Towards ongoing training

Employee training represents the key leverage for personnel development and the development of Autogrill Group. It is a twofold investment, benefiting both the employee and the company. For this reason a structured training process was developed to meet the upgrading needs of all the hierarchical levels and for all the areas of development, both managerial and technical and seniority levels, ranging from orientation and support to newly hired employees to the development and upgrade of specialized competencies required in order to keep pace with ever-changing market and business scenarios.

The support of technology plays a fundamental role in training. The Moodle online platform, accessible from the Aconnect intranet portal, enables employees to view the entire list of courses made available in Food & Beverage Europe and Travel Retail. The management of each country in which the Group operates decides independently on matters pertaining to the development of its local training programs, but the underlying criteria applied are shared by the entire Group. The starting point is an analysis of the processes of evaluation of competencies, followed by the suggestions made by employees themselves. In this way, the specific areas of intervention are identified, based on which Human Resources designs and organizes targeted activities and courses.

In addition, there are also special initiatives: already in 2010 specific training courses at the international level were organized with the objective of getting people from different offices and countries to know each other and exchange experiences and opinions in the service of professional growth and cross fertilization.

What’s going on in Food & Beverage?

As for Food & Beverage, in Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Slovenia and North America, training is regularly provided directly in the points of sale or through dedicated training centers.
The courses are designed for internal staff, including store directors and managers, and are intended to optimize their experience in the field. The provision of training activities in the stores follows the concept of “cascade training”. This means that store directors and/or managers themselves pass on the training they have received, enriched by the experience accrued over time, directly to their employees. However, since 2012 the online training offering was also increased thanks to the installation of “kiosk”, PC-based ergonomic consoles, including keyboard and intranet connection, located in selected stores of the sales network, working also as a point of reference for other stores in the surroundings. These stations can be accessed by all employees, who can take advantage both of the training courses offered and the services made available through the Aconnect intranet portal (always accessible from any PC with an embedded online connection).
In Italy, training for Heads of Service, Assistant Managers and store managers is provided in nine dedicated spaces in the network. In 2012, a new training campaign was launched on the SA8000 standard – an international standard focusing on social responsibility – initially involving a number of stores and, in particular, HR Business Partners, professional profiles identified in the year of reference, charged with supervising management processes, training, development and recruitment of human resources for the sales network and designated as supervisors for the promotion of the standard across the network.


In 2012 HMSHost launched “People First” in a number of locations. This is a training course that aims at developing a new culture entirely focused on people, to the benefit of both employees and customers. The objectives are:

  • put people always at the core of the activities, develop a service culture oriented towards ongoing improvement of customer experience and, consequently, of the experience perceived by employees;
  • establish a working environment centered on respect, productivity and fun, also for the ultimate objective of retaining high potential individuals within the Group;
  • support the understanding of everyone’s real contribution to the attainment of the objectives set by the organization.

“People First” involves store managers in training and development initiatives pertaining to teamwork and the development of managerial and leadership skills, without neglecting to put great emphasis on the importance of feedback as a key tool to instill employee development and motivation. Knowing the people has become a strategic element to embrace changes that can lead to the attainment of measurable results, for example in terms of greater engagement and productivity achieved by the team or reduced absenteeism and turnover rates. “Manager in Training” is one of the support tools of the People First program. Its second phase, “Manager In Training 2”, launched in 2012, will be implemented in 2013 and will be dedicated to the new managers who have completed the first phase upon their employment or promotion. The objective is to provide them with information in different fields, including HR management, IT, safety, cash management and food security.
Moreover, HMSHost carrieds out periodic visits to the stores for the purpose of identifying and analyzing employee training needs. As usual, every year, the US subsidiary launched a reprise of an online training course to raise employee awareness concerning the contents of the code of ethics, to enable them to make appropriate decisions and report any suspect, unfair situations or potential violations of the company policies or the law.

What’s going on in Travel Retail?

As for Travel Retail, in England there are ten training hubs (Heathrow T3 and T5, Gatwick, Stanstead, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Glasgow, London offices), where training sessions aimed at improving customer service dedicated to sales personnel are provided. In particular, some training courses are held at Heathrow Academy, which releases certificates recognized nationwide to participants, while other courses are managed online through the Moodle web-based platform. In 2012 a large selection of training courses was offered: “Fundamentals of Service” for UK employees; “Inspirational Leadership”, completed by 90 managers; “Trainee Leader Scheme”, the first crosssectional training program within the entire World Duty Free Group, which involved 20 employees. For the first two, training courses for tutors were also organized upstream to ensure the most effective completion of the program.
In 2012 all World Duty Free Group employees of the British region participated in a training session dedicated to the Group’s Code of Ethics and another course dedicated to diversity was organized at Heathrow.

For Travel Retail too, training planning is strictly correlated to the outcomes derived from employee performance and competency evaluation processes. Moreover, in the UK there are specific professional profiles available to help complete training plans with employees in the stores.

Training hours