Tünde Tóth: You have the chance to work with extraordinary colleagues

She is the happy mother of a two-year-old son, supported by her workplace and her family. Tünde Tóth, HR Director of MET Group, would like to turn the company into one of Europe’s 100 best employers in five years’ time.

You had been working at MET Group for two and a half years when your son was born. What impact did this have on your daily work?

Indeed, our son was born in November 2019 and I joined MET in February 2017. As a family we made the decision to share the parental leave, I stayed at home for the first eight months and my husband spent a further eight months with him. First, I returned to work part time, six hours a day – I started at 11am, and as our son got up at 6am at the latest, I could still spend valuable time with him. We live near the MET office, so I did not have to spend time with commuting. I returned to the office in the middle of the Covid lockdown, which meant that I actually started working again from home office which eased the transition.

Parents sharing the parental leave is still not very common nowadays, is it?

It is so uncommon that my husband was the first person at his workplace to choose this option. Although he could only obtain an unpaid leave, his managers had no objection at all. Since then, he has managed to easily reintegrate to his company. We were lucky to be supported by our families and our workplaces on both sides.

How do you balance being a mother to a young child and a top management position effectively?

Besides the supportive family background and employer, you also need discipline. You must plan your days. I get up with our son in the morning as my husband is not at home any more at that time. Starting to work earlier, he is already at home early afternoon, so he can take him home from the nursery. I do my best to get home in time for the evening routine of having dinner together, bathtime and the bedtime story. If I have work to do, I can continue working from home after that.

Group CEO Benjamin Lakatos often says that MET Group is an HR-based success story. What does this mean in practice?

met-group-tunde-toth.jpgWe have very talented, outstanding colleagues and we consider them as one of the company’s greatest assets. During the recruitment process, we may take a bit more time to thoroughly screen candidates and find the best possible ones. Afterwards, we strive to create an incentivising working environment which is focused on performance. If you perform well at MET Group, you are recognized and appreciated. Colleagues are given a great degree of autonomy and are encouraged to come up with their own ideas, which later they can also be requested to realize.

From a start-up, MET Group has grown into a middle-sized European energy company where certain processes and systems are still being developed – our colleagues have the opportunity to contribute to all this. This is attractive on the market, MET is not the typical multinational company where the headquarters decide the most important questions, limiting your local possibilities. Of course, this big autonomy is, at the same time, a big responsibility.

If a friend asked you why you enjoy working at MET, how would you answer?

This is a fast-growing, dynamic company and the fact that you are part of this growth boosts you considerably. You have more freedom, more independence in your own area, you can create and then carry out the strategy in your field. MET Group’s slogan ‘Implementing innovation in European energy markets’ is very much true, we have innovative practices not only in the business areas, but also in other segments. Most importantly, you have the chance to work with extraordinary colleagues, both from a professional and a personal perspective.

If an HR fairy suddenly appeared, what would you wish for?

To be one of Europe’s 100 best employers in five years’ time. Many aspects are considered, such as working environment, tasks, motivation, professional and personal development etc. For me this all starts from inside the company, our colleagues need to feel that they work for one of the continent’s best employers. If they like working at MET Group, they will stay and perform well, so this becomes a win-win situation both for the colleagues and the company.