Enrico Chiaveri: The dialogue in the HR Strategy

Enrico Chiaveri has been Head of the Human Resources Department since 2005. A core part of his department’s mission with the new Management is to develop and implement a strategic HR approach for our forward-looking Organization. He explained key aspects of the HR strategy to the Bulletin.

For the first time in CERN’s history, a head of the HR Department and his deputy - Anne-Sylvie Catherin - invited the staff to a general information meeting on 23 February 2009. The scope of the meeting was to present the status of a number of current initiatives that will improve and tailor CERN’s HR strategy to the needs of the Organization and its staff, and also open up dialogue. Presented for the first time in an integrated way, the initiatives include contract policy, MARS, a staff survey, CERN’s values, a performance model, recruitment & outreach, learning & development, internal mobility and the development of a code of conduct.

"The work to define the foundations of an integrated HR strategy started in 2006", says Enrico Chiaveri. "Together with my deputy, Anne-Sylvie Catherin, we drew up a report for the Management in which we planted the seeds for a new strategy in the way the Laboratory should attract, retain, motivate and develop its people in order to help achieve CERN’s mission". The report was well received by the Management, but the timing wasn’t ideal to start putting the ideas into practice because at the time the Laboratory’s focus was almost entirely on the construction of the LHC. "We kept elaborating on the initial ideas to be ready for a more opportune moment and that time has now come."

One of the fundamental components in the new approach to the human resources strategy is to develop dialogue with the staff. Following significant preparations and 40 exploratory pilot interviews, a CERN-wide staff survey will be launched in March. "The goal is to tackle the issue of how people feel when they work at CERN, their expectations and their commitment to the Organization", says Enrico Chiaveri. "The survey is a first step towards opening new dialogue between the HR Department and the staff".

In order to develop a global proposal for a new HR Strategy, Enrico Chiaveri and his deputy began by defining the mission of the Laboratory and the values that are behind working in such a culturally-diverse environment. They pictured this as a temple where the two foundation elements are CERN values and a performance model. Upon this foundation stand six pillars - or key process areas. These support the roof of the temple, which itself represents a key aim of the Laboratory: attract, retain, motivate, and develop staff as the only ways to reach excellence in all fields. The pillars of the new HR strategy draw together workforce planning, recruitment & contract management, learning & development, performance & reward, employee engagement and career & succession planning.

"The new initiative of a performance model is a tool to link CERN’s values with its technical and non-technical skills base and will be seen throughout the HR processes. It will apply to all steps throughout a career", explains Enrico Chiaveri.

The new HR Strategy will include a new contract policy and will also place emphasis on developing internal mobility. "We need a more flexible contract policy that will allow us to retain the best people and increase opportunities for staff. Today, a staff member’s chances of being awarded an indefinite contract may be affected by the timing of and eligibility for a given slot. As for internal mobility, we would like to define the best framework for this to happen in the most favourable conditions for both the staff member and the departments."

Enrico Chiaveri confirms: "The challenges facing the HR Department are huge and, as any other department at CERN, we are also experiencing the effects of reduced manpower. However, we are full of enthusiasm and motivation and we hope this is also the case for the majority of the staff". The staff survey will be your chance to express your opinion on this.

The web recording of the HR Strategy information meeting is available at the following address:


Enrico Chiaveri’s CV in brief

Enrico Chiaveri was appointed Head of the Human Resources Department in April 2005. A senior physicist, Dr Chiaveri joined CERN in 1973 after obtaining his PhD in Particle Physics from Milan University. During his career, he has performed various management roles, including those of Deputy Leader of the SPS/LEP Division, and Group Leader within the AB Department. He acquired extensive experience in human resources matters during his career and was also heavily involved as a member of the Governing Board of the Pension Fund.