Finding and nurturing the talents is a great journey

08:00 | 05/08/2019
Piaggio Vietnam has implemented its Spotless Reputation strategy since 2017, with one of the core values being “Pay attention to the individual”. Gianluca Fiume, CEO of Piaggio Vietnam cum executive vice president for Asia Pacific 2 Wheeler, explains to VIR’s Thanh Huong that people make things happen, and that is why the company places focus on their development.
finding and nurturing the talents is a great journey
Gianluca Fiume

As the leader of the company, how do you create an ideal workplace for employees?

The fact is, there is no perfect management system. Everyone says employees are important. However, while a brand is considered as company’s asset, employees are commonly overlooked as a business cost. For me, this mindset should be changed because people are the most valuable asset to make things happen. This was also a starting point for my work in Vietnam two and a half years ago.

First, the company must have a clear strategy. Everyone needs to know the company’s directions to achieve the company goals, otherwise they would behave in a shadow state. Our company’s core values are paying attention to individuals, importance of quality, long-term vision, and devotion to the customer.

In addition, Piaggio’s culture also encourages individuals to express themselves and shine in their own way regardless of personalities or age. This culture is expected to empower people to grow. However, to facilitate this goal, managers should guide employees in the right direction as well as motivate them, and the guidelines are based on Piaggio core values.

How do you help your ­employees achieve their full potential as well as the ­company’s goals?

Piaggio is interested in identifying the characteristics of selflessness, problem-solving, and teamwork, and daily activities that we do also focus on these criteria. I am very passionate and interested in identifying new talents and unlocking people’s potential, to make them achieve their limits.

The question is how to achieve that. The simple answer to this is to be yourself. After learning about the goals and core values of the company, it is up to the person to build Piaggio Vietnam. Through that, they can support and motivate others. When a person is motivated, they will get more results and they will fly higher.

Indeed, no matter what system and process the company creates, people always play the vital role. It is easy to have a dictatorship system, however, with that you will not have motivated people. You will only have servants. Therefore, my aim is to make them grow from a professional and personal point of view.

finding and nurturing the talents is a great journey

Everyone says people are ­important, but in addition to that, you also value unique personality and talents. Could you share your experience in managing people with unique characteristics who are not afraid of making mistakes?

Strong personalities mean a challenging environment, but I see that as a necessary investment to make the environment grow. Indeed, their unique characteristics are necessary to make the company grow. They are also the fertiliser of energy to create a constructive environment to gain better results.

The mistakes teach important lessons. By evaluating and analysing mistakes, a person will improve. The important thing is to create an environment where the mistakes are properly considered. This is also the necessary path to improve our company.

Does that mean that employees know that they can make mistakes? How important is this for company culture? The mistake is not

welcomed, but throughout many mistakes, a person will achieve victory. It means that you need to be determined, you need to trust in the direction that you have chosen. You need to empower and believe in the potential of the people around you. By doing so, you will not be able to limit the mistake, but you will make them become constructive and build the necessary steps to achieve the victory.

The people characterise the DNA of the company. We need to combine in the most efficient way the people under the same DNA umbrella - people who like to engage with what Piaggio and its brands represent: design, beauty, freedom, passion, and colour.

The experience the organisation has learned and is learning is made by attempts, victories, and failures. Therefore, a company is like a person and it is maturing itself day after day. I believe the company must be considered like a person, because it is made by people. Without the people, the company does not exist.

Every day my job is to cultivate the talent. It is not a job, it is a mission. It takes a lot, but the return is much more. I’m a strong believer that the people have the power.

finding and nurturing the talents is a great journey

In Piaggio, if an employee felt that his opinions were not being listened to, can he go to a higher leader?

I began my career journey as an employee so I ­completely understand other ­people’s thinking and expectations for the CEO. I am a very easy-to-approach CEO and my door is always open. Indeed, I am the most dangerous partner for the company’s Board of Directors, because I am the CEO of the people, not the CEO of the board.

When there is an opportunity to break the rules and to provoke the reaction of the system, you need to address a “shock” to the company system so that it wakes up, because one of the challenges of managing a company is always to keep it awake. There are some people who are

naturally oriented to relax themselves. In order to avoid that risk, the organisation needs to be managed as horizontally as possible, not vertically. In simple words, happy employees mean a happy company.

finding and nurturing the talents is a great journey
Vietnam is the headquarters of Piaggio Group in Asia Pacific

What are the characteristics of Vietnamese employees that you value the most?

Vietnam is a fantastic and prolific environment for ­several reasons. Vietnamese people are hungry for new ideas and eager for knowledge. They are determined to create new things and they have only a positive mindset. I have almost never heard a Vietnamese person talking about something in a negative way. In that way, I am very Vietnamese as I also share these characteristics.

They are also very ­generous, respectful, and they are in love with Vespa and ­Piaggio. This is the reason why Piaggio decided Vietnam would be our hub for Asia-­Pacific 13 years ago. Vietnam is an important ­market for ­Piaggio globally – it is an emerging market.

- Piaggio has four brands of Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi, but considers its people as its fifth brand.

- Piaggio Vietnam has been recognised as one of the best companies to work for in Asia in 2019 by the HR Asia Awards. This year 9,850 employees from a total of 265 companies across Vietnam responded to the HR Asia Best Companies to Work For in Asia Survey. The survey covered 10 markets across the continent, including Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates.

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional

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