With a strong back ground in human resources and a passion for fostering positive work environments, Dalit Meretz Vardi, Chief People Officer (CPO) at Reality Group, is known for her dedication to employee development, talent acquisition, and retention, as well as her commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive workplace. With her expertise and leadership, Dalit drives initiatives that empower employees, promote holistic well-being and align the company's growth with the personal and professional aspirations of its workforce. Her contributions have been instrumental in building a strong and engaged team at Reality Group. "My deep passion for people and their well-being has been a driving force, leading me to help individuals achieve their goals and create a positive impact on their lives. Another defining feature of my journey is the combination of my business acumen and background in social-therapeutic practices. This unique blend allows me to provide innovative solutions that cater to both business objectives and the holistic development of individuals and communities. Together, these elements have played a pivotal role in shaping my approach as a professional and the positive impact we strive to make at Reality Group", shares Dalit.
Women Entrepreneur engaged in a one on one interaction with Dalit Meretz Vardi. Let’s hear more from her.
Could you please share your educational background and previous industry experience that contribute to your expertise?
My educational background and prior industry experience have been instrumental in shaping my professional journey. I initiated my academic path by enrolling in Law and Business Administration at Reichmann University. This program laid a strong foundation in legal principles and business practices. After completing my studies, I embarked on a career as a lawyer specializing in personal injury lawsuits. Over the course of six years in this role, I gained invaluable insight into the emotional difficulties and daily challenges faced by individuals. This firsthand experience prompted a realization: I aspired to have a more profound impact on people's lives by extending my efforts beyond the legal realm. Subsequently, I pursued further education in psychotherapy and emotional therapy, refining my skills in assisting individuals dealing with emotional and physical challenges. My professional path eventually led me to Reality Group, where I currently hold the position of Chief People Officer. This role provided an ideal platform to integrate my diverse skill set with the business domain in a meaningful manner. I take great pride in our organization's commitment to translating our values into action on a daily basis. Furthermore, I am currently pursuing a Master's degree in Organizational Behaviour & Development (OBD), leveraging the knowledge I gain to implement additional tools for our Group's growth trajectory.
Introduce us to Reality Group. Tell us about the various responsibilities you shoulder as the CPO of the company.
Reality is the largest real estate funds Group in Israel, overseeing investment portfolios worth over $3 billion in high-growth markets. Established in 2008, the company has become a prominent player in the Israeli market, renowned for its proactive approach to revitalizing and transforming entire areas. We aim to create positive impacts beyond financial returns, enriching lives and shaping a better future. Through collaborations with local authorities and communities, Reality Group aligns its real estate vision with the public's interests, striving for 'win-win-win' scenarios.
As the Chief People Officer (CPO) of Reality Group, my responsibilities encompass various aspects centered around our most valuable asset: our people. It includes strategic planning, talent acquisition and retention, employee development, shaping company culture, and fostering a positive work environment. As our Group continues to expand, we have recently secured over $500 million for our fifth value-add fund. In light of this growth, I am actively building a strong talent pipeline to support and facilitate our scale.
I am also actively involved in the Impact department, which focuses on creating social and environmental value via placemaking, arts & culture events, and community engagement. This includes designing innovative interim-use solutions, incorporating green spaces, and supporting local communities around our assets to enhance the quality of life and long-term prosperity.
In 2022, we established the 'Advot' philanthropic Fund, a significant step towards our commitment to society. This initiative is particularly meaningful as it aligns with my values and belief in giving back to the community. The 'Advot' Fund is made possible through the generous contributions of our GPs, who have chosen to support the cause of improving patients' quality of life by providing access to integrative medicine across the public health system in Israel.
As the CPO, I strive to create an environment where employees willingly participate in voluntary activities. I am pleased to see that they participate with genuine enthusiasm and eagerness.
In your opinion, what are some of the most challenging aspects of being a people leader in today's business climate? What steps do you undertake to overcome these roadblocks?
Being a people leader in today's business climate comes with its challenges, and two prominent ones are employee retention and prioritizing work-life balance. At Reality Group, we address these challenges through proactive measures. Employee retention is crucial, considering the tendency for employees to seek new opportunities and change workplaces frequently. To overcome this, we prioritize personal and professional development.
We have implemented a comprehensive program that fosters growth and supports each employee. By creating a nurturing environment where employees feel valued and supported, we cultivate a sense of belonging and make our workplace feel like a home. As a result, our average employee tenure is six years, and our employee count has doubled in the past three years. We strongly believe in the power of collaboration and view our employees as essential partners in our collective journey toward success.
"As a business leader, my mantra for success is encapsulated in the phrase, ‘Spark innovation, unite in creation, care to thrive"
The post-COVID era has brought a renewed focus on work-life balance and employee well-being. To address this, we place a high value on respecting personal time and taking responsibility for our employees' health and wellness. In addition to our annual bonus system, we now offer private insurance options throughout the workplace. This ensures that our employees have peace of mind and easy access to necessary healthcare services. Whether it's a routine check-up or treatment, we cover a significant portion of the cost, requiring only a small co-payment from our employees.
By actively addressing these challenges, we strive to create an environment where employees feel supported, valued, and can achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Tell us about the top three milestones you have achieved throughout your professional journey?
Throughout my professional journey, I have achieved three significant milestones that have shaped my career and brought me great fulfillment. Firstly, I successfully integrated the professional world, the spiritual world, and my passion for human therapy, allowing me to incorporate holistic well-being principles within the realm of investment funds. As the CPO, I developed personalized development plans for each employee, empowering them to enhance their skills and reach their full potential. We've also launched a shares program for our long-term employees this year. Additionally, I took a significant role in establishing the philanthropic Fund 'Advot' By addressing the lack of mental and emotional support in hospitals, we make a tangible impact on healthcare facilities and the lives of those in need. These milestones showcase my dedication to holistic well-being, employee growth, and making a positive difference in healthcare.
Throw some light on your Mantra for success as a business leader.
As a business leader, my Mantra for success is encapsulated in the phrase, 'Spark innovation, unite in creation, care to thrive'. I firmly believe that everything we see around us was once just a dream in someone's imagination. Recognizing the power of possibility, I emphasize the importance of fostering a supportive culture that encourages creativity and fresh ideas. By creating an environment that values and encourages innovation, we can achieve what may initially seem impossible. However, success is not an individual journey. It is achieved by harnessing the collective strengths of our teams and uniting them as a powerful force. We can unlock our true potential by working in collaboration and leveraging each other's skills and perspectives. This collaborative approach allows us to not only achieve our objectives but also thrive in a consciously nurtured environment that encourages growth. Over the years, this formula has been instrumental in paving the way for continual cycles of innovation and driving success. Through the combination of sparking innovation, uniting in creation, and caring to thrive, we can make remarkable progress in our business endeavours.
How do you see the global HR space in future?
The global HR landscape is poised for significant transformations in the near future. Two key trends will shape this evolution. Firstly, there is a growing recognition of the importance of understanding the human aspect within organizations, with a focus on holistic well-being and personal development. Secondly, the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) will have a profound impact, requiring HR professionals to equip employees with AI-related skills while valuing the unique qualities of human work that cannot be replicated by technology. Building genuine connections and fostering trusting relationships will remain crucial for success. Overall, organizations that embrace these trends can create supportive workplaces that prioritize employee growth and success.
Advice for aspiring women leaders:
In your journey towards leadership, strive to positively impact the world. Remember that your role as a leader extends beyond your immediate environment and has the potential to influence your community and the world at large.
As you walk the path to success, stay true to your values, remain resilient in the face of adversity, and be open to change. Your unique perspective, ideas, and leadership are needed in the world. Embrace the journey and lead with compassion, authenticity, and determination.
Dalit Meretz Vardi, Chief People Officer (CPO), Reality Group
Plays A Crucial Role In Shaping The Group's Culture And Nurturing Its Most Valuable Asset, Its People. She Initiated Her Academic Path By Enrolling In Law And Business Administration At Reichmann University And Is Currently Pursuing A Master's Degree In Organizational Behaviour & Development (OBD), Leveraging The Knowledge Gained To Implement Additional Tools For Group's Growth Trajectory.