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Start up: how to build the HR function and a culture of well-being

For this new episode of "In search of Corporate Wellness" Alice Manzoni, HR & Wellbeing Specialist meets Lidia Mascio, Talent Acquisition Specialist at JOIN - join.com who in the last period has been exposed, above all, to international and rather varied contexts, effectively moving from a corporate reality to the start-up world.


An experience that can be particularly interesting to share to understand how to do HR today, in contexts that change often and a lot. With Lidia we will see how to create awareness of the HR function in a reality in which it had never been present, and how to convey a culture of well-being in an international and flexible reality.


It often happens that a startup, especially at the beginning, does HR in a leaner and more "self-produced" way, but once it is better structured and introduces this role, in your opinion what are the main benefits to be gained from it in the short, medium and long term? term?

Lidia tells us that at a certain point it becomes essential for a start-up to professionalize and structure itself in a more strategic way from an organizational point of view. This probably goes hand in hand with the growth of the dimensions of reality itself.


Speaking specifically about the HR function, the issues on which it becomes crucial to structure are first of all Talent Acquisition & Attraction and Talent Retention . These are very hot topics right now on the job market. It then effectively becomes taking care of your people in an increasingly structured and above all coherent way, working on creating the best Employee Experience for employees .


The first benefits that can be gained from having a structured HR function are at the level of internal equity , an issue that may initially be considered secondary but which as we grow we must begin to seriously consider for various reasons. Other benefits that can be seen more in the medium and long term concern all those processes that are built for the development and growth of one's people and, ultimately, everything that concerns employee engagement.

"All elements, therefore, which initially in a small team are almost automatic due to the very nature of the work group, but which in building an increasingly large group we must begin to explain and share in a solid way."

Lidia continues by focusing on recruiting , her main area of impact, explaining to us that the introduction of more structured processes in this phase of the Employee Experience has the main benefit of being able to have processes aimed at reducing bias and which are fairer , both in terms of the way in which the candidate is treated and in terms of the needs of the company itself. This certainly has a direct and positive impact on the Candidate Experience, but also on Employer Branding.


Other benefits concern the increase in internal alignment, a deeper and more far-sighted understanding of the needs from the point of view of the organizational structure and, above all, the reduction of the risk of hiring unsuitable people with consequent high turnover in the first 6 months. Topics belonging to the area of specialization of HR professionals.


In fact, a very common mistake, Lidia tells us, in situations where HR is "self-produced" is to place all the attention on technical skills , to the detriment of soft skills and what may concern cultural fit, alignment with company values, which are instead fundamental aspects for the success of the collaboration and of the company itself.



How do you build and create awareness of the role of HR in a context in which it has never been present? What are the main activities being implemented and the results we can expect?

Lidia reminds us that every reality is different from the other, we must always keep in mind that there is no one approach the only one that works regardless , so first of all we need to start from the reference context, making sure we have a precise understanding of the main company dynamics.


Once you have worked on this you can move on to working with teams and management to create awareness of the HR function. The first step is to align on the objectives to be achieved , as well as on everyone's mutual responsibilities; in the initial period, a lot of patience and continuity in communication is certainly needed because, especially at the beginning , there is the risk of overlapping activities and responsibilities.


This brings us to the second point, that is, creating a partnership relationship with all the teams and the various leaders, considering HR as an advisor, a partner in the search and development of talent and not as an outsider who comes and imposes from the outside.


This implies placing oneself in a position of active and empathetic listening to the needs and requirements of the teams, the need to understand the underlying dynamics and above all it implies creating a relationship of trust step by step and consequently being able to present oneself as expert interlocutors and valid, transferring and transmitting what we know as HR. Transmit shared knowledge that is truly available to people, never exclusive . Lidia helps us understand better by providing us with a practical example:

"Create training courses to share knowledge on recruiting techniques, as hiring a new member is never just the responsibility of the recruiter but must be an effort of the entire target team."

How can we translate real attention to the well-being of our people into the daily context?


First of all, Lidia tells us, creating greater awareness within companies on Corporate Wellness issues , but also by making people responsible and providing the main tools to do so in an increasingly autonomous manner. To do this, you can focus on increasing engagement between people, for example, also using gamification and rewards mechanisms, at least in an initial period.

"It is fundamental that managers and leads show concrete commitment on the topic, in fact they will be the ones to build within their teams, day after day, a new way of collaborating more oriented towards people's well-being. I believe HR plays a role as facilitator in this sense."

It certainly becomes important to act on the mindset and create a culture of well-being, linked to active listening and internal collaboration . Everyone takes it upon themselves

responsibility to create a pleasant climate that encourages productivity, innovation and sharing.

Do you know how to bring Wellbeing into your company? Request a free consultation from our CEO, Alberto Ronco .


In your opinion, what does “Corporate wellness” mean and what are its essential elements?

"Corporate Wellness concerns every initiative and intervention aimed at improving the health and well-being of employees and more broadly of the organization, at the physical and mental level, but also the social dimension of the person. "

Lidia identifies four as essential elements:

  • flexibility;

  • customization;

  • responsibility;

  • innovation.

Flexibility in the company: synonymous with trust and responsibility

The way of working is increasingly hybrid, the contexts are increasingly heterogeneous, the workforce is increasingly expanded on a global scale, so it is essential to implement flexible solutions that take these aspects into account.

From this point of view, corporate wellness could really encourage the conciliation between professional and private life and the transition of the organization towards a work dimension more based on the concepts of trust and responsibility.


Personalization: the key to a people-centric company

Each person is different from the other, so it must be almost an HR duty to provide tailor-made and employee-centric solutions.


Responsibility and collaboration

The creation of a culture linked to well-being is necessarily linked to the intervention of multiple stakeholders who share responsibility and for this reason everyone's collaboration is fundamental.

It could be the task of HR to identify the main and most strategic stakeholders to convey the message and culture of wellness on the one hand and to coordinate them all towards the common goal on the other.


Last element, innovation: key factor for success


It is essential to continue to monitor people's engagement with solutions of this type and consequently constantly monitor the new possibilities offered by the market and technology.


Thank you very much Lidia for the experience and advice you wanted to share with us.


See you soon!




Do you want to find out how to implement the best organizational wellbeing solutions for your people? Contact Trainect experts now for a free consultation .




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