“Lean & Envolve” is a program, created and developed by CEI – Companhia de Equipamentos Industriais, which aims at better integrating and monitoring employees, where people’s well-being is the main concern.

Alvaro Gouveia is one of the partners of the company and the person responsible for the creation and implementation of this initiative that, according to him, “intends to integrate the people who work in the company with their families, and with the community where they live. This is a critical key to the company’s success ”.

“In order to achieve the objectives of upskilling employees and their the team, CEI started about 16 years ago the project that today is completely integrated into the company’s daily routine and is referred to as a good BSR- Business Social Responsibility” practice. These are professional but also personal development initiatives, such as an informal morning meeting where the professional and personal issues of each employee are discussed, where everyone’s ideas are discussed, morning gymnastics is performed, but also activities in the community that strengthen relationships with colleagues, namely solidarity races, theatre groups, etc.

“Our approach is based on accelerating people growth to achieve sustainable business’ results. The indicators achieved are productivity, which has grown by 30% in the last 2 years, with a simultaneous increase in safety indicators at work, meeting deadlines and the well-being of employees ”says this manager, who in addition to being a manager, also has an important role in the community where he is integrated , as a social intervener in the community, where he seeks to achieve the same objectives, but in a broader way.


“Diversity makes us grow”

Companies are a very important vehicle for the integration and adaptation of people of other cultures. It is therefore extremely important that they have a new employee integration plan within their doors that includes these cultural differences.

We present a good example of CEI, a Portuguese company, headquartered in São João da Madeira and dedicated to the production and sale of industrial equipment, especially for the footwear and ornamental stones sector.

For many years now, this company has opened its doors to receive people of different cultures. The managers believe that it is in the diversity that the company’s wealth is (ou stays?) “people with a different vision from ours are the ones we need to face the challenges that we are facing”, says the businessman Alvaro Gouveia.

“Our employees, whether foreign or not, are integrated into the company’s policy. People are not treated differently because they are from a different culture than ours. People with a different view from ours bring us a different view and help us to complement our failures, so if we manage to enhance diversity correctly, it allows us to achieve our goals, which are productivity, sustainability and people wellbeing”he says.

This company’s employees work daily with people from different cultures, some are part of the internal team, others are customers and suppliers from all over the world. That is why they are always open to receive and share ideas and work experiences. CEI has been open to diversity for a long time.

Yuri, a Ukrainian who came to Portugal 18 years ago, is a good example. This emigrant found in CEI the opportunity that he never missed. Reminds us that at the time the company did everything for his integration, provided training in Portuguese language and supported integration in the community. “When I arrived here, I spent some time in an institution that welcomed emigrants and that provided us with a lot, training courses, cultural activities, gastronomy, among other things”.

Asked about his intention to return to Ukraine, he replied, “We feel good here, why come back?”.

Employees themselves recognize that they learn more from people with a culture different from yours. “Here, we don’t receive foreigners, we receive people”  Joaquim Sousa, automation technician at the company starts referring. “We are all the same, I learn more from a person with a different culture than mine. We all learn. The wealth of a company, in a competitive moment like the one we are living, is being open to diversity ” concludes this worker who has been with the company for more than 8 years and believes that CEI’s success involves investing in people.

In this company, in addition to all the group activities that are daily organized, the employees who arrive for the first time have an integration component, whether emigrant or not, which consists of a week in a “personal growth room”. A space where new employees start their journey, among other things, by reading a book on personal development or by executing accomplishing?facing? practical challenges proposed there.

CEI is dedicated to the development and manufacturing of complete solutions with advanced industrial equipment for the sector of ornamental stones and footwear which can be viewed at http://www.ceigroup.net/.

The company was founded 25 years ago and has about 50 employees where the human component has always been fundamental for the development of its activity.