Meet the founder of AskHR, Lina Hariri

“Employee well-being is at the heart of a successful business. Companies that ignore this, struggle hard” says the Hr expert and entrepreneur Lina Hariri.

 Q1. Tell us about yourself and the founding of AskHR Consultancy services?

Lina HaririI was born in Germany to a Syrian father and German mother. We left Germany when I was 14 and moved to Dubai. It was very different then, the 1980’s. At the age of eighteen my father decided to find a husband for me, and I got married not really knowing my new husband. I hadn’t finished school or started university. It was a very challenging time. After a few years I left my husband and attained my high school diploma and a university degree in Dubai.

Fast forward a couple of years and I moved to the UK, where I worked at IBM within their European HR department. And that is how my HR journey began.

In 2018, we moved back to Dubai with a really good job, however, after 6 months the company decided to close, and I was out of a job. I decided to go it on my own and I established AskHR Consultancy Services. I saw a gap in the market, and I was very lucky that I had projects from the get-go. That is how AskHR was born.

 Q2. In your views, what are some of the most needed HR management practices for healthy work places?

Some employees would prefer to stay in their four home office walls forever, while others are drawn back to the office by a longing for colleagues and personal interaction. Regardless of one’s preference and when the world returns to “normal,” one thing will prevail: Companies will have to continue to rely on trust and offer flexible, hybrid work models.

And the remote arrangement was just the beginning in retaining and recruiting employees: a 4-day week or other freedoms in working hours have now become standard at many companies. Consequently, corporate coworking, desk sharing, or mobile work will find their way into companies, but also a changed understanding of leadership with a view to location- and time-independent work will occupy us in 2022.

Q3. What can small businesses do to ensure employee well-being?

Over the past 20 years, significant research on employee engagement and well-being at work has found that healthy, happy employees work better and more productively overall.

Like any other business activity, an effective employee well-being program requires a clear strategy. Who do you want to help? What do you want to achieve? What are your indicators for success? These simple questions should be at the heart of your strategy.

A thoughtful strategy will not only give you a clear plan of action, but it will also help you get the support you need from decision makers. If management is still unsure whether they should allocate the budget for these activities, a well-thought-out strategy with measurable key performance indicators can be very compelling.

Q4. What has been the most exciting story in your journey? Something that clicked with you and is unforgettable?

I had a big circle of supporters when I started AskHR. In twenty years as an HR professional, I have often seen people sense when it is time for change, yet some struggle to actively address and implement this challenge. I have supported many people – especially executives – in realigning their professional and private path. Enabling people to actively tackle their professional visions and the challenges they face – that is the passion that drives me.

Q5. What sets you apart from others in your field?

HR is not for everyone. A prerequisite for success as an HR professional is that you like people, you have a desire to help, and you have a desire to make a difference. I became an HR professional because I wanted to work with people in some way. I am a person with great enthusiasm for people – which runs through my entire career. From the ground up, I have gained valuable life and professional experience through various positions HR at IBM and Zurich Insurance.

I know what it’s like to be in charge, to maintain an overview in turbulent times, and to constantly realign myself. With my enthusiasm for HR and the fun of tackling life’s challenges constructively, as an experienced HR Consultant I support business leaders with the special competence of shaping human needs in a corporate context.

I get to work on a lot of issues, shape a lot of things, develop the organization, and its employees. I get to know an incredible number of different personalities and I continue to grow as a result.

 Q6. What are your present priorities and where do you envision yourself in the future? What are your strengths? How did you discover them?

My goal is to help shape the future. I aim to strengthen people and organizations from within. In this way, I believe that the development of human potential in companies today will be crucial for corporate success in the future. It is now a matter of creating awareness for good relationships and a contemporary quality of work in companies. The key competence for this must be anchored in leadership.

“I inspire leaders to be the best version of themselves as people in their role to achieve sustainable business success”.

And then everything else works too. I want to build long term relationships with my customers and clients and provide exceptional customer services by pursuing business through innovation and advanced technology.

 Q7. Diversity and inclusion are important worldwide? How can small business entrepreneurs manage diversity?

By creating a diverse workplace, you help turn the tide and make an impact. Let everyone have a seat at the table. Hiring employees from diverse backgrounds gives you access to a larger talent pool. A diverse team brings better solutions, creativity and innovation to the room. This means you don’t have to worry about not finding the right person for the job.

A diverse workplace gives you access to a greater variety of ideas. This is because people from different backgrounds have different perspectives. This not only allows you to look at problems and solutions from different angles, but also leads to unique and original results. This access to a wide range of ideas and solutions sets you apart from the competition, which in turn increases your productivity and profits.

You can also inspire others to follow in the same footsteps. Encourage companies to take the necessary steps to embrace diversity and make their businesses more inclusive.

 Q8. Who has inspired you the most in your life and how?

My father has been my greatest inspiration. He had one goal in life, to be the best doctor he could be. He came to Germany in the 1950’s from Syria when he was just eighteen. He learned the language, studied hard and became what he set out to be – a well-respected doctor in Germany and the UAE.

He always pressurized his children, and growing up in a multi-cultural environment, German mother, was not always easy, but it made me study hard and it made me strive to be the very best in everything I did and do.

Q9. Give one message for our readers.

For job seekers I would say ‘Don’t lose faith when you are looking for a job’. Keep trying. Optimise your CV and LinkedIn and follow a strategy of applying for jobs. Don’t just apply to everything. Recruiters don’t like to see that. Apply for the job that fits your expertise and is suitable for you.

For businesses, ‘Don’t ignore your employees, listen and be fair’. Have labour law compliant policies and procedures in place. Hire someone like me to look over your HR strategy and align your business strategy with the context you create for your people – then watch your organisation thrive.

Q10. How can readers connect with your brand?

My company is called AskHR, you can ask me anything. You can connect with me via LinkedIn, or send a request via email,

A Pain Point is an existing problem that people or companies have. I offer solutions to those pain-points. Enabling people to actively tackle their professional visions and the challenges they face – that is the passion that drives me.