By Sokol Kondi *
The Balfin Group I previously knew as a prestigious group that had started the activity in the field of electrical appliances retail with the Neptun network and quickly expanded successfully even in the field of investment, as in the case of raising of the two most important shopping centers in the country, QTU and TEG. But recently, I was impressed by the company’s involvement in the social field, as in the TV screens I had seen that some families in need were helped by the group to solve their vital problems once and for all.
It is not easy to talk about a company, part of which you also are, it constitutes a conflict of interest, but in the two months that I was able to recognize the within of the company, the impressions have been such, that they could not stop the motivation to confess what I experienced in Balfin myself.
Western style recruitment, simplicity and spirit of co-operation
It was March of this year when I had the first contacts with the leaders of the Balfin Group, which was followed by several rigorous and professional meetings in the company premises, located on the 11th floor, in some modern and high-tech offices in one of the most vital areas of Tirana. From the outset I was told that there was a very stylish clothing code that all the employees adhered to, which immediately gave me a preliminary look of the seriousness with which the company worked. This idea was strengthened more and more meetings after the meeting.
I was first contacted by the Department of Human Resources, who called me in long interview. The manner of conversation by the recruitment experts would be more in line with that of a Western style, with direct questions and touching on the essence of the issues.
A few days later, I was scheduled a meeting with the group’s president himself, Mr. Samir Mane..
I was surprised and thought that now would be the hardest part for me, but in fact I would be surprised even more in the following. With much simplicity and concreteness, he welcomed me and also explained what he was expecting from me in this new assignment.
Shortly thereafter, when I left the first working day, I would also let impressed by the organization reserved to a new employee. Initially I was introduced one by one to all colleagues and group leaders. Following, an email alerted them and the entire group about my involvement and my experience. Colleagues from the human resources department explained the rules of work and provided me with all the tools I needed to accomplish my duties.
Socialization, physical activity and overcoming gender equality
From the very first days of this new experience, I would be familiar with the initiatives that the company has undertaken for its own employees. Initially I learned that a true volleyball championship, teams, judges and direct elimination matches were organized, which would lead to one winner among the all teams of multiple group companies. I was immediately engaged in organizing the finals, to find out the impact of such an initiative into employees socialization, into making friends, and not just colleagues.
Imagine what spirit of co-operation and solidarity can operate in the office of two colleagues or colleague who were supporting one another on the playing field a day ago to achieve a point to defend against rivals and to be announced champions!
Without leaving aside the benefit of the physical activity that brings sport to anyone.
But surprises did not end there. Shortly thereafter, in Balfin we announced that shortly before the end of the working day, all employees were invited to the grand meeting room. The reason was initially “secret”. Afterwards we learned that it was about to celebrate the three-year anniversary of one of our colleagues who had started as an intern while being consolidated in the finance sector.
My work would take place with some cognitive meetings with all the directors (or more precise directors) of marketing the group companies. It seems that Balfin’s women and girls are excited when it comes to administering this sector, so in relation to men they prevail, causing the issue of gender equality not to pose as a problem to the detriment of women, on the contrary. The assessment, the spirit of cooperation and the regular communication would characterize all these meetings.
Employee Safety and Care, a privileged treatment
Special attention is also paid to the safety of employees, as in the Balfin Group, there is a dedicated staff for emergencies, which takes care of people with disabilities and beyond. This team was tested in the event of the earthquake fall in Tirana and the organization of staff exit from the emergency stairs from the 21st floor building was done in perfect order and applying every technical instruction. All of these, together with some occasional staffing outside the offices, combining professional and entertainment themes, are just some of the care policies that Balfin applies to his employees, who are regularly questioned through anonymous surveys of what the company can make more so that they are happier in the workplace.
Balfin also has an Academy for further training and specialization of its employees so that they are in touch with the innovations of the respective fields.
The group is also a great employer, always open for recruiting new talents and focusing on promoting of its employees.
Social responsibility, solutions for people in need
But there is more, because the company has a genuine strategy for Group Social Responsibility. In fact, over the past two years alone, Balfin Group has supported families in flooded areas, has supported many families in extreme poverty, from Himara to Lushnja. It has contributed to the cause of Down syndrome in Albania, has supported the culture and the National Theater, has influenced the greening of the city of Tirana by donating hundreds of trees. It has donated over 1700 books to the library of the city of Lezha, supported the opening of the first professional geology-mining school in the town of Bulqiza and has undertaken many and many other initiatives of this nature.
By contributing to making its employees happy, most importantly helping the children in need and those who need support, thus makes Balfin a great institution that carries unmistakable value in the first place human.
* Sokol Kondi is the Manager of Public Relations and Events in Balfin Group