Part 2 of Series 5
Sustaining a top rank in the domestic market, building new products, focusing on global marketing and fostering innovation, all seem insurmountable challenges in their own accord. But Alkem Laboratories rose up to the challenge, and scripted a success story by focusing on transforming the company’s culture, and creating a single vision for the company.
Alkem has a very strong presence in India and features among the Top 5 largest domestic pharma players. With International Business and Innovative Pharma becoming a mainstay in current Pharma context, we needed to ensure a robust view of organization’s path forward by creating alignment to one Vision & Culture, invest in next line leaders who could innovate, get recognized as a preferred employer by potential talent and most importantly, lay emphasis on building an inclusive culture to engage a global workforce.
In other words, an intensive intervention to gain buy in for cultural change and launching progressive people practices that directly impact the business like succession planning, employee engagement, revamping our talent acquisition strategy and creating an inclusive culture were imperative.
The one thing that the Alkem team was clear on was that they needed to build a long-term and sustainable cultural change as opposed to a quick-fix. So a cultural transformation based on real and intensive analysis of people issues, taking the leadership team as a Change Sponsor was undertaken, with consultation from external experts. The following process was followed to bring a desirable, sustainable and healthy cultural change in the organization:
Cultural Diagnostic: Through Dipstick and Deep Dive analysis of cultural issues, a context was established to understand the culture in its as-is state, its strengths and weaknesses. These were then corroborated through in-depth leadership interviews to identify the future direction and themes for cultural changes.
Leadership Alignment Intervention: A three-day long, intensive and experiential learning lab was facilitated by the industry coaches to sensitize leaders on cultural issues and create alignment to a unified vision, mission and value set of the company. The workshop design was based on discussions with key stakeholders, dipstick results involving specific metrics/cultural outcomes. Cultures, subcultures, and a lack of a single vision were discussed, cultural audits were undertaken and change sponsors were identified to lead the desired change.
The launch of Critical Processes and Systems: Strategic people initiatives like Succession Planning, defining the Leadership Behavioral Model like CREST, intensive employee engagement initiatives, revamping of talent acquisition, first ever Global People Survey and creation of rewards and recognition culture etc. were launched within 1.5 years of the intervention.
As a result of the intervention, almost 80 percent of the critical positions have identified internal successors who are capable, future-focused and strategic leaders. Furthermore, the time taken to hire externally has dropped, as Alkem is being increasingly viewed as the Employer of Choice in the industry cause of our social media presence and robust assessment. Several accolades received by the company and presence in recognized campuses show the success of efforts that went in building the employer brand. Significant accolades which we won last year include-
- Chairman Emeritus, Mr. Samprada Singh and Executive Chairman, Mr B.N Singh being bestowed upon with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Life Sciences for the year 2016.
- Mr. Sandeep Singh, MD, Alkem Laboratories Limited, winning the "Emerging Pharma Leader of 2016" award and Mr. Prabhat Agrawal, CEO Alkem Laboratories Limited, winning the "CEO of the Year 2016" award.
The sales attrition in the company reduced by 10% per annum since 2015 due to the revamped selection process for the sales positions (based on the Assessment/ Development Center methodology). The biggest tangible impact has been visible in the employee engagement survey done post the intervention, which shows a 97 percent score on “Strategic alignment with the Vision." Additionally, the score on the connect between Parent Company and International Subsidiaries was 85 percent. Naturally, employees reported increased engagement, and reported being more connected, energized and loyal. And to imagine, all these successes were pivoted by a cultural intervention!