'Performance is important. But what counts is that our people thrive with us'

“Enhancing the role of finance at GO has to date been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role,” says Chief Financial Officer REUBEN ATTARD who now has also assumed the responsibilities of Chief People Officer. Reuben joined GO just before COVID-19 hit bringing with him extensive experience from the financial services, hospitality, and real estate sectors. “But I always had a keen interest in tech so when the opportunity to join GO came by, my decision was pretty obvious.”


Reuben Attard’s new additional role as Chief People Officer comes at a very interesting time for GO when just over a month ago, the company was rated as the top employer in Malta having consistently achieved high levels of employee satisfaction and engagement by prioritizing personal growth through extensive learning opportunities, comprehensive well-being programs and a flexible hybrid work model to attract and retain talented individuals.

“I believe that what singles out GO from other employers is our focus on culture, purpose, and values. By aligning our people strategy to this purpose and these values, we have created a unique work environment that fosters teamwork, empowers employees to take ownership, and puts a strong focus on customer satisfaction,” explains Attard.

He noted that culture is at the very heart of GO where it is lived and strengthened every day.

“Every year we undertake several surveys to help us get the valuable feedback we need from our employees that enables us to gauge the level of their engagement with our purpose and culture. This not only helps us keep our finger on the pulse but also gives us valuable insights into areas where we need to focus more. Listening to the people and understanding their needs is critical.”

What are the main challenges that need to be constantly addressed at GO?

“GO has been around for almost fifty years and today, the organisation is a multi-cultural one that needs to cater for a diverse workforce. This can be challenging. Of course, retaining and attracting the right talent will also be a challenge, especially at a time when organisations are becoming more cost-conscious. Maintaining this important balance is also a challenge for an organisation like ours.”

“Having said that, we will always bend over backwards to retain the right talent at GO, which is what enables us to maintain a healthy level of employee turnover when compared to other similarly structured organisations.”

“We have a strong employer brand, and when one looks at our compensation packages, employee benefits, staff welfare initiatives, our learning and development opportunities and not least our hybrid working environment which includes work-from-abroad policies, I sincerely believe that GO offers an excellent value proposition to our current and future colleagues. As such, we plan to continue to strengthen this brand we have built.”

Nowadays, it is considered healthy for people to move regularly from one job to another, more than it was in the past. On the other hand, employers invest a lot to retain their people. How do you reconcile this?

We invest heavily in our personal development programmes at GO and are very proud of how we nurture our people and encourage them to learn and grow. Of course, it’s always sad to see great talent leave, but when they do, we do so with a profound sense of pride in knowing that GO has been part of their journey.”

“Actually, it is not uncommon for former colleagues to return to GO after having explored other opportunities and I feel this reflects the positive experience they would have had with us and the strong bond they feel towards our organization.”

Attard notes how GO’s international dimension has been key in ensuring diversity and inclusion across all layers of the organisation.

“As a Group, we operate telecommunications and various ancillary businesses in Malta and Cyprus, and we also hold various strategic investments in Europe and beyond. This makes us want to foster diversity and inclusion through our talent acquisition strategy. Ours is a diverse workforce with a mix of location-based, hybrid, and remote employees based in various locations across Europe, India, the Philippines, and many more, making GO a truly multinational and multicultural organisation.”

“Lastly, GO's shareholding structure encompasses majority foreign shareholders and a diverse pool of over 7,000 individual and institutional shareholders from the local community. This unique composition not only promotes diversity but also emphasizes inclusion within the organization,” he added.

With important policies and initiatives introduced last year, employee well-being has become a top priority at GO and central to its people strategy.

“We take this aspect extremely seriously, especially when it comes to mental health issues, work-life balance and how these are supported by our working environment. But whilst policies are important, action has been critical and we have proved ourselves on numerous occasions such as the introduction of pregnancy loss and non-birthing parent leave, unlimited access to support services by the Richmond Foundation and our work to improve our employees’ wellbeing. This year will be no exception and we’re planning more similar initiatives.”

Perhaps Attard is one of a few who hold the dual role of Chief Finance Officer and Chief People Officer.

“I am lucky enough to have inherited a fantastic team of people who are extremely hard-working, dedicated, and constantly proposing innovative ideas. My goal is to motivate them to continue supporting our colleagues by providing them with an exceptional work environment and to attract more amazing people to join us at GO. I am very confident that together, we can continue enhancing our outstanding culture at GO.”

“How successful I am in my dual role will be measured through our collective contribution and positive impact on the organization's culture, how we engage with employees, how much talent we retain, and through performance management, diversity, inclusion, and leadership development.

“Personally, my primary objective is to continue nurturing a workplace that not only supports GO’s success but where our employees truly thrive.”

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