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Making the most of differences

Managing diversity means making the most of the unique contribution of each employee. Diversity of gender, culture and origin is now universally recognised as a positive value and must therefore be managed optimally, without forgetting that the management of diversity must go hand-in-hand with striving for equality, because feeling equal and included produces cooperative working behaviour and promotes an organisational coexistence that is favourable to a better sharing of the corporate culture.

Here are just a few of the many activities already carried out in this area:

  • Generations projectHera was among the first companies in Italy to launch its own in-house research project devoted to making the most of generational differences: the “Generations” project, conducted with the collaboration of the University of Bologna, with the main goal of promoting dialogue between generations by investigating employees’ opinions in relation to the different age brackets. The results of this research identified four priority intervention areas, for which an action plan was formulated that will be implemented from 2013 onwards: intergenerational dialogue, development opportunities, work-life balance, and monitoring of the degree of attention to generational diversity.

  • Mummy and Daddy at workIn order to improve the information provided to employees on maternity, paternity and parental leave, Hera and the Group’s union representatives published the booklet “Mum & Dad at work. Opportunities and rights for balancing working life with childcare” (published in 2010).

    The Group has promoted the provision, in the various territories, of places at nurseries near the company’s sites. This is an innovative project, designed to meet the needs of employees with children by helping strike a balance between private and working life. This should make it easier for employees to combine the roles of parent and employee. Children can attend these modern nurseries for the whole of the working day so that their parents can work with peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that their children are in good hands. Another concrete example of the company’s proximity to its employees.

  • The Positive return policiesIn December 2012, the “Policies for a happy return to work” project - submitted in October 2011 as part of a tender application pursuant to Art. 9 of Law 53/2000 “Measures to reconcile working hours and family life” - obtained partial funding of €257,000 from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, thanks to the innovative and socially relevant nature of the the proposed measures. The project aims to develop actions to achieve a work-life balance and support tools for those who take maternity or parental leave or leave pursuant to Law 104/1992. In particular, these actions and tools include specific training initiatives, agreements with private nurseries, and awareness-raising actions aimed at bringing about a cultural change within the company on the issue of work-life balance. The specific initiatives were launched on March 19 of this year. The project was designed by verifying employees’ needs, through two focus groups aimed at mothers, fathers and beneficiaries of Law 104/1992, and on the basis of questionnaires delivered to all employees in those territories where no company nursery exists.

  • Da obbligo a risorsa (From obligation to resource)A project launched in 2008 in collaboration with the ASPHI Foundation, to enhance the skills and potential of people with disabilities within the company and to improve their work and job satisfaction.

  • Home care supportWithin the scope of a broad project focused on its employees’ welfare, Hera entered into a partnership agreement with the Province of Bologna aimed at the search and selection of qualified personnel for home care support.

    The agreement promotes an innovative collaboration and support model shared between the public and the private sphere with a view to helping demand meet supply in the home care employment sector.

    Thanks to the agreement, Hera Group employees resident or working in the province of Bologna can take advantage of the Province’s data bank for the search of qualified and experienced personnel in home care support (for example for one of their elderly or disabled family members).

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