Since January of this year, the Hada business group, Hada International manages the four-day work and three-day leave model. A precautionary measure after the pandemic so that employees can share more time with their families and others, for example, to pursue academic studies or to spend their time doing things that make them happy.
Grupo Hada is a holding with a history of 66 years. It is dedicated to producing and marketing soaps made from 100% vegetable oils and cleaning products for personal, home and institutional care. Its products reach 23 countries of the world.
Although the company was founded in Manizales, the main factory is in Barranquilla, where the business “catapults” according to its executives. The group has approximately 1,000 employees.
Roberto Gutierrez Pedrozo, executive director of Hada International, He spoke with EL TIEMPO about the benefits that introducing this 4 x 3 model brings to the company, or what they call ‘flexiviernes’.
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It was an exercise that grew out of the need to be consistent with what we had been working on at the company for a long time and which we declared was important to us as a company: people. They are the foundation and capability of projects. We are constantly thinking about ways to add value to the company and from there our “flexiviernes” program was born, where employees work for four days and rest for three days. We saw the need to accelerate all these improvement processes and make a high-impact decision.
There is a 20 percent reduction in the time we spend on activities. It does more in less time, and that’s key. We’ve greatly simplified processes and focused on what creates value. This remaining time is up to people to do their personal business.
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Most work from Monday to Thursday and rest on Friday. We asked employees to find out what they prefer from management, which we think would prefer to work from Tuesday to Friday, but prefer to rest on Fridays. Many argued that they were doing a postgraduate degree and traveling would make it easier for them to move around, so it won the day. We got off to a solid start in January 2022, completing almost eight months by defining a four-day work week.
For most, it’s Friday, but the day can be random to resume production at the factory without affecting people’s rest. All of them alternate days of rest. We want people to be able to have fun, exercise and be happy.
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This is one of our flagship measures and it is our true intention to show our people that we are thinking of them. We’re reaching 80 percent of our population who enjoy it, and we’re looking for other ways to expand. As a company, we did not see a negative impact on the results level this year. As an example, we as a group grew by 90 percent in the first half of this year compared to the first half of 2021. Growth has shown us that we are doing well.
We are a company that manufactures major global brands. For example, today we have clients such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Lush, Natura, among others. We reach more than 23 countries with third-party brands and consolidate ourselves as one of the world’s most important players in this business format. Hada International is a company owned by the Hada business group, which operates in Mexico and is Barranquilla’s largest parent company. We have an operation in Mexico specializing in perfumery.
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In the early months of the pandemic there was a lot of panic about what happened with covid-19 but we had a priority to continue working and helping by working with cleaning products. During the pandemic, the business grew even more, many customers came, and we had a good relationship with customers in the United States. The pandemic has obviously taught us a lot and one of the main aspects was workforce flexibility. This is a company with a policy of working from anywhere in the world and anytime. It is a company with a mindset change that does not control time, manages results and goals, and makes everything work.
We are a company that understands that the most important thing in life is family. The pandemic has exposed us to risks and made us human and more conscious in that moment. We gave them the opportunity to share with the most important people who are family, friends, and enjoy the hobbies that each of them has.
The workforce is close to 600, of which 400 are active. So they have to come to the factory. There are about 200 people in the administrative team who can work from anywhere. For those who have to come to the company, we have increased transportation coverage and ensured that they do not spend much time in traffic jams and commuting from home. We have implemented working hours that allow our employees to leave on time and do other things.
Everybody is happy. It is perceived that people come to Monday with more ideas, more enthusiasm, and more desire to improve their processes. There is more perseverance, a love of work, and we feel that they love the company more, which makes results better. An example of this is that we have 0 resignations and 0 offers to our employees from other companies. With these advantages we have, it is very difficult for other companies to compete with us and to catch up with our talents. People are 100 percent satisfied with what’s going on with the company.
We attended some meetings about the initiative. There is great interest in what we do and the ability we show to keep it going. The message is always to seek more humanistic leaders and see people as valuable assets.
We have a number of very important measures. For example, we have a workforce participation program, education incentive programs, and now we technically train our employees, but we also selected our workers’ seniors in high school and connected them to our education. We are creating a home for the workers of the future. We invite those who want to be a part of this company to apply. As we grow, we have a variety of offerings such as purchasing coordinator, safety coordinator, occupational health, electrical maintenance, among others.