“A company is an anthropological ‘nonplace’, and failure to illuminate it with emotions and feelings will also rob the sense of the work from the people who spend their lives there every day”. Hence the importance of relationships, the working environment and the well-being of employees. These are the keys to inclusion and team retention.
This is the vision of Nicola Pelà, Human Capital & Organization Director of Atlantia, the Italian Group that oversees Autostrade per l’Italia, Telepass and Aeroporti di Roma. The Group, which operates in 48 countries, has recently signed an deal with trade unions whereby employees interested in volunteering in the third sector may, in addition to the provisions of the law and current collective agreements, take up to an additional 10 paid days to collaborate with associations, bodies and institutions engaged in charitable, welfare, social, religious, artistic, cultural, sporting and environmental activities.
A company imperative? Profit. Of course it’s profit, explains Pelà, “that’s not dispute. But isn’t there something beyond this aim, a destination or a vocation that connotes ‘how’ we achieve profit?” Can a company give itself a vocation that leads it to be not only strong but also beautiful? “I believe that there is. And I believe that the beauty of an organisation comes from its ability to work on its spiritual side, on the values that, if shared, create identity and give birth to a community“.
Words to express corporate value
There are powerful words that, when acted upon, even in a profit-oriented organisation, give it a soul and transform it into a community. These are, in Pelà’s view, “normal words for workers in the Third Sector: relationship, listening, reciprocity, openness, inclusion, solidarity, courage. These virtues are valuable but still weak in for-profit companies, but strong, very strong, in the non-profit world. The response: forging permanent opportunities to integrate these two worlds”.
Profit centred on people
“There are 31,000 of us worldwide, and Atlantia’s holding company is increasingly becoming a testing ground, a laboratory for initiatives that can be adopted on a general scale by the Group’s local and regional entities. As part of this, a year ago we made all 10,000 Italian employees shareholders through a free allocation of ordinary shares in the company. Atlantia must also be more than ever theirs”.
The beauty of the company, its value, according to this vision constitutes a true ‘ecosystem‘. An integrated device for profit, but with people at the centre. “Similar to most inspired vision of Olivetti”, concludes Pelà.