MGM Porthos @ Microsoft

Wednesday, 10 November 2010, 13:05 | Category : Uncategorized
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This Monday, MGM Porthos’ students had to get out of bed early and fight for a spot in the traffic jam on the way to Brussels. At 9 am, our bus arrived at the entrance of Microsoft in Belgium. Two years after Microsoft moved close to Zaventem Airport, they welcomed us to show the class their human resources practices and how they use technology to connect people working within the company. This experience was part of the Human Resources Management course, taught by Professor Ans De Vos.

The morning was all about human resources. We had a presentation about the Generations, and got to know a bit more about ourselves – the Y generation. Afterwards, we also heard the HR Manager explaining how a flexible working environment is the perfect match for this generation. Microsoft showed their example and the KPIs that make sure Microsoft keeps people in the center of its strategy. After those presentations, two managers showed in practice the tools used inside the office to communicate.

The last part of the visit was a tour around the office. We all had the chance to see in practice all that we heard in the conference room: office desks are not personalized, you can sit wherever you want, no matter if you are a manager or a newbie at Microsoft. No phones, no photo frames and almost no papers around the office: everything is on the people’s laptops. “You personalize your desktop, not the table” said the guide during the tour.

All of us saw an office actually functioning in a very flexible environment. People in Microsoft can come and go at whatever time they want. If an employee doesn’t want to show up at the office on Monday morning it is alright, as long as he works from home. Microsoft also showed belief in social networks and that it can be a positive tool to increase productivity through networking and looking for insights outside of the company. Being responsible and delivering your goals is, however, an important measure of employees’ performance.

To close the morning with some fun, some of us – including me – played a bit of XBOX 360, and showed how good Vlerick students can be in virtual sports. As we all know, it’s the only kind of sports we have time for these days. However, we are practicing hard to become the strongest professionals and better than any other student around the globe.

Juliana Mafra

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