Date: 08.12.2022

In October, she became a new member of the Group's Board of Directors. She has been with the Group for less than two years and her main goal is to develop the HR strategy, build the corporate culture and employer brand.  Last but not least, she is dedicated to the implementation of modern HR management processes. In short, she ensures that we have the best people in the Group at all levels for the long term.  We are talking about Anna Matoušková, HR Director of our CE Industries Group.


Your appointment to the Group's Board of Directors comes after a year and a half of cooperation. What do you expect from this change?

First of all, I would like to thank my colleagues for this opportunity. It's great that they see working with people as essential enough to be involved in the strategic management of the Group at the highest level.

We all know what the job market has looked like in recent years. Companies are outdoing themselves in motivating and nurturing employees. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to promote HR policies at a level that will give the Group a significant competitive advantage across our sectors and the regions in which we operate.


Turning to employees and the working environment, the Group has just concluded another year of satisfaction surveys. How do you rate this year's survey and where do you see the biggest gaps? What do you think needs to be improved?

Launching a group-wide survey in all our countries (note: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia) for approximately 2,500 employees was a big challenge. There are many benefits from these surveys. Thanks to the volume of data we can make an internal benchmark, identify averages and outliers and also have feedback to management. Year-on-year comparisons help us to monitor the impact of corrective actions as well as trends in individual areas. But above all, I personally feel that employees appreciate that someone cares about their opinion, that they have someone to confide in and that we can work together to improve their working environment in a targeted way.

This year and the year-on-year comparison has given us an interesting "report card". Our employees gave a positive assessment of the core process setup we have implemented over the past year. Specifically, the strengthening of internal communication through various platforms, the introduction of performance evaluations, motivational elements in remuneration, and the improvement of the working environment itself. A weak point is the assessment of the competitiveness of wages, which is stagnating year-on-year. Although our companies are trying to keep up with wage developments in their respective markets, we see that the area of wages is currently a general sore point for employees.


In September, the Talent Programme for junior HR colleagues started. Let's introduce it a bit. What is its goal and what will the participants take away from it at the end?

This year alone, the number of HR professionals in the group has grown from 10 to 21 colleagues to meet the HR needs of our companies.

The HR Talent Programme was created for two reasons: to unify the implementation of the group HR concept among new HR professionals, through a combination of theoretical training and practical implementation in their companies. At the same time, we want to test the format ourselves so that we can introduce and launch it to other talented colleagues across our group next year.

This program is planned for a year and is divided into ten theoretical tracks. These strands are initially discussed internally - through our own study, and also with the help of external tutors. We then prepare action plans for each of these areas for implementation in individual companies.

The result will therefore be not only independently trained HR specialists, but also the strengthening and setting up of HR processes in the subsidiaries according to the Group's concept.


The high growth rate of our Group is certainly linked to the high recruitment needs. How does the market currently look?

That's right, recruitment is currently a crucial part of our HR work. In many cases, entire new management teams or functions are being built across levels. However, we also try to focus on retention, so that we can not only attract and convince productive employees to work with us, but also retain them in the long term and motivate them properly. We pay a lot of attention to the incentive element in remuneration, at all levels of management.

Personally, I don't see any major changes in the labour market at the moment that would help recruitment. It's more about the strength of our brand, which we are gradually building, but we have a lot of work to do in this area as well.


What do you enjoy most about working at CEI and what challenges do you face?

The dynamics of the environment, the independence in decision-making and the opportunity to build everything from scratch are a huge motivation for me. It is a great honour to be able to be there and contribute to the growth and development of our group.

The challenges we face are not only due to the speed of growth itself. In the HR area, it is setting up basic processes, for which there has not been much room. These processes are not visible, but they are essential to sustaining management in the long term. Next, it is stabilizing the key people around whom we want to build the group and then working with them and motivating them properly. In addition, we have several other major challenges ahead of us in the context of planned acquisitions.

The biggest challenge for me personally will be to allocate capacity correctly both to stabilise and optimise existing activities and to integrate the other projects that are still ahead of us.