ACT Annual Report 2020

30.03.2021 1 Min Read
ACT Annual Report 2020

2020 will definitely make it into the history of mankind as the year of world’s transformation.


In this report we have summed up the most important and transformative events for ACT that took place in 2020. We would like to share our experience. We believe that together we will make better 2021!


Click the link to view the report.


Latest News

Important changes were made in the world under the influence of the pandemic which made us accept new reality we are all in now. Facing big challenges, companies had need of new resources and had to adjust their work. What is current reality of HR field, what are challenges HR specialists face and what opportunities they see can be seized – we offer an interview with a founder of One Point – Nino Niauri.


In the end of 2020, it is interesting to sum up challenges HR field in general had to face?

I cannot say that HR field had to face any particular changes, I would say that 2020 was very challenging for everyone, including HR specialists. Considering their role in companies, it can be said that this was one of the hardest times, because you know one important role of HR is to unite a team, support team work in general. Problems were serious in this direction – managing human resources virtually was something new for businesses. The fact that we did not know what we were dealing with, for how long and what was the threat coming from the virus stirred confusion and uncertainty. The field was significantly affected by part of regulations, lots of companies were forced to cut down the number of employees, which was particularly hard.


As an outsource company, what kind of challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? 


What helped us was more mobilization. As a result of analyzing what we have done, I can conclude that we tried to focus our resources to help our potential clients and this naturally increased workload for us. We got familiar with many new fields in this processes, processes were drastically different and very interesting at the same time. There were challenges and hard times, but those hard times strengthened us and made our work much more productive, live and active and we can see this from positive perspective.


Do you believe that the harm done to HR field during the pandemic can be fixed and how? 

Unfortunately, so many people were left jobless and to fix this situation requires not only HR, but complex approaches in terms of business and economic development in general. But we cannot speak about harm only, there were many positive things too. For example, many education centers provided quite expensive trainings and master classes for free. This gave access to many individuals to learn what they wanted before but could not because of the lack of time or finances. Now this became accessible and many people took advantage of it to improve their qualification which is clearly very positive on the labor market. But the fact that a lot of people were left jobless complicated things on the labor market and it will probably require much time to fix this situation. Naturally, this was quite tough period for HR specialists, it is very difficult when you mobilize resources and then you lose those resources because of the external factors. It was painful for those who lost their job, but it was difficult for companies too, I don’t think there is any company that got benefit from this process, in contrary, it was quite tough for businesses to make a decision on firing their employees. I hope this process will not continue, it will end soon and the next year will be a year of development.


Which of the service/services you offer became particularly demanded during the pandemic? 

If we compare the previous year when we did not have the pandemic, number of consulting projects increased and we had to make systemic and procedural changes in many companies. Some of it were painful, some of it – not so much. Naturally, changes are perceived to be hard, but in the end, proper planning of processes and optimization helped many companies work with minimal costs during the pandemic and thus, survive the pandemic. From this point of view, I believe that we implemented successful projects and we are proud of it. Demand was also high on head-hunting even though companies had to cut down staff, there is still demand on qualified professionals. Demand is still high on management positions, IT professionals and technical positions and it makes us very happy, it means that we are still developing and moving forward which is very good. Demand was also very high on HR software because automatization projects became very important for companies when they switched to remote work mode.

In your opinion, what impact will problems identified in 2020 make for future? 

We have different perception of this issue and don’t call it a problem. We have recently discussed it in the company and we believe that 2020 was a big challenge for everyone which did not actually change anything, but accelerated what should have already taken place, I mean digitalization and remote management systems – this is the future of business. The future of business is automatization projects, it would probably take years for companies to switch to online systems and we believe that the pandemic forced and pushed businesses to find the solution and lots of them managed to switch to online space. Even though this seems difficult today, but in long-term perspective, it is good for business and clearly a step made forward.


What professions and skills do you believe will be demanded in future? 

We assume and studies confirm, that demand will increase in terms of technologies and exact sciences. At the same time, it is very interesting that main focus will be made on multi-functional and easily adapting individuals. For future, we believe that such individuals will take their place on the market and experience shows us that one profession is no longer enough. Before now, a person would choose one profession and followed this profession for entire life, it was ordinary and usual thing to do. The reality has changed now and people try to acquire as many professions as possible, to study something in addition. This process got easier due to increased access to education, but in any case, exactly such multi-functional and easily adapting individuals will be demanded on the market and employers’ attitudes will also change from this point of view.


What would be your recommendations for companies, what is important when working online? 

I believe that communication is key for every kind of management. No matter whether it is online or offline. Online work turned the part of communications particularly sensitive. When working online, support of team work and availability of information became even more challenging. Companies need to make effort in this direction, in reality, there are three kay aspects in online management of teams – communication, planning and timely feedback – on one hand, this is comfortable for employees as they are well aware of expectations and on the other side, results are even more achievable for employers and respectively, those three components would be something that managers need to pay particular attention to.


Here, in One Point, we do our best to keep this style and have consistent communication with each other whether we work online or at the office 100%. We clearly have personal communication with client companies and held meetings, but One Point team works online.

What helps us a lot is that we have consistent, stable communication and we share every novelty or problem with each other. This unified style of work is very productive.


It is difficult for large companies to do this, you cannot meet every single employee on daily basis in a large company, but it is important this communication to take place inside every structural unit and held meetings every day or every other day, but employees need to have a feeling that they are involved in this process and they are not forgotten. We had cases when we were asked for recommendation to improve negative performance and outcomes of the employee, but when we probed, it turned out that since the beginning of the pandemic, manager communicated with the said employee only through e-mails and even that was very scarce. Naturally, this was reflected on employee’s performance. In situations like that, it is difficult for an employee to feel as a part of the company, correctly plan and understand every need, this is why communication is very important for achieving the best results.

25.12.2020

An annual international campaign against gender-based violence kicks off today, on November 25 and entire world once re-joins to eliminate this important problem. Private sector plays a crucial part in eliminating gender-based violence. We, the companies that stand on women empowerment principles, we who strive for empowerment of women, realize that this goal cannot be reached without eliminating gender-based violence.


This is why we try to make certain steps to support violence-free environment inside the organization as well as outside it. We do our best to raise awareness on this problem, promote the services that are in place against the violence and support victims of gender-based violence.


We, companies signing the women’s empowerment principles join and declare our solidarity to international campaign against gender-based violence that kicks off on November 25 – the International Day for the Elimination Violence against Women and will last for 16 days.

 


#orangetheworld #16Days #WEPs #EqualityMeansBusiness #WeEmpower

30.11.2020

At least until recently, no one could have imagined that we would be witnessing the turning point of mankind. Perhaps there has never been such an intense sense of how closely each of us is connected to the life chain of the earth, and all its actions are reflected on us, like the butterfly effect. Undoubtedly, we live in an interesting era, but that’s what exactly faces us with unprecedented challenges. People always, and especially during difficult times, need to feel little victories, and this is the main reason why we wanted to share our story right now. If at least one person finds this story useful, gets inspired, and will believe that anything is possible, then we can assume that our mission is accomplished.


Let us start with the fact that the technological infrastructure in ACT is maintained very well (our VPN connection is protected by the highest international level of SSL certificate). Our entire team has several years of experience working remotely without any interruptions, and this is the greatest asset of our IT department. However, some of our production processes – focus groups and telephone surveys – were conducted from the office, and some of the surveys were conducted through face-to-face interviews with the respondent.


At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still no recommendations for staying at home, and therefore we continued to operate as usual, following all the recommendations available at the time. As the situation with the pandemic worsened, the first task our team set out to do was to transform our work process completely on the remote. The team was created with amazing speed and self-organization, the responsibility of which was to move the working process to a remote mode, and this should be done not only in Georgia but also in our subsidiary companies in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. We probably could not have imagined even in the most amazing dream if such a thing could have happened in 42 hours so that the current researches were not delayed for a second.


Our team carried out the following work in 42 hours:


  • Production process managers, IT and Digital teams shared specific tasks and defined their area of responsibility.
  • The work of telephone research managers has been promptly redirected to face-to-face research field managers (ACT staff members are multifunctional and therefore it was easily implemented)
  • Criteria for working from home have been developed (computer data, internet power, work environment, etc.).
  • An online registration database was created, where was possible to register those who want to work remotely. The base was initially filled with call center operators, but face-to-face interviews were added to keep their jobs.
  • For the best staff who did not meet the technical requirements, ACT helped and provided additional computers and all other necessary resources.
  • A new staff training module was created separately by the field staff
  • New processes were created separately, which were sent to everyone in the form of both written and video training
  • Additional “online” training was conducted for the interviewers and all their questions were answered
  • The IT department wrote a detailed working scheme of “Help Desk” and as a result of almost 24-hour work, computers of all operators were remotely set up and their technical training was conducted
  • To control the quality of remote “call center” workers, an additional team was created, which were trained through the video training prepared especially for them.
  • In parallel, analysts got adapted to face-to-face research tools and switched to the telephone research method.
  • The analytical team conducted a pilot online focus group and the service was rapidly offered to our clients.


All of the above was done in a way that the ongoing research processes were not delayed for a single minute.


“During the two days, we had a lot of quick, emergency internal meetings, assignments, writing short-term tasks and identifying the people responsible for the tasks. Training, instructions and numerous telephone or “online” consultations with the IT department were conducted. Based on the existing reality, we could see that time was running out. The most important thing was to end the case and, most importantly, to safely transfer all the people involved in the project to remote work. Our responsibilities and desire to maintain the existing project staff were doubled. We were able to provide the project staff, who did not have the technical equipment at home, with the delivery on the spot, as far as it was possible, in the given situation. We quickly started supporting interviewers left without a job. They were quickly trained and integrated into the operation of the call center. The field team acted as a whole, and that wholeness gave us the greatest strength and faith. I can’t do without mentioning the role of operators and interviewers in this change. They were our supporters and important members of our one, whole team. Under the conditions of working on the current project during the day, those back at home expressed their openness at night to work with the IT department to move the “call center” at home in time.


In the end, the united and strong team responded to challenge, with the record-breaking time with dignity. At the appointed time, the remote “call center” was fully up and working. Processes were conducted effectively in the test mode and the ongoing projects were completed. As a result, you realize that when there is a desire to support each other, love of work and self-belief, you will achieve your goal. Nothing is impossible. ”- Natia Jobava, Head of the Field Department. “We have come together to prove that we can do things differently. Togetherness gave us strength, and we saw that in a short period we had to make the changes that would normally occur in at least two to three weeks. At that time, the situation in the world was changing for the worse. The government and health officials were already urging us to stay at home! Perhaps it is difficult for the human brain to cope with so much negativity and stress without affecting its functioning and thinking. We were so involved in our search for the ways to solve new problems, that we finally came to the conclusion that “fast response to life changes is the best way to relieve stress” and we began.


Another thing that has become clear is how positively it affects people when you ask them for help – they feel their value, and when a person is motivated to do something for the greater good, he performs miracles. Any ambition has gone into the background and we have obeyed the laws that no one has written but were existed in our team. ” – David Mamucharashvili, field manager. As a result of these efforts, the remote call center (a total of 100 permanent operators) is fully running in both Georgia and Kazakhstan. “This 42-hour story is very emotional for me – it’s a story about people’s amazing organizational skills, teamwork, dedication, creativity and the fact that nothing is impossible. The crisis is a kind of push for different thinking and action. It is this feeling that makes the ACT team even stronger and opens the way to new opportunities, “said Rusudan Telia, ACT Executive Director. This history of our small success gives us the reason and the belief that together we can handle all the challenges as we move towards a big goal with small steps.


22.04.2020
close