El.En. firmly believes that human resources constitute the most important asset of the Company. The ability to innovate and to pursue excellence depends on the people and the collaborators involved in all of the activities and the result of the specialization, the competence and the passion that distinguish all the people who work for the Group.
Last year was one of the most difficult and complicated that we have ever faced, the pandemic slowed down the plans for growth to which we had aspired at the beginning of the year, and we were forced to reduce the rate of production and practice sales margins that were lower in order to maintain our position on the market and redesign our workplaces and our operating methods but it did not affect our capacity to innovate or the attractiveness of the range of products that we released on the market: this year, in fact, what emerged and is at the base of everything, is the excellent quality of our human resources: during these difficult months in fact we learned to appreciate the value of the competency and dedication which make our personnel the strong point of our activities.
Important decisions were made immediately in relation to the company activities: from the very beginning all of the companies started to encourage smart working in order to reduce the number of staff in the offices; we also invested in computer equipment to be given to those who did not already have them, portable PCs and routers with internet data in order to assure the continuity of business. As far as the operating personnel was concerned, in every company, especially during the first months of the pandemic, the amount of personnel was reduced to the minimum necessary for a strategic production, reduced work shifts or rotation were organized in order to guarantee social distancing, and all non-essential activity was suspended.
In the Group there are 1.626 employees and together we form an international Group that is growing and that is called to operate in contexts that are very different on a global level; ours is, in fact a multicultural team: of 100 people in the El.En. Group, 45 work in Italy, 42 in China, 9 in Germany and the remaining are distributed among Japan, Brazil and France.
The diversity of our people is evident in the statistics:
The El.En. staff is, for the most part, young, in the age range from 30 to 50 years of age (62%), with 24% of the employees being under 30 years of age, and 14% over 50.
The work force is represented by 24% women, a percentage which reaches 32% if one considers just the white-collar employees; the manufacturing nature of the activities of the Group, in fact, determines the prevalence of men in the category of laborers.
We are committed to creating a working environment that is constructive and dynamic and supports the heterogeneity of people and talents, is stimulating and offers opportunities for professional growth. The management of the human resources of the Group aims at the integration and respect of all the diversities, and rejects any form of discrimination based on nationality, sexual orientation, age, political or religious opinions. The Group sustains and respects the rights of the individual in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations, and is committed to avoiding any form of discrimination. This commitment also applies to all aspects of work relations including hiring, training, job assignment, promotions, transfers and severance.
Training has always been considered fundamental for the growth of the personnel and for the development of the basic skills required for the success of the company. We promote continuous training with refresher courses dedicated to specific issues, with an aim to improving the knowledge and specialization of every resource in the organization.
The training activity aims to stimulate and expand the professional skills of its employees and it is structured to ensure a differentiated offer aimed at involving all professional categories at all levels.
In 2020 were provided 27.111 hours of training, with an average of approximately 16,7 hours for each collaborators.
The main types of training courses promoted by the Group in 2020 were the following:
- Training on health and safety issues, related to learning and up-dating of the regulations required by the law and/or the company in relation to health and safety in the workplace.
- Training related to specific issues of the quality control system in order to learn the operative procedures necessary in every phase of the production process;
- Technical and specialist training to increase the skills necessary to carry out the task that has been assigned;
- Linguistic training in order to increase the linguistic skills of the resources involved;
- Computer training in order to acquire the skills necessary to be competent in the use of computers (for example, knowledge of some types of software);
- Training for newly hired employees;
- On the job training usually conducted for a specific period in the company by other qualified employees.
Health and safety
We are committed to guaranteeing a workplace that is healthy and safe in conformity with the laws and regulations regarding the safety of workers and of the environment. Our objective is that of disseminating and developing among people the awareness of the risks related to the work they are doing and to promote responsible behavior on the part of all the workers with programs that are intended to prevent damage to people.
This year more than ever, safe accessibility to the workplace has been a priority for all of the companies of the El.En Group. After the start of the world health emergency at every company we defined strict procedures (which are still in force) for access which prevent entry to anyone showing symptoms of influenza or a body temperature of over 37,5°C.
The procedures include points of access with dispensers for sanitizing one’s hands, a box for the distribution of surgical masks and a device which measures the body temperature. Different procedures were also implemented for areas which needed a special type of management; in general they referred to types of behavior like the prohibition of assemblies, the adoption of correct hygiene measures, the requirement to wear a surgical mask inside the closed areas and maintaining one’s distance from other people. For all of the tasks exposed to risk and which are conducted outside of the Calenzano complex, the workers were equipped with extra protection devices like FFP2 masks and single-use gloves. All points of entry and exit or related to different departments were outfitted with dispensers for sanitizing hands. The workstations were set at a distance from each other and arranged so as to respect the legal limitations in order to be able to continue our activities in safety.
We used posters, flyers and brochures distributed in the areas with greatest visibility and traffic in order to spread the health and safety regulations and we also used computers to send the regulations by company e mail. The regulations were also kept in a folder available to all of the personnel in the company server in order to increase the dissemination of the procedures and the correct behavior to follow. We also implemented and continue even now to implement daily ordinary and extraordinary cleaning and sanitizing measures of all the surfaces and rooms in order to guarantee at the end of each shift or, in any case, whenever necessary, the sanitizing of all of rooms, workstations and equipment used. For the use of equipment by more than one operator (for example, lifting equipment, forklifts and coffee machines, etc.) the companies organized cleaning procedures with suitable products between one use and the next. In order to deal with the Covid 19 pandemic the Parent Company El.En. S.p.A. created an Extraordinary Emergency Committee which made important decisions both in relation to the extraordinary measures to be taken in particular reference to the effects on the health and safety of the workers mentioned above, as well as on the activities, economic trends and the continuation of business at all of the El.En Group subsidiaries.
In all of the production companies there are representatives that are responsible for safety and health issues (for example, the employer, the RSPP and managers for the Italian companies, the general manager or department manager for the Chinese companies, the employer and the safety manager for the German companies).
In all of the production companies there are training and information programs regarding health and safety both at the start of employment and later, at regular intervals. The structure and type of training courses is defined by the individual companies but, in general, all of them have programs with training for generic risks as well as those with risks connected to specific types of work, first-aid courses and periodic up-dating courses.
The welfare of our people is a key factor in the success of the Company. In fact, technical skills are not enough to guarantee a good result; it is necessary for the company to offer its employees an environment that can stimulate their potential and their ability.
To support, promote and implement the welfare of our people the El.En. Group considers welfare an innovative instrument with respect to the traditional types of remuneration and incentive and it is destined to become an integral part of a modern and efficient management of resources.
Welfare programs are now planned by the Japanese subsidiary and two of the Chinese subsidiaries. In compliance with the CCNL for the sector which we apply, the Italian companies of the Group issue a part of the salary for flexible benefits. In particular, for the companies located in and around the Headquarters in Calenzano and Prato, by using a specific platform, every worker can choose the befit or welfare service most suited to his/her needs like, for example, the costs of home care or health services reimbursement of school expenses, additional pension, training courses, recreational benefits, goods in kind, or collective transportation services.
Moreover, on the basis of a company agreement which was stipulated a few months ago, it will be possible to convert up to 50% of the amount due to the workers as a result bonus into welfare benefits and/or services. With this agreement, the companies have also granted an improvement in the treatment with respect to the present ones offered by the CCNL by guaranteeing an extra day of paid leave for the birth of a child with respect to the present regulations and also the first three days of a sick leave which lasts less than five days will be paid 100% even after the third time. In the second level agreement, the subsidiary Quanta System S.p.A. introduced the possibility for every employee to convert the entire production premium into welfare.
As determined by collective bargaining the Italian companies adhere to health care funds for all of their employees.
For the employees of the companies in Calenzano and in Prato, the Group has always offered free canteen service while the subsidiary Quanta System S.p.A. has its own gym which is available to all of the workers.
Environments dedicated to employee well-being have been installed at the companies with headquarters in Calenzano and for the subsidiaries Asclepion and Asa. Details are described below.
El.En. Wellness Academy
In early 2019 the company has opened new premises dedicated to the well-being of the employees at the companies located in Calenzano. This new space covers an area of 500 mq, and has state-of-the-art machines and equipment for exercising and an indoor playground for games between two to four basketball and/or football players. The gym is decorated with murals painted by a famous Florentine street artist which represent the connection between Florence, technology and the future where the human component is always the element of continuity and union.
In fact, this multi-purpose area has been created at El.En. with an aim to promoting and valuing human relations, participation and sharing. This initiative is part of a program for the development of the well-being of the over 300 employees of the company who work in Calenzano. All of these activities improve the quality of the working environment in the company and are part of a broader plan which the Company started a few years ago for their employees which has as its ultimate goal taking care of their people in every aspect of their lives. It is increasingly important to combine each professional figure’s training and career path with investments that lead to the creation of an energetic and fulfilling work environment which stimulates teamwork.
In the second half of 2019 the German subsidiary Asclepion GmbH inaugurated a new building which had been constructed on a lot which was next to the pre-existing building and connected to it; the new three-storey building offers increased space for the offices of over fifty employees, new manufacturing and storage areas as well as a cleanroom, a zone dedicated to technical assistance and a modern center for training clients; the meeting hall can hold about one hundred people or can be divided into three smaller areas. There are also three rooms which can be used for demonstrations of the treatments, each one with its own dressing room.
The expansion project was developed and carried out in order to create a more welcoming work environment for all of the employees including a cafeteria for about one-hundred people, a fitness area with two rooms where four sports training course are offered each week and a panoramic terrace with a garden on the roof.
The subsidiary ASA S.r.l. inaugurated their new company headquarters at the end of 2019. Technology and sustainability were the recurrent themes in the construction of the new building which was created with the precise intent of focusing on the well-being and health of their people.
In the spirit of well-being and belonging, the new structure which contains production and office areas, was planned applying new solutions in the arrangement of the spaces and the choice of furnishings. The building which is already set up for a future enlargement, was born from the necessity of adapting the company to its new needs and includes spaces specifically designed for the training of clients and sales personnel as well as the technical staff and the intelligent redistribution of functional areas in order to improve the quality of work and the use of open space working areas which, thanks to the specific design of the furnishings and the installation of sound-proof panels, guarantee both the privacy and acoustics which promote teamwork. The shared area is also outfitted with several meeting rooms, a job island, a snack bar, and a coffee break island with distributors of micro-filtered water in order to reduce the use of plastic. Moreover, the entire building is climatized summer/winter by a high Energy efficient heat pump with a distribution system with micro-perforated conduits which make it possible to distribute the air and the temperature without using ventilation.
The structure was designed to facilitate the entire production line; the flow is planned so as to optimize the management of the operations developed according to the standards of “lean manufacturing” which, when correctly integrated into the layout, offer benefits in terms of organization, crossing time, movement of merchandise and safety in the workplace.
Moreover, during the selection of the building site for the construction of the new factory we also took into consideration the fact that we had found a construction site that was right next to the preceding one and this fact would avoid creating inconvenient for the staff by not interrupting their routine or creating difficulty in coming to and from work.. Maintaining the well-being of the personnel was the top priority of the management and from the earliest phases of this project they took into consideration the needs of the staff.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the new ASA factory, the parent company, El.En. donated a DAE semi-automatic external defibrillator (there are already two of them in the factory at Calenzano), thus making the company cardio-protected and ready for the use of this valuable instrument which is of vital importance for the health of those who suddenly are facing critical situations.