“It reminds us that companies with the ability to develop a strong and empowering culture with their employees can create competitive advantage,” says David Lescuyer, President of Skyepharma Production SAS and Executive Vice President, Oral Business, at Vectura Group.
“Developing a strong organizational culture is a daily job, requiring true leadership and empathy from senior managers, along with the involvement of everybody at the company. One of the keys to success is to look at it with a ‘team sport’ approach: we all have different jobs to do on the field, and our success lies in our ability to ensure our processes flow properly between all the players.
We have no stars in our team. Some people are important players, and we are all serving the team and our common goals”.
It’s a difficult job and there is no unanimously accepted definition. However, one thing is clear: it all starts with people – the greatest asset of any organization with a healthy, productive culture.
At Skyepharma, we have developed our organizational culture by focusing on five key areas:
For each of these areas, there are some key behaviors that set out how we do things here.
Isabelle Cachard, Human Resource and HSE Director, Skyepharma Production SAS:
“Many companies define their organizational culture and communicate about it. But far fewer can give concrete examples of what that culture really means on a day-to-day basis. At Skyepharma, we take a very collaborative approach, and there is no shortage of examples among our colleagues.”
” Teams from many disciplines working together is a key part of how we do things at Skyepharma. We recently installed an open space where staff can work together in a collaborative and friendly atmosphere. This promotes team cohesion, as well as ideas and information-sharing. People from different departments, who never interacted before, get to work side by side and share ideas.”
“Almost all our divisional meetings are short, half-hour stand-ups. In other words: efficient. Using well-prepared visuals, we have daily “Governance BD” (Governance Business Development) meetings to look at prospects, requests for quotations, ongoing negotiations, and future client visits. It means that everyone involved in business development knows what the priorities and deadlines are. It also saves time.”
“Managing things visually has become part of the working day in our maintenance department. Presenting daily key performance indicators, resolving 8D (complex problem solving tool) technical or production issues, managing continuous improvement action plans and even measuring the team’s daily mood… We do all this visually and it means we communicate in a transparent way, which is valued by our colleagues.”
“We have a strong practice of Gemba walks at Skyepharma. Every business day, the management team visit different departments to talk to the teams and work together to identify what is positive and can be reproduced or adapted in other departments. It also helps teams to share ideas about where more value can be created, and make the right decisions. Gemba walks are an established part of continuous improvement and a highly-efficient way of promoting excellence, helping to build strong trust between our teams.”
“Skyepharma’s organizational culture changed since mid-2016 with the arrival of a new management team. Three main topics are to be highlighted: Team cohesion, performance and transparency.
The first topic is about team cohesion impact in our culture. Good general atmosphere has always been an asset for our company and has always been nurtured. It is now reinforced with more social events.
The second topic is the search for performance, which requests a very important investment of all Skyepharma employees. The main risk was around unhealthy pressure, leading to psychosocial risks damaging both employees and company performance. At Skyepharma, employees are incentivized with the company’s results. It is a way for each employee to receive benefit from the collective performance of the team.
The third topic is the transparency, which is regularly emphasized at Skyepharma, by giving access to everybody to all available information, while taking into account remarks or proposals from social partners. This active listening is also reflected during daily gemba walks, with the objective to collect information from the ground to better solve problems, as soon as they appear.”