He also presented a model called «Agile Working Map», which he compared to the London Tube Map, and also presented some guidelines of facing problems that may arise during the process of creating and developing human capital strategies. Having said all that, we can make a large organization seem small, and this is achieved mainly through good human relations.

After the speech, a Yoga Wellness session was followed by Mrs. Elena Constantinidou, Business and Personal Results Coach of the company Coach Me 2 Excellence and Operations Manager at Dias Group, who spoke about how well-being can be part of the HR department’s role. Mrs Constantinidou helped participants relax through some Yoga exercises which she explained that are important for employees to actually perform them in the office during working hours. She explained that by having a clear mind, employees can become more productive and efficient at work. This part of the conference was very relaxing and the participants enjoyed themselves.

The second key speaker of the conference was Mr. Simon James Day, Head of Leadership Development and Succession Planning of Qatargas, who spoke about leadership development and what is the practical dimension that should be followed. He presented the model of change which he applied to several organizations, which includes twelve (12) steps that lead to change (The Burke-Litwin Model), as well as a new model for measuring the efficiency of performance through performance cycles (Four Performance States Circles).

He also referred to ways of managing and maintaining talent and how important it is to sustain the success of the organization. He also spoke about the responsibility of every leader to know how to manage their talents.

The second part concerned some wellness nutritional advice which was presented by Mrs. Andria Christofi, a Clinical Dietitian. Mrs Christofi gave some useful tips that someone can follow in the office in order to keep a balanced diet which is rich in nutrients and energy. She talked about the importance of having small and frequent meals and explained how people can keep a balanced diet even when they have a very tight and busy schedule.

Participants were then divided into four (4) different groups according to their own preference and participated in the following parallel workshops:
1. Proving the Power of HR to add value using metrics with Mr. Demetris Demetriou, Managing Director, Deltasoft.
2. Line Management Effectiveness with Mr. Costas Hoppas, Director of Human Resources Services, Cyprus University of Technology.
3. Austerity measures. What’s next for HR? with Mrs. Chris Matha, Managing Partner, Let’s Talk! Human Potential Ltd.
4. Innovative ways to implement a powerful learning strategy & methods and development, with Mr. Michael Virardi, Inspiration Coach & Author, MRV Simple Techniques Ltd.

All participants were informed about each workshop’s subject well in advance and hence, they had the opportunity to choose a subject of their interest based on their current needs and personal working experiences. All groups consisted of an adequate number of participants and all of them had the opportunity to discuss various issues in smaller groups.

The first part of the session was completed with success and followed by a short lunch where the participants had the opportunity to network. Before the start of the second part, group photographs were also taken.

The second part of the conference started with four additional workshops which were the below:
1. Engaging People through non-financial rewards, with Mrs. Chrysanthi Danou, Human Resource Manager, Cyprus Trading Corporation Plc
2. HR ‘Branding’ within the Organisation, with Mrs. Yota Tsiokri, Human Resources Officer, LGS Handling Ltd.
3. Psychological Wealth in rough economic “waters”. The importance of positive emotions in the working environment at the individual and organizational level, with Dr. Michael Galanakis, Human Resources Executive.
4. Managing diversity in the workplace, with Mr. Nicholas Andreou, Associate, Centre for Organisational Health and Development, UK.

The second parallel workshops were also completed with great success as participants were actively having fruitful discussions that led to interesting conclusions and practical examples for sharing.

Following this, participants gathered again in the main hall of the Conference area and then eight (8) coordinators / speakers presented their findings and conclusions and shared opinions with all the attendees. A ‘Questions and Answers’ section then followed.

Finally, the conference ended with the fascinating speech: “Follow your dreams!” which was made by Mr. Stylianos Lambrou, Founder and C.E.O of Social Airways as well as Co-founder of Heart Cyprus. His speech was short but very enthusiastic and inspirational. He explained that his career has started from scratch but he followed his dreams and managed to have two internationally recognized companies under his ownership at the very young age of just 23 years old.

The conference closed with positive messages about the importance of having a good and healthy life, how we can follow our dreams as well as how Human Resources professionals can progress further through various models and practices. All participants gave very positive feed¬back about the conference both in terms of organization and content of speeches and workshops.

The members of the Committee and the Board thanked all attendees for giving such positive comments and feedback and promised to offer even more successful conferences in the near future!

Speakers & Material

Keynote Addresses

Stevan Rolls
Head of Human Resources Department
Deloitte UK

Topic: How emerging trends in the labour market, economy and HR practice are influencing the development of people strategy in organizations as the global economy emerges from recession.
Presentation & Article

Simon James Day
Head of Leadership Development and
Succession Planning

Topic: Insights into Leadership Development. A Practitioner’s Perspective
Presentation & Article

Stylianos Lambrou
Founder and CEO, Social Airways and Co-Founder, Heart Cyprus

Topic: A successful start-up story – Follow your Dreams!

Wellness Sessions

Elena Constantinidou
Business and Personal Results Coach
Coach Me 2 Excellence and
Operations Manager, Dias Group

Wellness Session 1: Office Yoga

Antria Christofi
Clinical Dietitian – Nutritionist

Wellness Session 2: Office Nutrition
Presentation & Article

Parallel Workshops: Wave 1

Demetris Demetriou
Managing Director

Workshop 1: Proving the Power of HR to add value using metrics

Costas Hoppas
Director of Human Resources Services
Cyprus University of Technology

Workshop 2: Line Management Effectiveness

Chris Mathas
Managing Partner
Let’s Talk! Human Potential Ltd

Workshop 3: Austerity measures. What’s next for HR?

Michael R. Virardi
Inspiration Coach & Author

Workshop 4: Innovative ways to implement a powerful learning and development strategy & methods
Workshop’s Outcomes

Parallel Workshops: Wave 2

Chrysanthi Danou
Human Resource Manager
Cyprus Trading Corporation Plc

Workshop 1: Engaging People through Non-Financial Rewards
Presentation & Article

Yota Tsiokri
Human Resources Officer
LGS Handling Ltd

Workshop 2: HR ‘Branding’ within the Organization

Michael Galanakis
Human Resource Executive

Workshop 3: Psychological Wealth in rough economic “waters”. The importance of positive emotions in the working environment at the individual and organizational level

Nicholas Andreou
Centre for Organisational Health and Development, UK

Workshop 4: Managing Diversity at the Workplace
Presentation & Article