Alesya Fedoseeva: leading by example

The 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to Alesya Fedoseeva, HR Service Centre Director for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Central Asia, for her outstanding leadership in establishing a high-performing HR service centre in Moscow.

​​​​​The elements of success

The citation for the 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award highlighted three elements as key to Alesya’s success: her commitment to encouraging professional growth within her team, her focus on individual development and the continuous feedback she provides on performance. And it is a significant success. Under Alesya’s leadership the HR Service Centre for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Central Asia has achieved nearly 99% on-time ticket resolution, with internal stakeholders praising its outstanding contribution to supporting organizational changes critical to Tetra Pak’s future.

Given the content of the citation, it is not surprising to hear that Alesya is quick to credit her team for their contribution: “I owe this to my team for their hard work, drive and dedication,” she says. She makes a point of recruiting people who radiate enthusiasm. “For me it is important that the person I bring to the team shares the same values, philosophy and attitude as the rest of us.”

Communication comes first

The first step towards great teamwork is to make communication a top priority. “You shouldn’t be afraid to over-communicate, especially in times of significant change,” she says. “I set clear expectations, make sure everyone understands our strategic goals – and knows how they can contribute to those goals through their everyday activities.”

But while there can never be too much communication, there is such a thing as managing too closely. “To be motivated, people need to be given clear, challenging and interesting tasks,” says Alesya. “They should be aware of the direction the company is taking and their role in achieving that – then they should be trusted and empowered to make their own decisions.”

That extends to making decisions about their own personal and professional development. “In terms of motivation it is also for the employee to understand how he or she can develop,” says Alesya, “and to be proactive in seeking out those opportunities. There are so many global projects, for example, that people can participate in and where they can be exposed to or acquire new skills.

Team spirit and trust

“Team spirit is also vital for motivation. The bond between us is strong – we enjoy each other’s company and we enjoy working together. I’m always with my team through all their hardships and challenges. They rely on me and I rely on them, so trust between us is very high. We have a common agenda and we share the same goals.”

The team also makes a point of celebrating its successes together – something Alesya sees as absolutely critical to excellent performance. “Individuals need recognition,” she says. “When we completed the business transformation project that we’d been running for a couple of years, it was a major celebration. It’s so important that people feel valued for the contribution they make.” ​

Alesya’s tips on leadership during times of change

  • Lead by example: believe in the change yourself, and be the first to adopt new ways of thinking and working so your team can see and understand the vision for the future.
  • Be consistent: our success as a service organization depends on leaders being disciplined and focused.
  • Don’t be afraid to be tough: setting high standards for yourself and your team is key to achieving excellent results.