Amway – one of the most recognizable global brands. How did your journey with the Amway Global Business Services Center start in Poland?
Wojciech Karpiński, Center Head, Amway Business Center Europe: It started with an immediate success. Since our Center was not a pilot project, it was strategically designed as multifunctional and mature from the very beginning.
Your Center in Cracow is known to be different from other corporations. Why?
That is because Amway is not a stereotypical corporation. We really are a family business that in its heart supports entrepreneurs, who also run their family businesses.
How can you experience this on the daily basis?
Right at first sight. Dress code is casual not only on Friday. You feel welcomed when you enter. And in the kitchen, you feel like you are part of a family. People that you did not know yesterday smile at you and treat you as if you belong here forever. I still remember myself being recruited. It was unusual that my future boss cared for me like none of my previous ones. I wish and hope that all my colleagues feel the same.
Amway has chosen Cracow for your GBS Center. What was a critical factor for this choice?
Cracow attracts people from all over the world. Every person you have met in your life must have heard of it. They would know it is a beautiful city worth visiting or even spending part of their lives in. Business Consultants will tell you that the reason of Cracow’s success is the famous local universities, but it is not only about universities and their staff. It is more the beautiful city itself that makes it easy to invite talents from all around the globe.
Does Amway invite them? From all around the globe?
Some of our colleagues in the office come from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Russia and the whole Europe, from Portugal to Finland. In the last couple of months, we have managed to convince 30 colleagues from Costa Rica to join us here in Cracow.
Now you talk about processes that require local languages, like Contact Center, right?
Not only. I also mean such functions as Marketing and Finance. Our first guy from Costa Rica arrived here over a year ago to join Finance team. He is my personal hero, since he achieved that simply because he wanted to. Amway did help him to relocate to Poland but less than we help today. He used to work for Amway in Costa Rica but he went through a regular recruitment to our Center and he got the job.
Each Center faces some challenges as they evolve. Was it the growth dynamics and finding the right people like for many other entities or was it something different?
If your brand is strong and you know how to search for talents, you will find the best employees. Not all of them at once of course, because the pace of recruitment should be adjusted to the market size. The real challenge – or rather an ambition – is to provide internal career opportunities for current team members. It is my personal priority to see as many attractive jobs to be filled internally as possible. We are looking for growth mindset and openness to develop new skills and competencies. It is not too often that we enjoy fast transformation like today. And many talented colleagues are modest about their skills and competencies. They tend to underestimate themselves and shy away from applying.
Do you mean you offer exceptionally attractive job positions?
We are transforming into Global Business Services of even more diverse and mature profile. Our Centers of Excellence expand, five of them in Finance and another few in HR. Other high-profile teams like Digital also searched for candidates recently. Even in typical departments like Accounting our scope of performed activities is broader, in fact, it is a complete End-to-End process since there are no finance teams retained in local Amway units.
Great, but let’s get back to external candidates who still don’t know their reasons to join you.
We are searching for people who, on top of their competencies, will match our organizational culture. Amway exists to support individual entrepreneurs, so our key value is caring for others. And Amway GBS is part of its business not an internal vendor. Employees and leaders who can understand it will be able to appreciate such culture. We obviously all have challenging objectives to deliver, but with such a positive atmosphere we can deliver them with pleasure.
Your Center is growing which is a success. Are you proud of this growth?
I am proud of Cracow employees’ quality of work. This strong positive experience was key for the rest of Amway to acknowledge we can perform even more. Growth of the Center is just a consequence of the excellent work results of our teams. I am also very proud of being able to offer broad variety of career paths. Current transformation brings in several HR processes for a couple of Regions including Americas. Centers of Excellence will include Compensation & Benefits, systems support, talent acquisition and payroll.
What has your growth looked like over the years? Do you consider opening in new other locations?
We will move to a new office in High5ive business park at the heart of Cracow just in a few months from today. Finally, all teams will be in one location, and we plan to stay together as long as that is possible. Even at the ultimate size of 650 employees we will remain midsized Center. The space at High5ive is being designed for a cross-team cooperation. It is aimed at connecting us all and facilitating easy collaboration. Like in a family business.