People are the force that drives the company forward

In order to maintain a cohesive team, you need a common goal to unite everyone

Miglena Ouzunova-Tsekova:

People are the force that drives the company forward
Автор: Tatyana Yavasheva

Miglena Uzunova-Tsekova is a Senior Director Human Resources at A1. She has been part of the leadership team of A1 Bulgaria since 2016 and since 2019, she has taken over the administration of the company. She has been in the HR field for 20 years and she has been maintaining the entire activity of people management in the telecommunications company for the last 12 years. In March 2019, she was elected Chairman of the Management Board of the Bulgarian Association For People Management. She has a Masters degree in English Philology from the Sofia University with specialization Mass Communications and a MBA program from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She has specialized in Strategic Human Resource Management at Cornell University in New York, and recently completed a Columbia Business School coaching program in New York.

To me people are

… at the core of everything. I am part of one of the most advanced technological companies in Bulgaria - A1 - and every day I witness how digitalization is changing our lives. In today's corporate world, people are the force that drives the company forward.

A1

… was the start of my managerial career. Working in this company has allowed me to acquire new knowledge and skills in my work, routine and challenges in my everyday operational tasks and acquaintances with excellent professionals. Every day is different and this is an amazing experience. A1 is an important moment in my life.

I have become Chairman of the Management Board of the Bulgarian Association For People Management

… and a main goal I have set for myself is to "connect" with the business and to meet its needs, to show the added value of the HR function in the corporate life. We will improve interaction with governmental institutions, non-governmental and professional organizations through joint initiatives and common goals. We will also support young professionals who take their first steps in the corporate life.

What I like in this profession is

… communicating with people, learning more about them and about myself through them. It is a great feeling when you manage to change attitudes and thinking, to make people show the best they have to offer. To read the satisfaction on their face. To be part of the same cause without forgetting that you have a life outside the office.

What I leave behind me in my work

… are the negative things that exist in every profession. When there are failures, I analyze the reasons and try not to repeat them. I am constantly learning. Operational work is usually not visible, but its contribution is that it does not create problems for the business.

The myth that I am trying to shatter

… is ignoring your intuition when making important decisions. I rely on it, especially when it comes to interactions with people. Intuition is actually the product of experience. It helps in critical situations when you have to act fast but there isn't sufficient information to make the right decision.

Communication skills

… are key! Another myth, right? It is no coincidence that in almost every job offer we can see communication skills as a must-have. HR professionals must be able to communicate with everyone within the company and outside of it. This is the key to both the success and failure of their job.

The stereotypical HR Manager

… Stereotypes are formed by people who have not occupied this position. For me, personally, the HR Manager is the person who has excellent knowledge of the company, knows its history, where it's headed and the right people with whom it can achieve its business goals.

A cohesive team in a large company is…

… extremely difficult to maintain. It is important to have a common goal which unites everyone. I can give A1 as an example - last year we were rebranded and it was not just about a change of name and logo but a process of complete change of the company that required the participation of all our employees. It was precisely the people's commitment that helped us impose the A1 brand in a very short time. Just two months after the rebranding, there was virtually no person in Bulgaria who did not know our new name and the changes we made. It's all the result of a "cohesive team".

My formula for a successful career…

… is a good education to serve as a base, a constant pursuit for new knowledge, desire for development, but also a lot of hard work, correctness in relationships, confidence and trust in your intuition, courage and luck.

Being a person on whom the career development of others depends

… is a serious responsibility. I try to form my opinion about people according to their qualities, corporate culture, especially when assessing whether they will fit into our environment. It is no easy task giving way to one person at the expense of another, but the job of an HR is to assess people and make the right choice.

The balance between the interest of the company and that of its employees

… is not always easy to achieve. The role of an HR is to balance between rewarding employees' efforts and safeguarding the interests of the employer. A1 is among the best employers in Bulgaria. The company invests a lot in employees with high potential and willingness to grow. We offer flexible working hours, working from home, choosing to take a weekday off and work on a weekend, a shorter Friday workday, and much more. The satisfaction of our employees is important because they are at the heart of the success of A1.

I love to read

… but lately all I have time for is audio books although I prefer print editions. Currently I am listening to "The Physics of Sadness" (Fizika na tagata) by Georgi Gospodinov, "Nudge: Improving decisions about health wealth and happiness" by Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler and "Ikigai" by Francesc Miralles & Hector Garcia. The "print" books that I am currently reading are "In the Midst of Winter" by Isabel Allende and Marc Eliot's biography of Jack Nicholson. I love biographies. I recommend reading, simply reading - whether it is for personal development, professional curiosity or just for fun. Reading is an indispensable pleasure for the spirit.

Outside of the office I am

… a mother, a wife, a friend. I am trying to be a good person.

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