In view of tailoring training activities to meet the requirements of the premium strategy, Pirelli created a global training system in 2013 that makes it possible to align skills, contribute to the comprehensive system of knowledge management and create permanent training processes.

Pirelli training in the previous years was strongly and largely tied to local needs, or aimed at developing strategic skills at the international level, but often with a “campaign” and “on demand” slant. On the other hand, the ongoing global activities were mainly dedicated to talented employees.

The new training model, named Training@Pirelli, has simultaneously made it possible to extend the global reach of offered training courses to all countries, realising economies of scale and expanding the number of potential participants. Indeed, for the first time, the target of this innovation in training courses is comprised by the entire company population, albeit broken down by professional families and critical roles.

Finally, Training@Pirelli has the aim of implementing an organised educational and learning system, globally structured but nonetheless equipped to meet the needs that can arise at any time at the local level in each of the countries where Pirelli is present. In a word, it is “glocal”. The “glocal” dimension is also assured in terms of knowledge management, by providing all training content in digital format and didactically transferable to every country in the Group.

The new training system is based on three principal “pillars”: the Professional Academy, the School of Management and Local Education. The first two are centrally designed and are locally delivered in the various countries, but also centrally at headquarters in Milan for the most critical populations or skills. Local Education is instead locally established and provided in the individual countries and addresses specific local needs.

the Professional Academies

Nine Professional Academies have been set up, one for each principal professional area, which provide for development of the expertise and technical and professional skills of the principal rolls of each corporate function. The Academies are: Product, Manufacturing, Commercial, Quality, Supply Chain, Purchasing, Finance, Planning & Controlling, and HR.

The elements of Sustainable Management run through all the Academies, for example with a focus on product LCA, process environmental efficiency, health and safety, sustainable management of the supply chain and risk management.

The IT Academy, dedicated to information technology, will be created in 2014.

The Academies provide permanent training and guarantee the exchange of knowledge between countries, while contributing to the achievement of excellence, implementing and sharing Pirelli knowhow, tools and procedures in every region and country.

The training offered by the Academies targets the entire working population. The faculty of the Academies is composed primarily of in-house instructors who are expert in their specific functions that, according to training requirements and logistic needs, work mainly at the local and regional level, or via online seminars and webinar sessions. Certain specific courses targeting managerial levels are held at Milan headquarters.

The real peculiarity of the Professional Academies lies in the fact that each of them is headed by an accredited expert of the function, and is composed of a team of professionals from the function itself. The HR Department (and particularly the Training Department) closely monitor all staff members of the Academies, guaranteeing the uniformity of design, teaching, and learning assessment methods, while assuring consistency with human resource development policies.

The Academies have offered a total of 227 courses in 2014. Although each Academy differs from the others in terms of content and themes, it is broken down into common areas and types.

  • A Day Into: a common course for someone who does not belong to the professional family in question, it provides an overview of the processes, roles and activities of the function.
  • Basic Professional: aimed at newly hired persons and all resources of the function interested in broadening their own base knowledge, it aims to implement comprehension of key processes in view of improving the integration between different departments and areas.
  • Advanced Professional: its focus aims to provide skills excellence in the specific professional segments, through highly specialised training courses.
  • Functional Tools: a training area focused on knowledge and use of the typical tools, software and technologies of each department.
  • Functional Skills: dedicated to improving specific behavioural skills in the professional family, in view of standardising and aligning processes and skills in each specific sector.

the School of Management

The School of Management aims to be the principal tool for development of the Pirelli Group managerial culture. Skills and training topics have been centrally defined at headquarters by senior management, deriving them directly from the strategic priorities of the Company.

The School of Management courses are focused on three broad training areas:

  • Business: for reading and interpreting the market and business culture, with a passion for technical and product aspects. Being able to draw concrete results from available information responsibly, with quick decision making and execution.
  • People: to obtain results through human resource management, working to comprehend the talent of everyone while developing a climate that favours open dialogue that allows everyone to be fully aware of his or her own contribution to the creation of corporate value.
  • Change: to be capable of making changes, innovating, improving, and comparing oneself with the best on the market; to develop the ability to assume risks and manage any resulting mistakes.

The School of Management offers a set of courses focused on three specific populations that are critical to the firm:

  • Executives;
  • Middle Management/Senior Professionals;
  • New university graduates/Junior (up to two years working experience).

The executive courses are held centrally in Milan, to guarantee debate and sharing of strategies directly with senior management and to encourage the interdepartmental and geographical circulation of local practices as much as possible.

The courses and content for middle management and senior professionals were designed centrally and offered locally in the various countries and regions, through a network of centrally certified management education partners.

In regard to the population of new university graduates, the School of Management has put the finishing touches on a uniform biennial course for young hires every year in all countries for the first time at the Group.

The general aim is to provide a shared vision of the business, its strategies and its operating processes from the very beginning, and to assure development in all countries of the most important basic skills for a young person who wants to become a future member of Company management.

The course has been significantly entitled WarmingUp@ Pirelli. It is shaped as an induction programme that is deeply rooted in the Company business and its specific functional skills. This is why great emphasis has been placed on knowledge of the product, the functioning of internal processes and direct familiarity with customers and markets.

WarmingUp@Pirelli is essentially a course whose full duration is about two years. It opens with Plunga, an historic institutional course lasting five days. For years the Plunga course has not only represented an important opportunity to become familiar with corporate processes and strategies, but also continues to be a common denominator for all new hires at all locations in the Pirelli world, offering important occasions for networking.

On the job training follows that course: lasting a total of about three months, the participants at WarmingUp spend an average of two days a week at the individual company departments, beginning with the materials area until they go out into the field with the sales force.

All modules have been planned to include a theoretical part in the classroom and an on the job part. This is why visits to suppliers, test tracks, the plant and sales outlets are planned. The participants take a final learning assessment test at the end of their on the job training.

This is followed by several, more traditional training modules to round out training on the behaviour and comprehension of the economics of business management. A brief stint of being teamed up with a coach eases the transition from the first to the second year, in order to take stock of one’s personal skills.

In contrast with the first year, the second year is more heavily concentrated on all the interdisciplinary skills.

This will also be the year when, after acquiring greater awareness of one’s own role in the Company, it will be possible to attend the training courses offered by the Academies, as compatible with the skills specifically required by one’s own department.

At the end of the two years of Warming Up, all of its participants are supposed to attend an Orientation and Skills Review session, also called the “Orienteering Lab”. Based on the observations of several independent professionals and a battery of logical and numerical exercises, the Orienteering Lab aims to develop the participants’ self-awareness of their role at the Company and their command of the skills requested by the Company.

The highly innovative element of the Warming Up programme consists in its international character and its application at all Pirelli Group sites. During 2013 different editions of the course were organised for a total of 130 Pirelli Group employees in seven countries. The participating countries were: Italy, Romania, China, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, and Mexico.

Local Education

The training provided at the local level is obviously very important. The fundamental difference with the training provided before the creation of Training@Pirelli is the global structure of the courses. It is now the same for all countries, although a local focus is maintained for specific activities addressing the distinctive aspects of each individual nation.

The Local Education courses are typically related to basic training and then to the specific needs of the country or compliance with local laws and regulations.

These seminars cover specific skills areas, which range from improving relationship skills to stress management, from development of computer and language skills to seminars on local welfare issues or improving sensitivity for local projects.

For example, several ad hoc training experiences were held in Italy during 2013, including:

  • Working Parents Workshop: a mother is born... and also a father. Short coaching modules are led by professional psychologists to assist the employees who have just become parents in assuming their new role as working parents;
  • course for Management Assistants;
  • Customer Delighting course (targeting the entire population of the IT Department at headquarters in Italy).

global training catalogue

In conclusion, the entire new Pirelli training scheme ultimately aims at contributing to the search for professional and managerial excellence consistently with the challenges faced by the Company, without losing sight of individual growth and development and support for performance. As in the past, the new training system is strictly related to the Pirelli system of Performance Management. Training priorities and the courses to be attended are largely defined during the annual and half-yearly performance meetings.

Training@Pirelli is offered to all employees in the form of a specific catalogue that explains the proposed courses in detail. The catalogue highlights all the programmes, which are broken down into the three course tracks described above. Employees choose their training by checking the level, contents and duration of each course in the catalogue through dialogue with their own supervisor and the applicable HR manager.

In the Learning Lab, all employees may check the training offered, find the description and Guidelines of the training courses, while learning about the details, educational materials used, in-depth readings and the possibility of self-enrolment.

sustainability training

2013 saw the continuation of training regarding the Pirelli Model of Sustainable Management in line with the Sustainability plan. Training was diversified according to the target group. In the context of the international corporate course Pirelli’s Way Joining the Group, Pirelli presents the Group’s Sustainable Management strategy to all new employees, starting from the multistakeholder approach in the context of integrated economic, environmental and social management.

The Pirelli Training Model also draws new employees’ attention to the Group’s Sustainability Policies and the commitments they involve, as detailed in the Ethical Code, the Code of Conduct, the Equal Opportunities Policy, and the Group Social Responsibility Policy for Occupational Health, Safety, Rights, and Environment.

In addition to this Pirelli complies with and upholds the contents of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, the International Labour Organisation’s “Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work”, the “Rio Declaration on Environment and Development” and the United Nations “Convention against Corruption”, as well as the provisions of Standard SA8000® and internationally recognised human rights, including the ban on forced labour and child labour, proceeds to free bargaining, equal opportunities and non-discrimination. All of these issues are also presented in training courses for all Group sustainability managers and buyers.

pirelli training statistics

Analysing the new training strategy in terms of numbers, training effort rose again in 2013. The number of average days of training pro-capita was 7.2 at the global level, thus meeting the target of 7 average days of training pro-capita two years early, after originally being set for 2015.

The distribution by type of participants and type of training is highlighted in the following graphics.

On average, training involved 80% of the Company population with at least one day pro-capita. There was substantial balance between the sexes even when this figure is broken down by gender, with 80% of female employees being involved in training activities, exactly the same as the 80% participation rate for the male population.

Of the total training provided by the Group in 2013, about 64% was provided at the local level. In regard to the type of training, 13.06% is accounted for by the Academies, 6.07% by the School of Management, and about 11% of the total training was related to Health and Safety.

The new global training model based on the Professional Academies and the School of Management was launched in 2013 and will gradually replace most of the training previously offered at the local level.

Pirelli thus intends to standardise and gradually expand its global training effort, reaching 2017 with half of the training in every country being focused on the courses offered by the Academies and School of Management and an average number of training days pro-capita remaining at 7, plus the involvement of 90% of employees in at least one day pro-capita.