For all of us who make up Gonvarri Steel Services, being a socially responsible company means going beyond having to deal with the triple earnings report as a whole and jointly integrating intangible aspects. It means, above all, a commitment to people, to our people; and, by extension, also to society and the environment around us. A responsibility that, in our case, encompasses much more than training or social benefits; which reaches much further than conciliation and equal opportunities; which means much more than fluid communication or professional development; which addresses much more than health, safety and pride of belonging. It’s all of that and more. Because, if there is something truly important about this company, it is the people who work here. And if there is priority, it’s commitment to our people.
In accordance with this principle, we at the departments of communication/sustainability and human resources have encouraged the Emotional Driving project, which focuses on road safety, and is conceived by and for the company’s employees; because for us, their safety and that of their families is a key issue and a priority.
A strategic alliance between the two departments began five years ago and is now bearing abundant fruits, as much in the human as in the corporate aspect. And which, in addition to receiving internal recognition (and gratitude), is also receiving external recognition in the form of awards and prestige.
When we first began planning Emotional Driving, our primary challenge was mobilization, to get everyone in the company to understand the project and participate in it; for them to realize that being concerned about saving lives requires as much effort as daily work activity. We understood that the best way to convince them that the project was important was to appeal to all personal areas, to share the experiences of those who have suffered accidents and those of road safety professionals; to train people about risks, prevention and behavior; to put a face on the motivations and problems of fellow employees, and to participate together in a game that offered them rewards and was for a good cause. In other words, to address the emotional, rational and experiential aspect.
Definitively, it is a new concept of road safety, which, through positive messages, motivates us to drive in a more responsible way.
It wasn’t solely a question of communication or training, but rather of establishing roots in the lives of all of the participants, so that when they get into a car, they remember that training, those motivations of their colleagues, those lessons of the professionals, those testimonies that teach us that one doesn’t play games on the road… As long as we do everything we can to contribute our grain of sand to preventing accidents for those closest to us, in the end, all of our efforts will be worth it.
The strength of the project, and primarily the success of its participation, consists of integrating three stages – experience, competition and training – which, through positive messages and firsthand testimonies, unite the rational and the emotional, the educational and the experiential, the didactic and the recreational, and manage bit by bit but in a constant way to penetrate into the daily activities of our employees.
We have been fortunate in finding an exceptional traveling companion, the Asociación para el Estudio de la Lesión Medular Espinal (AESLEME – the Association for the Study of Spinal Cord Injury), which has already formed part of our Social Action Plan. AESLEME is an essential part of this project, because of its participation and involvement in the different, special days and its encouragement of team participation, doubly motivated by the interest in winning (in the competition stage) and because all of the accumulated points in the game are cashed in and donated automatically to the association.
Emotional Driving is, then, a collaborative challenge that we have proposed to our workers to motivate them to drive more safely and to raise their awareness regarding the benefits of this type of driving. We want to start with the concept of Emotional Driving and look for positive emotional content, without the punishment-oriented and tragic component that traditionally accompanies road safety. Very much on the contrary, what is asked of the participants is for them to reflect on what motivates them to drive safely.
During the special days, all of the employees can participate in different activities, talks and conferences, which are divided into three stages:
- Experimental Stage (Day of Road Safety)
These special days include simulators run by trained experts, in which the participants can experience almost lifelike moments of road safety (cars flipping over or low-speed collisions, for example), that aim to train them and make them more aware about driving correctly.
A very important feature of this stage are the testimonies of people involved in the traffic accidents, as much victims (with spinal cord injuries) as professionals who provide care for the victims (firemen, police and doctors). These are very intense, sincere, firsthand testimonies that are sometimes overwhelming – like reality itself – that sink in very deeply and manage to profoundly move everyone present. Finally, the management of the company supports the day and encourages participation and reflection.
- Emotional Driving Challenge
Anyone who wants to can participate in this competition in which employees compete for prizes and points, obtained through open voting. The competition is based on what motivates each person to drive more safely; each person must write their motivation and publish it to share it with their colleagues, who then vote. In the end, the points won are cashed in euros by a collective solidarity donation and given to AESLEME.
- Rational Stage (Training Course)
The rational component is provided by a training course at LTC-University in which the primary areas of risk that affect road safety: pedestrians, the human factor, road conditions and the condition of the vehicle are addressed. This course is also computed in the global ranking of points won by each of the participants.
The level of participation couldn’t be more satisfactory: in each edition, all of the employees join in the training and enjoy the special day. The testimonies are truly impacting and the participation in the challenge is exemplary. Hundreds of positive and moving messages are uploaded to the web to be shared with all colleagues, and these are also physically displayed on the panel installed at the event. Each published response competes to receive the votes of the participants and each week the winners take away experiences of recreation and learning about the importance of driving in a safe and responsible way.
Since the first edition of Emotional Driving was held at the end of 2014 at our corporate offices in Madrid, over the course of 2015 this event has travelled to all of the company’s factories in Spain. The initiative’s success is unquestionable: participation was 95%, satisfaction was 91%, 64% more courses were completed, and there was a 29% increase in the use of the intranet and a 36% increase in interactions. A success that has also been reflected outside of the company, given that it has won some of the most prestigious awards on a national and international level: International Business Award (Gold Stevie Winner), Observatorio de Comunicación Interna e Identidad Corporativa, International CSR Excellence Award 2015, Premio Publifestival de Acción Social y Comunicación Interna de los RRHH, Premios EIKON, Corporate Engagement Awards 2015 and Premios Empresa Social.
But this first edition of the campaign was only the beginning of something that we have continued over the course of this year to bring to more and more places within the company. The factory at Cancienes in Asturias staged the launch day and the challenge in March. And it was followed by Barcelona, Navarra, Galicia, Germany, Colombia… for now. In all of them, the success has been identical to that of the factory in Madrid, in terms of participation, satisfaction and, above all, in raising awareness and sensitizing.
Initiatives such as Emotional Driving imply a definitive wager: after years of trying to improve road equipment, we believe that it’s time for prevention and to raise the awareness of our workers in terms of road safety. And what better way to do so than through real testimonies and experiences that raise awareness; with a game that encourages participation and awareness, and with training courses that help us to prevent accidents in an effective way. A project that aims to align the rational aspect with emotional immersion in order to make an impact on all aspects of our life. We believe that this is the best wager. It is, unquestionably, a winning wager.