From Human Resources to Human Relations.

During the past decades, the organisation of commercial companies has undergone numerous changes in the areas of business model and management practices. Nowadays, terms such as learning organisation' and 'digital organisation' represent the reality of many firms aiming to consolidate and reshape their core activities to face the challenges driven by increasingly competitive market.

But what makes the difference today?

In addition to the organisational model and the company know-how, the policies adopted in terms of strategic marketing come to the fore. These strategies are essential for identifying, acquiring and utilizing the necessary resources to access the market through the product/service offered.

P. Kotler has grouped these choices in the so-called 4Ps of the Marketing Mix: product, price, promotion, place. The improvement of the market dynamics and the economic perspective change led to the consideration of other 3Ps: physical evidence, process and people.In fact, modern marketing is not only product/service oriented, but it also considers the factors and actors involved in the supply’s realisation and market positioning.

Here we focus on the P of People, which indicates the participation of the stakeholders who, in one way or another, take part in the corporate ecosystem: clients, consumers, employees, suppliers ecc.
According to the recent literature, a particular attention has been focused on “Human Resources”, which are no longer considered, as pointed out in Taylor's Scientific Management Theory, as mere capital goods but as an internal competitive advantage.
The term 'Human Resources', first defined in the 1960s by Raymond Miles, is intended to highlight this business and cultural shift to consider employees as a strategic factor for the company’s development and growth. A company would not be “a company” without the people who create it and that make it unique.

For this reason, terms such as 'motivation and motivational process', 'competencies', 'rewards' and 'satisfaction' are some of the cornerstones on which every corporate should consider investing. This is essential to enhance and make more effective the employees work, increase their well-being, strengthen their sense of trust and belonging to the firm.

In addition to the orientation and training courses, it is important to organize activities that focus on the employees’ relational and communication needs in order to develop new skills or enhance existing ones. This is especially important when the company is going through a particular period caused by internal or external factors, such as the nowadays pandemic reality.

In almost two years of freedom and movement restrictions, human relations have been put to the test. The usuals lunchtime conversations have now been replaced by messages, emoticons and video calls; and all these new interactions are almost always preceded by a newly coined question: "Are you connected?".

Business and personal relationships are now built up and maintained through the web. While this has made it possible to keep physical contacts between people to a minimum level, on the other hand it has also severely limited the consolidation of relationships, especially when it involves teamwork dynamics.

In line with the easing of current restrictions and in a very welcomed step toward a gradual return to 'normality', our company has celebrated its 30th anniversary by organising “Stetel Reboot”, a two-day event dedicated to revive human contacts and support team consolidation.
At the beginning, the gathering has been the occasion to briefly share awareness of the upcoming goals and challenges, while most of the event has focused on team building activities.

What is “Team Building”?

"Team building" is a set of activities aimed at building and strengthening the dynamics of a team. These activities can be conducted at particular points of the company's evolution; for example, when introducing new employees, to support the tackling of new issues and objectives, to celebrate a success or to create the conditions to overcome a difficult moment.

Activities can be playful, experiential and educational and seek to get employees to interact with each other, to create a sense of belonging, trust and mutual listening.
These activities also help to improve problem solving skills, learn how to manage stress and practice planning as a tool to achieve objectives by meeting deadlines, i.e. to manage time more effectively and be more productive.

Steel Reboot has been an opportunity to socialise across the whole company the details of new upcoming projects, to process the current situation and expected developments, to create new relationships by introducing the new resources and strengthening the cohesion of our veterans. The social activities and games have been fundamental in testing the team spirit, developing inventiveness, driving determination and enthusiasm through the collaboration with colleagues. All framed by healthy fun.

Is it also possible to conduct team building online?

Of course, it is! Thanks to modern technologies and numerous online platforms, we are always connected, we work online, we talk online, we learn online: we relate online. But being connected doesn’t always mean "you’re connected" as a team.

Perhaps, from a purely business point of view, videoconferencing, writing emails, performing tasks necessary to achieve goals and deadlines, means being able to collaborate even when you are not in the same workplace.
In order to create a truly high performing team, it is necessary to establish and take care of all the relational aspects that go beyond the simple execution of the tasks assigned.
It is necessary to build a unique system to support and motivate people.

In this sense, the team-building activities we played during our meeting become “connecting activities” that can also be experienced online through creative types of interactions such as video gaming and off course online meetings , where the main purpose is to bring out your personality.

Now...are you connected? What about your team?

Posted in Business Strategy.

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