When travelling it’s sometimes fun to forget both your destination and where you’re coming from. Travel for its own sake can be very pleasing, liberating and surprising. But work is a different matter. To grow professionally it’s necessary to always bear your strengths and weaknesses in mind and work on them in the light of the objective you have set yourself.
"Change is a personal thing. You must be clear about your objectives and how to achieve them. Waiting won’t make anything happen".
- Steven Deman, Marketing Director BU Europe –
People can only grow professionally if they want to and are willing to put themselves on the line. A working environment that encourages and provides guidance for constant improvement is a big help towards full satisfaction of people’s professional aspirations. The EmpoWer programme is one of the ways in which Autogrill – ever aware of the strategic importance of developing organic know-how within the Group – intends to accompany its employees towards increasingly ambitious goals.
EmpoWer: two go farther than one
What potential have I got? Do I have weaknesses I could work on? These are some of the questions that EmpoWer, a training project Autogrill has developed for a particular category of employees, helps people ask themselves.
"This project meant a lot to me. It meant understanding certain people more thoroughly, how they view gender in the Company but also, more generally, how they see the Company itself and how we behave".
- Ezio Balarini, Group Chief Marketing Officer
Structured around meetings with external consultants, online work and one-to-one sessions between mentor and mentee, the programme aims to develop certain skills and potential capabilities deemed of strategic importance for the Company.
"Being a mentor meant putting my experience, my point of view and my capacity to help at the disposal of interesting people in a position to use them.".
- Daniele Rizzo, Chief Information Officer Autogrill Europe -
Under the EmpoWer programme, 18 colleagues were assisted by 13 senior managers to exchange skills, impressions and experience. This made it possible to spread best practices and strengthen employees’ motivation, whilst making it increasingly clear how to work with others – by setting a personal and professional example – towards the success of the Group.
Every year, EmpoWer concentrates a particular theme: last year’s centred on gender balance.
"I learned a lot of different soft skills how to move inside in the organization how to preceive some gender differences and use them in order to be more efficient".
- Laure Vincent, Group Marketing Strategy and Communication Director -
Diversity of viewpoints is an asset
Under the guidance of two professional trainers, the participants in the EmpoWer project enjoyed a profitable exchange of experience through one-to-one meetings, groups presentations and meetings over a period of 18 months.
"EmpoWer was a course of learning for me. For example, how to speak with male colleagues about certain sensations or conditionings that women are aware of having at work".
- Alessandra De Gaetano, Group Concepts Industrialization Director –
It was a process of mutual enrichment and exchange: the mentees were able to measure their skills against those of their seniors, while the mentors were able to personally appreciate the views of the Company and its dynamics held by people who work for its growth everyday.
The focus on gender issues was also an opportunity to reflect on the value of such differences on life at work: understanding the different angles from which men and women go about their day-to-day activities is a first step towards getting the most out their respective capabilities.
Through dialogue to success
The possibilities for dialogue and the building of professional relationships offered by the EmpoWer mentorship programme help individuals understand their role in the organization, and the Group as a whole, which can thus count on the commitment of people who are fully aware of and motivated by the life of the Company.
"EmpoWer enabled me to stop and understand where I was gong and above all plot a course of growth".
- Flavia Pernice, Engeneering specialist -
The ultimate purpose of the programme is to facilitate the professional growth of the participants. This can be achieved through sharing experience with high level managers, imparting key organizational skills, the strengthening of Company culture and strong motivation to work well.