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Training and professional development

In 2011, over 175,000 training hours were provided, which exceeds the objective of 143,000 hours, mainly as a result of some training initiatives regarding the Group's strategic projects such as Work Force Management (approximately 20,000 training hours), unbundling and the Leadership Model (5,700 training hours).

Total training hours per area of intervention
“Scuola dei Mestieri” and critical skills51,48351,51846,007
Quality, safety, environment38,92635,73039,933
Specialised training (incl. hands-on training)18,64817,64927,387
Institutional and managerial training30,17134,32738,134
Training to support new IT system and basic computing5,6704,43423,631

The data refer to Hera S.p.A., Herambiente, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Uniflotte, Famula On-line and Hera Luce.

Compared to 2010, there was an overall increase of 22% in terms of training hours provided.

Training (in man hours) (average, per capita)
Middle managers28.628.738.7
Project based contract workers and workers with staff leasing contracts6.34.54.3

The data refer to Hera S.p.A., Herambiente, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Uniflotte, Famula On-line and Hera Luce.

There were 28.1 training hours per capita, an increase of 22% compared to 2010 and higher than the objective, which was 23 training hours per capita. 37% of the training hours involved workers and 52% involved employees.


Professional training in the main Italian utility companies

Hera is in first place in terms of training hours per capita among the 8 multi-utility companies considered in the comparative analysis between the main Italian utility companies.


Le segnalazioni per stakeholder 2008-2011

Training, including hands-on training, was planned and managed according to a procedure which is carried out in the following phases: needs analysis, planning of activities and cost forecast, provision of training activities, monitoring and assessment of completed training activities.

% of workforce attending at least one training course
Middle managers94%96%87%
Project based contract workers and workers with staff leasing contracts71%81%43%

The data refer to Hera S.p.A., Herambiente, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Uniflotte, Famula On-line and Hera Luce. This index was calculated by dividing the persons involved in at least one training event by the total employees present at the end of the year.

In the period under review, 96% of workers (97% of female workers and 95% of males) attended at least one training course, thanks also to the activities involving increasing awareness about safety in the workplace, Work Force Management training and managerial training.


The Work Force Management project: IT serving network and plant management

Work Force Management is the Group's new, unique and integrated information system, designed to improve all programmable and non-programmable operating activities, on grids and plants (gas, water, electricity and district heating). The Group has set itself three main objectives with this new system: overcoming the fragmentation of information applications used, sharing and systematising company knowledge and improving customer services.
The project, which is the first in Italy to be introduced in a multi-utility company, was fully started up in all operating structures at the beginning of May 2011.
The project continues in 2012 with:

  • the initiation of the mobile function, which will initially be applied for Emergency Support services, and in other functional areas in the foreseeable future, involving dispatching activities to operating teams, technical final reporting and feedback on the progress of activities in the field through portable devices used by the teams, connected in real time with the coordination centres;
  • the creation of an integrated environment for reporting the main technical, management and economic information.

Assessment of training
Degree of satisfaction of trainees (perceived quality)84%83%81%
Outcomes (correspondence with needs)59%64%67%

The data refer to Hera S.p.A., Herambiente, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Uniflotte, Famula On-line and Hera Luce. The degree of coverage of the 2011 outcomes involves 100% of the courses.

Hera uses a system for assessment of training that takes the degree of satisfaction expressed by the workforce into account, alongside the assessments of the department managers with respect to the impact of training actions on the skill profile development of co-workers and on reduction of organisational problem areas linked to trainee roles.
The degree of satisfaction is generated by assessments conducted by trainees once the course is over, on a scale of 0 to 5. The table indicates the average grade obtained, on a scale of 0 to 100.
The outcomes are the result of the assessment carried out by managers during the grading phase, which is provided for each role.
The reported percentage values indicate scores of 4 or 5 (1-5 scale).

Total training cost per area of intervention
(thousands of €)200920102011
“Scuola dei Mestieri” and critical skills185.9110.176.5
Quality, safety, environment128.8157.9188.7
Specialised training (incl. hands-on training)205.1147.3170.1
Institutional and managerial training207.1255.2243.2
Training to support new IT system and basic computing33.17.112.0
Other (costs for development and support activities)120.3180.0178.4

The data refer to Hera S.p.A., Herambiente, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Uniflotte, Famula On-line and Hera Luce.

The overall financial investment for training amounted to Euro 869 thousand net of costs for personnel in training and in-house trainers. Euro 111 thousand was used from the Interprofessional Training Fund in 2011.

Main training initiatives

All training activities set forth for the Work Force Management project were completed, both for the first phase (Bologna and Imola-Faenza TOSs) and for the second phase (extension to all other TOSs); the trainers received methodological training on teaching methods and learning management, with particular focus placed on motivational and cultural change aspects linked to the new system's technologically innovative model, and technical training managed in the classroom with a view to becoming proficient on the system, which was structured into a basic module and specialist modules to learn the individual functions necessary for the management and subsequent maintenance of the work.
Employee training on safety in daily work practices continues to be emphasised; approximately 49,000 training hours were provided in 2011 in the Quality, Safety and Environment area (including 9,000 hours as part of the Scuola dei Mestieri initiative).

HerAcademy: more knowledge and innovation for the company and the community

HerAcademy, the Group's Corporate University, was founded in 2011, as a supplement to the research programme conducted by CRISP (Centro di ricerca interuniversitario per i servizi di pubblica utilità - Inter-University Research Centre for Public Utility Services), with the contribution of important regional academic institutions and the involvement of reference stakeholders.
HerAcademy was presented in Bologna on 15 December 2011, during the meeting "Private, public and social assets - The organisation of knowledge in the public utilities sector and the HerAcademy project"; the initiative is in line with the Group's continuous commitment to taking advantage of experience and developing the skills of its workforce by promoting cooperation and the exchange of knowledge, so that work becomes a source of satisfaction and pride for people, as well as a significant factor for the company's success.


The Scuola dei Mestieri and its progress
The Scuola dei Mestieri, which has now reached its seventh year, is a project for efficient use of the technical and operational skills that are present within the Hera Group. The aim is to raise the level of awareness of professional conduct and of skill transfer potential from operator to operator.
There are 13 notebooks printed and published for the Scuola dei mestieri: in 2011, the thirteenth notebook called "Training courses for employees who manage and maintain networks and electric stations" was published; in 2012, the fourteenth notebook should be published, for remote control station workers, and those already published will be updated.
Developing the organisational performances and strengthening the company sense of belonging are among the objectives that led us to further develop the Scuola dei Mestieri model, guiding its evolution in the apprenticeship communities. Apprenticeship communities are mainly ad hoc and self-regulated social groups which are characterised by the production and sharing among their ranks of procedures and practical knowledge applied to a specific trade, through behaviours inspired by principles of cooperation. In 2011, development work related to customer management is continuing in all regional areas and is aimed at revising operating instructions, also by using forums and the wiki environment; forums were also used to manage and monitor the Work Force Management project, while a dedicated wiki environment was created to share knowledge related to some processes of Hera Trading.

Progetto Laureati (Graduates Project)

This project which began in 2004 aims to recruit and hire young high potential graduates. There are currently 112 employees that joined the Group through this project in the period from 2004 to 2011.
Specifically, in 2011 15 young resources were hired who attended the institutional training programme during the year (including the orientation course and the basic management course).
The selection provides for an initial assessment phase which is attended by candidates that have been previously selected through the CVs received by the company and who meet specific requirements regarding their identity and studies. When the selection process is complete, the suitable candidates are hired by the company with an eighteen-month entrance contract.

Courses focusing on the development of potential

The second "Development of Potential" project was held in 2011 and, in line with the 2008 edition, it involved resources from the 2007 and 2008 editions of the Graduates Project and other young employees with similar characteristics in terms of identity and studies, identified following an assessment of professional growth potential.
The project's main objective is to enhance and develop the potential of young employees of the Group.
This second edition saw the participation of 94 employees, for whom specific training and development initiatives will be planned throughout 2012. Furthermore, the courses dedicated to the resources from the 2008 edition and the relative monitoring continued.
Overall, 90 women and 104 men participated in the project's two editions.

The Leadership Model

The Leadership model describes the key elements necessary to best interpret Hera's mission and values, and the skills which Hera managers should have and develop are related to four key elements: management of complex situations, orientation to excellence, focus on service and exemplary leadership. All managers are called to invest in themselves to grow and continuously acquire more authoritativeness, with the aim of contributing to the achievement of company objectives, while focusing on results and external as well as internal customers, motivating their co-workers and ensuring that they develop professionally in line with their roles.
The objective for 2011 was to set up and carry out an articulated plan of initiatives aimed at managers and middle managers, with a view to fully disseminating and providing training on the model's contents. The principles include:

  • training workshops to raise awareness and teach management about the model and its role with respect to other human resource management processes;
  • specific seminars on the model's various key elements, to provide points for reflection, also through the testimonials of important external speakers;
  • training sessions to develop skills related to co-worker and team management, in line with the model.

Over 5,700 man-hours were provided as part of these initiatives, and over 400 people were involved. In 2012, continuity will be provided to this project through the arrangement and implementation of a new targeted activity and initiative plan, and the specific seminars will also be completed.

Enhancing skills within Hera

Within its training and development courses, the Group has always particularly emphasised the optimisation of the distinctive skills of its workforce. In addition to making significant investments in external training, the company has also been committed for years to using internal trainers to facilitate the dissemination of skills and the special experience gained in the field.
Also, when development and career paths are identified, particular attention is placed on mapping and analysing resource skills and potentials, specifically focusing on key roles, to identify the best ways to support growth.

Agreements with Universities

The Hera Group has reached a framework agreement with the University of Bologna providing incentives for the training of undergraduates and recent graduates, with a particular emphasis on water, energy and environmental issues, through the assignment of six-monthly scholarships for final year students and for recent graduates. In this context, a specific agreement with the Department of Industrial Chemistry allows young graduates or final year students to benefit from curricular training, vocational training or orientation.
The Group also has agreements with the Universities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Ferrara, the S. Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and, since 2011, with the University of Padua.

Interns hired over the year15182166
 of whom aged under 18215521
Interns recruited following internship15913

166 persons had an apprenticeship with Hera in 2011. Of these, 13 were hired.