Here’s the thing – if you don’t believe in those with whom you do something, nothing will work. I believe

Here’s the thing – if you don’t believe in those with whom you do something, nothing will work. I believe

Natalia Alenicheva
Director of Payroll Outsourcing and HR Administration Department

Joined the company in 2008

Moscow State University n.a. M.V. Lomonosov
Specialization “Sociology”

Tell us about your education.

I have a sociological education, a red diploma of Moscow State University. When we came to this faculty, we thought it was a humanitarian faculty, but, unfortunately, this turned out to be not the case. I’m a humanitarian, yes. We came to the Faculty of Sociology, and there were three courses in higher mathematics. It was very difficult for us. Theoretically, I should have done research, but not only, in fact. I conducted them at the East Line company (Domodedovo airport) and at Scala, and I calculated a lot, by the way.

Did you work while you were studying?

Like all normal people, of course 🙂. I worked in the HR department at Scala, where at that time Andrey Petrovich Shabanov was the general director, whom I was very afraid of at that time, literally to the point of seizures. Once I was sent to his office with a cake, and to be honest, I was scared. I had to treat him, and I was even afraid to breathe in that direction. But then Andrey Petrovich invited me to UCMS Group.

Let’s tell what Scala is, many people don’t know

Scala is a great Swedish company from which the UCMS Group emerged. And many wonderful people who worked in Scala are still working among us! And there are more of them than it seems to be 🙂

Do you remember the interview at UCMS Group?

Yes, of course, I had an interview at which Andrei Petrovich was mainly talking about what the company needs. And we needed HR, which was not there at that time. But there was an understanding of what was needed from this role. It was very interesting to me, because for me it was an opportunity to do something on my own and from scratch – either it would work out or not. Yes, there was no HR as a function, but there was an understanding that the company would grow and develop, and that there would be European offices. It was 2008, and UCMS Group did not yet have a Hungarian office, it appeared a little later, and the Romanian office was just launched. But I was told that if things go well in Russia, then there is an opportunity to extend the Russian practices that we will start here to European offices, and such is usually never done. As a rule, the head office is located in Europe or the USA and, relatively speaking, “lowers” all target instructions to the regions.

We did the opposite – everything that we did here, we then replicated to Hungary, Romania, Poland and other countries.

Here it is already necessary to add that then you worked not just as an HR director, but also became a regional HRD

Yes, I started as an HR manager for the Russian offices, then there were two of them – Moscow and St. Petersburg – and at first I was engaged only in our Russian processes. And when we managed to arrange everything well, at first as an HR manager I coordinated the European offices, and then received broader functions as an HR director for the entire UCMS Group.

Is there anything about HRD work that you are proud of?

Oh, I know, I know exactly what I’m proud of. I am proud of the employee handbook.

The fact is that it was very difficult to launch it as a unified manual for all countries. Each time after the final proofreading, everyone found something that does not really fit in with the local policy of the office or region, so we need to change everything and reconcile. All in all, it was a hell that lasted over a year. In general, writing it was not easy. It was important that there were wordings that could be applied in any country. Every week we met together with a global HR team and literally suffered with it. And when we completed the project and launched – that was amazing.

We did corporate events, prepared the employee manual. We did adaptation trainings, internal training programs. A lot of different things 🙂

Probably the key benefit of this particular job for me is that I constantly interacted with people.

Just constantly, without interruption, without stopping. Although in my current job, when I came, the functionality was largely new, but people were those whom I knew and those who knew me and understood what issues we could solve together. And since the work of any boss or leader of anything is still tied to people, it helped that with these people we had already gone through a lot.

Do you have something in your work that bothers you the most?

Of course, there are dismissals. Like any normal person. It is foolish to think that if a person can do it and knows how to do it, then it gives him pleasure. The hero of George Clooney from the movie “Up in the Sky” does not count 🙂

Now, if I had such a George Clooney who would come and conduct such negotiations, I would be happy.

In general, dismissals are always bad, because it means not only that the person is not good, but that we are all not great. That somewhere we, together with this person, made the wrong decision. He – that applied, and we – that hired. This always means failure in a certain process, which also ends in unpleasant actions.

And about success. You already said that you are proud of the employee’s handbook

This is not about success, but rather about the question of what was difficult and needed to be “finished off”. It is clear that the motivation system that we have built in the company, unlike, by the way, very many outsourcing companies, has a much more impact on the business, but doing it was not so time-consuming and painful 🙂

Good. Then you decided to leave.

Yes, I did. I left in 2016 and started in 2008. In fact, there was nothing wrong with that, because I learned a lot about many things from the outside – about new modern trends and much more. When you are stewing only in your own juice and do not receive any external replenishment, at some point it starts to crush you. At that time, I couldn’t add anything else to our HR. Eight years is objectively a long time, and everything else at some point became a repetition of what was passed. There was a definite benefit in this.

Why did you come back?

Because I was invited to a very interesting and completely new task for me. I was very afraid! But already at the meeting at the end of last year, I told my employees that even now I don’t know enough, but I am no longer afraid. Because I know that they know this 🙂

Tell us about your feelings after returning?

Awesome! Absolutely! You know, this is an unreal drive that appeared immediately, and it did not disappear. Because I really do something new for myself, I have not worked in service delivery before, I have always been in the back office. You understand that your actions are directly reflected in the success of your company. And this feeling – we also have frank failures, but this is some kind of your right to make a mistake.

Anyone can make mistakes if they do something. It will be worse if he does nothing at all.

Indeed, this is the feeling of everyday drive from what you are doing. And more, more, gratitude to the audience sounds here. I am very grateful to my colleagues for the fact that they all absolutely supported me. I came to them with stupid questions, they could say – Well, Natasha, learn the materiel, and then ask. But this has never happened at all. At first I did not feel very confident, I needed support, help – no one left me, and I mean not only my division, I am talking about everyone. And this is great!

What are you proud of this year?

All jokes aside, several huge clients came to us this year, and despite all the difficulties, I am very happy that we have them! Because they are really large, and it is a great responsibility and honor to conduct such projects.

And I am proud of the project teams – and how we transferred these clients into the service, and how we continue to provide the services.

And there was a client who came literally with the words “payroll calculation is tomorrow”, right?

Yes, with the phrase “we fired the payroll specialist, remembered about you, tomorrow we have the calculation”. We saw neither the database nor, in principle, anything. The company is large, but we left the meeting, the girls sat down and began to calculate payroll. Project manager and project coordinator.

And here again a minute of advertising for the division – for this approach, for some kind of courage, I am so grateful to the team.

Because we understand that it will not be good, the risks are huge, we simply cannot do it well on the first day like this, but even understanding all this, we srart and do even what we still need to understand. It’s very cool, really.


What do you value in your work?

People. It’s very corny, but it’s true.

Here’s the thing – if you don’t believe in those with whom you do something, nothing will work.

I’m not just talking about us, but in general. As they say – find a job that you like and you won’t have to work a single day in your life. Seriously, like that. Do you think it would be easy for me to return if we weren’t here?

What do you love the most?

Most of all I love to travel. Figure skating and seeing beautiful. You don’t have to possess it, you know that. You walk along the street or through the forest, or eat a nice cake – and it’s beautiful! And you definitely need to photograph this beauty 🙂

What do you dislike the most?

Pointless arguments. When people start arguing, not because they want to come to a solution that suits everyone, but simply for the sake of the process. It takes a lot of time, emotions, eats your resource. I don’t like it and try not to participate in such clashes for the sake of the process.

A question about travel. Is there some cherished place where you want, but don’t go?

Yes, Japan. I don’t go, because it’s expensive and difficult, although the process of obtaining a visa has been simplified, but still the cards of our banks do not work there, our mobile communications do not work there. We need a serious preparation for this trip. And why I want to go there – because it is a completely different culture, because there are a lot of beautiful and technologically advanced things. I want to see it myself, but I don’t know at all how to approach it.

Do you have a favorite city or country?

I have two favorite cities – Rome and Budapest, if you don’t count Moscow. And the country … it’s still Italy, because everything is there. History, culture, food! I don’t know such a unique country anymore. I’m also a fan of the mountains, all the poor people who follow me on Instagram know this. Our vacation in the mountains is rather pointless, because most of the time you rush-rush-rush to this mountain, you do not love it, you hate it, you are dirty, angry, tired, and then you climb on it and think – that’s crazy! Stunned how cool! Where do we go further? And it all starts all over again

Are there any mountain braggers?

Yes, last summer we climbed a mountain, which, perhaps, is not very high, two thousand meters, but the main thing is that it gives the impression from below that it is absolutely impossible to climb it. Here is such a bare top and it is not clear how to climb. We also had time before the advancing thunderstorm front. True, then it was covered with a downpour 🙂

What about mountain goals?

Sure. Mont Blanc.

Tell us what your ideal weekend looks like?

These are two different things. Weekend – in good company I rushed to some beautiful city and sit there in the morning with a coffee. This may well be our city. Some magnificent Suzdal or beautiful Plyos. So I drink coffee and I understand that I have plans ahead of me and everything around is so beautiful. And this is so great!

Is there something you would like to learn?

I want to resume sports. I would also like to improve my German. I’m happy with my English, but I have German, I understand it, but I don’t speak it at all.

Describe us in one word.


What do you wish the team?

Always keep the heart of the UCMS Group – the right team.

A moment of nostalgia

How did you earn your first money and how did you spend it?

I handed over bottles. This was my first legal income, no one had the right to touch my bottles, and they were mine! Only I had the right to hand them over. I spent the money on food. In the bar. For ice cream. And the more consciously earned money was by video filming. I filmed a business conference for a company that saved a lot on a professional operator. The recording turned out, by the way, very decent. I spent money on a concert. I’m right now proud of myself. At the Bolshoi, José Carreras sang and (here I cease to be proud of myself) Sarah Brightman.

A vivid impression from childhood?

My memory is bad, but I had a good childhood. Well, since we are talking at the end of the year, I will tell you not just a memory, but about a tradition – every year we went not with friends, but with dad, and not to the bathhouse, but for the Christmas tree.

It was necessary, it was a ritual, and we went to the Christmas tree market not far from home.

Why did we drive? Because I went there on a sled, and a Christmas tree went back on a sled. That’s right, no one else went with us. Then this story had a continuation – I grew up and began to walk for the tree myself and drag huge trees into a small apartment, which did not even enter the entrance.

Not everyone knows about your sports. Tell me!

Yes, I did figure skating for a long time. Beginning at the age of three and skated while studying at the institute. It was not a big sport, and nevertheless, I passed the categories. At some point, I switched to ice dancing, I danced for a long time and at a conscious age, our group choreographed the dances by itself, and it was pretty cool, because we had a very good coach and you could come and bring any musical theme quite consciously and say “I want!” So we even staged a ballet on ice.

So, tell me who you wanted to become as a child?

Astronaut. And for a very long time, by the way. As a child, the theme of space fascinated me. I thought it was very cool. I was an idealist as a child.

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