Listening to learn, learning to improve

In the modern social scenario, where one-way communications appear anachronistic and are being extensively replaced by a wide range of tools to instill involvement, sharing and the co-development of contents, employee engagement is a fundamental lever to manage resources in the long term. And defining clear objectives that also take into account employee needs and desires is another important lever to target innovation and engagement. Communications at Autogrill are developed on different tools, including Aconnect, the Group intranet, management roadshows on the sales network and the traditional newsletters and noticeboards. However, for the purpose of understanding what development areas to focus analyses on and start new projects, the Group turns directly to its employees, using surveys and employee engagement analyses.
Listening provides an opportunity to promote and validate relationships with employees and improve cohesion and professional satisfaction among employees.

What’s going on in Food & Beverage?

Autogrill’s focus on people is the driver for a series of initiatives aimed at increasingly involving employees. In past years, some countries developed surveys to assess specific areas (e.g. company and organizational culture, communication, involvement, training, leadership style and management, team work and motivation) to understand the level of loyalty to the organization and highlight areas of improvement. This year, Autogrill decided to apply the World Duty Free UK’s best practice in the matter of employee engagement to Food & Beverage and consequently carried out a structured survey aimed at probing four areas considered key to express employee level of engagement. These are:

  • Satisfaction: level of satisfaction that an invidual obtains from his/her work within the organization;
  • Advocacy: willingness to act as a promoter for the organization, conveying a positive image;
  • Pride: pride and sense of belonging to the organization;
  • Commitment: level of correspondence between the personal objectives of an individual and the objectives of an organization, represented by the desire and the motivation to remain in the company.

Do you feel good?The “Do you Feel good?” People Engagement Survey was completed by 67% of the Group’s population with a 59% Employee Engagement index  (for more details see the “focus story”).

This initiative was accompanied by additional services, differing from country to country, again dedicated to listening to employees. For instance, HMSHost provides a toll-free number, available 24/7 for all employees in North America to air any concern or problem, in addition to a web-based line for comments or questions to be posted at any time. In Italy, too, two email addresses are made available to all employees. One is dedicated to Social Accountability 8000, where employees can post any comments in relation to the standards, and the other to communicate any stressful situations at work.

What’s going on in Travel Retail?

In the Travel Retail channel, employee engagement surveying is now considered a best practice.

LinkedThis year, the “LINKed” surveying initiative included three phases from October 2012 to March 2013 to involve the countries of the World Duty Free Group (this is in fact the first year in which the employee engagement survey was extended to the entire group, extending beyond the boundaries of the UK, where this type of survey is a consolidated practice).

Also in this case three areas of interest were measured:

  • Say: propensity to speak positively about the organization;
  • Stay: involvement and desire to continue working for the organization;
  • Strive: dedication and commitment in performing one’s job.

Downstream of the employee engagement survey the objective is to define a detailed communication plan to inform employees about the results obtained and define concrete actions to further improve relations with and within the Group.