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As long as the job is done in a satisfactory manner, you should provide your employees with enough flexibility so that their well-being is 100% ensured.

Has the work-life balance changed during the pandemic? How has your company been helping the employees to adapt to this new remote work situation?

Definitely, the pandemic has affected everyone on several levels; professionally, personally as well as physically. The bank has adopted a new culture in addition to activating our Business Continuity Plan in a more creative and novel way to adapt to the global situation at hand. The HR department initiated a ‘Working from Home’ policy by following a trial and error to reach the best formula for work efficiency while maintaining employee’s safety, engagement and productivity.


How has HR been able to adapt to remote work? Has your company started new programmes to increase the employee engagement while working from home?

Both HR department and the bank have created new programmes or amendments on existing ones to suit our new norm. For instance, switching to digital communication for meetings, trainings, COVID-19 awareness for employees and their families as well as engagement during lockdown to maintain high morale amongst employees.


What would you recommend the companies should implement in order to ensure the physical and mental health of their employees?

Companies must shift to a more flexible and goal-oriented mind-set rather than focusing on details and a strict working schedule. As long as the work is done and the end result is satisfactory as planned, then the end justifies the means. Furthermore, it is vital to ensure employees’ well-being by checking up on them regularly, creating engagement and motivating them during these uncertain times.

Salma will also be joining our ONLINE conference the 11th Annual HR Excellence MENA Summit: Compensation and Benefits coming up in March, where she will be speaking in more details about The Future of Corporate Wellness: How to Engage Remote Employees in the COVID-19 Era.

Salma Al Samman is the Assistant General Manager for Human Resources and Development at Banque Bemo Saudi Fransi, the first private bank established in the Syrian market in 2004. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration she is also certified from Saville Wave International Accreditation as well as a Certified Trainer from ITOL – Institute of Training & Occupational Learning. Salma has more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources in different industries; the last 10 years of which have been in the banking sector. Her experience covers all facets of Human Resources and has proven success in creating cultures of collaboration and implementing change where Salma has been most passionate about Women Empowerment and Youth Development by launching and taking part in: ‘Women in Leadership’ Conference which was the first women’s conference of its type to be held in Syria joining leaders and entrepreneurs including Syrian and International renowned women. She has also received recognition from the World Union of Arab Banks for her tremendous efforts and “Excellence in Women Empowerment Initiatives” during the Arab Banks Awards Ceremony. Furthermore, Salma participated in the Second Annual Forum on Governance in Banks and Financial Institutions in the Arab World as a Speaker on HR in Corporate Governance.

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