Esaote Evolution, We grow with people!

We grow with people!

We can't be certain what the future will bring, but we do know how we will help our people grow.
Flexibility, proactivity, attitude to change. Organisations have heard HR managers repeat this like a mantra, often wondering why goals are still being set when things were apparently already running like clockwork. After all, well established and well oiled machines are difficult to question. 2020 will be remembered as the year in which all certainties, strategies and forecasts went out the window.

All except those three little words from HR – flexibility, proactivity, attitude to change. It is as if for years we were training ourselves to breathe together, to expand our ability to be present in the moment, because there would come a time when it was not possible to sketch out the future without being presumptuous.

There is no better compass than the values of a company: the mission and vision are often wrongly accused of being rhetorical instruments, but today more than ever they are the magnet that holds together the actions of individuals and stops them from losing their bearings.

The role of Human Resources is increasingly that of enabling those who work in the company to know, understand and communicate their mutual needs, of giving the right rhythm to the many activities that drive the company forward. It is a strategic task that is performed alongside the practical aspects that need to be managed in the face of shifting contexts, different work models, new mindsets, daily events and security protocols that are constantly changing. Despite this, Esaote has reacted quickly to the Covid period.

First of all, by accelerating technological development to allow all eligible company employees access to "smart working", but above all by trying to give definite answers to its people with regard to both working conditions and mental health.
As a result, and in contrast to many other organisations, Esaote and its employees were determined not to set aside their desire to grow and fight together. "In this difficult year we have grown, that is a fact. We had 1100 employees at the beginning of the year and we will have almost 100 more by December," explains Gianluca Dardato, CHRO of Esaote. “We did not want to resort to welfare support mechanisms, even when we could have done, and by adopting a strategy of dialogue with trade unions and employees we have managed to achieve the growth all over the world.”

Dardato is keen to point out that "in Italy the number of hirings was even higher than the actual growth, because thanks to an early retirement plan we were able to initiate a process of generational change and adjustment of the professional mix with the aim of strengthening functions that are strategic for us, such as R&D, Marketing and Sales. What's more, in terms of the number of employees, we have also seen growth in the United States, where the unemployment rate is at an all-time high."

Generational change is one of the targets of Esaote that, due to the pandemic, simply had to be put on the back burner, including the collaboration started with the University for the creation of a company Academy. Next year therefore promises to be even more demanding and challenging for HR, with repercussions across the entire organisational network. As Dardato never tires of saying, Human Resources must act as the very model of modernity in order to assert its role within the organisation – and all the more so when we are talking about a highly technological company.

In the last few months, HR management has focused on strategic and partnership aspects that will stimulate and support the ongoing cultural change. This will allow us to face the crisis in a dynamic and flexible way and ensure that Esaote employees will be ready to manage the new status quo.

The simple fact of coexistence between generations is an HR challenge for now and the future. Finding the right tools that enable at least four different generations to work together is one of the most important responsibilities of the HR team. Each generation brings with it a worldview and social and cultural standards that condition their way of relating to others.

Knowing how to grasp the value of each generational perspective will be one of the central themes to be developed, enabling fusions of ideas and skills that are fundamental to innovation. Being able to identify and accommodate the motivations (from life balance models to wellbeing offerings) of so many generations in a flexible way makes HR an important organisational link that can create an internal social fabric through which communication and creativity can flow on the basis of a common perceived satisfaction.

Equally challenging is the course already set by Esaote towards a "smart organisation" model, which goes further than smart working.

"We see the smart organisation as a model of organisational growth and empowerment for managers and workers alike, based on the concepts of accountability, trust and delegation. This will allow us to find the right balance between improving productivity and work-life balance," says Gianluca Dardato.
The transition is being carried out gradually and purposefully. Here too, HR is driving investment in training and cultural regeneration, helped by a good level of acceptance of this model, which is proving to be full of opportunities. The training of Heads of Function and Middle Managers on this front is opening up opportunities for in-depth analysis and listening that will guide how some procedures are modified based on emerging expectations.

In this context, re-skilling also becomes of primary importance.
New employees will need to be highly educated (three-year or specialist degrees) and there will be continuous training to support the dynamic nature of the changes. These will have a bearing on the skills required both for research and for the proper functioning of the organisational system. HR's task will be to compile a training offering that takes into account the complexity of the individuals and cultures that make up the different functions.

"These are the key points that we need to act on in order to maximise the potential of the people who make up our organisation. We are aware that this is a huge effort, but we are equally convinced that, as this is applied on a day-to-day basis and we see the resulting benefits, it will become easier to face any minor but totally understandable resistance, which we hope to overcome with the passage of time."

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