June 22 2018
Corporate welfare is making headway as an asset for ensuring the workplace is a pleasant place to be where ideas can blossom. To confer true added value to technology, knowhow, tradition and productivity, corporate culture must be enriched by leaders capable of motivating and supporting people, generating pride and a sense of belonging.
Like all dynamic industrial districts, the Tissue Valley faces challenges with enthusiasm and a spirit of openness. Among the changes that spur the company at every level, rediscovering the value of people is causing a rethink of the whole field of human resources.
Hierarchy and people
If a company is – by nature and for reasons of mere functionality – hierarchical, this top-down structure is certainly not solid and unchangeable. CEOs, shareholders, owners, are first of all people, and so are collaborators, employees, the workforce and partners: people or groups of people. Does rigidity based on rules constitute the best possible organization?
The era of change: from human resources to people
The world is changing. And not just because technological evolution is traveling at record speed, but because people are claiming a new, redefined identity that is holistic, harmonic and one in which they can recognize themselves. The driving force has certainly been the web, with its self-profiling features: those who were once assessed and classified exclusively by the job they performed, today lay out their multidimensional personality online. And so the workshop supervisor is no longer just the supervisor but also an expert in traditional music, a connoisseur of permaculture techniques or a lover of extreme sports. A society of individuals who, thanks to the web, find fulfilment and validation in the relationship with thousands of people throughout the world; people who recognize the same person either as an expert or an athlete. Even if the corporate business card tells the same old story, we need to realize that this person is complex, multi-faceted, original. From a leader’s point of view, what was a “resource” is now a person.
Companies, people, welfare
How can this new identity be harmonized within the company? And if the company has not yet grasped the changes, how can it shake off its inertia? Since, as we said, corporate structures are hierarchical, change must start from the top.
At the root of this reflection is the realization that the human factor is what really differentiates one brand from another and, in the case of the Tissue Valley, defines the uniqueness of this area compared with anywhere else in the world.
In this context, one word is finding new power: welfare. Welfare is safety and protection but today it is above all wellness. From here, a revolution is beginning that, because it is based on recognizing people, is no longer defined purely by economics. The new leaders adopt instruments like the bleisure (the business trip combined with a leisure trip), facilitating mobility, collegiality in strategic decisions, health benefits, teleworking, flexibility… But this is not enough to incite the pride and a sense of belonging which are indispensable if people are to give their best. And neither is redefining the symbols of hierarchical power like dress code, reserved parking spaces and office architecture. To attract talent new people and make them feel valued, it is necessary that the company’s top management re-acquire that human sensitivity that is the conditio sine qua non, allowing deep and effective interaction with others.
The Ho’oponopono perspective
An intriguing perspective is offered by the discipline (or better, the vision) known as Ho’oponopono. Perfected by the “unusual” psychologist, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, this method finds its roots in Hawaiian tradition. A loose translation of Ho’oponopono could be “To make right” and its basic philosophy requires two fundamental steps: removing harmful thoughts and being responsible for anything that happens. In facing a patient’s problem, the Ho’oponopono therapist personally assumes responsibility for it : “What is wrong with me that has induced this problem in this person?” Therapy hence consists in purifying oneself, assuming responsibility for problems and trying to find a connection with the Absolute to resolve the issue. While business leaders should not of course feel responsible for other people’s problems, what this discipline teaches remains fundamentally important:
- Stop judging other people
- Question one’s role in generating the crisis
- Being silent and clear
- Looking at the other individual
- Learning to love people for what they are
- Trusting in positive change.
This shift that may seem like a trifle to most people, is actually extremely powerful and crucial to making the start of this revolution possible.
An increasingly sensitive leadership, and welfare for all
The new leaders are hence called to confront an extra challenge: to redefine their internal behavior, freeing themselves of toxic thoughts that prevent effective relations.
If Italy is by definition the country of good living, in the Tissue Valley we want to do more: we want to become a place where working is an absolute pleasure for everyone.