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The pandemic has had a major impact on our internal training opportunities

Apr 14, 2022.

At Generali, we have an internal training centre – our Academy. We offer our sales force one of the best training courses on the market. Our back-office employees and those in the head offices also benefit from a wide range of training opportunities. Patrizio Giacomuzzo, Head of the Academy, explains our Academy’s objectives in an interview.

Patrizio, what is the remit of an internal training organisation like the Generali Academy?

Public training organisations try to provide the market with the widest, most attractive range of training opportunities possible. Internal training organisations like ours don’t impart knowledge for the sake of education: our efforts and activities pursue a very specific purpose. Knowledge and skills are the drivers of technological transformation and entrepreneurial change. Our training initiatives aim to support and promote us in achieving our strategic goals. The Academy therefore has a very special responsibility.

 

How have the demands of companies on internal training centres changed in recent years?

These days, employees are expected to have good basic knowledge. Internal training is therefore no longer about providing employees with training formats that last weeks or months. Today, it’s about equipping employees with targeted skills that enable them to perform their tasks in the best possible way.

 

“We are changing from a knowledge society into a skills society.”

 

In other words, we are working on our transformation from a knowledge society into a skills society. Access to knowledge is taken for granted in large parts of the world today, and is therefore no longer a competitive advantage. Skills are just as important for change today.

 

In the last two years, in-person training was only possible to a limited extent. How were the employees still able to benefit from the training and continuing education opportunities?

The pandemic presented enormous challenges in terms of knowledge transfer and employee empowerment. Take the training of our new sales representatives as an example: these programmes are planned one year in advance. Interruptions or postponements are critical because they affect the entire organisation. The Academy reacted in an exemplary manner and switched the learning formats from face-to-face training to virtual training from one day to the next. This was a master stroke in terms of both organisation and teaching.

 

Other formats, such as the “Map2theNew” programme, were developed during this time specifically for distance learning. This enabled employees to take part in further training and develop their skills, even during the pandemic.

 

Generali Switzerland launched the new Avanti 2027 strategy in January. To what extent can the Academy contribute to its success?

I would frame our ambitions like this: “Build a learning organisation that empowers people to deal with constant change”. The “change” results from our new strategy. The Academy’s training formats must aim to ensure that all of our colleagues in the field are always ready to be able to actively support Avanti 2027.

 

The sales representatives complete several months of training at the Academy. What does the Academy do differently from the competition?

The main difference is that in the Generali Academy all training courses that support the core business come from the same business unit. These include training courses for sales and management development, but also training in soft skills. This not only allows a holistic view of the training topics but is also much more efficient as far as the administrative processes are concerned. In addition, the Academy has outstanding trainers with relevant experience who guarantee practice-oriented knowledge transfer.

About Patrizio Giacomuzzo

 

Patrizio has been Head of Generali Academy at Generali Switzerland since October 2021. He brought in a breath of fresh air with his motivating manner. He held a similar position at Six Payment Services before joining Generali. His focus is on upskilling employees.

About the MAP Programme

The Managerial Acceleration Programme (MAP) is a global initiative of the Generali Group. With the second part of the “MAP2theNew” Programme, we’re upskilling our executives for the world of hybrid work. Our focus is on the employees and on new ways of thinking. Our executives act as role models in the “New Normal”.

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