At Piaggio, there is a culture to identify the best of talent at a very young stage and provide them the platform to grow within the Company, in relevant and key positions. Pooja Bansal, head-HR, Piaggio India, shares with HRKatha the Company’s robust talent-development pipeline which spots the finest talent and builds a career path for them.
International-level talent development
Bansal reveals that Piaggio has an international or global-level talent development programme called Piaggio Way, where every region nominates the best of talent who undergo a four-year rigorous programme, which gives them global exposure. The curriculum is designed at a global level, aligned to the business strategy of the Company. Offering a mix of classroom sessions and hands-on real-time projects, the most exciting part of Piaggio Way is that its participants get to meet the global population of the Company. “The larger objective of the programme is to give participants global exposure. They get to interact with other participants from around the world,” tells Bansal.
Only the best performers of the Company, from each region, are selected for the programme. Employees who have spent at least three years in the Company are eligible. They are evaluated on the performance and consistency over their tenure at the Company. With the help of the robust performance-management system that Piaggio has in place, the best talent is identified and nominated for the initiative. Feedback from the immediate managers is taken into account, and the behavioural competency of the candidates is also checked through psychometric tests.
Under this programme, the skills that every participant should possess are decided on the basis of three levels — organisational, functional and individual. The participants become part of various cross-functional teams and spend time at various action learning programmes, where they can apply their newly-acquired skills.
“At Piaggio, we strive to identify great talent at a very early stage and develop them to be future leaders”
Pooja Bansal, head-HR, Piaggio India
The participants selected under the Piaggio Way programme are sent to the global training- assessment centre, where they are trained for four years. This is very specifically aligned to the business strategy of the Company. “The career paths are very clearly defined for all the participants,” reveals Bansal.
Those who go through this programme are promoted and given higher responsibilities. Some are even assigned special roles. Bansal shares that amongst the current executive leadership team at
Piaggio, three have been part of the Piaggio Way programme. Clearly, the international development programme is a vital to the Company, to nurture young talent and build a pipeline for future leaders. Usually, the aim of this programme is to identify the best and high-performing talent at a very young age.
Local-level talent development
The Company also has another programme called the ‘Next Mile’ initiative. The procedure and processes followed under this programme are very similar to the Piaggio Way initiative, but the only difference is, Next Mile is meant to nurture young talent at the local level.
“At Piaggio, we strive to identify great talent at a very early stage and develop them to be future leaders,” asserts Bansal.
Piaggio has an executive-coaching programme, which is meant for all the senior leadership, including the business heads and functional heads. All leaders receive personalised training under an executive coach, which defines the learning journey of the leaders. The coaches are all certified and come with relevant experience.
Till now, the executive-coaching initiative of the Company has focussed on two areas in which its leaders are coached and trained. The first area is design thinking, where workshops are held for 21 days and till now, 37 leaders have participated. At Piaggio, middle managers are also part of the executive coaching programme, though the curriculum and the focus for the middle-management level is very different. “It coaches the middle management on how to progress and move on to the next level in their career,” says Bansal.
The second focus area of the leadership-development strategy is social competency. The services that Piaggio offers involve dialogues with the Government. It requires leaders to communicate with high-ranking government officials, and coaching helps hone their communication skills.
Piaggio employs various mechanisms to measure the impact of the learning initiatives. One of them is the net promoter score (NPS) model, which is actually used to get the satisfactory score of a customer. In this, all participants are asked to rate how likely they would be to recommend others to go through the learning journey.
The ones who give a rating of six or below on a scale of 10, are known as ‘detractors’, while the ones who give a rating between nine to 10 are the ‘promoters’. The difference between the percentage of promoters and detractors is the NPS score of the learning initiative.
Bansal tells HRKatha that after every learning activity, the learning team and the HRBP managers start taking feedback from the participants, their immediate managers and peers. “In fact, it is mandatory for all managers to give a feedback on how the person is using the newly-acquired skills on the job,” says Bansal.
Moreover, every talent development programme involves an action-learning project where the immediate managers, HRPBs and the L&D team evaluate the participants on how much of new learning they have been able to retain and apply to the project.