Evaluating competencies and performance for growth and development

In recent years, the Group’s internationalization and expansion process has resulted in a sustained growth of its human capital, above all across nationalities, cultures, skills and competencies.

In 2012 this process progressively accelerated HR policy semantic standardization by sharing a common incentive framework, including salary and compensation policies, grading systems, performance appraisal and, above all, the elimination of the cultural barriers in competency and performance appraisal processes.

In order to evaluate the Group’s dimension and capitalize on its know how, best practices and the competencies available at the international level, a Group HR management strategy was developed in 2012 and broken down into three phases:

  1. HR policy standardization. The definition of common grading systems, position weighting schemes and framework-based and common KPI-oriented incentive systems (particularly for the Group’s executives) represented the foundations for the standardization of the Group’s HR policies. Concurrently, tools were developed to better know the people (performance/potential mapping, succession planning, etc.) as well as policies to regulate international mobility.
    As a result, a model based on competency leadership was adopted, involving the employees of the various Group companies, coordinated centrally by the project management, to design dedicated instruments.
  2. Employee potential evaluation and talent development. In this case as well, a standard, certified management process was developed, based on standard metrics and managed locally. Consequently, a development center was established in 2011 to evaluate the development potential of individuals in gaining and obtaining broader managerial responsibilities and contributing to the formation of specific career paths, while offering concrete support in the understanding and improvement of one’s role. A “360° questionnaire” was then drafted, thanks to the feedback received from heads of functions, colleagues and employees, which enabled the company to work on participants’ awareness of their points of strength and areas of improvement at the managerial level.
  3. Establishment of international teams and structures. The orientation towards gaining more knowledge about people enabled the Group to establish international teams and structures in 2012 (with the involvement of high potential employees), generating relocation options (with a variable duration through transfers to other Group companies).
    The establishment of shared functions at the international level provided an additional employment opportunity within the Group, which led to the introduction of new “job families” like, for example, the Extended Business Travellers, international profiles who spend most of their time abroad, providing services in a cross-sectional way to Group companies all over the world.

What’s going on in Food & Beverage?

The evaluation process for competencies and performance was divided and optimized as a function of two different objectives. The first objective, specifically relating to the evaluation of competences, targets individual training and development, while the second objective focuses on performance, as a specifically designed tool orienting the individual’s professional performance.
In America, HMSHost implemented a web-based platform to manage the evaluation of employee competencies and performance both for the headquarters and the sales network. The process also includes an annual employee self-assessment that is taken into account during the interview with the managers during the performance review. The user-friendly interface of the software with other company tools makes the performance appraisal process simple, seamless and highly transparent. Following the same “Autogrill model” logic, according to which local best practices are then repeated and reproduced within the Group, the same online solution was also implemented in Italy in 2012. The population of the headquarters and of the sales network, up to the Heads of Service (approximately 2,500 people operating in more than 500 locations) were subject to appraisal. The online management of the process and the possibility of validating assessment forms by electronic signature enabled the company to substantially reduce the use of paper assessment forms. More than 1,200 people accessed the system to view and confirm their assessment form although they did not have a corporate email address or access to a company PC. The web-based, online platform can be accessed from any PC. Approximately 70% of the company population managed to complete the process in time: approximately 600 self-assessment forms had been already completed 72 hours after its launch. In 2012 the process for the implementation of the same tool in other countries was started.

What’s going on in Travel Retail?

“DevelopMe” is the name of the evaluation tool used for the personnel in the stores. This process is activated twice a year, in June and December, and provides an opportunity to review — together with one’s supervisor — the activities carried out and the performance achieved during the period, compared to objectives defined at the beginning of the year. For all the other employees (staff at the central offices and store managers) there is an online tool — “PrepareMe” — through which feedback on the performance registered over the year is recorded, which measures, in quantitative terms, how people experience the Group’s values on an everyday basis.
For World Duty Free Group, too, the launch of a single online tool is envisaged for performance appraisal.


Compensation and benefits

The Group’s compensation policy is based on incentive systems that are designed to recognize employees’ commitment and merits, while promoting a sense of belonging and attracting talents from the outside. For the purpose of ensuring alignment among Group companies, the Group established international guidelines on different aspects concerning salary and compensation in full compliance with the currently applicable legislation and local regulations. One of the pillars of the system is the “weighing” of positions: a Group cross-sectional evaluation (an evaluation on a common scale of the impact of any role on the organization), which is constantly aligned to labor market benchmarks in correlation with the positions covered. To ensure cost optimization and the use of common standard benchmarks, the Group promotes centralized supplier services and the central management of initiatives that are proposed to the companies (i.e. pulse surveys), assuming the role of central co-ordination and data collection.

Also, with regard to benefits the Group is committed to guaranteeing transparency and clarity to its employees. The mechanism for the acknowledgement of benefits does not particularly differ from standard labor contract formulas (fixed term contracts vs. permanent labor contracts and part-time vs. full-time), but varies according to the different geographical areas as a function of the relevant applicable laws that comprise or exclude specific situations and/or welfare and insurance coverage (health care, accident coverage, maternity or paternity leave, disability) and to local labor market practices. Corporate supplementary pension funds and insurance certainly constitute a self-explanatory example. In some countries the law promotes their use, providing tax benefits in return. A clear example is that of HMSHost, which published its salary scheme on the Company’s intranet, thus enabling people to understand the logic behind the construction of their packages. For the purpose of underscoring the relevance attributed to transparency, in the United States Autogrill Group launched a communication campaign in Spanish to enable first language Spanish employees to perfectly understand their situation and the advantages offered.