Our responsibility to our People
Nowadays the concept of social responsibility is associated with the idea that managers must be accountable not just to shareholders but rather to all those who have a relationship with the company, namely its employees and workers.
By António Jorge Pedrosa, Head of People and Talent at the Altri Group
A company’s social responsibility manifests in two ways: external and internal. In its external dimension, Altri actively seeks to forge close ties with the community in which it operates, through various different types of initiatives, in order to encourage transparency and dialogue between the institution and community, and foster a real and lasting relationship. Its internal aspect clearly refers to socially responsible practices relating to the Personnel management policy. Anyone who is familiar with the world of Altri knows that for some years now the group has set the standard in this regard. Investing in People, and in their professional and personal development and skills, is one of the strategic approaches adopted by the company. Altri recognises its employees as a sustainable competitive advantage, and its social responsibility role is governed by a strategy based on important guidelines.
Attracting and retaining talent
The difficulty in recruiting young qualified people into the industry is a concern, not only within Portugal but in Europe as a whole.
There are several business sectors in this country where the problem has worsened. The companies in the Altri group are no exception. In order to attract and ensure access to talent, Altri focuses on nurturing a connection with Educational Institutions, promoting an image of competence and opportunity for personal and professional enhancement. This connection takes the form of awarding curricular, professional or post-training internships which – in an environment rich in ambitious projects and experiences – provides young people with an insight into the practical application of the knowledge gained during their academic studies, thereby equipping them to be more confident about embarking on their careers. Many end up staying with us, and this programme is the Altri group’s largest recruitment source. One example is the “Summer Academy”, which took place for the first time last year across all the group’s companies. In 2022 these two initiatives combined involved over one hundred young people.
Focusing on developing the skills of its personnel is a responsibility the Altri group embraces. The efforts and investment the company has made in training over the last few years are proof of this. Having provided over 23,000 hours of training in 2022 in technical and specific areas relating to the hugely complex manufacturing process and in behavioural and management areas, Altri demonstrably has an ambitious view on this issue: to have the best and most equipped professionals in the sector.
When our programmes are not enough, the company incentivises and supports employees going back to college or continuing their studies, by bearing travel costs and tuition fees, whenever this is identified as enhancing mapped talent.
The promotion of health and well-being of our employees is another pillar of our responsibility towards our People and the appreciation of our Human Capital.
Health and well-being
Another pillar of responsibility to our People is employee health and well-being. We value our Human Capital. The Altri group provides a series of employee benefits across most of its companies, aimed at encouraging health and well-being, such as health insurance which extends to the entire household and is paid in full by Altri, life insurance and a pension fund. Altri’s organic structure also includes an Occupational Health Department, whose mission is to contribute to the physical, mental and social well-being of our personnel. There is a medical facility at each of our factories, providing a range of specialist services and equipped to prevent occupational diseases and to promote well-being. The company’s approach to the issue of health enabled us to manage the Covid-19 pandemic throughout our operations in a way which was exemplary and completely unique in Portugal.
We must also highlight the company’s provision of collective transport in Figueira da Foz and Vila Velha de Ródão, as well as canteens serving cost-effective meals which also takes a burden off our workers. And let’s not forget the role played by the activities put on by the cultural and sports clubs at Biotek and Celbi, which are supported by the company and help to build a positive and inclusive working environment.
Diversity and gender equality are recognised by the company as being current and very relevant issues of concern, and although its business activity – chiefly industrial – has historically tended to be more male-dominated, Altri has for several years been stipulating and implementing measures which have led to greater gender parity, namely in its recruitment processes, career management and cultural and organisational development. In tandem with this, the Group’s Equality Plan encourages conditions which allow for each employee to achieve a better work-life balance, thereby making them feel more committed to Altri, and never neglecting the family component. Measures such as extra holidays, organising Holiday Camps for our employees’ children (which involves 40 children and young adults up to the age of 16), hosting social events and Christmas parties, and ensuring flexible work schedules where possible, are just some of the better-known examples of how Altri promotes a healthy balance between work and personal life.
Institutional Dialogue with Social Partners
The Altri group maintains an institutional dialogue with all organisations representing workers, and has regularly and consistently over the last few years achieved labour agreements throughout its industrial companies, which are particularly important against the current backdrop of economic and social uncertainty, and thereby guaranteeing employment stability and increased income for its workers.
Albeit a management decision and one dependent upon company performance, it should be pointed out that in the last year the company awarded most of its workers a performance bonus of three months’ salary. This bonus represented between 16.5% and 21% of each worker’s annual wage, and is therefore an exception rather than the rule in the national landscape, and demonstrates the company’s concern with its People and their families, and reaffirms how it prioritises recognising merit and performance excellence during a particularly difficult time.
A corporate group with the dimension and presence of Altri knows what its main priorities and responsibilities are. In this article we try to show that caring for the people who work at Altri and who give of their very best every single day, is in the company’s DNA, and that at our core we want to guarantee them the best conditions so that they can be happy, motivated and proud of being part of a team of over 800 people who have a purposeful future: To contribute to a more renewable world!