Human resources


The year saw the workforce continue to grow, moving from 44,980 resources (of whom 18,025 with critical skills) in 2012 to 48,607 (of whom 18,662 with critical skills) at the end of 2013.

The increase was mainly connected with a greater use of direct hiring on projects under execution in the Onshore E&C sector, in particular in Mexico and Canada.

The number of women managers also increased in 2013 by 0.8% and that of local managers by 0.7%.


In line with employment dynamics, the value of the payroll increased in comparison with the previous year (€2,320 million at the end of 2013 compared to €2,032 million in 2012). The increase was caused by a change in the salary mix (average pro-capita salary of €49.3 thousand in 2013 compared with €48.3 thousand in 2012), as well as by the growth recorded in the workforce.


Saipem conducted an analysis and redefinition of its organisational structure and corporate governance models and processes during 2013 with the aim of strengthening its compliance and governance system, ensuring more effective business management and improving performance.

The initiative saw the Company’s business areas reorganised and integrated under the control of the Chief Operating Officer.

The organisational structure resulting from the integration of the Engineering & Construction and Drilling businesses has the following characteristics:

  • four dedicated structures – Onshore, Offshore, Drilling and Floaters – responsible for looking after the various product segments and assigned responsibility for defining and implementing business strategies and plans worldwide;
  • eight Regional Managers representing Saipem in their respective geographical areas, responsible for integrated business promotion and local content optimisation;
  • the central functions – ‘Commercial’, ‘Tendering’, ‘Engineering, Technologies and Commissioning’ and ‘Project Management’, which have a worldwide, cross-product steering, coordination and control role.

In addition, the following initiatives were completed as part of the governance enhancement effort during 2013 with the aim of ensuring oversight on a number of critical issues and activities:

  • creation of the following committees:
    • the Executive Committee, whose role is to advise the CEO in relation to key business decisions and provide evaluations regarding significant or critical aspects, e.g. reviews of the operating results of the business areas or the Company’s economic-financial performance;
    • the Risk Committee, which is responsible for advising the CEO on strategies for managing Saipem’s principal risks;
    • the Regulatory System Compliance Committee and the Regulatory System Technical Committee, whose role is to systematically verify that the Company’s regulatory systems are consistent with the compliance and governance models;
  • the following functions and positions were assigned to report to the CEO:
    • the Chief Financial and Compliance Officer, to ensure the governance of the principal functions involved in the management of the compliance and governance system, i.e. administration, finance and control, corporate affairs and governance, general counsel and information and communication technology;
    • Integrated Risk Management, responsible for the identification, analysis, monitoring and reporting of the Company’s main risks;
    • Health, Safety and Environment and Quality, to ensure the dissemination within the Company of a culture, processes and tools related to these areas;
    • Procurement, Contract and Industrial Risk Management, with the aim of ensuring the integrated management of these business support functions, which make an important contribution in terms of project results;
    • Public Affairs and Communication, with the aim of ensuring a focused, strategic approach to external communications, image management and public affairs;
    • Business and Technology Development, with the aim of establishing an integrated approach to promotion of the Company’s capabilities and products and leveraging of its technology research and development effort.

Meanwhile, as part of the drive to enhance the Company’s Internal Control and Risk Management System, the year saw:

  • the launch of an initiative to develop and implement a new authorisation matrix for Saipem SpA and its branches – a tool used for the Governance of the main company processes/activities and/or those considered most sensitive. In addition, alignment of the authorisation matrices used in subsidiaries and their branches was started, with standard powers and economic limits set commensurate with the dimensions and complexity of the entities in question;
  • the Saipem regulatory system was subjected to review with the aim of emphasising the responsibilities of Process Owners, promoting greater integration of the main principles of compliance into the processes, and redefining Saipem SpA’s steering, coordination and control role and the operational autonomy of Saipem companies.

The function also oversaw the issuing of Management System Guidelines (MSG) for the following processes: Regulatory System, Market Abuse, Legal, Procurement, and Services for Personnel.

In the Group’s foreign entities, the introduction of the new authorisation matrices was accompanied by ongoing work to establish new company structures, adapt the existing organisational structures to ensure compliance with the company model and review the systems of powers and delegation of authority in place.

Human Resources Management

The current market scenario and the global climate in which Saipem operates increasingly calls for rapid, targeted measures that are in full compliance with all applicable labour, trade union, tax and welfare legislation.

Within this context, the Human Resources Management function continued to fulfil its guidance, coordination and control remit, which included constant efforts to develop and integrate tools to support the Company’s strategic decision-making processes.

As in the first half of the year, the function pressed on with a raft of actions designed to obtain significant results in terms of optimization of personnel costs and improved operational efficiency and efficacy.

These included actions designed to enable the monitoring and control of critical human resources phenomena such as holiday, overtime, working hours and absenteeism.

In addition, the year saw the launch of a number of actions of a more global scope designed to ensure more accurate and effective management of operating processes in local HR departments. The implementations of these actions will continue through into 2014.

The second half of the year also saw additional enhancements made to the technical functionalities of the principal analysis and reporting systems used by the Human Resources Department.

These increased the effectiveness and efficiency of the management actions and measures implemented and also produced improvements in terms of better coordination and integration between the various department structures.

Following the introduction of the HR Management Portal – a web-based tool capable of integrating data from the various information systems use by the Company and performing analyses and overviews to provide business intelligence in relation to key human resources phenomena – the development and improvement initiatives continued, with the year seeing an extension of the portal’s scope of application, which at present encompasses the monitoring of key areas such as holidays, accrued compensatory time, overtime, workforce data, remuneration policies, business trips and assignments, international mobility and expatriation policies.

In addition, tests were recently commenced involving the collection and analysis of data from a number of overseas Saipem companies that are characterised by comparatively complex operational and organisational set ups. The medium-term goal is to provide coverage through the HR Portal for the main Saipem overseas operating companies with a view to achieving improved integration, sharing and leveraging of know-how, experience and work tools within the HR professional family.

With regard to international mobility, which represents a critical success factor of great strategic importance for the business, the work started in 2012 continued, focusing on two main areas – on the one hand developing and innovating the information support systems used, and on the other, analysing and redefining expatriation methodologies and policies to ensure that they fully meet operating requirements (which can vary depending on the type of project or environment) and the needs of Saipem personnel, i.e. in terms of providing a more effective work-life balance.

Market benchmarking techniques were used to define new procedures and methods for calculating expatriate salary packages for a number of professional families identified as being critical for Saipem’s business, with a view to ensuring better alignment with market practices and rates.

The HR Management function also pressed on during the year with the development of the Country Card information tool, which has been designed to provide storage and access both centrally and at branch level of up-to-date HR-related data (e.g. labour, tax, welfare and trade union legislation) for the countries in which Saipem operates.

The platform will be used as a communication channel for the dissemination of corporate guidelines and for gathering data for local surveys and analyses and will also reinforces ties and improve integration between the central and local HR departments.

The tool was already partially tested during the second half of 2013 when conducting annual surveys on cost of living, benefits, and cars and transportation allowances. The use of the Country Card tool produced a significant saving in terms of the time necessary to carry out the survey and also led to greater data gathering efficiency.

In the light of the positive results obtained from the roll out of the Overseas Tool application in GHRS (GHRS is the information system used for Saipem personnel management and administration), which was developed in 2012 with the aim of ensuring more effective management of expatriation processes and overseas contracts, analysis and roll out phases were conducted in several overseas locations where there are a large number of international personnel under assignment.

Also, with a view to achieving continuous improvements in the module, additional modifications were made to increase the effectiveness and speed of the operating processes related to expatriate personnel management.

Finally, the entire Human Resources document/procedural system, which contains the standards applied for all of the main HR operating processes at all Group companies, was revised and updated during the year. This was done with the aim of ensuring clear, transparent communication with Saipem human resources and achieving incisive management of critical/high impact issues through the implementation of a more robust, structured system of regulations.

Industrial Relations

Given the global nature of the environment in which Saipem operates and the significant changes underway on the labour market, particularly in emerging countries, managing industrial relations today calls for both great care and attention to the management of diversity and awareness of the socio-economic changes taking place.

Saipem’s model of industrial relations focuses primarily on ensuring relations with trade unions that are fair, transparent and compliant with the international conventions and transnational agreements that the Company has signed. It also involves ensuring the optimal management of relations with trade unions and employers’ associations, as well as with political institutions and public bodies. In accordance with this approach, 2013 saw the Company work with national representatives of Italian trade union organisations from the energy, maritime and metalworking sectors on a range of issues, the most significant of which are summarised here.

Firstly, January saw the renewal of the national collective labour agreement for the Energy and Oil sector, which is the contract under which the majority of the Company’s Italian resources are employed.

In addition to a review of minimum salaries, the new labour agreement also laid down a basis for a review of the current classification system and for a redefinition of the allowances paid to Italian shift work personnel.

Negotiations regarding the renewal of the national collective labour agreement and company-specific supplementary agreements for maritime personnel will start up again in 2014. A company agreement ratifying the change to shift arrangements affecting a portion of personnel was signed during the year.

In accordance with the Company’s policy of careful attention to industrial relations, the organisational restructuring changes carried out within the company as well as its economic outlook, which represented key features of 2013, were the subject of two separate meetings, which saw Saipem top management meet with the national secretaries of the trade unions. These talks were followed up by meetings between the Company’s human resources department and trade union representatives at the various Italian offices.

In this connection, following a request made by the trade union organisations, Saipem has said it is ready to discuss a proposed industrial relations protocol with the national secretaries of the unions, which is expected to be finalised during 2014.

December saw a positive conclusion to the joint review held to examine the agreement for the transfer of the Firenze FPSO business division to the subsidiary Floaters SpA, which was subsequently sold on to Eni. The agreement involved the sale of the Firenze FPSO vessel, which is currently deployed in the Eni-operated Aquila field off the coast of Puglia.

With regard to international industrial relations, 2013 witnessed the signing of important collective labour agreements for Engineering & Construction sector workers in Angola and Mexico and Drilling sector workers in Nigeria. In July, Saipem Beijing Technical Services Co Ltd of China signed a collective labour agreement after the growth registered in the workforce made the formation of a representative committee possible under local legislation.

The year also saw the signing of an important agreement in the drilling sector in Algeria, while in Brazil, at Saipem do Brasil, the groundwork was laid for the signing of a new collective labour agreement for the workers employed in the Guarujá yard, which is expected to take place in early 2014. Both instances entailed changes to the content of the collective agreements to bring them in line with the applicable legislation. The Company operated in full respect of the workers’ freedom of association and trade union prerogatives in both cases.

In the maritime sector, Saipem signed a renewal for 2014 of its agreement with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). The Company also obtained Maritime Labour Certification for its fleet in accordance with the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention during the year.

A series of initiatives designed to achieve greater synergy between the Corporate and local functions responsible for industrial relations, which involved participants sharing relevant experiences, were held during the second half of 2013.

The initiatives aimed to raise awareness and knowledge of the key regulations governing industrial relations within Saipem and were aimed at internal HR personnel and agencies belonging to the recruitment and selection sector.

Local level initiatives carried out during the year included a pilot initiative promoted by ERSAI Llc in Kazakhstan which aims to disseminate the content of the Code of Ethics to local workers, particularly with regard to issues connected with workers’ rights.

(units) Average workforce 2012 Average workforce 2013 
Offshore Engineering & Construction  13,973 15,857
Onshore Engineering & Construction  16,817 19,148
Offshore Drilling  2,368 2,724
Onshore Drilling  7,162 7,706
Staff positions  2,234 2,039
Total  42,554 47,474
Italian personnel  7,379 7,475
Other nationalities  35,175 39,999
Total  42,554 47,474
Italian personnel under open-ended contract  6,405 6,6
Italian personnel under fixed-term contract  974 875
Total  7, 379  7, 475 

(units) Dec. 31, 2012 Dec. 31, 2013 
Number of engineers  7,699 7,69
Number of employees  44,98 48,607

Development, Selection and Training

Saipem continues to place great emphasis on human resources development as a fundamental element for ensuring an effective definition of its workforce in qualitative terms and works to ensure that the development of internal resources is based on processes that are closely linked to the Company’s business needs. As part of its human resources development approach, efforts continued during 2013 to update, consolidate, simplify and integrate the People Strategy and the Employee Value Proposition.

In accordance with the Compensation and Nomination Committee, the succession plans in place for strategic company positions were updated in response to the changes to the organisational and business scenario that occurred during the year.

Competence Assurance systems were implemented to ensure optimized monitoring of onshore and offshore construction competencies. The systems provide a structured and direct approach to the oversight of competencies and also encompass support actions such as training events, tutoring and assignment to specific projects.

Following the employee engagement analysis conducted at Saipem SpA at the end of 2012, improvement measures were implemented in areas where the satisfaction results were lowest.

The measures focused on both specific processes and specific segments of the Saipem population. With the aim of providing greater support to the Company’s younger employees, a project entitled ‘Share and Shape’ was launched. The objective of the initiative is to secure a more direct level of engagement on the part of the company’s less senior employees with regard to the formulation of improvement proposals to top management.

The proposals will be translated into projects which it is hoped will attract the interest of the entire Saipem population.

To ensure it can constantly maintain the levels of excellence the market expects of it, Saipem’s selection activities are oriented towards identifying personnel offering extensive, relevant professional experience and capabilities. With a view to developing and fostering such capabilities, which it can often be difficult to source on the labour market, Saipem is continuing to invest in employer branding exercises and initiatives aimed at the Italian’s top secondary level technical schools and universities.

September 2013 saw the start of the second edition of the postgraduate master’s program in ‘Safety and Environmental Management in the Oil&Gas Industry’, which is organised in collaboration with the University of Bologna and Eni Corporate University. Participants on the course included European and non-European students in addition to Italian students.

Taking its cue from developments in the worlds of industry and education, Saipem aims to build lasting relations with Italy’s technical institutes in order to strengthen its image, cultivate an awareness of its business activities and enhance its ability to attract young school leavers and influence their training paths.

Activities on the ‘Synergy’ project, which the Company launched in partnership with the technical schools ‘A. Volta’ in Lodi and ‘E. Fermi’ in Lecce to achieve these aims, continued during 2013.

With the aim of achieving full compliance and promoting a culture of traceability, transparency and openness, the year saw the introduction in Saipem’s Italian offices of a dedicated software application for use during the selection and hiring process.

The software is designed for close monitoring of the selection process and allows a number of different analyses to be performed. In accordance with drivers defined as part of the Company’s People Strategy concerning the promotion and dissemination of integrated, transparent tools for effective personnel management, 2013 saw the roll-out (initially in Italy only) of a new learning management software application called ‘Peoplearning’, which is designed to ensure enhanced governance of the training system by providing support to all the actors involved in the training process during all process phases, introducing a self-service approach, and by promoting greater ownership and responsibility of all those involved, with the aim of achieving greater transparency and obtaining an optimum return on the investment Saipem has made in the competencies of its personnel.

The system is also designed to integrate with resource development tools, fully leverage the training matrixes defined for each role and ensure effective monitoring and tracking of mandatory health, safety and environmental certification and training.

In line with the key elements of the Employee Value Proposition, the training projects and initiatives implemented during 2013 were targeted at achieving greater leverage of the Company’s technical resources and at developing skills characterised by high levels of specialisation. Deployment of the training matrix – a tool used to define training programmes and professional certification courses for roles deemed critical to Saipem’s business with the aim of ensuring professional excellence and monitoring the Company’s technical and professional know-how – was consolidated and has been elevated to best practice status.

Meanwhile the year also saw the continuation of efforts to expand and monitor the activities of the Saipem Training Centres, whose mission is to provide oversight of Saipem knowledge and to promote training courses structured based on the needs of individual roles.

Pursuant to relevant Legal Compliance requirements, the Company continued during the year with its drive to ensure the dissemination of the Internal Control Model at all hierarchical levels both in Italy and abroad, with e-learning courses being organised in connection with Legislative Decree No. 231/2001 and Security issues. Training initiatives for the members of the Compliance Committee of subsidiaries also continued during the year, as did those required by Legislative Decree No. 81/2008 for Employers, Safety Managers, Safety Supervisors and Safety Officers.

The year also saw the delivery of three editions of the training course aimed at Managing Directors of major overseas companies. The course is specifically focused on the following areas:

  • Corporate Governance and Compliance;
  • Business Context (focusing on communication);
  • Corporate Finance and Financial Statements;
  • Stakeholder Management;
  • Contract Management;
  • Integration between internal functions.

An internationally oriented programme on Business Leadership aimed at a number of critical roles, such as Project Directors and Area/Country Managers, was held successfully once again in conjunction with Eni Corporate University and Eni.

In order to respond to the need for innovation and cost control during the design phase, a dedicated workshop for engineers was organised.

With regard to overseas employees, Local Content initiatives continued in Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia with the aim of increasing the use of local resources in technical roles in the offshore and drilling sectors.

Saipem also confirmed its strong interest during the year in countries such as Brazil and Canada, where business development activities were flanked by an intensification of employer branding and resource attraction, retention and engagement initiatives. In the Guarujá Yard in Brazil, comprehensive modularised training plans combining theory and practice were commenced for prefabrication and fabrication technical personnel.


The international market conditions and economic outlook continued to dictate a prudent and focused approach to the definition of compensation policies in 2013.

Accordingly, variable incentive plans (including project incentives) and retention systems, which continued to be subject to careful analysis and rationalisation, were adopted, taking into account the specific characteristics of the relevant labour markets and current business trends and future outlooks. Extreme selectiveness and precision were adopted in determining the annual variable incentive scheme in terms of reducing spending and the number of beneficiaries, in line with the Company’s results.

As regards management incentive plans, the short-term monetary incentive plan, which is linked to individual performance, and the long-term monetary plan, linked to the Company’s long-term performance, were confirmed for both Italian and international managerial resources.

Individual annual monetary incentives, which were based on actual 2012 management performance, were paid out in March to 133 Italian senior managers, representing 44% of the total, with a total cost outlay of €3,637,500 (11.24% of total compensation at January 1, 2013). The new targets for 2013 for the same population of senior managers were also defined.

Additionally, July saw the allocation of deferred monetary incentives to 133 senior managers, representing 44% of all senior managers, with a total cost outlay of €2,083,000.

In order to boost the motivation of critical management resources, guarantee Saipem’s long-term performance and keep the remuneration package in line with the market average, the Board of Directors confirmed the long-term monetary plan for critical managerial resources. The plan was implemented in October 2013 for 78 Italian senior managers, representing 24.9% of Italian managerial resources, with a total cost outlay of €2,893,000.

Furthermore, in compliance with legal obligations pursuant to Article 123-ter of Legislative Decree No. 58/1998 and Article 84-quater of the Consob Issuers Regulation, the ‘2013 Remuneration Report’ was prepared. This document was approved by Saipem’s Board of Directors on March 13, 2013 and published on the Company’s website. Subsequently, the first section of the report was also approved by the Shareholders at the General Meeting held on April 30, 2013.

Finally, at global level, the adoption of the single grading system for organisational positions was further consolidated. The system makes it possible to carry out uniform, cross-company compensation analyses which can be used to set more accurate salary strategies that are better suited to the specificities of local markets.

Internal communications

Internal communications activities carried out during the year were devoted to increasing active employee participation and the sharing of information and content.

Activities included the roll-out of the web TV network, which is now available at all the Company’s Italian offices, the launch of a campaign in support of the SaiTube video platform, which allows registered employees to upload and share video content, and the beginning of development work on a new microsite aimed at new hires with limited knowledge of the Company, which will help them to obtain the information and tools they need to get started in their jobs. The year also saw the go live of local intranet channels at the Company’s Nigerian, Brazilian and Australian offices, and the continuation of preliminary activities geared towards intranet roll out in Canada, Mexico and USA. Meanwhile, following a request made by maritime personnel for increased distribution of the Company’s in-house magazine ‘Orizzonti’ on board the Company’s fleet of vessels, work was started during the year on developing a dynamic system of distribution which would take into account the geographical location of the vessels, in conjunction with the Maritime Certifications and Flags Management unit.

Finally, the year’s internal communications initiatives also included two traditional engagements – Saipem family day and the end of year employees’ meeting. For the family event, a video was produced entitled ‘Saipem and the oil cycle’, which used animations and clear, simple language to illustrate the Company’s role in the various phases of oil production, from extraction to transportation, while for the annual meeting in December, a video compilation of the year’s various milestones was put together.

The evening also saw the launch of an initiative called ‘Lascia un segno’ (Leave Your Mark), consisting of a register in which guests were invited to leave their signature, a personal message and a hand print using a selection of coloured stamps. During 2014, the register will go on a journey to the various Saipem offices and sites around the world in a kind of global relay in which the Company’s international workers will be encouraged to symbolise their own personal commitment to meeting Saipem’s goals by leaving their mark in the register.