Meet Ahmed Aref, CMA, Leadership and Strategic Management Advisor

Ahmed Aref
July 19, 2021

This article is part of our new State of Employee Feedback Series which will interview a diverse mix of HR experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding their perspectives on the current state of and future of HR.

The following is an interview we recently had with Ahmed Aref, CMA, Leadership and Strategic Management Advisor.

What is the state of the human resources industry today?

A critical question. I see the Human resources industry is evolving, and the HR people mindset is changing. Thanks to SHRM, influential thought leaders, and the emergence of culture-focused companies, success stories are inspiring HR worldwide.

What are the most common challenges you face when managing employee feedback and reporting?

The challenge related to employee feedback is that it's emotional while it should be behavioral. The other thing is that managers are still held responsible only for results, not true leaders who practice active listening, encourage employees' ideas, and give them more decision-making opportunities. Finally, the absence of follow-up mechanisms/practices from HR with managers based on employee feedback. 

What are 3-5 pieces of advice for organizations in your industry looking to improve their employee feedback culture?

The employee feedback culture is enhanced by leadership coaching using a stakeholder-centered coaching process. The feedback culture is a leadership issue. Leaders must have the courage to get feedback, look in the mirror and ask whether their behavior aligns with what they're teaching; they must have the ability to improve and have the discipline to follow up and do the hard work to make the changes.

What's the future of HR?  

The future of HR will flourish when HR people transform themselves and become certified coaches and encourage the adoption of coaching culture to the organization leaders through culture transformation or even through organizing Manager as a coach workshop and leadership coaching for prolonged times and measure the leadership growth. 

How do you see your role evolving over the next 3-5 years?

My role is to inspire and increase the awareness of the HR community to the strategic value of what Corporate and organizations are and the real wealth they represent. The first aspect of wealth is the tangible and intangible assets under the corporate control. The second aspect relates to the wealth creators themselves. The owner initially had the idea, resources, network, and later on, with the addition of both leaders and collaborators talents, efforts, and time, these tangible and intangible assets become the result.

Ideally, everything goes back to the human talents, skills, resources, and network, and it's through the workday that we all (Investors, shareholders, board of directors, leaders, collaborators) collaborate to have a meaning to our life, by producing new products and services that serve our tangible needs (safety, shelter, etc.) and intangible needs (purpose).

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