Picture this: you have accepted a job offer from your dream company. It is your first day and you are excited yet nervous to start your new journey. You have a ton of questions before you can even get started, but who do you direct your questions to? The People Team (also known as Human Resources), of course!
The People team handles everything from hiring and recruiting, to compensation and benefits, to training and development. The team has their hands full and our Planview employee spotlight of the month knows how to navigate it all.
Meet Elena Ohayon, a Senior Human Resources Business Partner (BP) at Planview. She has taken time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions on what a day in her life looks like. Here is what she has to say:
Explain your role as a Senior Human Resources BP at Planview and a few of your responsibilities.
I am the Senior Human Resources BP for the Israel, Australia, and Singapore teams. My functions include partnering with the regional Products teams and working on company HR projects aimed at achieving our HR center of Excellence goals.
What type of meetings do you prepare for? Who do you typically collaborate with as a Senior Human Resources BP?
I collaborate closely with Beth, Planview’s Executive Vice President of Development, Louise, our Chief Product Officer, the leadership team, and managers, since I am the point of contact for all Israeli, Australian and Singapore employees. And of course, I collaborate daily with the Global HR team. We work on many strategic projects in addition to our day-to-day work.
When we collaborate, I always come prepared with a list of ideas, action items and questions or have slides ready if needed. Plus, I make myself available to have meetings with managers or employees who need professional or personal questions answered, meetings around our HR projects, and benefits.
In addition, I hold a weekly meeting with my talented team: Isabelle, our Israel Office Manager and Keren, our Israel Sr Recruiter. I try to keep them updated on ongoing projects, company updates, and HR updates. Together we build a plan around recruitment, branding, employee experience, and office issues.
For fun, the Israel team has a weekly happy hour in the office, which is a good opportunity to bond as a team and give updates about the company, local events, and success stories to our team.
Tell us about working from home – what are your tips for success?
In Israel, we now work two days in the office. It is great because I personally like to balance my time between working from home and going to the office. In the office I tend to leave my calendar open to be available for ad hoc meetings. Since we work from Sunday to Thursday, I tend to leave my Sunday with as few meetings as possible to catch up with the emails from the weekend.
On the other days at home, I attend a lot of meetings but try to leave some space for short breaks. I make time to have lunch with my daughters upon their return from school and another break with my youngest son once he comes home from school.
Tell us about your career journey to date?
I ended up in HR quite by coincidence! I had never planned on being an HR Manager because I was into journalism and international relations. While I was a student, I found a job at Cisco in the recruitment department in Belgium, my home country, as an Administrator of the recruitment system. Luckily, my managers saw a lot of potential in me and took me under their wing to mentor me.
After one year at Cisco I received a promotion. Next, I became responsible for sales recruitment in Central Europe and the Middle East. Later I took on more responsibility and from there I transitioned to an HR business partner role. This job is what sealed my HR journey. I led HR in a few startup companies and each role brought something new to my career. Every job requires learning HR discipline, merger and acquisitions requirements, organizational development, coaching, and much more.
How is Planview different from other companies you’ve worked for?
Planview is a great place to work! My favorite part of Planview is the accessibility. Being in a 1,300+ employee organization, but still feeling we are in a small and intimate environment is special. The executive team is very accessible, open, and kind. They also never come across as condescending, which makes for a safe work environment. In our All Hands and other company meetings that I have participated in, you can see how the team genuinely appreciates each other and collaborates. This creates a positive impact that trickles down to the rest of the company.
I love our HR team, my dear Manager Louise has tremendously helped me transition into my role smoothly. Even though our People Team is quite spread out in the world (United States, UK, Sweden, India, and Israel) with Jay Nelson (Chief People Officer) and Louise’s leadership, we manage to feel as one team, we respect each other’s time zones and always find the time for each other and brainstorm, share knowledge, or just chat about our personal lives.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as you’ve moved up in your career?
I was incredibly lucky in my career, meeting the right people at the right time. I was never much of a life planner, but at the end of the day, I made the right choices. Plus, I have met so many smart and impressive people in my career and I believe each one gave me a lesson that helped me get to where I am today.
Are there any experiences in your life that you feel contributed to your professional success?
There are several experiences in my life that contributed to my professional success: being 18 and leaving Belgium and my family to gain life experience in Israel, living for 8 months in a Kibbutz, and then onto the University of Jerusalem. Plus, learning to be comfortable alone, to self-finance, and meeting people from all around the world brought me the capability of adapting myself to so many diverse cultures.
But looking back, I think the biggest lesson I learned was when I gave birth to my youngest son. He was born prematurely and fighting for his life but today he is a wonderful nine-year-old. I was then in between jobs and spent three years at home, taking care of him and his two older sisters who needed no less attention. Thanks to my son, I learned to look at life differently. Now I put things into perspective. I focus on being more empathic and less judgmental and realign my priorities.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
These past few months have been very intensive at Planview but most days I manage to sit down and have lunch with the girls and talk about their day when I am at home. I make sure to disconnect most of the weekend and give my children my full attention. Yet I do not forget to take care of myself! I enjoy connecting with my extended family and friends, reading a delightful book, and relaxing while watching shows on Netflix.
As a Senior Human Resources BP, how do you make time for your team?
My week starts with 1-on-1s with my Office Manager and Senior Recruiter. I try to be available to them and support them whenever they need me. There is not one day that we do not talk!
What makes your team so effective?
My team is effective because they are incredible! They are independent, know their job very well, are very professional, and always thrive to do the best they can. I trust their decisions and always welcome their innovative ideas. We brainstorm together and they know how to run with them.
Are there any current job openings on your team?
I personally do not have any openings on my team, but Planview is quickly growing, and we have roles that need to be filled right away.
What advice do you give to anyone wanting to work in the HR field?
Always find a way to learn new things! Whether it is from the people around you or from your successes or failures, make it a goal to learn from your experiences. Also, remember in HR it is important to listen first, be flexible, and open.
HR has many aspects, find what your strengths are and develop from there.
As a Senior Human Resources BP, what is the best career advice you have received?
The best advice I have received was simple yet effective: Be yourself.
For fun, how do you unwind when you are off the clock?
A few of my favorite ways to unwind are having a glass of wine with some friends while watching the Friday sunset, going on nature trips, browsing museums, and playing board games with the kids.
Looking for your new dream company?
Planview is accepting applications across all our departments and locations. If you are looking for new opportunities, you can submit your resume to our career’s page and apply online.