Last January, the Top Employers Institute awarded Hera with the tenth certification in a row as one of the best companies in Italy for application of best practices focused on the development and well-being of its people. An award of Certified Excellence in Employee Conditions.
A contribution from Mr. Alessandro Camilleri, Head of Development, Training and Organisation at Hera.
It was 2010 when Hera obtained its first award as Certified Top Employer in Italy. Since then, we have never stopped our efforts in being acknowledged as an excellence employer.
First, going through such a certification process year after year is giving us the opportunity to revise processes, activities and projects aimed to improve well-being and productivity of our people over time. On the other hand, lining-up with best Italian and European companies is encouraging us in reviewing practices, in order to define new challenging standards to meet in following years.
Such Top Employer Certification is very valuable, since it comes out of a strict assessment process. Any company possessing an advanced and structured HR strategy can file for the Program under the only constrain of employing at least 250 people locally or 2,500 globally. The following step utilises an extensive questionnaire: Top Employer Institute carries the HR Best Practice Survey by analyzing over 600 behaviors grouped in 10 main subjects. Main evaluated criteria include training and development investments, welfare policies, on-boarding policies for new staff, selection and career processes planning, talent-nurturing strategies, corporate culture and working environment. Every criteria needs to fulfill very high standards; therefore, obtaining the certification is actually quite challenging.
Top Employers Institute validates submitted questionnaires and documentation, and an independent third-party reviews them, with the aim of assuring process integrity. In order to obtain Certification, the Company needs to meet requested rating international standard.
Process ends by delivering a benchmark report, which scores the level of HR practices comparing them to other certified companies. Last year Hera ranked second among all Italian corporations: a factor that further enhances the value of the award and confirms the Group’s ongoing focus on the development and continuous improvement of its strategies in this field.
Hera’s best practices include Hextra, the integrated corporate welfare plan for the ca. 9,000 Group employees; workers can “customize” a quota of these economic resources, according to their needs, and have the possibility of converting part of one’s performance bonus into an additional welfare quota. Among our best practice, we can also mention work-life balance measures and initiatives to raise awareness on health, safety and well-being issues. Finally, Hera Group’s commitment to equal opportunity and the appreciation of diversity is paramount.
Hera is once again among the leading Italian companies that invest in the personal and professional development of its employees, with 29 hours of training per capita per year, well above the national average for multi-utilities. Heracademy, the corporate university that facilitates the Group’s interaction with companies and the main public local organisations, has played a pivotal role in this context. It has also provided targeted training opportunities, such as workshops focused on the macrotrends of business and society. Not to mention the significant investments to increase organizational agility and to develop digital skills. Hera has also implemented many projects thanks to partnerships with important local and national companies, focusing on innovation and circular economy.
The new generations are also at the heart of Hera’s commitments, to train tomorrow’s employees today and pass on the Group’s values and mission. An example is the ever-increasing number of joint school-work experiences that Hera has organized, based on adding business skills to those acquired in secondary schools, which starting this year will also take place in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions. In addition, the focus on sustainability and generating shared value remains strong, as reflected by Hera’s participation in the network of companies involved in the “Insieme per il Lavoro” [Together for Work] project, in which the Group engaged in implementing horizontal cooperation, training and mentoring practices to help people in need or scarcely independent and seeking employment.