Eni Corporate University is the principal means used by Eni to attract and recruit talent, oversee their managerial, technical and professional training and enhance the company’s employer branding by promoting a unified corporate identity.
In particular, Eni Corporate University:
The Legacy of Mattei It was in a television interview in 1961 that Enrico Mattei, with great conviction, said: “the large number of people, the large number of workers are not a sign of poverty for Italy but a sign of wealth‘. This was at a time when corporate staff was not yet considered a resource and shortly after the concentrated emigration of
many Italians, who, in the 1950s went to other European and American countries
to find their fortune.
Although strict and very demanding, Mattei restored the trust in the contributions
that individuals were able to provide in order to develop the company and a great
part of Eni’s success was related to the speed with which he succeeded in preparing and implementing a formidable network of technicians and managers.
Knowing that a country such as Italy could only count on the quality of its people after the devastating wartime conditions and without great natural resources, Mattei exploited the “levers‘ of recruitment and training in order to quickly build up an excellent pool of staff in the 1950s.
“When I find them (young, full of talent, very motivated, willing and dedicated), I employ them even if I don’t need them because I never seem to be able to find them when I’m actually in need‘: this was the philosophy of a talent scout, who, from his partisan experience, has shown a great eye for assessing individuals and a profound ability to attract and motivate them by conveying the sense of there being a mission to accomplish. In a period when new business initiatives were constantly being launched, he believed it important to organise those that he called “professional reserves‘: people who were perfectly trained and immediately ready to get working, as and when required, wherever they were in the world.
He launched a fantastic training and induction policy for people covering a range of positions, from more operational staff to executives and managers; he also involved the top management in seminars (some at individual operating company level, others at Group level). The training involved both classic classroom and on-the-job training, and he would often send his best collaborators to the United States in order that they check out new innovative organisational methods that could then be brought to Italy.
1957 saw the establishment of the School for Higher Studies on Hydrocarbons, the first Italian business school that was also dedicated to open to non-Italian. It was renamed the Scuola Mattei in 1969, clearly illustrating his strong interest in training and the notable originality of his approach, in terms of both the interdisciplinary nature and the large number of international students (the 2,500 students trained to date include more than 100 nationalities).
In parallel with the post-graduate training offered by the Mattei School in technical and financial disciplines, the IAFE (Istituto Aggiornamento e Formazione Eni) was created in 1973 for the purpose of planning and supplying managerial training for all of the Group’s company managers; it was an indispensible tool for the development of a common managerial culture within Eni.
With the subsequent establishment of Eniformazione, a joint stock consortium, in 1998, the technical-professional and cross-sectional expertise training (for example, languages and IT) were also centralised.
The incorporation of Eni Corporate University: the reasons and targets
Staff training activities took place in 2001 and then, more generally, those aimed at guaranteeing the protection, spreading and development of the Eni business culture for the industrial sectors; the Group also expanded its related markets
Eni Corporate University was incorporated in order to overcome this division and create a synergy between the processes of searching for and selecting personnel, integrating all of the Eni division dedicated to training and staff selection with the purpose of:
Training contributes to the safeguarding, valuing and developing of the technical and professional know-how that is a feature of our company. Its aim is to enhance the managerial skills of individuals and to promote Eni’s values in the areas of health, safety and sustainability. It is there to serve the activities of managing change and new business initiatives, in particular abroad, accompanying individuals along their developmental path, helping them to build a sound and dynamic professional identity and express their own potential.
Eni believes firmly in a work organisation that is based on knowledge, cooperation, innovation and the development of personal skills.
The distinguishing factors that are a feature of the training are: constantly updating methodologies; partnering with universities, business schools and training institutes of excellence; developing an internal faculty for safeguarding and valuing Eni’s distinctive know-how and using innovative technologies.
All areas of training employ, in synergy, the most advanced learning methodologies. These include: workshops; programmes involving classroom and web-based training; video interviews; business games and webinars.
NUMBERS AND TRENDS
A total of 4.3 million training hours were delivered in 2013, across the following macro subject areas
Training took place at the Eni Corporate University offices in Italy and in those of Eni’s various companies both in Italy and abroad.
Technology and sustainability
Training is increasingly making use of technology with the aim of stimulating and improving learning. The newly equipped classrooms at the Eni Corporate University include multimedia tools (such as eBoards and Tablets) that will provide a more effective delivery of the training process and the testing out of state of the art technologies. The specifically developed app and equipment will allow teaching documents to be delivered electronically. This will in turn cut down on the quantities of paper material and make it possible to: access archives and obtain information - as well as share data instantly; make audio/video recordings of the lessons for use during the course or in later sessions; conduct exercises, questionnaires and tests (even of learning) electronically and, what is more, allow individuals, who are located in different parts of Italy and abroad, to take part in the course remotely.
AREAS OF TRAINING
Technical and professional training sets itself the goal of developing specific skills for working within Eni and its companies, in an industrial setting that is both multinational and technologically advanced.
Training will consist of interdisciplinary courses for Eni’s different areas of production or of specially put together training programmes for individual business areas, and will keep pace with developments in technology. The training, depending on the objectives and content, is aimed at multiple recipients: new employees; experienced personnel; highly specialised technicians and blue-collar workers. The main areas of technical and professional training will include: geology; geophysics; deposits; drilling; production; maintenance; health; safety; environment and quality.
The training of managers represents a constant guarantee of the alignment of strategic capabilities when it comes to the development of the business.
Its goal is to promote the acquisition of a vast and variable range of knowledge and behaviours; cultivate managerial skills and relational styles; improve the capacity to interpret and promote a corporate culture that is sustainable and mindful of organisational wellbeing; improve the ability to work as part of a team and in multicultural settings.
The courses cover different subject areas and foresee ad hoc planning, in accordance with the specific requirements of Eni's different areas of production.
The major areas of training are the development of personal skills; the valuing of individuals; the spreading of corporate values; diversity management and corporate wellbeing.
Commercial and Supporting the Business
Commercial training and that which supports the business represent one of the key levers to the professional development of individuals.
The specially planned courses are specifically designed to support specific targets for change and developments in the business, but they are also aimed at developing the skills required for the role.
The major areas of training include project management and knowledge in the areas of economics; finance; marketing; administration; budgets, as well preparation for roles in business, marketing and franchising.
Another key element is training in the area of information and technology: this is provided by means of courses on standard applications and specialist courses for ICT technicians as well as specially designed projects to support the launch of Eni's IT systems.
Eni Corporate University works to promote the dissemination of knowledge within Eni, contributing to the planning and development of knowledge management initiatives on the part of business and professional areas, facilitating the transfer of experiences and ensuring a consolidated viewpoint.
Organisations, and companies in particular, have had to cope with an increasingly complex, dynamic and competitive setting for several years now.
In addition to the structural challenges due to the replacement of reserves and the growing complexity of operations, projects, markets and regulations, the oil business goes through stages that are characterised by a high variation in commodity prices and lower margins. This inevitably involves a constant search for efficiency and effectiveness in all business operations. Because this concerns a high-tech sector, there is also a need for significant investment in research and development in order to reach both incremental and completely innovative targets (breakthroughs).
In this context, the knowledge and skills of workers represent a crucial asset in the value creation of a business; this is in order to promptly react to external factors, develop new solutions, capitalise on experience and guarantee the ability to sustain results over time.
The employment processes and dynamics have changed and are increasingly focusing on knowledge workers and the motivational factors that move people within the company.
The organisation as a whole must be able to create or recover knowledge internally; systematically organising, disseminating and translating it into system, process, service and conduct innovations. This is a process of profound change that places people at the centre and pushes the organisation to create an environment that is conducive to the full expression of their potential and the development of relational networks through which the exchange of knowledge takes place.
Knowledge management represents the response to the effective use of knowledge that is present in a company and for the professional growth of the people involved.
The purpose of knowledge management is therefore two-fold:
- to codify and systematically arrange the explicit knowledge that is present and spread out within the organisations in order to enable it to be "re-used" more effectively;
- to allow the emergence of tacit knowledge (i.e. - to offer an analogy - the submerged, not visible part of the iceberg) held by knowledge workers in order that it becomes property to be shared within the company.
This process can drive itself from the research and application of knowledge that is also held outside of the same organisation. A conversion process is thus triggered: from the outside to the inside and from here to the outside again in the form of new or renewable products, work processes and services or systems that allow the creation and management of the dynamics of innovation and the external market in a virtuous cycle, creating synergies and integration.
Knowledge management is therefore a structured approach to the subject of handling knowledge, which is tackled from a "system" point of view. The main elements are:
- the organisational and technological aspects such as the "enabling factors" of the process;
- the involvement of the knowledge workers, who must "feel" motivation in order to share such knowledge with the organisation.
The introduction of a Knowledge Management system constitutes an innovative project and one of change. One of the success factors is the cultural approach of the people involved, who require new plans, conduct and values on which action is needed in order to trigger and sustain the process. There are three elements on which particular attention is placed through specific change management initiatives:
- the motivation of individuals;
- training, particularly the understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the model and the elaboration of the required conduct;
- communication, in support of the climate of trust and collaboration that is necessary and practical for the successful outcome of initiatives.
The strategic model of the knowledge system arises from the following priorities:
- support of the business lines in the acquisition of further competitive advantages by improving the level of efficiency in operations and by improving the effectiveness of processes and problem-solving;
- coping with complexity and the rapid development and obsolescence of expertise;
- speeding up quality and time frames in relation to the professionalism of people.
The benchmark organisational model is a "decentralised" model that assigns the responsibility for addressing and developing initiatives to business and professional areas. The roles identified as the main referents in relation to the management and development of knowledge are:
- the Chief Knowledge Officers
- the Managers of professional areas
- the Area Knowledge Coordinators
The knowledge management initiatives are based on the development of Communities of Practice, the use of collaboration tools and portals and, in a system logic, are integrated with professional models and the management and development processes.
Communities of Practice (CoPs) are the environment in which participants share their tacit knowledge and experiences related to a subject, discipline or process for their own interest and in support of the organisation they belong to; their knowledge and the knowledge possessed by the organisation itself increases via this reciprocal interaction, thus creating an additional channel in support of learning and training.
The capitalisation of knowledge and experience, i.e. the collection and the ability to consult and reuse knowledge and experience, enables us to avoid mistakes that have already occurred and to recover faster solutions, the so-called "lesson learned", or the improvement of practices that are already in use. Furthermore, the opportunity for everyone to interact with members of CoPs allows them to receive the support of the most knowledgeable individuals in the event of problematic situations, providing insights and guaranteeing speedy and effective comparisons.
From an organisational point of view, CoPs represent virtual networks of knowledge workers operating worldwide, creating a streamlined and effective organisational system based on knowledge and not on hierarchy. In this way, they respond to the organisation's need for strong interactivity and participation; furthermore, they develop synergies with the "formal" organisation without replacing it.
Initially established as an efficiency tool, knowledge management evolved and became an organisational response to the need for creativity, innovation and ongoing learning that can actually weigh upon the organisation's value chai
In order that they might be part of the organisational fabric and that individuals might easily identify with it, the experiences gained within Eni have been developed with a high level of personalisation: experiences are developed starting with the needs and targets of each area
- in coherence with the organisational and managerial references and the operational practices in use;
- in harmony with existing technology, IT systems and databases;
- in relation to the diverse nature of the business context.
In any event, the developed systems respond to a common rationale arising from the need to take advantage of knowledge management in order to:
- streamline and improve the industrial business processes and operating processes (knowledge management to improve the system's internal efficiency);
- seek the best solutions by taking advantage of experience and providing expert knowledge in support of the business operations (knowledge management for problem solving).
Since the launch of the first initiatives in 2002, the complex Eni knowledge management system has developed in the main business areas and, as at 31 December 2009, is composed of 44 active Communities of Practice engaging 1,827 participants.
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San Donato Milanese (MI)
Via S. Salvo, 1
20097 San Donato Milanese (MI)
Tel. +39 02 52 01
Via Paolo Di Dono, 223
00142 - Roma
Tel. +39 06. 59 82 1
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Last updated on 04/09/14