Arpaia, late autumn.
I am in my office, thinking of the football tournament which we have just concluded, a tournament started in remembrance of my Dad: Angelo.
As I reflect on the thoughts in my mind, I decided that I should share them with you, since it is important and concerns you as well.
A bit from the past..
Let me take you some years back, to the year we had decided to organize the football tournament in remembrance of my Dad. I still remember it clearly, when we as a company made the decision, together as a company.
What is a company?
While I fix my eyes on my desk at the office, a certain question buzzes through my head, like an annoying fly:
“How would you define a company?”
Some may imagine it as the most basic idea which is a production site, the machinery and the workers inside.
Many people, from their experience, may also have a quite “depressing” concept of the term company in their mind.
In other words: “A place where you go to work”. Nothing more!
Also common is the notion that as a company grows, the relationship between the employer and the employees diminish, the bonding between colleagues diminish.
Do you agree with me?
There is this thought process that as a company evolves from a small production setup in a small hall to a multinational company with several businesses all over the world, you lose that sense of closeness that you used to feel before. We always tend to associate a smaller company to have a better chance to feel like a family. This is applicable when we think of the environment at SAPA as well.
However, at SAPA we have always wanted something different. My Dad wanted it, and when I took over from him, I wanted it and I still strive to maintain this today, 40 years later, as our turnover rose from a few hundred to millions of Euros.
Why can a company not be like a big family that plays football together?
Is there a universal law that says that a company and a family are two completely distinct things, like oil and water?
No! Even if this maybe the general tendency. At SAPA, we think just the opposite, and have always dissociated ourselves from this line of thought.
This is what my father did, and I continue to do so today and I can assure you that we will continue to do the same in the future.
Now, you may ask. “Okay, Giovanni, but what do you mean by this? How would a company resemble or incline towards the concept of a family?”
Well, there is a long answer to this as well as a short answer, which is: in every possible way and every aspect of our company.
The perspective that we have in the company or the way we interact with each other or the simplicity of our organizational setup, to name a few.
But let’s get back to ourselves…
Returning to my thought on our decision to organize the football tournament, I vividly remember wanting to come up with a very unique way to remember my father and also bring us all together, while doing so. Out of this desire was born the idea to organize a football tournament. The easiest and most familiar way to assemble everyone together and who does not love football?
My father always liked to compare us at SAPA to a big team; he liked seeing us work together in a unified group. And a football tournament would be the ideal way of getting together and remembering him.
So, is this just about a football tournament? No! It is beyond an ordinary event where colleagues compete with each other for a trophy. For us the tournament means much more, as I mentioned before, due to our perspective at SAPA.
For us this tournament is a way of getting to know each other better and continuing to maintain spontaneous and personal relationships.
Your first thought at this maybe, “Well, but is it necessary to mix work and private life…”.
And, this is an important question. But, with “spontaneous and personal relationships”, I mean genuine relationships. Relationships that are free of the stress and strain at work, whether we want it or not.
The tournament is a chance for us to pause from the frenzy of work and daily duties and find some serenity together. This is a chance to refresh our team spirit, and renew the joy of working together and sharing our workspace in a different way.
The tournament everyone is excited about
The tournament was setup with the above goals in mind and it has come to become the occasion for all of us to meet at the beginning of the year, in a different setting.
The fervor begins weeks ahead of the tournament kick off. All of us split up into teams, planning our best strategy and the best formation. Team Engineers against Team research, Team manual workers against Team purchase office.
There is only one topic during coffee breaks: “The tournament”. And, at the end of the break everyone goes back to work, but we all know that we can’t wait for the kick off day to arrive.
Our path to self-discovery
It is amazing that something so common as a football match could trigger something new in all of us.
Thanks to the tournament, now we have an excuse every year to have some fun as soon as we return to work from our holidays. To regain our team spirits before we start again the new working year with the right determination
I can guarantee you that it is the most beautiful gift for my father and he would have loved seeing us playing on that field, united, strong and rediscovering ourselves.
This is what SAPA is and wanted to be, and will always strive to be, using all the possibilities and giving our best.
Sales Strategist e membro CdA SAPA