Work Calm, Work Better

Internal and external communication, organizational well-being, stress management, emotional intelligence. These are concepts that entrepreneurs, managers and employees face every day because they have a significant and recognized impact on a company’s productivity. We talked about it with the founders of Psicologia ad Alto Potenziale (High Potential Psychology), a training and consultancy company that offers support on these matters and has signed a collaboration agreement with AIdAM.

by Cesare Pizzorno

What are two psychologists – with a PhD – doing in a factory? The answer is simple: they help everyone, from management to plant operators, to work better. Luckily enough, in the current industrial scenario, attention is growing towards the so-called soft skills, which are no longer seen as accessory skills in a worker’s expertise.
“Our company deals with consulting and training”, explains Francesca Cilento, who founded Psicologia ad Alto Potenziale together with Alessandra Grassi. “The training activity, in particular, has a double focus: one concerns voacational training and the other concerns the worker’s personal life. Through our courses, the goal is to provide people with the tools that help them, for example, to collaborate with colleagues, manage group dynamics, manage time, delegate, deal with work-related stress, and so on”.
In addition to organizational well-being, the catalog of training courses includes the internal communication area, which is related to the work group and conflict management; the external communication area, based on the relationship with suppliers, clients, customers; finally, the digital communication area, which aims at optimizing behavior management using new media.

Programs suitable for SMEs
But is it possible to detect the effects of such training interventions? “You can use real indicators that measure the effectiveness of our training action – says Alessandra Grassi – even if not all of them are suitable for the Italian context. In general, however, it is important that the training courses we offer are supported by a truly open management culture and that few well-defined objectives are identified”. Speaking of management culture, it would be misleading to think that this issue concerns only,
or above all, large companies. “We work a lot with SMEs and, often, directly with entrepreneurs who feel the need for training, even though it is up to us to understand what the real needs are and how to put together a program. However, SMEs and larger companies have different needs. In fact, in the case of smaller companies we often work on group dynamics and management, while with more structured companies we act on issues such as conflict management or stress management”, adds Dr Grassi.

How the need for training is directed
Without using the well-known Maslow pyramid – which identifies the hierarchy of needs, from the most basic ones to the most complex – what are the main needs emerging from the interaction with entrepreneurs and managers in the manufacturing sector? “From our point of view, I would say the need to delegate, first of all, in the sense of giving space to others so that the company becomes a bit more shared. A more effective time management is also a very urgent need”, says Dr Cilento.
“Instead, what our interlocutors ask more often is help for motivating employees”, adds Alessandra Grassi. “This is a noble need because it puts the employee first, even if the entrepreneur or manager often stresses the need for workers to be more involved in a rather general way, without having clear what to do or how to do it”.

The importance of employee welfare
Psicologia ad Alto Potenziale has started a collaboration with AIdAM, making its expertise available to member companies. “We think it is very important to collaborate with trade associations because they offer a privileged point of view on a sector, as well as a different view of companies and workers, thus conveying, as in the case of AIdAM, a value system that we fully embrace”, says Francesca Cilento. “One of our goals is to send entrepreneurs the message that employee welfare is a very important issue in the workplace. We are absolutely convinced that this is very important for management culture: an employee who is well is an employee who works. And an entrepreneur who is well is a motivated entrepreneur, who knows how to stimulate their collaborators, also giving the correct feedback”.