Transforming for Growth with Gian Luca Grondona, CHRO of Webuild

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to have Gian Luca Grondona (Chief HR, Organization & Systems Officer of Webuild Group, a global player specialized in the construction of large, complex infrastructures) on my LinkedIn LIVE series.

We delved deep into the role and purpose of HR and people in the transformation of an organisation. We discussed how you can improve decision-making in large organisations, how to develop and retain knowledge internally as well as how to create engaged people and teams to generate and inspire success.


  • The biggest lesson Gian Luca has learnt in his time at various global corporations is to give trust and responsibility to people, to teach others and delegate.
  • The construction industry has embedded risk. This is one of the challenges Webuild has to contend with and one of the reasons they are trying to centralise their risk management.
  • Sustainability is something Webuild are passionate about and is working towards in all of its projects.
  • People are an integral part of a business so of course, they have a huge impact when a company is going through a transformation and the success of this transformation is underpinned by the individuals and teams within the organisation.
  • Transforming its bidding process, to engage all necessary departments and dividing responsibility accordingly has allowed WeBuild to increase its contract conversion by 50%
  • Innovation can be tricky to inspire in industries such as construction but you can facilitate it within teams by first engaging your leaders. If you can inspire them and challenge their thinking then you can begin to change the culture within teams too.
  • A lean way to make innovation easy, is by investing in innovation in core functions of the business, where it will have the biggest impact.
  • People development is essential and something all leaders should have at the top of their agenda.
  • Anticipating the future needs of a team is a great way to create a plan for the development of your people.
  • How you communicate is one of the biggest ways you can have an influence on and impact the engagement of your people.


“Giving trust to people, you lose sometimes, but you win the majority of the time”

“If we keep thinking with the eyes of the past we cannot make change”

“The thing I am most proud of is 11 of the people that were working with me have become Chief Human Resources Officers in companies”

“The fact we are doing iconic work helps a lot with the engagement of people”


02:18: Gian Luca’s Career Journey

05:20: Gian Luca’s Biggest Lesson Learnt

11:50 The Future & Aspirations of WeBuild

16:10 The Role of Sustainability at Webuild

18:40 The Impact of People in Transformation

21:57 How WeBuild Increased their Contract Conversion

28:00 Managing Knowledge and Expertise in a Large Corporate Company

31:00 Inspiring Innovation within a Construction Company

38:38 Putting your Own People on the Top of your Agenda

43:49 How can we Engage our People More?

If you’re interested to go deeper, listen to the full episode here.

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