Following up on our series of interviews in the context of the HRD Summit, coming up on May, 22-23 in RAI Amsterdam, we had a conversation with Victoria Grzesiak, Senior Manager of Learning & Development at Gympass Europe. German born and with an international background, here is her vision of the future of HR and how to implement effective L&D actions.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background and what led you to decide joining Gympass?
I’ve studied Educational Sciences and the original plan was to become a teacher. After finishing uni, I “fell” into recruitment and decided to build my career within HR. I used to work for different sales organizations before joining Gympass and I’m now looking after our Learning & Development function.
What does Gympass represent today? For you and for the industry?
For me, Gympass represents the ideal workplace which is paying attention to its employee’s well-being and needs. For the industry, our organization should be acting as a role model for creating a health-promoting working environment
What challenges is the HR department facing today?
Attracting and retaining talent; Development of existing staff, Offering more benefits and incentives that match individual needs and interests; Adapting to new ways of working (remote/home-office/flex-time); Digital transformation (implementation of new systems is time consuming in the beginning but will reduce the administrative burden on the long run.
What are the HR strategies implemented to solve them?
Acquisition and implementation of new HR Software and Learning Management System, Creating development plans and promotion criteria, Employer Branding strategies, Roll-out of new benefits and incentive schemes, Building channels for internal communication, such as monthly communication, a quarterly magazine, to strengthen transparency among the business.
What are the major programs that you have or will launch in this context?
We have acquired one of the best Learning Management Systems which has already been launched. It is designed to support our in-class training program, such as onboarding and leadership training, through e-learning and gamification and will also be used as a performance management tool.
How do you evaluate your Corporate Wellness approach today?
I think, as a Corporate Wellness provider we are already offering good solutions to other businesses helping them to defeat inactivity and raising their consciousness for a healthy lifestyle. At Gympass, we have just started to implement more health and well-being promoting schemes and benefits and there are still more to come.
Do you have a recruitment policy limited to young talents?
No, we are also looking to bring senior talent on board.
What actions do you have in place to engage your employees?
Offering a variety of international career development opportunities across the business focusing on our employee’s strengths. I’d also say that our employees enjoy working at Gympass because they believe in our product and our vision.
How do you envision the future of the HR function?
As we have just started to build a European HR function at the beginning of this year, I expect it to be established an smoothly running very soon. It will also be extended as we are looking to add more centers of expertise like employer branding, compensation and benefits…
What is your vision of Quality of Life at Work?
Everyone should be able to work in a way that is mostly matching individual needs and work styles (working remotely, flexible working hours) given the fact that each employee should be focusing on results and is getting support whenever needed. It should promote a less stressful lifestyle and allow employees to find time to do physical activity and follow a healthy diet.
Still on the subject of Quality of Life, what are your results so far?
Home-office once a week and flex-time
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Being given the trust to build the Learning & Development function at our growing organization and being responsible for covering development needs of all our staff
The most significant challenge that you haven’t been able to overcome yet?
Getting everyone to attend their training sessions on time 😉 It’s a typically German thing… (laughs)
What advice would you give to a newcomer to the HR function?
Get an insight into all different business areas to be able to find the best HR solutions for each department.
We also put Victoria against the ropes and did a ping-pong session and we loved the results. We hope you do too!
Quality of Life: Fashion or reality?
Stress: Engine or Brake?
Home Office: Solution or Problem?
Flexible hours: for or against?
Sports at work: for or against?
Missed our last interview with Duarte Ramos, Vice President of People and Performance at Gympass Europe? Read it here!
More about Gympass
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.