• Interview with LEAD Conference Speaker Sanja Jevđenijević

  • Interview with LEAD Conference Speaker Sanja Jevđenijević, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Delhaize Serbia

    LEAD Conference session: What Makes A Female Store Manager Successful?

    Can you tell us a bit about your background and your role?

    My professional experience comes from Human Resources & Organizational Development field and this reflects my strong perspective on organizational and people development, as well as the focus on business strategy, results and customer needs. My orientation is to support business growth, change, and people development and to add value to the organization. My passion is people, their uniqueness and creating exquisite teams out of such diversity, as well as growing strong potentials within the organizations to shape a successful future.

    As a Store Manager at the beginning of my retail journey, I participated in the opening of the first stores in our network, leading a store with 60 associates that served 2000 customers on daily basis and delivered the highest store revenue in our portfolio in just one year period.

    The next step was the role of Training Manager where, together with my team, we developed the first Training Center in this region and built the base for company growth and people development. I participated in preparing the foundation for the future merger and acquisition of the 2 largest retail chains at that time.

    Since 2004 I have the role of Head of HR and my major responsibility is to create and implement local HR and OD strategy and ensure that Delhaize Group strategy has been implemented.

    On that journey we are creating a better place to work for all our associates so that they can deliver a great customer experience. We drive sales through talents and engagement, developing leaders for today and for tomorrow, empowering associates and creating a winning culture.

    My role is to be a strategic partner, supporting and shaping business strategy, providing care for people in the effective organization.

    Why is diversity important for you?

    Our strengths derive from diversity which brings added value to the organization and creates sustainable growth.

    In order to meet customer needs and expectations, you have to cherish different opinions and potentials within your organization and out of that, build your strength.

    How important is diversity within your organization?

    Our customers differ by age, gender, by their needs. Having diversity in our organization helps us to understand and meet these customer needs.  How much this topic is important for us, is shown by the fact that in Delhaize Serbia, we have 68% of women working on different levels. Only in leadership positions we have 52% women.

    What is your biggest achievement related to diversity?

    Being as unique as you are, with the ability to express yourself and reveal true potential, allows each individual to grow and at the same time allows the organization to be successful.

    My biggest focus and accomplishments were to build a culture in which leaders were empowered to recognize diversity as a strong foundation for building sustainable growth.

    I perceive the diversity journey as an everyday opportunity to integrate different needs and expectations of our customers into our diversity programs and decision making processes. Beside all mentioned above, I am very proud that today we employ 213 people with disabilities who are successfully integrated into our working environment. Delhaize Serbia is the leader on the local market with diversity programs and outcomes.

    May, 2016