Learner’s Submission: HRCD in the Public Sector in Italy

As an HR manager, how are your country’s top leadership and development vision linked to Human Resource Capacity Development in the Public Sector?

“My country is Italy, a modern state where “public workers” are about 5.5 percent of the population and in which the focus on Human Resources has been increasing for some time.

I belong to the Ministry of Defense and serving in my organization, at my level, and I’m both a leader and a manager, constantly committed to apply the strategic guidelines and the directives coming from the Country’s top leadership.

Nowadays in the Italian Public Administration it’s easy to observe that a large interest in the Human Resource Capacity Development is definitely present and it is absolutely not difficult to find references to it among the HR sectors of the various PA branches.

The leaders of the Country, through the Public Administration Department, have conceived a new vision and developed new measures for PA, which will make the managers more accountable to the organization they manage, more responsible for the employees they lead and more answerable to the people they serve, focusing on HRCD. The aim is to grow up productivity, reduce administrative burden, and improve public services in order to provide the Country with an important contribution to the relaunch of the economy and its growth, offering also quality services to the citizens.

It is possible to point out the some key factors in the development vision:

  • transparency;
  • meritocracy;
  • efficiency & effectiveness;
  • costs reduction & wastes abolition.

The way we can link this development vision to the Human Resource Capacity Development is neither simple, nor easy; nevertheless it is necessary to specify that it has to include a deep maneuver which starts from the innovation of the school system: a new liaison between the educational structure (Universities in particular) and the Public Administration needs to be enforced, in order to facilitate access to PA for the best minds.

Some changes in the personnel selection procedures are already visible, however more effort are needed for the enhancement of career progression scheme and economic incentives assignment. This because the importance of motivation and enthusiasm at work has been fully understood, so it is essential to have both: a reward system which awards the deserving as well as managers who are able to establish positive, constructive relations with their employees, who form the «human capital», paying attention to them and trying to increase their productivity. Moreover severe disciplinary measures have to be applied to balance and harmonize the reward system.

A continuous assessment process is also required: this is often the only way to understand how to adjust the performance of a single worker, to help him (or her) to develop his/her own capabilities through training, but also allows the evaluation of an entire unit in the PA in relation to that single employee.

All these measures will induce the public workers to make major efforts; if we want to have the best workers (or just better workers) we must have good managers and leaders, so the first step is “to learn how to manage”. Training is a focal point and fortunately several training centers are already operational and work in accordance with the Human Resource Capacity Development standards. Investments in personnel training have to increase constantly, because knowledge and skills are indispensable to have an efficient Public Administration.

The path could not be so long. Time will answer our doubts.” – Fabio Marotta – Piedimonte Mantese, Italy

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