Employee Tuesday – What does an HR Operations Specialist do?

by Marie Terhechte

What are your main tasks as an HR Operations Specialist?

As an Operations Specialist I deal with all operational HR to assist the HR Manager in Italy. This includes onboarding new hires, payroll and attendance management, expense reports control, recruiting, training, health and safety, and I give HR support to employees on any issues they may have. Part of my role is also office management (planning company events, suppliers management), and finance (invoicing and administration).

We recently launched our HR Sanity campaign – why do you think it’s important to raise awareness on this topic?

Mental health is becoming increasingly important to employees and many aim to find a role that helps maintain psychological and emotional balance.

This trend is demonstrated by the “great resignation,”  a socio-economic phenomena that’s led to large numbers of employees leaving their jobs. Recruitment is no longer just a matter of attracting and retaining talent. We need to understand why people leave, and the organizations that take the time to understand and counteract these reasons will have an advantage in attracting and retaining talent.

This is therefore a focus in the HR department, so we research different corporate benefits and focus on diversity and inclusion. All of these topics are directly related to HR Sanity. Only if your mind is clear and you’re happy and focussed at work, can you successfully overcome challenges and address your psychological and physical needs. 

What are you and your teams’ best practices when it comes to keeping the HR department sane?

Our best practices are directly linked to the balance between work and personal life. All employees have more days off than the contract states, and we give them two hours a month for medical check-ups and two sick days without the need for a medical certificate.

We trust our employees, so we give them benefits to ensure they take time for themselves, like 10 days of remote working every month. This boosts their quality of life and gives them time to unwind, socialize and enjoy a wide variety of sports. 

We’ve also implemented bi-weekly meetings so all departments can meet and discuss issues to ensure they never feel alone, especially when they aren’t in the office. 

We organize events and lunches and we promote an inclusive culture, so every employee can be their unique selves.

What’s your biggest personal achievement? 

My biggest personal achievement is my work-life balance. I’ve found a job I like that brings me serenity and I have enough time to enjoy my personal life. With Urban Sports Club, I’m happy to wake up and go to work!

Which of our company values impacts your daily life most and in what way?

The company value that impacts me most is “Put yourself in the shoes of others.”

It’s important to respect other people’s viewpoints, to appreciate diversity and create space for different perspectives, and these are all very timely topics at the moment.

Working in HR means I need to consider everyone around me as a customer, whether they’re an external supplier or an internal employee. I want to help them feel satisfied and help solve their problems and to do that I must listen and learn from those around me. In my opinion, this value translates to: “Always be humble!”

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