3rd E+FR Award

On 20 April, Artur Santos Silva, President of the E+FR Jury, presented the Award to EDP and EFACEC, who tied in the category of large companies, and to XEROX, in the category of medium-sized companies. Present to accept the awards were António Mexia (Chairman of the Executive Board of EDP), Francisco Sanchéz and Luís Filipe Pereira (President and CEO of EFACEC) and Maria Alexandra Pires (Director of Human Resources at XEROX).



Companies embrace the E+FR concept


Prof. Raul Diniz noted that “many major companies are beginning to incorporate this concern into their DNA (...), shaped by their values, missions and motivation.” AESE is promoting the initiative and the study for the third consecutive year, as the “concept of the company is reductive, since besides creating added economic value and providing useful goods and services to society, it is necessary to aspire for self-continuity and to have the people working there develop” as such. “An organisation does not only ‘think’, it also wants and feels. It is not enough to generate knowledge; the ‘feelings’ of the company must also be considered, because it is made up of people, and these people are sensitive. Decisions, relations and operation all depend on the state of mind.”

Rosa Freitas Soares, Partner of Deloitte, was pleased because “companies are embracing the E+FR concept and innovative best practice is observed every year”. Balance is a continuous exercise with “a long road ahead”. The E+FR Award enjoys the support of Diário Económico.


Employees recognise family-friendly companies


Of the 52 companies competing in 2006, Fátima Carioca, director of the study, affirms that “27% competed for three years”. The response to the questionnaire spanned organisations of varying sizes – based on the number of employees – and “currently, 14.3% of the institutions are from the public sector”. The percentage of women in management positions has grown compared to previous years, as has attention to the retention of talent in the case of prolonged absences by employees. Fátima Carioca stated that “balance is a concern for all of the participating companies”, and “91% of the employees surveyed recognise that the companies in which they work are concerned with this issue”.

Flexibility: a competitive factor

Ellen Kossek, Professor of Labour & Industrial Relations at Michigan State University, presented the results of a research project that she conducted twenty years ago in the USA on responsible flexibility at work and the retention of talent. According to the expert, “what takes place in companies is that many women invest in postgraduate training, get a job and then leave the job market when they become mothers.”

Another change observed is the use of flexible training schedules. “Many companies spend money to have policies, but it is a waste of resources if they aren’t applied”. For Ellen Kossek, globalisation can be viewed as an opportunity to accommodate workers around the world, maximising the efficiency of the various links in the value chain. However, “companies are still not prepared to respond to these changes”. The Professor from Michigan argues that it is possible to have more flexibility in hours and workload, in different areas of responsibility, as a competitive asset for the retention of skills. From the studies conducted by Ellen Kossek and Leslie Hammer (Portland State University), one could even conclude that the balance between work and family is beneficial for health, in terms of stress, blood pressure and depression. “Supervisors need to know that these policies exist and how to implement them, because the policies for balance are not an end in themselves.”

On 19 April, Ellen Kossek gave a press conference at AESE, and the next day, before the presentation ceremony for the E+FR Award, she attended a session with the  5th and 6th MBA AESE/IESE.