Nicoletta Napolitano, HR Manager of Gruppo Marchi & Fildi, is the best person to tell us about some aspects of the company’s identity, such as the importance of the human factor and the initiatives for improving employees’ skills.
Hello, Nicoletta. What was the educational and professional path which brought you to the role of Human Resources Manager at Gruppo Marchi &Fildi?
I graduated in Commercial Law at the Università Cattolica in Milan in 1997, after having achieved the high school diploma (in accountancy) at ITC Bona in Biella. This education brought together the two different parts of my soul: the accountancy side and the humanistic side, and prepared me for the working world.
My professional experience began in 1995, while I was still at university. I felt the desire to take part in the world of work to have as realistic and concrete a vision as possible. I started working in my family’s company and attended professional training courses on Payroll, Accountancy and Balance Sheets, as well as Occupational Health and Safety. In the meantime, I graduated in 1997 with a thesis on Criminal Commercial Law, and I continued on my career path until reaching the role of Administration and HR Manager.
After a short period related to my pregnancy and my wish to experience this new phase of my life to its full, and together with the family decision to close down the company due to the advanced age of my parents, I began my professional path at Gruppo Marchi & Fildi where I have been HR Manager for more than 5 years.
The HR office manages a number of different tasks. Which are the most satisfying and the most challenging ones connected to your role?
I think that the most challenging tasks are also the most satisfying ones. Knowing how to identify the most suitable person for a role, creating the right balance between the necessity of the single person and the needs of the company in a constant and delicate equilibrium for the common good, participating in the professional growth of one’s colleagues are all aspects focussing on the individual.
People have an important, central role for us, and those who choose to become part of the Group are given growth opportunities according to their individual aspirations and capabilities. We are a company in constant evolution. It is important to create teams in which enthusiasm and innovative thought are accompanied by the experience and competence of management.
Listening to others is of the utmost importance for me. If you listen to people, you discover their creative potential; and involvement, respect and transparency are the result.
At Marchi & Fildi and at Filidea, we aim to guarantee a calm atmosphere, and to be quick in noticing any possible indication of future internal friction or discontent.
One of the challenges facing the whole textile sector is the difficulty in finding workers with advanced technical skills and in attracting young people who might be interested in learning. At Marchi & Fildi you are moving with various strategies in relation to this. Would you like to tell us more about it?
Our region has always been known for excellence in the textile sector, and young people come into an Industry 4.0 company, an industry characterised by research, IT, automation and passion.
For years, we have been in collaboration with ITS TAM, the post-high school institute which trains young people up for the textile world. The TAM workshops, where the practical part takes place, are at Magnonevolo, right beside our dyeing and R&D departments, and there is a lively exchange between theory and practice.
As a result of the close collaboration with the Job Centre and labour agencies in the Biella region, we welcome young people from ITS to our departments for work experience and job seekers looking for vocational training with extra-curricular apprenticeships.
In the last two years, our Group has put in place a generation replacement policy, giving more space to young people, not only to replace those employees coming up to pension age, but also to increase the number of staff. The number of workers between 18 – 34 years of age has grown from 9% of all M&F employees to 29%, with a significant increase in the number of female employees, which jumped from 17% to 41%. The current average age of employees in the Group is approximately 44 years.
Which qualities do the people working for the company have in common? How can you increase their feeling of belonging?
Those who come to work at M&F appreciate our seriousness and our stability, and discover a dynamic, multi-ethnic company which respects the individual and which is open to research and innovation.
Sustainability is deep-rooted in the company and finds its expression in our products, such as the ECOTEC® range, but also in many other aspects. We promote energy saving and use renewable energy from the state-of-the-art solar panels installed on all of our establishments and as well as the dyeing department. We stand side by side with our region and its inhabitants. Sustainability also means respect for the individual, transparency in relationships, and the creation of a serene working environment.
We seek to balance the personal needs of our staff members also by introducing working-from-home schemes and flexitime for the jobs which permit this. With a view to the increase in energy prices, last December, we issued petrol vouchers for all the Group’s employees, and for many years, we have taken out life insurance policies for all our workers.