ALL ABOARD! - Inclusive communication at Costa Cruises
With over 20,000 employees from 70 countries on 5 continents, the Costa group has always considered its human capital one of its greatest assets and the custodian of the company's core skills, made even more valuable by the cultural and professional diversity that characterise it. The company operates with a view to respectful and fair staff management, providing structured growth paths for individuals and, at the same time, ensuring well-being and inclusion in the workplace. The corporate values, W.I.D.E. (Warm Hospitality, Innovation, Diversity, Enrichment), are integrated into the People Strategy and are designed to guide strategies and behaviours towards a common and shared frame of reference on land and on board, for all levels of responsibility.
In a company like ours, in which multiple professional roles, cultures and skills coexist, enhancing diversity is an essential and strategic element. For this it is necessary to create and maintain an environment that guarantees equal opportunities, safety and freedom of expression for everyone, including through language. We are the only living beings on this planet capable of using such an advanced tool as language, and this makes us unique. With language we describe the reality that surrounds us. With language we define who is most like us and who is less like us, who belongs to our tribe and who the others are. Each word is an act of creating an identity that tells others who we are, each word chosen says something about us, about what we think and what we want others to see of us. Words have power: they move, unite, warm the heart. Or they hurt, offend, push away. This is why it is important to be aware of the effects they can have. It becomes essential to think about what you really want to say, to take time to understand if you really want to say what you are saying or writing (are these the right words?). And if you are not sure, it is important to stop, because not saying anything is often better than saying the wrong thing.
Costa promotes virtuous behaviour through policies that address aggressive and harmful actions, particularly with regard to the correct use of language. Our partnership with the non-profit association Parole O_stili and the signing of our Manifesto of Non-Hostile Communication, as well as participation in drafting the other manifestos created over time, saw us promote – in our offices and on board our ships –responsible and respectful communication, in person and online. This commitment was reaffirmed in our corporate Use of Social Media Policy, which also refers to the principles of the manifesto. Online, aggressiveness often dominates in tweets, posts, status updates and stories.
It is true that social media is set in virtual spaces, but the people who meet there are real, and the consequences these meetings have are real. Furthermore, what we write remains online and helps to create our online image. For this reason, nowadays we must be careful how we use words, especially online. The world is now hyper-connected and thanks to social media we have all become small public figures who are constantly exposed, and it is important to be aware of and responsible for the words we use. This gentle approach is also taught to young cruise passengers on board our flagship Costa Smeralda, thanks to a playful activity designed and created in collaboration with Parole O_stili, and inspired by the Snakes and Ladders game. Our young guests retrace the steps of the Non-Hostile Communication Manifesto, familiarising themselves with the pitfalls of the web, the correct use of words and the virtuous behaviours to be adopted online.