Being a manager – instinctively or consciously? / Newspaper article

“For a while, development and progress goes instinctively but above a certain level it needs consciousness.”- says Marianna Kiss, one of the two managing directors of MASC Ltd. in the interview of December, 2020 given to Luca Pomaranszki, journalist. The article was published in the supplement “Women in focus” of Kisalföld county daily newspaper….

MASC Ltd., where it is good to be not only as a customer but also as a staff member, stands out from its competitors by its innovative services. Marianna Kiss, one of the two managing directors of the company, plays a big role in this. She is a real Jolly Joker in this profession by her versatile knowledge.

– I have spoken to several women in connection with this publication who have succeeded in a „masculine” profession. This cannot be said about accountig and payroll. There is female domination here, is not there?

– Not so much anymore! There are also plenty of men. The accountancy offices I know, for example, are mostly run by men. Accountants and payroll accountants are mostly women, but I am confident the rate will change.

– According to the public consciousness, it is a boring and monotonous profession. Many people are apalled by the sea of numbers and paragraphs. Contrarily, you speak about it as enthusiastically as it were full of excitement…

– It is a misconception that it would be a boring profession. It can be interesting and varied!

Although the recording of data is monotonous, but extracting, analysing information, finding solutions to customer problems is extremely exciting for me. Many people have trouble with taxing, they consider it dry and boring. Nevertheless, it is one of my favourite areas.

– In the case of MASC Ltd., it is added to the fact that this company is very innovative always trying to make something new. For example, with their service called MZ/X, they have digitally “set the road” to many everyday work phases.

– We have always tried to innovate keeping the effectiveness in mind. Some years ago, we started to move toward digital processing, at that time, when only a very few people were even dealing with it. We strive to ensure that uploading data and administration should be carried out on an online platform as much as possible. The conversion is not always easy. Many customers prefer personal contact, even if it takes more time and it is difficult to change…The COVID pandemic has made a lot of difference. At the time of restrictions on face-to-face encounters, the digital service processes that had already been introduced in our company were great help to us.

– I guess, like most women, you fought your way up from the bottom to the position of a manager.

– For a while, development and progress goes instinctively – in my case, I think so -, but above a certain level it needs consciousness. Whereas, I got into this profession completely accidentally. An acquaintance of mine invited me to one of my previous workplaces to help them in a troubled tax return period. I didn’t know much about it at the time, initially I was entrusted with mainly administrative tasks. When private pension funds appeared in 1998, I have been entrusted with the administration in this regard, then payroll, too. And in a later job I had possibility to learn social security administration in practice. When I got to MASC, I immediately started to work with a little team.

– So, you’re the type of person who enjoys constant learning, aren’t you?

– I’m enjoying the development, the fact that I become more versatile. As I learned more and more fields, for internal urge, I graduated from human resources at the university. In the meantime, in continuous vocational trainings, I have acquired skills such as e.g. how to select a new employee and insert her or him into the team. This was all the more necessary, because, thanks to the labour market situation, it was difficult to find the good professionals in the past few years. I was consciously striving to become a better leader.

– However, MASC is famous for its good team and workplace atmosphere, which, according to surveys, is the greatest retention force immediately after salary in the case of a workplace. What is your opinion about this as a manager?

– I think the same. Whereas I work directly with seven female colleagues, indirectly more than 20 women which may not always be smooth but I feel like I’ve managed to cope with this challenge. We care about colleagues not only financially but we also pay attention to their personal well-being. I try to support them, encourage them in difficult situations. I have already received a feedback that it mattered a lot to one of our colleagues that during a difficult time lasting for months, me and my colleagues stood by her and supported her.

I have read a lot of articles and studies about the competences that make someone a good leader and the company satisfaction survey also provides guidance on this. I think, the most important thing is to give positive feedback toward the colleagues. Many managers do not do this on regular basis, whereas if someone feels valued, if the atmosphere is good on the workplace, then this person will not be searching for another job.

– You mentioned that you are an empathetic boss. That’s one of the areas where women are proven to be better, isn’t it? In the meanwhile, there is a constant need to balance among female softness and masculine hardness…

– I do not know… I know a manager who decides on emotional basis on a much higher proportion than I do and his emotions take him much faster than me. I am much more capable of making decisions on a rational basis. I think it is easier for a man to get accepted and become a leader as the head of a women’s team. I’m strict if I have to be but I trust my colleagues, they do their job perfectly on their own. It is enough for me to be involved in the workflow if there is a problem and they need me.

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