Reviving, Educating & Thinking Ahead
Itaipu is a company that cares about its employees’ personal fulfillment. It constantly seeks to provide ways that improve employee quality of life.
They have a robust Caring for Employees Program that includes:
One successful initiative is the Reviving program that has promoted health, sports and citizen participation actions since 1994. The program is dedicated to employees and their families. Reviving activities are comprehensive and include even chemical dependency prevention and treatment initiatives. Employees and their families are educated about the risks related to alcohol and drug abuse while chemically dependent people receive proper treatment and monitoring without hurting their professional lives. One specific campaign educates smokers about the damages caused by the addiction and encourages them to stop smoking with support from an interdisciplinary health team. Another line of work encourages sports practice. At the Curitiba headquarters there is an exclusive place that offers employees weightlifting and workout classes. In Foz do Iguaçu, workers at the Production Building warm up, walk, wind down, and have their blood pressure taken three times a week. The program also promotes bike rides and trekking. Reviving has implemented workplace exercises that include stretching as a way to get people ready for their shift.
b. Complementary Education Program
Itaipu supports its employees’ continued education. Via the Complementary Education Program (CEP), the company has eliminated illiteracy from its staff.
Until 2006, employees who had not finished grade or high school had the opportunity to continue their studies. Since 1996, 1,217 people were benefited by the CEP, which also included employees from companies hired by Itaipu and employee spouses. Besides classes, the program included recreation games and relaxation and meditation techniques. Volunteer teachers and college-graduate employees who adopted the methods provided by the Paraná State Department of Education gave classes.
c. Thinking Ahead for Retirement
Retirement brings about radical changes in workers lives. In the interest of preparing our employees for this new stage in their lives, Itaipu has been offering the program “Reflexão para Aposentadoria – PRA” (Thinking about Retirement) since 2003. PRA seeks to alert employees about the need to prepare for retirement and face this new challenge in a harmonious way, by providing support that can help guide them toward a retirement that is healthy, dignified and full of new life prospects. It includes lectures that can help employees plan for their future after they leave the company. Among the subjects approached are financial planning, health care, quality of life and family preparation. During these discussions, participants discover that retirement is not a problem and can actually be a great opportunity for making dreams come true, starting personal and family projects, broadening horizons and taking advantage of the professional knowledge they have accumulated during their years of work. 202 employees have taken part in the program since its beginning. In 2007, the program had four stages with varying numbers of participants – between nine and 47 people per module. The program is voluntary and spouses are welcome to take part in some modules.
d. Volunteer Force
Itaipu encourages its employees to participate in outreach and charitable projects. The Volunteer Force program promotes volunteerism at the company by organizing the supply and demand of volunteers for charities and not-for-profit events. It was created in 2005 upon request from a group of employees who wished to help the community. The company supports the initiatives by providing a venue where activities can be developed and encouraging employee participation. It also provides funds for program centers in Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu. The Volunteer Force holds internal and external activities, campaigns and also volunteer training classes. One of the actions is the Projects Bank that forwards financial resources to the charities appointed by employees and selected by the company. In 2008, eight institutions will be selected to receive R$ 5 thousand each. Among Volunteer Force campaigns are the “Winter Drive”, which receives donations of blankets, warm clothes and shoes; the “Adopt a Little Star this Christmas”, which buys toys and school supplies for low-income children in Foz do Iguaçu and Curitiba; and the “Owed Income Tax Destination Campaign”, which encourages employees to contribute part of their income tax to charitable institutions. Volunteer activities are carried out freely outside working hours at not-for-profit organizations and/or projects in compliance with law 9608/98 (Volunteer Service Law), which recommends volunteers to sign a Volunteer Contract with the organization.