Hani, tell us a little about Snappy and yourself.
Snappy is an enterprise gifting platform that allows companies to reward and motivate their employees in a creative, fun and simple way. By working with Snappy, each team member gets to choose the gift they like most from a collection of personalised items sourced from leading brands and retailers all through a joyful digital experience. Snappy enables every individual to feel noticed and appreciated with a tailored gifting experience that requires little backend effort or investment.
You’ve had a broad career, what drove you to seek out opportunities in such diverse industries?
I am a curious person, interested in many different fields and someone who loves to learn and explore. Before going to college I was debating if to study Psychology, Law or Business Administration and since I couldn’t decide which one of these fields would be the best fit for me, I studied all three.
After completing the three degrees, I passed the Bar Exam and pursued a career as a prosecutor for the state, feeling it would be an interesting role and wanting to have an impact. This role was extremely interesting and it did in fact bring a lot of responsibilities with it, it was also very fulfilling and I’ve learned a lot from it.
However, something was missing. I wanted to capture more of the world and felt I would be limited if I stayed where I was. That is when I decided to try and work on something of my own. I started to work on ideas I thought had the potential to become successful businesses. But it wasn’t until I had the idea of Snappy, that I began to feel excited, and knew I wanted to share this magical feeling with others.
As a woman, were some sectors easier to work in?
I think that it all depends on an individual perspective. I have never felt unable to do something because I am a woman or that it is harder. I believe it is important to acknowledge the gender gaps that the tech industry currently has, but it is also important not to let anything keep you from getting to where you want to get.
What strategies can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organisation?
Speak up and speak your mind often. You don’t always need an intricate, fully detailed strategy other than to consciously take on a leadership mindset in any and every scenario that adds value to the organisation and your personal goals.
How is diversity and inclusion achieved in your organisation, especially at the board level?
A lot of businesses go about diversity and inclusion programmes with little proactivity, thinking about it only when employees are already feeling neglected. I don’t think every business realises the benefit of an inclusive workplace and the great impact it can have.
To make D&I part of our culture here at Snappy, we recently introduced ‘lunch mixers’ and ‘personal presentations’. Here is how it works – every week, we divide the company into groups of four people, and each group goes out to lunch in a different place on the company’s expense.
This allows people across the organisation, no matter where they sit or department they work in to connect and get to know each other. ‘Lunch mixers’ has shown incredible results up to now, creating a much more inclusive atmosphere and team members that love being around each other.
In addition, every week, one person from the team gets 30 minutes to do a presentation about anything they like; it can be work-related or it can be about their personal life. Everyone gets to know and learn about each other, and it brings a fresh spirit to the workplace.
I believe that with diversity comes fresh perspectives, ideas and values that resonate with some area of every business’ key market, investors, etc. A study by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that diversity increases the bottom line for companies on average 19%. The study’s sample of 1,700 companies across eight countries with varying industries and sizes found that “increasing the diversity of teams leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance.”
What do employers need to do in a tight labour market to retain talent?
I believe that employers need to place as much value on their employees as they pay to customers. This involves year-round efforts that many businesses tend to overlook. Employers that stay comfortable in their policies will lose valuable talent to newer, more innovative competition. Be different and take on more than is required by standard HR departments to give back to your workforce.
What tips would you give to HR/D&I professionals want to make a change on how staff are recruited and retained in their organization from the top down?
Create a culture of openness, acceptance, and one that cultivates forward-thinking ideas. To get here, consider incorporating new policies and practices. The main goal is to make sure that your employees are happy — that’s the real secret to retention. Too often, businesses do not make employee happiness priority, however there are newer, younger and more proactive businesses out there that do. If you want your business to attract and keep top talent, you need to start thinking about what your employee needs to have a happy work life.
To start, know that feedback is key. Let employees know when what they are doing is helpful and reward them for it. We all want to know what we are doing is appreciated, from day one in your entry-level position to the day you become CEO – and beyond. With a tool like Snappy, this becomes a simple and non-costly task, with a payoff that is priceless. Our dashboard has robust reporting tools built right in so not only can you see which gifts were claimed and who claimed them, but you can also view employee thank you notes. This serves an effective way to gauge sentiment and appreciation.
How can brands/retailers tap into the corporate gifting market to reach consumers?
It can be tough for retailers to reach and resonate with corporate audiences without a tool like Snappy. We act a direct connection between the two, making it easier for both sides to reach their business goals.
What brands/types of products are performing the best?
Our gifting experts hand-pick gifts including the latest trending products, top subscription services, local experiences, and luxurious international getaways. Most recently, tech-centric gifts, like tablets, speakers and drones, tend to perform best on Snappy’s platform.