Catalina Crisan, Operations Manager, UniCredit Services Romania
- Tell us a few words about your company, services provided and type of roles you accommodate.
Hello, my name is Catalina Crisan and I am an Operations Manager inside UniCredit Services Romania and Board member of ABSL.
The company I work for, UniCredit Services, groups all services in the areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Back Office and Middle Office Operations, Security and Procurement. It delivers simple, efficient, cost-effective solutions for customers by leveraging on flexible delivery, an agile approach, a fast response time and easy to deal with innovative solutions. The company includes about 9.400 people and oversees activities in 11 countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, with branches in New York and Singapore. Focusing on the customer guarantees professionalism and competence, also constitutes added value in the growth of its people. UniCredit Services invests in learning and development programs, as part of its commitment to improve the expertise of its people and the quality and accountability of its leaders.
Founded in 2005 in Bucharest, with 250 people, the Romanian Branch has gradually expanded its scope of activities for Germany and Austria and today it manages new assets strategic for the Group as well as highly innovative projects especially in the ICT sector reaching up ~ 1.800 people.
The Branch has grown over the years, thanks to its great richness of highly skilled professionals and its ability to arise as a new economic growth. In 2007 offices in Iasi were opened, underlining our eagerness to offer significant job opportunities to new emerging talents in the country. As a result, this competence center is destined to become the second largest within the company, after Italy.
- What makes your company a great place to work for?
I appreciate that the company I work for continuously invests in the growth of our people, so they reinforce their professional backbone playing with their strengths and trying new things, as well as create a safe and positive working environment, where people are heard and seen.
Therefore, in 2021, for the fourth year running, UniCredit has been officially certified by the Top Employers Institute, as a Top Employer in Europe, for its exceptional employee offering, reaffirming the Group’s status as a great place to work.
- Give us more details about the company’s culture and working vibe/atmosphere.
Everything we do, in our company, is based on our two core values that unite and define us: “Ethics and respect. Do the right thing!”, values that also empower our speak-up culture.
I appreciate that UniCredit is firmly committed to promoting an environment in which colleagues feel comfortable engaging in open and honest communication, to speak up and raise promptly good-faith concerns, without fear of retaliation relating to any situation that may involve unethical or illegal conduct or inappropriate interactions with others.
- Do you ensure career paths to your employees?
During my 15 years at UniCredit Services, I’ve had the opportunity to advance and develop my full potential with new and challenging roles. We, as UniCredit Services employees, have the possibility to visualize our career options and shape our professional path based on knowledge, skills, experience and delivered results. I am proud to work for a company that has clear and well-defined career paths, promoting a common performance culture, based on smart goals and capabilities identified as the behaviors that company expects from colleagues in achieving Group objectives.
- What trainings do you offer?
As a manager I strongly believe that our people are our biggest asset, as they add value to our community through their experiences, skills and perspectives. My mission as a manager is to create the right environment where everyone can excel, and to provide the right tools to achieve the challenging goals of our strategic plan. This is why we have designed special training programs and processes in order to give our employees the chance to take the first step towards the future.
Such an example, of a training path, is Banking Academy, that enhance the strategy of onboarding new employees and the reconversion of the internal colleagues. The program gives the newly hired colleagues the chance to be acquainted faster with the company environment, to have a general overview of the bank products, to learn the activity basics and to have a glimpse of their possible career path in UniCredit.
We also believe firmly in an enhanced development which happens in one-to-one relations. This is why we keep launching new editions of mentoring and buddy programs in which there is space for getting concrete injection of practical hints from more experienced colleagues, but also exchange valuable know-how and network. Needless to add, that giving support to others, has an impact on our well-being.
Most of our employees requested technical trainings, which are going to be delivered in the second part of the year. But we also offer specific trainings based on project needs and also soft skills trainings.
- You know how dynamic our industry is – so what is your strategy to keep your employees engaged, motivated and boost their creativity so they can innovate?
The past months, due to Covid19 pandemic, accelerated some key trends, that were already taken into consideration, by changing the way we live, work and interact. Some main challenges were to keep our employees motivated, therefore we focused on creating a virtual engagement through personal interaction, boosting team relationships, making people feel valued and connected, but moreover adapting the leadership style to a hybrid environment.
- We are all unique, so how do you succeed to answer to different needs that your employees might have?
We put welfare, wellbeing, and quality of life as an important part of our strategy, both personally and professionally. We provide new initiatives based on respect and engagement, in order to create a positive working environment where everyone can express their self and find answers to their needs.
- Tell us more about your diversity and inclusion strategy.
I am proud that I work for a company that is creating a workplace with equal opportunities, where people of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds can contribute to decision-making.
UniCredit’s diversity and inclusion targets were first identified in 2009, since then we are constantly prioritize and monitor them, as they are part of our business strategy. In 2013 we have established a global policy for gender equality and in 2018 we have created the position of Group Diversity and Inclusion Manager.
In 2018, UniCredit joined the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, an important step in our journey towards more balanced gender distribution throughout the organization.
In October 2019, we launched Group-wide Diversity & Inclusion Week with aim of increasing, internally, the awareness of the topic.
In 2021 UniCredit is proud to be included for the second time in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index – GEI.
We are defined by the speak-up culture, creating a safe and inclusive working environment, where each of us can connect, share ideas, knowledge and experiences.
- Our industry is well known for the employee’s benefits. Tell us more about the ones that you are offering (maybe something rare or unique).
The objective is to be a more and more attractive place to work, we want to be near our employees in both their private and professional life, therefore UniCredit Services offers a wide range of benefits (more than 20), financial and non-financial, focusing on wellbeing and work-life balance.
- What did your employees appreciated in your offices and how do you think the working (from the office) environment will change post pandemic? What are the new top features?
What we most miss about the office, in the context of Covid pandemic, are meeting and connecting with colleagues face-to-face and the dedicated spaces that support our work. Regarding work from the office changes, the intention is to ensure that the spaces are redesigned to fit with the new hybrid model with a likely lower number of assigned desks, but more space for each person and additional common areas.
- Some of the employees appreciate WFH and also the flexibility it comes when choosing their location and program. Besides that, it’s a huge opportunity for companies to access new talent pools. Did your company consider working from anywhere? This includes anywhere in Romania or also abroad?
As a manager, my aim is for UniCredit Services to be an employer of choice for new talent, characterized by flexibility, therefore we are continuing to explore what is best for our customer, our people and our organization.