Monday, June 5, 2017

Portugal Site Visits

Our Monday began with breakfast at the hotel, and cab rides to our first site visit. We arrived a bit early to Grupo Media Capital, and were asked to wait in their employee break room for our visit to begin. This gave us a chance to meet our site visit partners from George Washington University. We met many new friends as we introduced ourselves and our areas of study. It was nice to see and hear from other students who are also learning about HROD.

When our site visit began, we were led into a very nice auditorium at Grupo Media Capital. This company is a multi-media organization with a large following in Portugal for their radio channels. They have been doing radio in Portugal for 80+ years. They also do television, audio/video production, music/entertainment, cinema/video, and internet. 

They have four main radio channels, each meant to reach a specific age demographic with their content. Grupo Media Capital uses different types of research to make decisions about the content their listeners want to hear on each channel. They use panels of internet users and outside consultants to make decisions on new content, how to present news, and opinions on their work. They try to build a relationship with their listeners, and deliver quality content. 
                                               Station logos at Grupo Media Capital

We then learned about their HR department, and the work that is occurring there. The employees of this company are as diverse as their different radio channels. The HR department is working on building  relationships and improving their HR practices and training to meet Portuguese laws. Their HR department priorities include building training programs and establishing a 5 year plan for HR strategy.

After this engaging discussion, we were taken on a tour of their radio studios where we were able to listen to music and news as they were played on the radio. It was very interesting to see real radio broadcasting in action!

Next, our group took a break for a shared lunch at Restaurante O Batista, where Grupo Media Capital had reserved us tables. The food was classic Portuguese food and very good. Even more exciting was sharing a meal with our new friend friends from Grupo Media Capital and George Washington University.

Restaurante O Batista for lunch
 After lunch, we went on a bus journey to our second site visit to Scania. Scania makes and repairs trucks, buses, and industrial & marine engines. We were greeted by their HR manager and escorted to a conference room for a presentation. We learned that Scania in Portugal is also associated with Scania in Spain, and together they are known as Scania Iberica. The home office of Scania is in Sodertalje Sweden. 

The presentation was very interesting, as they shared with us many of their established HR practices. This included their values, benefits, training, compensation, and career planning activities. We learned that the typical maternity leave in Portugal is very different than in the US. They have employee training programs, engagement surveys, and recently won an award for being a top place to work in Portugal! 

We were then taken on a tour of their workshop, as their mechanics were working on trucks. We learned more about their labor unions, and about safety. We concluded our site visits with a large group photo outside of Scania. 

 Our group of U of L group of students reflected on our experiences with the site visits today. Some of the observations included:
- it was interesting to see a newly forming HR department and an established one
- it was a long day, with a lot of information to take in, and very rewarding
- employability in Portugal can become much harder as you age, and culturally relationships matter first before age when hiring
- many employees work at the same company for a long time
- there is importance placed on work life balance
- the ratio of HR employees to actual employees was very different
- the digital footprint of the two companies are very different
- it was impressive that these HR professionals can present and answer complex HR questions using another language (English)
 Overall, the site visits were a wonderful opportunity to have a cultural experience related to the field of HROD in Portugal. Many thanks go to the two companies, and our conference host for arranging the visits. 

After our site visits, we took a few moments to freshen up, and then went to a group dinner at a place called Dote, where the food was delicious. 

Codfish a bras',  famous dish in Portugal

Cathy New

No comments:

Post a Comment