Interview by Chiara Lodi

Exchanging of ideas and cooperation are the best tools to achieve personal and professional development.

But what if those elements are not found in your professional environment? What if you don’t generally feel well where you work? How can it be changed and improved? Well, one of the winning projects of the EYA may have the answer.

Ethicjobs, one of the winning projects for the category sustainable economics, is a young start up based in Rimini, Emilia Romagna (Italy). The category itself aims to foster financial literacy, employment, decent work, end hunger, but the project’s purpose itself is very original. They have put together a survey that evaluates employees’ well-being in a company through the analysis of 5 different areas: Environment and Personal Relations, Benefits and Remuneration, Timetables and Work-life Balance, Safety and provision of appropriate spaces and tools and, last but not least, Person. Once the survey is completed, the company may receive its evaluation and eventually obtain its “Ethics Excellence Certificate”. But the question is: why shall companies look for such an evaluation?

We have interviewed Riccardo Sonnino, project manager at Ethicjobs to answer this and many other questions.

How did you get the idea and why should it be convenient for a company?

“It all started in 2015 from an idea by Luca Carrai, who then inspired the others. How can we ensure that people can be happy in their workplace even if their job is not their dream-job? The aim was to promote a systematic change, making being an ethical employer a competitive advantage.”

The aim of Ethicjobs is to provide a certification to assess that a certain employer can provide good work conditions in order to attract new customers or new talents that could work there. It should be something like Booking certificate, not an official certification, but a quality label that can promote the image of the company.

How does it work?

“There is an online process on our platform. The first step is to sign in, then you have to provide the company details and the contacts of the employees. Then we send the survey to every employee and once we get the answers back, they are completely anonymous and even we cannot have access to the details of the person who has completed the survey. […] What you get in the end is the aggregate performance, divided in the 5 macro-areas which are the basis of our certificate.”

The EYA and a bit of history

Ethicjobs already took part in several competitions and it was among the 4 Italian start-ups selected to follow the acceleration program of the Social Fare, a Centre for Social Innovation whose program aims at boosting startups’ businesses and make them vc-ready, i.e. ready to obtain funds. Through this experience they gained new contacts and expertise, something that they are looking forward to find in Graz as well, but their main focus is to discover how an European audience would react to such a project. “It is a stage where we can talk about an innovative project that started in Italy and that may be ready to get on a European level.”

Have you found a common pattern in the surveys you have conducted up to now?

“There is a sort of ‘fil rouge’ that ties together most of the companies we contacted, and it is the personal relations area: how do you feel around your colleagues and your bosses. They get frequently the lowest score. […] Not feeling respected, feeling as if you didn’t have any impact, this is the common pattern we have found. And then there are problems related to the salary, the contract, etc…”

And now the most diffic

ult question: what about Ethicjobs? Would it pass the survey? Did you take the test?

“[laughs] We tested the survey once, and we passed it including the personal relations area! When you start such a journey, it is like you marry your colleagues”.

May they live and certify happily ever after then!

To conclude, this was one of the winning digital projects of the EYA, but there are many more ideas at the EYA and out there which need training to become even more successful and to change the world.

This article has been created by participants of the youth exchange “Media Moving Forward” that was coordinated by the Youth Press Austria and supported by Erasmus+ programme of the EU.