Human Resources Awards Blog

How HR Award Winner's "One Company" Vision Increased Employee Retention Rates

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 12:19 PM

Aygaz of Istanbul, Turkey, received the Stevie® Award for Human Resources Team of The Year in the HR awards categories of The 2011 International Business Awards. (Entries are now being accepted for The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premiere business awards program. Get your entry kit here and submit entries by the April 11 early-bird deadline for discounted entry fees.) Here we look at the steps the HR Team took to pull Aygaz and its subsidiaries together under a “one company” vision.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Aygaz is the main provider of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in Turkey, and is one of the largest LPG providers in Europe. In addition to producing and selling gas appliances, Aygaz has a subsidiary portfolio ranging from liquid petroleum gas trade to electricity generation, natural gas distribution, and maritime logistics. Led by Yagiz Eyüboglu, Aygaz's General Manager, the HR team was charged with adopting a single management policy to accommodate their numerous subsidiaries.

Integration Yagiz Eyüboglu
The human resources awards winning team at Aygaz seized the single-management policy as an opportunity to derive extra benefits through an integrated HR management within the new structure. The aim was to create synergy in HR through a shared vision and to provide benefits for all the new group’s stakeholders.

“One Company” Approach
The Aygaz Group’s HR processes were overhauled with the participation and contribution of all its subsidiaries.  The resulting “One Company” shared vision of HR processes followed five steps: 

1. Recruitment Process
The first step was improvement of the recruitment process. Interviews were integrated for similar vacant positions. This saved time for the HR team and provided candidates with information about different positions within the Aygaz Group. (The HR team also integrated their recruitment process with an internal job-posting system within the Koç Group of Companies, of which Aygaz is one.) This has allowed employees to manage their own careers, and in turn led to reduced employee turnover and increased employee motivation.

2. Training Program
Costs were significantly reduced through an integrated training program, while the average training time per employee increased. (In 2009, the average number of training hours per employee per year was 18; in 2010, this increased to 21 hours; and the current training time per employee is 25 hours.)

The HR team also designed an orientation program that provides information about all the group’s companies to more rapidly integrate new employees into the company.

3. Performance Management
The integration and “one company vision” necessitated an overhaul of the performance management system. This system now enables top management to share its objectives with all employees—and at the same time recognizing their achievements. Since 2009, all personal scorecards have been prepared in conjunction with Aygaz Group goals.

4. Compensation
Compensation management policies were also reviewed. New adjustments meant that Aygaz determined salary levels of employees by considering similar positions at other companies in the group. An “Equal Pay for Equal Work” policy was adopted.

5. Internal Mobility
Internal mobility has been actively encouraged and employees are now given the opportunity to move to other positions in the group without losing any of their rights.  A Social Activity Club was also launched to increase interactivity between Aygaz and its subsidiaries.

A Better Place to Work
By 2010 employee turnover at the Aygaz group had dropped to 2.5%, compared to the average rate of 9% in Turkey. 

The steps taken by the human resources award winning team to serve the bigger picture have resulted in Aygaz winning the Turkish Personnel Management Association’s Best Practice Award in Human Management in 2010.

About Yagiz Eyüboglu:
Yagiz Eyüboglu is the General Manager of Aygaz. Eyüboglu started his professional life as a Management Trainee at Arcelik in 1991. In 1993, he was transferred to Koç Holding Headquarters, where he worked for more than 10 years, finishing as a Financial Coordinator. Between 2004 and 2009, Eyüboglu assumed several different responsibilities within the Koç Group including CFO of Arcelik, CEO and Board Member of Beko Elektronik, and Human Resources Director of Koç Holding. Eyüboglu is a member of several boards, including the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations and the Turkish Employers’ Association of Metal Industries. He is also the Chairman of LPG Assembly at The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and is Vice President of the World LPG Association.

About Aygaz:
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, Aygaz manufactures and sells LPG devices and distributes LPG as auto gas, cylinder gas, and bulk gas to customers in 81 Turkish provinces as well as exports LPG devices to 22 countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Listed as Turkey’s 7th largest industrial company by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Aygaz delivers gas cylinders to over 100,000 homes, and more than one million vehicles travel with Aygaz’s auto gas product, Aygaz Euro LPG+ every day. Aygaz has more than 15,000 personnel working at its headquarters and at its facilities and dealerships around Turkey. The organization sees these employees as key to delivering its promise to consumers to provide quality products and services—and to the community to use sustainable business practices.

Tags: hr awards, human resources awards, hr award, human resources award, business awards, International business awards, stevie award, Aygaz, Yagiz Eyüboglu

How HR Award-winner Steve Seeman Links Human Capital to Business Success

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Jan 07, 2011 @ 12:51 PM

Steve Seeman, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources at Makovsky + Company in New York City, was named Human Resources Executive of the Year in the human resources awards categories of The 2010 American Business Awards.

Steve Seeman2009 should have been a tough year for Makovsky + Company.  It was for many PR agencies.  Instead, 2009 was a red-letter year for Makovsky, thanks to the firm’s specialized focus, the effectiveness of its campaigns, and the stellar quality of the people who executed them. 

Steve Seeman’s job—and his passion—is to ensure the continuing quality of the human element in that equation.  In 2009, his efforts led to a number of awards, including recognition by The Holmes Report as “Best Agency to Work For” for the sixth year running.  The firm was honored again in 2010 with the Iron SABRE Award for “Best Employee Program,” in recognition of Steve’s pioneering, morale-boosting programs. In fact, the founder of the SABRE Awards sent him the following note: “Congrats. I thought you made an incredibly impressive commitment to staff in a difficult year, so the award was one of the easier picks.”
In addition, Steve found the time to share his expertise with the industry by serving as a member of the HR Roundtable of the Council of PR Firms and authoring PRWeek career-advice columns.  He was also seen as a go-to expert source for publications including Human Resources Executive and the New York Post.

The Power of Specialized Thinking
Thirty years ago, at a time when the rest of the PR industry was touting the benefits of generalization, Makovsky + Company was founded on the conviction that specialization was the best way to build reputation, sales, and fair valuation for clients.   Delivering on the company’s vision of the Power of Specialized Thinking™ required a certain type of professional:  analytical, entrepreneurial, and energetic, with deep knowledge of specialty areas and relevant relationships with the media.

Steve has been responsible for attracting, developing, and retaining the talent that has been the engine of Makovsky’s growth.   In 2009, he significantly expanded the firm’s use of social media for recruitment purposes and introduced eleven new professionals to its Financial Services, Technology, Health, Investor Relations, and Branding practices.  

Providing Support + Recognition
To maximize staff tenure, Steve has developed and continuously refined a comprehensive toolkit for employee success:

•  Mak University, Makovsky + Company’s own continuing-education program, with seminars, workshops, and personal coaching.  In 2009, Steve expanded the curriculum to include advanced training sessions for the firm’s “rising stars.”
•  Pathway to Growth career guide.
•   “We Achieve” program, honoring colleagues who role model the firm’s values.
•   Monthly staff meetings with guest speakers on business, financial, political, and cultural topics. 
•   The internal MAK Awards, where outside judges select the best campaigns of the year.
•   The Young Leadership Award for junior staff, based on best original thinking for clients.
•   The Hot Award, given quarterly for performance “above and beyond the call of duty.”
•   Mak News, the company’s quarterly employee newsletter.
•   A suite of work/life balance initiatives, including flexible scheduling, telecommuting, and the company’s own Lifestyle Committee.
•   An intern program, open to college students and recent graduates. 

Linking Human Capital + Business Success
There is a clear cause-and-effect relationship between loyal employees and a
loyal customer base.  Research has shown that companies that manage people
well outperform companies that don’t by as much as 40%. 

Makovsky + Company believes its superb staff retention rate of 90% has contributed directly to its industry-leading client retention rate (80%).  In 2010, more than 90% of its clients rated Makovsky “good” to “exceptional” in six important metrics:  overall performance, value for money, responsiveness to client needs, rapport, creativity, follow-through, and strategic thinking.

Recognition + Respect
Steve’s energetic and focused management of the HR function in 2009 contributed to both individual and firm-wide successes, including 12 prestigious industry awards.

At Makovsky, the greatest concern has never been how to engage audiences, but how to win their hearts and minds.  Steve not only understands the importance of building enthusiasm and trust … he embodies it. 

About Steve Seeman
Under the leadership of SVP Steve Seeman, the firm’s HR Director, Makovsky + Company has achieved one of the industry’s highest employee longevity rates—80% in 2009—and has been voted “Best Agency to Work For” year after year by The Holmes Report. A key member of Makovsky’s management team for 10 years, Steve focuses on recruitment and retention, employee relations, professional development, and performance management.  He serves on the HR Roundtable of the Council of PR Firms and frequently authors PRWeek career-advice columns.

Formerly with Alan Taylor Communications, Chandler Chicco, and Fleishman Hillard, Steve is a summa cum laude graduate of City University of New York-Brooklyn College.

About Makovsky + Company
Founded in 1979, Makovsky + Company is one of the nation’s largest independent global public relations, investor relations, and branding consultancies, specializing in integrated communications programs for the financial, professional services, health, technology, and business services sectors. Based in New York City, the firm has agency partners in more than 25 countries and in 35 U.S. cities through IPREX (, a worldwide public relations agency partnership of which Makovsky is a founder. For more information go to

arrow spacer Read the Full Text of Steve Seeman's Stevie Award-winning Nomination...

Tags: hr awards, human resources awards, hr award, human resources award, steve seeman, makovsky

10 Ways HR Pros Can Be Honored in the 2011 Stevie Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Dec 01, 2010 @ 04:56 PM

Sengul Demircan of Avea accepts HR Stevie Award at 2010 International Business AwardsWe recently published a new tipsheet called 10 Tips for Winning HR Awards in the 2011 Stevie® Awards Get it here..

It summarizes the 10 best ways that human resources, benefits administration, and training professionals can be recognized in the four Stevie Awards competitions in 2011 (which include The American Business Awards, the International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service).  For the most part it recommends the human resources awards, training awards, and other categories that HR folks should focus on, and outlines the general submission requirements for those categories.

Tags: hr awards, human resources awards, hr award, human resources award, employee award, employee awards

HR Award Winner Jeffrey Shuman Named to NAM Board

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Nov 04, 2010 @ 01:44 PM

CongratulatJeff Shumanions to Jeff Shuman, senior vice president of Human Resources and Corporate Relations for Harris Corporation, for being named to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers. Read the press release here...

Jeff won the Stevie Award for Human Resources Executive of the  Year in The 2007 American Business Awards, has since then been a judge of the human resources awards categories in the ABAs, and is an all-around good guy. 

You can read Jeff's Stevie Award-winning nomination from 2007 on The American Business Awards web site.

Tags: hr awards, human resources awards, hr award, human resources award, business awards, awards hr, award hr, jeff shuman, jeffrey shuman, harris corporation