- Success story
How Servier Romania succeeded in building a culture of transparency and trust
Servier Romania was certified Best Place to Work in 2020 and 2022. We meet Michel Eschenbrenner, General Manager and Andreea Videanu, HR director who provided us with insights into how the company succeeded in building a culture of transparency and trust
Servier Romania is an affiliate of the international pharmaceutical company headquartered in France with a passion for innovation that has improved patients’ lives around the world
- HR Practices
What are the biggest people related challenges in your role today?
In line with all of the above, I would underline also as a crucial challenge, now more than ever, the identification and then implementation of the right new and effective strategic change within an organization in order to enable on a long term a solid and sustainable high performant workplace, in an uncertain environment and in the same time with happy and engaged employees. The right people in the right positions will be the differentiator for the companies that succeed in such an environment.
Which HR metrics do you watch more closely ?
I would just add that having the right leaders in the organization with a high level of passion and engagement mixed with a strong portfolio are 2 main ingredients of a success story, story that Servier is telling for more that 30 years now on the Romanian market.
There are several metrics that we keep a close eye on but I would choose 3 of the most important ones that we measure and monitor on a constant basis for many years now: employee engagement, turnover (especially of the high performers) and internal promotion rate. In Servier the central element is the care for the patient, mission that we accomplish together with our partners but especially with and through our people
How are you engaging your employees on site / remote?
First of all, we needed to measure the engagement index and drill down team by team to understand in depth and clarify the expectations of our colleagues across demographic categories and job types. For this, we implemented 4 years ago, as part of a group initiative, the Gallup Engagement Index, a complex methodology that also provides the framework for acting on those items that are identified as setbacks. Each team member can and is encouraged to contribute to the action plan created together with his/her team and manager. In this way everybody is involved and committed in the process.
Besides the formal processes and tools, the pandemic pushed us to find creative ways to keep the team united and engaged. We created our own engagement platform – The Good Lab – a prescription for team Engagement & Cohesion - focused on 3 main pillars: Personal Development, Lifestyle & Wellbeing and Health. The first 2 seasons of the program comprised of a complex set of initiatives and actions aiming to create long term engagement and bringing people closer together in a time of distancing.
- by sharing their achievements, hobbies, passions with their colleagues in weekly casual talks (TedX like events), casual Interviews
- by participating in weekly workshops dedicated on many themes of interest
- by challenging them to contribute for acts of good (supporting social causes)
…. And by interacting with Pierre, our “virtual” employee, created by the look & feel of our colleagues who shares their hobbies, wants to engage in doing good and even has his own email address.
The results? More than 80% of colleagues participated in the activities, 87% of the colleagues felt engaged with the company and 93% find the organization a best employer!
Now we just launched the 3rd season of the Lab and we completely changed the format, letting each department to build and coordinate the program, to prepare content and surprises for their colleagues within the company.
Because engagement doesn’t lie only in the hands of HR – it’s the responsibility of each and any one of us, especially the leaders of our organization. How much clarity you give to people regarding their roles and missions, the company strategy, and results, the “why” behind, how is the future seen and how they can contribute to it. All these elements ensure transparency and trust, elements without engagement cannot exist.
This is what we also do – we find ways to empower people, let them decide, test & learn and we are here for them to support them in any way needed when the case. Also, we like to celebrate successes, big and small. We are lucky because we have a senior and capable leadership team, that understood fast and supported this new mindset.
How was your certification journey with the Best Places to Work program?
In one word: smooth. We benefited from the constant support of our Account Manager, we had a strong communication plan in place and the sponsorship of the General Director so once the survey was out for our colleagues to fill in, the completion rate was almost 100% both times. In what regards the HR assessment, we had the core members of the team involved and although a bit time consuming, it was also lots of teamwork and fun action to perform together.
What advice would you give someone looking to implement the certification process?
Every organization is different, but I would say that it’s important for the people to understand the “why” behind such a process, what’s in it for them and to have the sponsorship of the leadership team.
Be open and transparent to the employees and explain, communication is essential in the process of the certification.