Altaş: We Are Touching on the Lives of Our Employees

Ms. Burcu Altaş says that Globelink Ünimar, where she has been working for 24 years, has accomplished successful works as a result of the studies the company carries out and with the importance, it attaches to education. Ms. Altaş, who states that Ünimar has touched the careers and the lives of several employees, including her, says that it has brought in many qualified people to the logistics industry.

Human Resources Manager Ms. Burcu Altaş, who contributed to the growth of Globelink Ünimar in addition to being the closest witness to the 25-year successful growth story of the company, says that she joined Ünimar in the first year of its establishment, that she has taken part in the establishment phase of many departments within the last 10 years, and that she has been working as the Human Resources Manager for the last ten years. We have set out on a journey through time, in which we have discussed many issues from Globelink Ünimar’s outlook on human resources to becoming a woman in the logistics sector, with Ms. Burcu Altaş.

You joined the team one year after the company was founded. Can you tell us about your journey under the roof of Globelink Ünimar?

When I went for a job interview with Ünimar, I had just graduated from accounting. Although it was a newly established company, the trust I felt in Mr. Uğurhan Kiçki and Mr. Cihan Yusufi at the meeting became a light for the logistics sector and the foundations of our long-term business relationship were laid. In my career, which I started with a typewriter at a small office in Üsküdar, I had the opportunity to experience both professional and sectoral processes from the first hand. Other service items were added in time to our journey that started with partial import transportation, thanks to the superior efforts of our founding partners. In parallel with our vision and mission, as Ünimar, we took another important step towards institutionalization in 2004. We rapidly implemented our institutionalization moves in our company structure and activities with the road map we drew with our consultants who are experts in their respective fields. Within all this development process, I have been working as Human Resources Manager since 2009.

What is Globelink Ünimar’s view of human resources? What strategy does it follow?

Our main purpose as Human Resources is to create a corporate culture that values its employees, offers every opportunity for their personal development, and prioritizes peace in the business environment. Our human resources strategy has been planned to support this goal. As part of our human resources strategy, we are constantly researching what we can do for our employees. At this point, we include ideas and suggestions from our internal and external customers and stakeholders in our evaluation process. We have a young and dynamic team that closely follows technology and that is open to innovation.

Our training programs continue throughout the year to ensure their personal and technical development and to contribute to their careers. At this point, we have laid Ünimar Academy’s foundations, which we have designed with the next generation learning methods and where our employees can access training materials regardless of time and space and enjoy unlimited training.

Transparency and participation are among the most important points for our strategy. With our vision meetings held every year, we share both what we did in the previous year and also our plans and targets for the coming year with all our employees. Besides, we collect, evaluate and implement suggestions offered by our employees with our innovation team, which we call Ünivasyon.

Our motto, which has been determined in line with the road map we determined in our vision meeting this year, is “happy employee, happy customer”. As you know, we spend most of our time at work. The creation of a peaceful and pleasant work environment is also positively reflected in people’s social lives. Together with all these processes that affect each other positively, our business partners are happy and the bond between us is strengthened. Our motto, which is in line with our strategy for all these reasons, was appreciated by both our employees and our stakeholders.

I think one of the features that make Globelink Ünimar different in the logistics sector is education. Are there any other differences?

Education is one of the basic concepts of our human resources strategy, but of course, we have many differences. Globelink Ünimar is one of the companies that are able to be different from its stakeholders with its founding philosophy, vision, and mission. The fact that our employees become more equipped in the light of our training programs makes a big difference for themselves and us. When we take the operation department as the kitchen of the business, there is a perception in our sector: “An employee who is successful at Globelink Ünimar can be successful anywhere.” The basic point that creates this perception is that we train qualified employees who have a good command of the business and processes. Today, we see that we have very valuable friends who grow up in our company and work as middle and senior managers in different sectors. We also come to the forefront with our performance evaluation and promotion processes.

What kind of a career program do you provide to your employees? What is the circulation rate?

As I have just said, the basis of our human resources strategy is to create a corporate culture that values its employees, provides every opportunity for their personal development, and prioritizes peace in the business environment. As the first step of this strategy, we prefer candidates who can adapt to the identity of our company in the recruitment processes. We can say that our circulation rate is far below the sector as a successful result of our recruitment strategies, performance evaluation criteria, and career planning. In order to provide a basis for healthy career planning, we act on the principle of “the right person for the right job” and act without compromising this strategy in recruitment.

We provide feedback by keeping communication with our employees during the career planning stage. We take the necessary actions to develop their weak aspects and share these with them. We give priority to our current employees in open positions that arise within the company. We position our employees who are eager for newly opened positions and who provide the desired qualifications as our first choice. Although it is possible to give more examples, I can tell you that one of our teammates who joined our company as a maritime sales specialist is currently working as a Sales Manager in our company.

How do you evaluate the ratio of female managers in the sector? It is known that in recent years different business areas have occurred within the sector. Has an interest in the sector increased?

From my own point of view, the logistics sector is very valuable in terms of being the starting point of my business life. The dynamic atmosphere that logistics has in its structure was a perfect fit for me and I never thought about changing the sector. At the time when I entered the sector, the concept of logistics was not thoroughly understood yet. When we talked about our job and the sector we were in, people used to think of “trucks”. Under these conditions, the sector was perceived as male-dominated. However, this perception has changed positively with the developing technology, easier access to information, globalization and other factors. With the logistics programs in high schools and universities, young people have had the opportunity to experience personally what logistics is and what it is not and discovered how suitable the sector is for them.

I would like to say happily that 55% of Globelink Ünimar employees are women. The increase in the number of women working as middle and senior managers in the past period continues. We are proud to see that they have achieved significant successes, like other female employees in the sector. I am very happy that women have been actively involved in business and social life not only in the logistics sector but also in all other sectors. I follow the works of many nongovernmental organizations, especially KAGIDER, in this field with interest and appreciation.

‘Generation Y’, which the business world is trying to understand, has taken several positions in Globelink Ünimar. What kind of strategy do you follow as human resources?

Yes, Generation Y makes up 70% of Globelink Ünimar employees. Generation Y was an issue we had to understand until recently, like all other social structures. When we look at Turkey, Generation Y has a bigger ratio in the population than Generation X and it is expected to get the biggest share in business life in a short time. In this sense, our strategy as Globelink Ünimar was to adopt the business processes and methods by accepting the characteristics of the generation. Like all social structures, companies have to adapt to their environment, otherwise, they cannot maintain their existence. The priority of Generation Y is the idea of doing business, as well as families and social lives. We respect that. As the company management, the barriers between them and us disappear when we understand them and when they understand us.

As I have mentioned before, we have a platform, which is an interactive formation with the digitalization trend we have created, which is perhaps a first in Turkey, and where executives can express and exchange ideas under the leadership of professional consultants. Apart from that, we can share data within the company via computers and mobile phones in the social groups we have formed within Ünimar Academy and this is exactly what Generation Y is looking for. We have also moved the company orientation process to the digital platform for our new employees. The innovation team, which is established within the company and consists of employees, is again something that generation Y is looking for. We discuss creative ideas that can be created for the company, and implement projects that are deemed appropriate.