Ahmed Abdelkhalek

Human Resources Manager SOS Children's Villages in Egypt
photo: © Stefan Lechner Photography

A Goal without a Plan Is a Wish
When work life turns 180°

I joined SOS Children’s Villages Egypt in 2012 as a follow-up specialist. After one year, our board in Egypt promoted me to an HR supervisor. In my new position, I faced many challenges related to the human resources cycle: the government had replaced the board except the chair, which meant that three board members and the national director had left. In 2014, we received an operational plan from the regional office, but unfortunately, the HR director at the Middle East and North Africa office soon left as well. The situation was chaotic, and no one seemed to be in charge.
Since I was still trying to do my job by keeping the values of our organisation in mind, I started by examining our HR manual, which was very useful for me in overcoming all issues related to the HR cycle. For me, this was about improving the working conditions for our staff in Egypt.
Dealing with change and challenges
When the HR director at our regional office left, the regional finance team supported me in implementing the operational plan. Soon we realised that we could not make it in time. Since it was about the compensation system, it was very important, especially for our staff. Finally, we decided to change the deadline but not our target. We kept on trying to achieve our goals even if the initial situation was chaotic. This means that if your plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal. One of the outcomes of our cooperation was adapting the salary scales to meet the local market requirements. This achievement makes our co-workers and us feel satisfied and successful.

I am sure our common vision, mission, and values at SOS Children’s Villages guide our actions, decisions and relationships if we are to achieve our common goals.

Ahmed Abdelkhalek

Improving working conditions is very important to Ahmed, as he believes it is essential to motivate and develop our co-workers. It encourages them to innovate and think outside the box in a positive environment, making us stronger together. The vision, mission and values of SOS guide our actions, decisions and relationships. For Ahmed, SOS Children’s Villages it not only a place to work, but it is a “loyalty school”.
Ahmed is the sixth and youngest child in his family, and he is thankful for having grown up in a family filled with love, care and joy. His parents always taught him the value of education and said to him, “Never too old to learn”.
In his free time, Ahmed likes to meet relatives and friends. He likes going on walks to refresh his mind and listening to music to relieve mental stress and physical exhaustion.