Personnel and organisation

Ansaldo STS was able to face successfully a year when the difficult economic cycle led to a crisis markets and companies worldwide. The public spending performances supported by governments in order to address the recession confirmed that there is room for developing railway and metro transportation, provided that presence is to be guaranteed worldwide and at competitive prices. The company’s restructuring process, supported by the Fast Forward Driven by Business (FFDB) project, was born to guarantee the control of the company on these matters that are vital to the well-being and development of Ansaldo STS.

Being aware of the strategic importance of the FFDB project to the company, the Human Resources & Organisation Direction effectively supported the company’s top management in the difficult task of transforming Ansaldo STS and its subsidiaries into a sole worldwide organisation, driven by business perspectives and not by the simple geographical presence. To that end, a significant number of in-house resources worked for most of 2009 on the numerous activities requested by the FFDB, in order to ensure that the project is achieved in the estimated times.

The structure of the future world organisation was built through a delayering process and the preparation of Roles & Mandates for the new responsibilities identified. Both these activities have been organised top-down, in order to guarantee the direct involvement of all the personnel concerned by the change, which is coordinated by the change team composed of only in-house staff. At the end of the delayering process, through which the leaders of the future organisation could design the structure of their function and select their own staff, the new global organisational model was formally defined and every employee of the Group had a role in the organisation. With the definition of Roles & Mandates, every function was vested with clear responsibilities and powers, so that the entire organisational project is consistent with the company strategy, consistent at an international level and ready to be implemented at the start of 2010. A team focusing on processes supported the persons who will be responsible in the future for the new organisation structure. They received support in the definition, before everything is ready, of the main interfunctional processes that will support the business from the next year. This was an important moment of comparing and sharing the objectives of the Group management.

Great importance was given to the communication aspect of the FFDB project, with several initiatives that accompanied the several milestones set in 2009, in order to guarantee the greatest involvement of all of the Ansaldo STS employees in the change. The HR communication strategy was twofold:

  1. Listening. To that end the Group’s employees were given the opportunity to express their own degree of appreciation for the change in process and to make suggestions to the top management by means of four questionnaires. Feedback was received by 50% of company staff on average. Based on the results of the surveys, it was possible to measure the involvement of company’s staff in the project and to make important changes to the actions undertaken;
  2. Active communication. To that end, it was requested that the CEO of the company had a direct involvement in the initiatives to be made. 14 Town Hall Meetings were organised in all the regions where ASTS is present. During these meetings, the CEO, assisted by some representatives of the company’s top management, explained to the Group’s personnel the reasons for the change and the strategies of the company for the future. So more than 4,000 employees across the world had the opportunity to ask questions on the Fast Forward project directly to the top managers. Some motivational videos, in which the CEO was directly involved, were made and sent to the employees during the year in order to strengthen the knowledge of the company’s values across the company (Customer Focus, Innovation and Excellence, People, Team Spirit, Integrity) and ASTS’s mission in the global market. The same direct involvement was requested of the persons responsible for the future organisation structure. They were invited to set up meetings with their collaborators as part of the initiative named Cascading Communication. The objective of the meetings was to strengthen the leadership of the new heads of office and make them be the players of the company’s change, and to set up a first structured meeting with the heads of the new functional teams. An internal newsletter, named ASTS News is distributed to employees monthly, electronically and multi-language with the objective of informing them on the main activities, decisions and strategies regarding the Group.

The support to the change in process at the company did not end in 2009. Relevant challenges are expecting the Human Resources Direction for next year as well. That is when the organisation built in the last 12 months will prove to be working well. From the HRO standpoint, this mostly means that functional processes need to be redefined internationally, ensuring at the same time a global approach and the compliance with the local regulatory requirements. To that end, within the Human Resources function international work groups have already been formed in order to implement Group policies in line with the new business needs.