Share on Social Media

The summer party is probably the biggest and most desired event of the year

Happy employees, improved productivity

A happy person makes a better colleague at work, creating a healthy and resilient atmosphere within the organisation, which in turn leads to greater productivity. Providing options for personal growth, allowing employees a certain amount of independence and helping the local community are all fundamental to achieving this goal.

Way back in time, in 1981, two American journalists (Milton Moskowitz and Robert Leve-ring) were tasked with the strange job of identifying the 100 best companies to work for in the United States. The research work they undertook, the parameters analysed and the methods implemented to create the first ranking of the best companies to work for resulted in a book published in 1984. This was the springboard for Robert Levering to form a consul-
ting firm in 1991 to assess companies’ management in order to understand the level of excellence in the workplace between employers and employees.

The idea was simple. Happy people generate better results. It was important to help organisations to understand that, regardless of their field of business, they would be more productive and efficient if their employees felt involved and appreciated. Thus emerged a Great Place to Work, a company which now has a presence in 53 countries.
Over the last two decades, various different academic studies have been undertaken to measure employees’ happiness and its impact on the organisation where they work. All have a common denominator.

When employees feel happy – in their home and work life – their productivity increases. In addition to this, there is another factor which is very important to productive environments in factories, such as Celtejo: the number of occupational accidents is much lower than in companies operating in the same business sector whose employees are less fulfilled. Studies show that a person who is happy at work is more energetic and dynamic, which translates into greater efficiency and productivity at work. One of the latest surveys performed in Portugal was the master’s degree thesis Happiness at work: its impact on company management, submitted in September 2016 at the Instituto Superior de Gestão (ISG), which shares this view and recommends that it be applied taking into account its importance to human and corporate development.

It’s no surprise that one of the issues of concern for the bosses of Celtejo is the wellbeing of its employees. An ever-expanding range of benefits has been put in place to help those who work at the company. Some initiatives promote workers’ wellbeing, such as a medical centre at the company with access to the Portuguese national health service, a childbirth and adoption allowance, a canteen providing food meals at a symbolic price, free transport between Castelo Branco and Vila Velha de Ródão, and further and in-service education. As well as these benefits, there are others such as productivity bonuses and rewards for years of service.

In a bid to strengthen relations between the family and the company, Celtejo holds various events for workers and their families. The company does its bit to foster the employee/employer relationship by hosting a themed day during the Easter holidays aimed at showing children where their parents work.

Five hundred years before Christ, the Chinese philosopher Confucius said “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Times have changed and society has undergone huge transformations, but the logic behind this principle remains the same. Peter Drucker, the Austrian considered the father of management theory, said that: “To make a living is no longer enough. Work also has to make a life.” The director of Celtejo, Carlos Coelho, encourages high standards and professionalism at work, and also is also a staunch defender of the idea that happy employees are more productive. This is one of the reasons why Celtejo subscribes to and rolls out its different initiatives, which are always aimed at encouraging its employees to take part and become involved in all aspects of the company.

Better health and wellbeing for employees

An example of this was the company’s involvement in the Empresas + Saudáveis {Healthier Companies} initiative. This programme has been developed by QuintilesIMS, in partnership with Take The Wind and Stanton Chase International, and aims to motivate companies to up their game in promoting employee health. The project elects those organisations with the highest levels of health operating in Portugal, by gauging their employees’ cardiovascular and psychosocial health.

The goal of the Empresas + Saudáveis initiative is to raise awareness of preventing cardiovascular disease in the adult population within their working environment, where people spend around a third of their day. How? By implementing good health practices and promoting healthy lifestyles, thereby lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI levels, whilst also reducing stress, anxiety and mental fatigue.

Celtejo opened up the initiative to all those directly employed by the factory. 150 people took part and were initially assessed at a medical consultation complemented by nutritional and exercise advice tailored to each employee. Then, over the course of four months, they were helped via telephone or in person, with the exercise and eating plans to be followed. According to Carlos Coelho, “It was great. Everyone really embraced the initiative and we even had one person who lost eight kilos on the programme and won a prize”.

Celtejo Olympics

Another initiative to encourage playing sports and strengthen the bonds between employees is the Celtejo Olympics. They began in 2015 and quickly attracted many athletes. Games are played throughout the year, and 10 teams made up of employees from the factory and from different areas compete in internal tournaments. The games which go to make up these Olympics are popular favourites, such as the card game sueca, darts, ping-pong, table football, indoor football, running and archery. Prizes are awarded to the champions in December, at the Christmas party. Many of the “top level athletes” competing in these one-of-a-kind Olympics spend around half of their lunch break practising.

Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Ping-pong, table football, running and football are some of the modalities that integrate the Celtejo Olympics
Separador

The games which go to make up these Olympics are popular favourites, such as the card game sueca, darts, ping-pong, table football, indoor football, and archery

Summer Party

This is probably the biggest and most eagerly-awaited event of the year. The Summer Party is for all direct and indirect employees of Celtejo. It always takes place in September and is now in its fourth year. Every year there is a different theme which is only unveiled on the big day itself. The same goes for the venue, although the buzz around the theme, date and place begins three months before, with employees asking to be clued in. “It’s one of Celtejo’s best-kept secrets”, says Carlos Coelho.

It makes a nice change and everyone from the whole factory is there. There are people who get to rub shoulders with other colleagues only at that party. It’s a time for camaraderie and togetherness

Carlos Coelho, Celtejo manager

Coordinating with the different work shifts, everyone ends up going to the year’s biggest event. Upon finishing their shift, they get on the coaches laid on by the company and are driven to the party. The first party took place on the Tocha beach. The first coach left at 9 o’clock in the morning and the last one returned at 6 a.m. the following day. Not even the coach drivers are let in on the secret location, and are only told on the day itself.

According to Coelho, “It makes a nice change and everyone from the whole factory is there. There are people who get to rub shoulders with other colleagues only at that party. It’s a time for camaraderie and togetherness”. He adds that the entire event is organised by Celtejo staff, with the exception of the catering which is ordered in. Coelho continues “We’ve got used to putting on these events, which the entire team really enjoys.”

Technical seminars

In order to promote an understanding of how the organisation operates and the role played by its different departments, the company has for three years now been holding Celtejo Technical Seminars. This initiative allows for passing on knowledge of the business from one department to all the others, by explaining what gets done and why, and how this results in a financial return for the company.

There are four technical seminars scheduled for 2017, three months apart. The first two took place in March and June. The next will be held on 20th September and will consist of four presentations. The first will address the treatment of effluent, followed by an explanation of the mechanics involved in the business, then another about research, and finally one on the topic of human resources. During these sessions, there is always an external presentation with a surprise theme. Carlos Coelho confides in us that it will be a talk on the history of Portugal given by a History teacher.

“The technical seminars are one day in the life of the factory which enables all our employees to brush up on their knowledge. They are open sessions held in the Forum which anyone is welcome to attend.” There are some sessions which are open to the community. Carlos Coelho gives us the example of a session they held on the subject of good maintenance practices. All the entrepreneurs in the region were invited, as were Celtejo’s partners. “We were able to network with top companies which most local companies are not able to access. We welcomed 160 entrepreneurs to this initiative, and our auditorium was full to capacity.”

Celtejo’s next Technical Meeting takes place in September
Celtejo’s next Technical Meeting takes place in September
The INV4YOU programme functions as a kind of complement to the technical seminars. It involves the development and implementation
The INV4YOU programme functions as a kind of complement to the technical seminars. It involves the development and implementation
The INV4YOU programme allocates 500 euros to each employee to invest in the company
The INV4YOU programme allocates 500 euros to each employee to invest in the company
The INV4YOU programme functions as a kind of complement to the technical seminars. It involves the development and implementation
The INV4YOU programme functions as a kind of complement to the technical seminars. It involves the development and implementation

INV4YOU

The INV4YOU programme functions as a kind of complement to the technical seminars. It involves the development and implementation of internal improvements at the factory. Celtejo allocates 500 Euros to each employee to invest in the company. It works with individual or group investments. An employee may apply the amount he or she is allocated either individually or together with other employees to invest in a certain solution.

In order to ensure validation, the bid needs to be broken down and submitted with an explanation of its aim and the impact it will have on improving the factory. It could be a larger monitor to better display information, or several people can join together to propose a change to the water circuit to make it more efficient and save the company money. There is a wide remit for suggestions. Last year, the day after launching the programme, a safety engineer came to the factory meeting with a sheet of paper signed by 80 workers.

The proposal was to purchase a new four-wheel drive fire truck to replace the old one which was only a two-wheel drive vehicle. Carlos Coelho tells us “This ability to mobilise employees and improve the company’s processes or services is an excellent indicator of the mindset within Celtejo”, and as he speaks there is no mistaking the look of pride on his face.

Improvements at the premises


To complement all the initiatives Celtejo has already rolled out to help its employees, the company also invests in the communal areas in the factory, so that its workers can have the best working conditions and enjoy as much comfort as possible. For example, improvements have been made to the bathrooms and leisure areas.
Focusing on its workers’ wellbeing, Celtejo joined up with the Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco to form a partnership with the Escola Superior de Saúde Dr. Lopes Dias college of health, to provide sessions to assist in the field of physiotherapy. Taking into account the enthusiasm with which this initiative has been embraced, Celtejo decided to go ahead with a project dedicated entirely to the health and wellbeing of those in the organisation. Making the most of the resources housed at its medical centre, it will be regularly monitoring its workers’ health levels and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. In order to achieve this, more synergies will be created between Celtejo and the IPCB College of Health.

Carlos Coelho says “Celtejo is one of the few technical and technological skills centres in Portugal’s inland region and is recognised regionally as a centre of development. It is a company with very clear goals and well thought-out strategies, and this helps it to achieve excellence. Its level of proficiency is recognised by its stakeholders, leading several institutions to create protocols with the company”.