The data highlighted cultural, organizational and managerial obstacles, as well as opportunities for improving the work experience. A central theme for people dealing with chronic illness is the fear of being themselves and of being judged, of not living up to professional expectations, of showing their real personalities and explaining their needs. But at the same time, they want to return to the grounding normality of work, as a living space for relationships and socialization, and to escape the isolation of the illness. Hiding or not adequately managing fears and desires not only jeopardizes individual people, but also the organization as a whole.
Elisabetta’s sensitivity, passion and courage provide the extra “boost” of the MaCro@Work Caring Program, which aims to put the chronically ill individual at the center of a collaborative network to improve the relational wellbeing of the entire environment in which they live. Empathy, caring for people and cohesion form part of a new corporate culture to create a positive, constructive and inclusive approach, without prejudice.
The Caring Managers’s Network is made of people and business partners who have voluntarily joined the project and decide to be the contact people for individuals with chronic illness and their network in the workplace. In full respect of their privacy, they provide empathic listening and support at the difficult time when an illness arises, when many questions and practical issues arise.
The Covid-19 outbreak was an accelerator of the project. The situation has had a profound impact on the lives of the chronically ill, due to limited access to care and the exponential complexity for vulnerable people to carry out even the simplest daily tasks. Elisabetta’s entrepreneurial spirit once again made a difference in this context. In the midst of the crisis, she decided to take part in the challenge launched on openinnovability.com to come up with ideas to restart activity in Italy. Among hundreds of proposals, her idea of corporate volunteering to support “fragile” coworkers in their daily activities was selected and is now being implemented. The pilot project has been launched, and the first people in the Company are benefiting from home delivery services for shopping and medicine, as well as the administrative assistance service she designed. But this is only the first step, and we already know that many more will follow.