‘Best Practices in People Management’ Award

APE Grupo has garnered a new award in the year of its 30th anniversary: the company was awarded the ‘Best Practices in People Management’ award by Club de Recursos Humanos (Human Resources Club), an entity that brings together 57 companies in the province of Castellón and more than 70 professionals from the field of HR and business, in the category of companies with more than 50 employees. The tile firm collected the award at an event held at Jaume I University (UJI) in Castellón. The event also featured the attendance of prestigious psychologist Laura Rojas-Marcos as speaker.

José Miguel Pellicer and Luisa Pellicer, manager and customer service director at APE Grupo respectively, picked up the award on behalf of the company. This award acknowledges 30 years of good work in people management. Since its founding, the company has cemented a firm commitment to its workforce, which has led it to become a benchmark in this regard in the ceramic sector.

Not surprisingly, the jury highlighted APE Grupo’s “excellence in people management”, reflected in its commitment, since the beginning, to looking after its team. The Castellón-based company currently employs 135 people — representing an 80% growth over the last decade. In terms of job stability, more than 90 per cent of contracts are open-ended. In addition, there is no person recruited through temporary employment agencies. To this must be added the low turnover, with an average employee tenure of seven years and an average age of 44 years.

The Human Resources Club pinpointed the various initiatives for which APE Grupo received this award. Among other actions, they include flexible working hours to achieve work-family balance and remote working. In addition, the ceramics company received a nod for its participation in employment initiatives for the most vulnerable groups, such as those under 30 years of age and those over 45 years of age.

Another factor that was considered when granting this award was APE Grupo’s equal opportunities policy. In the company, 50% of managers and middle managers are women.

In addition, the tile firm has demonstrated its interest in the health of its workforce through physical and mental health activities. These activities are offered internally and free of charge, in a gym located in its own facilities.

Another policy that has set APE Grupo’s management apart in recent years is its concern for workers in special situations. For example, in July workers were given an extra 400 euros to offset the impact of inflation, and in January employees were given a one-time bonus of 500 euros in recognition of the company’s good economic results in 2021.

In 2022, the Castellón company received two awards — one for its founder José Pellicer’s business career and the one from Club de Recursos Humanos —, adding to the long list of awards the group has already racked up, such as ‘Company of the Year’ (2016); Chamber of Commerce Export Award (2014); Chamber of Commerce International Career Path Award (2018) and a Design nod (2021) from association ‘La Exprimidora’.

Its greatest asset: human capital

José Miguel Pellicer, head of the Castellón-based firm, has pointed out that this award is the consequence of “firmly believing in the values” that made APE Grupo reach heights that were unimaginable a few years ago. “Humility, empathy, generosity, sacrifice, unity, respect, desire to improve and service are the values that have taken us here. They have led us to become the largest marketer in Europe and receive this recognition,” he added.

Speaking about the award, José Miguel Pellicer highlighted that best practices “mean believing in your team, giving them facilities for their professional performance, motivating them, providing them with the best possible working conditions. Best practices involve looking after your employees’ health. Best practices involve creating stable, quality employment.”

Finally, Laura Rojas-Marcos, PhD in Clinical and Health Psychology, also participated in the ninth edition of the awards ceremony. She gave her conference ‘Managing uncertainty in uncertain times’. In it, she exposed the five keys to facing adversity: self-control, self-knowledge, time management, collective help and purpose with an action plan.