Human resources (HR) specialist Calvin Cassar on Thursday pinpointed three key pieces of insight that business leaders should take note of, but does so by relating them to his experience as a dog owner.
“I was never a dog person, but at one point last year, my wife convinced me to bring one into our life,” the EPG Financial Services Ltd HR Director said, before listing three lessons that he has learnt during that time, and linking them to the corporate world.
“Dogs can help you set up healthy habits. I am now consistently going on a one-hour early morning walk,” he said. While he had attempted this before, he had given up once he encountered a rainy day. Relating this to business, he remarked that “good habits help you achieve”, as by establishing this level of commitment with others also enables business leaders to maintain it even through a “certain degree of adversity”.
Secondly, he noted that “being attractive pays”, as good-looking dogs tend to “get more attention, cuddles and treats”. Mr Cassar explained that in the corporate world, it is “well documented in social psychology research that attractive employees get higher salaries and get promoted more often”, a bias that leaders have to “recognise and be aware of” when interacting with team members in order to not fall into the same trap.
Lastly, he explained that people tend to have prejudices about others, which can “condition our interpretation of what we do”. He arrives to this point in a most unconventional way, relating it to how someone else had told him that they were concerned that Mr Cassar’s female dog would “urinate at the corner of his house”, as he was not aware that female dogs do so sitting down, while male ones “spray around”. “When I explained that this could not happen, he did not quite believe it,” Mr Cassar said.
He concluded by saying that business leaders have to be aware of such prejudices, and that they should aim to be “as fair as possible” with those around them.
Aside from his role at EPG Financial Services Ltd, Mr Cassar is also HR Manager at Merkur eSolutions Malta Ltd. He has extensive experience within the HR field, having previously served in various related positions at The General Soft Drinks Co Ltd, Malta Financial Services Authority, Mizzi Motors, FTIAS Ltd, and Konnekt.
He holds a Master of Science in Occupational Psychology from University of Leicester, as well as a Bachelor of Psychology in Psychology and Linguistics from University of Malta. He is particularly skilled in recruitment, interviewing, and talent management, among other things.
Calvin Cassar / MFSA
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