On the importance of rewarding employees, the role of teams in daily choices, and the future of gift cards in Italy: we have made four questions to Flora Leoni, Head of data, CRM and Services @Carrefour Italia.

To prepare for these questions, we read many things written by you and about you. Among the things that struck us the most about you is the enthusiasm that shines through your words, your desire to always look for an alternative solution in complex situations, diving into challenges, knowing that every effort will pay off. How do you make your decisions in and out of the office? In the office, what role does your team play in your choices?

This is a great question. I thank you because you have captured one of the aspects that characterizes me the most in a few words. I must admit that this overwhelming energy is not always a point in my favor. Sometimes it generates the opposite effect and, instead of motivating, frightens. That’s why I always try to involve the team in my projects in an active way. Their contribution is fundamental both as a driving force but also as a brake, when needed, to weigh up risks or opportunities that I hadn’t evaluated.
I tend to make decisions based on experience, knowledge, but I don’t underestimate intuition, which allows me to be quick but not reckless. In short, as they say, I’m someone who likes to ‘throw my heart over the hurdle.’

You’ve been working for many years in the world of gift cards, Amilon’s bread and butter. What do you think their future is?

The Gift Card market in Italy has not yet reached the maturity of the Anglo-Saxon countries, and there is still a long way to go. If the b2b market legislation has undoubtedly helped give a significant boost in the b2c market, the consumer has not yet perceived the value of this tool. I think the obstacle is mainly cultural.
I recommend that all industry players, retailers, processors, and agencies come together to help bring more and more innovation and build relevant experiences for the consumer. Whether you prioritize the connection with the world of loyalty or the world of payments, the important thing is that gift cards offer seamless user experiences optimized at the moment of use and surprising at reception.

As you often repeat, companies are made up of people first and foremost, and you need to celebrate their value. How important is it to reward employees for their work, and what do you think are the best ways to do this?

Rewarding employees should be a priority for companies and managers. Still, we often focus on the goal and not on the team, convinced that the result alone is enough to motivate people.
I believe it is essential to spread a culture of incentives, now more than ever, and offer intelligent solutions that guide companies in the process. I like to cite the concept of ‘kudos’ where recognition can take place both among peers and top-down and can be accompanied by a small prize: a gift card, a discount, a slight advantage that gratifies and is valuable time. Digital comes to our aid, once again. We can manage all this from an app or a site making the experience simple and immediate.

Would you please tell us more about Carrefour, our important client, and your role in the company? What does it mean for you to be a good team leader?

In Carrefour I have recently obtained the Head of CRM, Data and Services, after a path full of satisfaction. I manage a team of 28 people with different specializations and different levels of preparation and skills. Having such a large and diverse team is a great challenge. I try to be available to my team to listen to them, guide them, and work together on new projects or manage everyday life.
I like to inspire people always to give their best and not settle for the most straightforward solution or ‘we’ve always done it this way. I try to create connections both among my team members and with members from other offices. I firmly believe that it is only through collaboration that full success can be achieved, and, in any case, together, we cope better with failures as well.