Better Work, Better World: Hassan Awil of BW Packaging

June 01, 2023
  • Brent Stewart
  • Brent Stewart
    Digital Strategy & Content Leader at Barry-Wehmiller

Hassan Awil says jokingly that in his “past life,” he was in human resources.

Now, at Barry-Wehmiller, he’s part of our People Team.

Hassan is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He is the People Team Leader for the Canadian location of our BW Packaging companies, Accraply and Pneumatic Scale Angelus.

Accraply builds automated label application systems, including pressure sensitive labeling, roll-fed labeling, shrink sleeve applicators and converting equipment for shrink sleeve labels and flexible packaging.

Pneumatic Scale Angelus builds packaging machinery for wet and dry filling, capping, can seaming and labeling.

BW Packaging is our platform of companies whose leading packaging brands serve customers in the food, beverage, personal care, household, pharmaceutical and other industries. These companies make the machines that help our customers produce the bottles, cans, cartons, bags and other containers of food and household goods you find on store and kitchen shelves.

In that “past life,” before becoming part of the BW family, Hassan worked for another manufacturing company for ten years.

“I was fortunate to have studied Labor Relations and Human Resources,” Hassan said. “This combination was beneficial especially in manufacturing and allowed me to make a significant impact, especially Health and Safety, which can be stressful naturally.”

In 2020, he heard about Barry-Wehmiller and joined the company in 2021.

“I've looked at countless videos of BW CEO Bob Chapman and the countless testimonies,” Hassan said. “You don't get too many organizations that say those kinds of things and actually live them.

“I'm passionate about training and development. I'm passionate about people. And it was nice to see and go to a place that you can actually bring your talent and be fulfilled. One of the lines that stuck out to me was, ‘We want people fulfilled at the end of the day, not run down, not drained.’ And I can honestly say in the time I've been here, I've gone home fulfilled every day. And I look forward to coming to work every day.”

So, if Hassan no longer sees himself in HR, what is this People Team?

In the years after we established Barry-Wehmiller’s cultural vision statement, the Guiding Principles of Leadership, each department in our company began looking inward to ask these questions and establish their own vision.  Now that we had a set document that articulated our values as a company, it was important for each to examine their role in light of those shared priorities.

Every department participated – from Finance, to Communications, to Facilities and beyond. In 2007, it was Human Resources’ turn. Their re-evaluation made them re-think almost everything they did.

Through their session, the team realized their role was more than numbers, procedures and forms. It was about helping to create and facilitate an environment where people could flourish and reach their full potential.

And the feeling was that the term “Human Resources” didn’t really apply anymore.

As our Chief People Officer, Rhonda Spencer, says, “People are more than ‘resources’, or a means to our end, they are our purpose.”

The team changed its name to Culture and People Development and eventually simplified it to just People Team. Over time, this new vision enabled the People Team to evolve from a transactional service to the organization to an integral part of the leadership of the business.

“The culture of this organization is very important to me and is one that I take very seriously with people in my span of care,” Hassan said. “As member of the People Team, you are a steward for the organization's culture.

“Measuring success in the ways we touch the lives of people is an important statement. And you see it in every hallway, in every division.”

No longer in “human resources,” Hassan feels relieved and refreshed as a part of the BW family.

“You're not trying to convince leadership what's right or the right thing to do, they live it,” Hassan said. “It’s a relief at the end of the day to come to a place where there’s like-mindedness. I can fulfill my goals, which is serving people. And one of the main things when I was being interviewed was how can I serve people? How can I be useful? Training and development is my passion. So, to come to a place that actually has that as part of their measurements was refreshing.”

And Hassan has been a tremendous ambassador for our culture of Truly Human Leadership, in one of our international locations.

“Being a new person to come in since January 2021, it's easier to see how this culture is very infectious, if I can use that word,” Hassan said. “Easily graspable. And it's our job to fan those flames and get as many people and pass the message on genuinely. It's a genuine message that everyone needs to hear.”

Better Work. Better World. is a video series designed to shine a light on team members throughout the global Barry-Wehmiller organization. Watch the video through the link above to learn more.

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