Roma Capitale Counselling Services

Status: Counselling Services for Roma Capitale Employees

Interviewee: Paola Sisto, Head of Counselling Services

Country: Italy

Prevention and Protection • Self-assessment Evaluation • Orientation • Transversal Skills
Download the interview eBook here

 


The phenomenon of temporary incapacity is linked both to the ageing of the school staff and to the psycho-physical wear and tear caused by the nature of the activities they carry out.

The Sportello d'Ascolto is an internal tool at the disposal of Capitoline's employees, in particular those who feel unwell at work, with the aim of making it easier for them to be heard and listened to.

The evaluation of work-related stress carried out by the Prevention and Protection Services of Roma Capitale in 2009-2011 showed that the level of work-related stress in the school/education sector is much higher than in other administrative sectors.

It is important to structure a series of actions that support change, because everything comes back to the well-being and health of the worker, but also to the "health" of the company and the organisation

Orientation is a valuable tool in all circumstances and during professional change. It aims to improve and re-qualify the people involved.


 

Full Interview

Teacher Age Dynamics: navigating challenges in our organisation

The evaluation of work-related stress carried out by the Prevention and Protection Services of Roma Capitale in 2009-2011 showed that the level of work-related stress in the school/education sector is much higher than in other administrative sectors.

This was the starting point for the project "Analysis and possible actions for the improvement of temporarily unfit education and school staff". The aim of the project is to better understand the phenomenon of temporary incapacity (art. 41 and art. 42 Dlgs 81/08), also in relation to the increase in the age of the working population, and to verify if and to what extent it is affected by the link between the critical issues that emerged from the survey and the work of nursery school teachers and educators. In fact, it was assumed that temporary incapacity was evidence of the problematic nature of work organisation and the ageing of the workforce. Currently, the average age of an employee in Roma Capitale is 52.1 years.

 

Main reasons that have led to the challenges we are facing.

The project started in 2014. In 2013, the number of temporarily unfit female workers with whom 6 focus groups were conducted was 72. In 2015, there was an increase of over 200% and in 2016, when compulsory health surveillance was extended to school staff, the data increased significantly.

The comparison of the project data with those of the work-related stress assessment 2009-2011 has shown that the phenomenon of temporary incapacity is linked both to the ageing of the school staff and to the psycho-physical wear and tear caused by the nature of the activities they carry out.

The disaggregated data (2015-2016) showed that 60% of these staff are over 50 years old, 20% are between 46 and 50 years old, 10% between 41 and 45 years old, 9% between 36 and 40 years old and 1% under 36 years old. It therefore seemed necessary to activate a service to deal with the phenomenon of active ageing, to support the change of tasks after a possible assessment of incapacity for work, to improve the skills already acquired and to provide orientation in order to help them to find a new job. 

The measures adopted by Sportello d'Ascolto take into account not only age, but also the work-related issues raised by the individual employee: in other words, they are aimed at everyone who contacts them! In fact, the Sportello d'Ascolto is an internal tool at the disposal of Capitoline's employees, in particular those who feel unwell at work, with the aim of making it easier for them to be heard and listened to. On specific request, it also offers organisational support to the structures of Roma Capitale. Its aim is to contribute to caring for and protecting the health of employees and the wellbeing of the organisation, as well as to preventing ill health.

 

Addressing and preventing teacher age issues: organisational measures in place by our organisation.

I would say that the strength of this operating protocol and its offer is the attention paid to professional change, which translates into guidance and an orientation path.

Orientation is a valuable tool in all circumstances and during professional change. It aims to improve and re-qualify the people involved. It strengthens the staff in the sense that it enhances the previous experience and training of each individual and stimulates the evaluation and self-evaluation of specific professional skills, but also the identification of transversal skills. As a result of this self-evaluation, the employees are more inclined and willing to make a professional change. All this helps to get started in a new professional context. It reduces the feeling of inadequacy and of what we have been talking about, and gives greater self-confidence. The Sportello d'Ascolto is still active. Since 2017, we have extended the orientation to all staff who have been definitively declared unsuitable, not only to school education staff, but to the whole administration workforce. 

In these cases, too, the interviews revealed the need for training in order to proceed to a new professional reorientation. In this case, certain basic IT training, elements of law and administrative acts are required.

As for the weaknesses, the nature of the protocol requires a kind of cooperation between different institutions with different competences. In this protocol, specific training was provided, based on the needs of the workers. This training was given at the beginning, but was then stopped due to management and economic problems.

 

Analysing the pros and cons: awareness of organisational measures put in place.

This initiative was born out of the 2009-2011 Work-related Stress Assessment Study, carried out by the various working structures of the Municipality of Rome and coordinated by the Prevention and Protection Coordination Office within the Organisation and Human Resources Department. It has been assigned the following functions:

  • Providing assistance to employers in their relations with the supervisory and control bodies and assisting in the provision of technical measures to ensure and adapt to the regulations in force in the Administration's offices and schools;
  • Drawing up guidelines and application protocols in accordance with the legal provisions on prevention and protection;
  • Coordinating the activities of the Heads of Prevention and Protection Services, including through working groups aimed at identifying common operating models.

 

Positive effects of the measures introduced

MOTIVATION SUPPORT:

Constant monitoring of motivation, development of management strategies for ageing employees, creation of a support network for feelings of inadequacy resulting from the assessment of unsuitability. An employee's morale must be central to the success of a job: an unhappy employee will not work well.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT:

Adapting training to new tasks, discovering transversal skills through the Sportello d'Ascolto orientation path. The participants stated that the path allowed them to acquire self-awareness, awareness of the resources and experiential heritage that they had previously possessed, but had not realised.

PROMOTING AGE DIVERSITY:

Promoting generational differences, promoting intergenerational dialogue, promoting diversity as a factor of innovation and improving the company climate. The professional and personal experience of the employee was treated as a strength rather than a weakness in the process. 

In this way, we have been able to develop the skills already acquired and discover new ones for the future of the pathway and the new workplace.

PROTECTING AND PROMOTING HEALTH:

Reconciling arduous work with the increasing age of employees, better working conditions, less absenteeism and, consequently, easier work management. In general, the benefits are always greater safety for workers and therefore less absenteeism. It means a better service in terms of quality and quantity, which is a benefit.

 

Monitoring and evaluation of the measures introduced

Monitoring is always ongoing because the reorientation process is continuous. The first monitoring activity we did was through a semi-structured interview, and working on the results of that interview allowed us to see in general what people were satisfied with in this journey. The participants told us that the path allowed them to gain awareness of themselves, awareness of the resources and experiential heritage that they had before, but had not realised. They revealed that they had also gained a greater sense of security and therefore a different way of dealing with the news. This seemed to us to be a new conquest, in general. In specific cases, there have even been people who have changed their job. Precisely because the Path had valued all the person's skills well, it also showed that they were well prepared to acquire new ones. The mixture of the past and the new skills has also brought out new abilities, new skills that they too have marvelled at.

 

Proposing further solutions: enhancing efforts to address the issue.

  • Assistance to employers in their relations with the supervisory and control bodies, and support in the provision of technical interventions to secure and adapt to the current regulations of the administration's offices and schools;
  • Drawing up guidelines and application protocols in accordance with the legal provisions on prevention and protection;
  • Coordinating the activities of the Heads of Prevention and Protection Services, including through working groups aimed at identifying common operating models.

 

Implementing specific age-related strategies: formal or informal activities introduced.

Above all, we need to pay attention to professional change, and to change in general. It is important to structure a series of actions that support change, because everything comes back to the well-being and health of the worker, but also to the "health" of the company and the organisation.

 

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.