February 21, 2014
Italian automaker Lamborghini is continuing efforts to expand its work force and improve the labor environment following its reception of the Top Employers Italia 2014 Certification.
After a year-long evaluation process, the Top Employers Institute awarded Lamborghini the award for its "excellent workplace environments and advanced policies for human resource management." Recognition as a generous employer may endear the brand to new consumers who appreciate sound business models.
“It’s an award much like quality certification that they had to work for,” said Charles Hughes, founder of Brand Rules, Snowmass, CO. “They really put you through the hoops. It shows an effort and an interest.
“Teams that keep winning awards in all different places feel very good about themselves,” he said.
“Also, if you are working at Lamborghini and you know that this car is someone’s dream, you want to believe that you’re part of that dream, not part of a sweatshop, and that changes everyone’s attitude about working there.”
Mr. Hughes is not affiliated with Lamborghini, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Lamborghini did not respond by press deadline.
The institute looked at five criteria during its evaluation: salary policies, working conditions and benefits, training and professional growth, career opportunities and corporate culture.
Lamborghini has built a welfare system that encompasses employee life both inside and outside the work environment to ensure well-being and motivation.
Attractive salaries and increases linked to tangible measures are available. An apprenticeship program helps to guide citizens into the workforce with compensation that exceeds Italian requirements.
The institute commended the brand's training practices that continue to develop individual skill with culminating programs and international job rotation.
Labor unions receive respect and engage in "transparent" dialogue with management, according to the award statement.
Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini, with employees
Some welfare programs include health insurance, free check-ups and vaccinations and special terms at local nursery schools. Employees are given special access to sports facilities, businesses and cultural activities and discounts on VW Group vehicles. New parents are also provided with extensive paid leave.
Food service at the headquarters meets dietary restrictions and sources local fruit and vegetables.
The brand was the first Italian company to receive the Italian president’s award during the National Forum on Health and Safety in the Workplace.
Work stations are regularly updated to meet safety and health standards and new technologies for preventing risks have been incorporated.
The automaker has hired 300 employees since 2011 to reach a total of 1,029 at its Sant'Agata Bolognese headquarters. The majority of the posts have been in the industrial and research and development fields and 30 percent of new hires during this period have been women.
Lamborghini Huracan model
Additional hires will be made this years as the brand gears itself for human resource investment.
From the ground up
Other luxury brands have shown a commitment to elevating employee satisfaction and productivity.
For instance, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton looked to better serve its Mandarin-speaking consumers traveling abroad with a new training program for Chinese Americans.
The French conglomerate teamed up with Parsons the New School for Design and the Chinese-American Planning Council to design a program to teach recently immigrated Chinese Americans luxury retail skills, which includes an internship at a LVMH brand store. Through this program, LVMH will be able to connect with Chinese tourists in their native language and deliver enhanced customer service (see story).
Also, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars opened up its annual apprenticeship program to welcome a new group of aspiring craftsmen and women.
Selected candidates will work alongside employees skilled in leather, wood, paint, engineering and assembly roles beginning August 2014. The brand’s ability to replenish its apprenticeship program acts as a tangible verification of its strong sales numbers and paints the automaker in a favorable light amid a still straggling economy (see story).
Lamborghini's employment award affirms the quality of its employee culture, and may also appeal to consumers abroad who investigate the roots of what they purchase.
"Today consumers are not just looking for products, but also for great corporate social responsibility and the credentials that drive it," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, New York.
“In a country like Italy where employees are generally treated great, the award is a big deal," he said. "It’s a big deal to consumers around the world and particularly in the United States and Europe, where they really believe in corporate social responsibility.
"As emerging market consumers become more sophisticated and demanding, they will view this reward as extremely important while making purchasing decisions. Employees are also your customers, so they have to be treated as the brand would treat clients."
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York