聚焦

Sanofi: To be a magnet for talents in the digital era

赛诺菲:在数字化时代打造人才磁场

Date of publication: 2020.1.26, From: Harvard Business Review

As the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market, China has entered the stage of in-depth healthcare reform during the recent two years, and relevant policies have been increasingly influential for multinational pharmaceutical enterprises. With the normalization of measures like “volume based procurement” and adjustment of NDRL, the era of “high gross profit” in the pharmaceutical market is over. From 2019 to 2020, the pharmaceutical market in China underwent an overturn from double-digit growth to negative growth. Comprehensive innovation and organizational transformation have been both urgent and necessary options of all pharmaceutical enterprises. As a top 10 global pharmaceutical giant, Sanofi has demonstrated its great resilience in the new normal after COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Pius S. Hornstein, PhD, Country Lead of Sanofi China, Sanofi has been certified as a “Top Employer in China” for 4 consecutive years, and even ranks the first place in 2021.

Recently, Dr Hornstein accepted an interview with the Chinese version of Harvard Business Review, and shared how does Sanofi live “Play to Win” culture as a renowned multinational enterprise based on the local conditions in China, so as to effectively promote the management organization reform in China.

Strategy first. “When I came to China for the first time in late 2018, I talked with many people who had worked in China for decades and also had rich business experiences, but none of them ever expected that the reform would be started so profoundly and rapidly. Innovation has become a key proposition in the healthcare industry, but we must also make more and more a trade-off between volume and price.” In his view, the response to the great changes in both internal and external ecosystems is inseparable from the iron triangle of “culture – organization – talent”, and the prerequisite for establishing such an iron triangle is to formulate a clear strategy.
“So many people fail to correctly arrange the order of organization adjustment and strategy formulation. Strategy is the first priority, while culture is the core of manpower and organization.” Therefore, Sanofi China has formulated the following strategic priorities directly related to talents to promote sustainable growth under the new normal, and lay the foundation for building a strong “Play to Win” culture: to accelerate pharmaceutical and product innovation with the goal of introducing 25+  new products into China market by 2025; under the condition of rapid changes in market access models, to closely interact with the ecosystem in China; to embrace the new normal of digitization, and be committed to becoming one of the most digitized healthcare enterprises.

Culture is the core of manpower and organization
Sanofi’s culture and values can be condensed into a short phrase - Play to Win. “We are so ambitious, and always set extremely high goals for ourselves. Even if we might be unable to fully achieve them in the end, the significance is that high standards enable us to constantly surpass ourselves with a completely different mentality”, said Dr Hornstein.

Although the short phrase sounds very easy, it is indeed an challenging goal, which contains the following four aspects:

1. Stretch: Sanofi expects that all employees can go beyond their own comfort zones, which does not mean an increase in workload. All of us can define our own areas to be improved, which may be either enhancing the cooperation with others, or caring more about patients, or others;

2. Act for patients and customers: Employees need to put patients and customers at the first place – It is obviously at the core of our mission as a pharmaceutical enterprise to make a positive impact;

3. Think Sanofi first: Employees need to firstly ensure the company’s interests, dare to speak out, be willing to share information with their teams, and support other colleagues regardless of personal gains and losses.

4. Take action: The most important and one of the most difficult ones is about employee empowerment and sense of ownership. Employees need to take actions proactively, rather than blindly accepting the instructions of superiors. “ It is more about power of the example than the example of power Therefore, we fully empower the employees, notify them of the direction and strategic framework that the company wants to achieve, and then let them decide the routes and specific actions by themselves.”

For example, the “swift” launch of Dupixent® in the area of atopic dermatitis – a core product of Sanofi’s key strategic layout in China has reflected the essence of “Play to Win”. From the submission of application to NMPA in June 2019, to priority review process, and to the official approval, it only took less than six months. More importantly, the previous period the fastest record from approval to launch in China was 50 days in the field of biological agents, but Sanofi China was not satisfied with such a record. We finally broke through the production limit of supply chain, launched the drug within 25 days, only a half of previous record, and successfully caught up with the benefits brought by the extension of NDRL negotiation. “Now, Dupixent® has been covered by the NDRL through negotiation, and we have enabled the patients to receive a reimbursable new drug at an unprecedented speed based on our bold and decisive behavior”, said Dr. Hornstein.

Attracting talents, rather than retaining them forcibly
After taking the office in China, Mr. Hornstein was surprised of the rapid flow of young talents in big cities. While the employee turnover rate in Europe might be around 1% every year, that of the pharmaceutical industry in China can be as high as 25%. According to Sanofi China’s data analysis and talent inventory, the traditional method of raising salaries for retaining talents is not the most successful one. “Therefore, we have reshaped our talent management, and adopted the combined methods including digital tools to make Sanofi a magnet for talents, rather than trying to retain them forcibly.”

Sanofi China has a very young employee base - the average age of employees is 32, the average hiring age is 28, and the average age of medical representatives is 25. The key point for an enterprise to attract employees is to create an environment for employees to seamlessly connect their work and life. Empowered by effective digital tools, the employee engagement has been significantly improved. In early February 2020, Sanofi also became one of the first pharmaceutical enterprises in China to adopt a corporate WeChat Work App across the organization when the COVID-19 broke out, allowing most employees to work remotely and safely during the pandemic. Through such move, our employees have further understood the urgency and importance of digitization, and the process of digitization has been thereby accelerated.

Taking digitization of talent management as an example, Sanofi China has been managing the talents, identifying those with high potentials, and analyzing the employees who decide to resign and the reasons of resignation with a unified database and digital platform since 2017. The talents with high potentials tend to try other opportunities if they are not promoted three years later. Therefore, the company decided to put all positions available, except the senior management ones, on the corporate WeChat Work platform, and all employees could apply for new positions without permission from their superiors. Although it took 3 or 4 quarters before all employees gradually adapted to such a model of internal transfer, such move still clearly reflected the management capabilities of managers at different levels. Today, only 30% of Sanofi China’s managers are recruited externally, while 51% of positions are left for internal promotion, through which the internal mobility and diversity have been significantly improved, and the combination of internal and external recruitment has been perfectly balanced. Previously, our recruitment was mainly based on intuition, but now it has been increasingly data-driven and digitized. In the past 12-18 months, Sanofi China has screened more than 10,000 candidates, improved the accuracy of recruitment, and saved much time in recruitment through the AI approach introduced.

“Since 2019, we have formulated a three-year digitization plan, and started to evaluate the maturity of Sanofi’s digitization from the third-party perspective through the cooperation with McKinsey in a cycle of every two or three quarters. In mid-2020, we achieved the digitization quotient of 37. Now, the quotient has been elevated to nearly 50, and we thereby are approaching the top 10% enterprise in terms of cross-industrial digitization. Our goal for next year is to become a top 5% enterprise, and achieve among others the digitization of entire process from job offering, interview to new employee onboarding, allowing all candidates to experience the outstanding services on our mobile App”, said Mr. Hornstein.

During the interview, the keywords most frequently mentioned by Mr. Hornstein were “data-driven” and “iteration”. Although Sanofi has been certified as a “Top Employer” for several consecutive years, he still said that Sanofi pays more attention to the details in top employer rankings and talent report. Sanofi needs to analyze the specific numbers and talent pool, and make improvements for specific dimensions in a continuous and targeted manner. While talking about the challenging topic of successfully driving Sanofi China to achieve transformation in management, Dr. Hornstein summarized four key points:

Strategy: Develop a very convincible and clear strategy, and let employees understand the current situation, so that they can put their efforts in the right place.
Communication: Communicate and remind all employees of current progresses as well as the future goals and directions repeatedly and thoroughly across the organization. While achieving the progresses, there will be much information and noise generated over time, so the managers must remind their teams to stay on the right track over and over again.

Culture: Give employees enough support, so that they can actively contribute to the process. Taking Sanofi China as an example, the overall strategy needs to be recognized by more than 8,000 employees, especially the mid-level managers, across China, rather than merely the management team of 20 persons, so that we can truly make a difference.

Iteration: Make small steps in a fast pace, and achieve a rapid iteration, especially in the VUCA era. We need to set clear short-term goals on a quarterly basis, and introduce the measurement indicators like OKR to find and solve difficulties in a timely manner, and finally achieve our ultimate goals.

    作为全球第二大医药市场,中国近两年来进入医疗改革深水区。政策对跨国药企的影响越来越大。随着“以量换价”和医保目录调整等举措常态化,医药市场“高毛利”时代结束,从2019年到2020年,中国医药市场经历了从二位数增长到罕见负增长的两重天,药企的全面创新和组织转型成为迫在眉睫的必选项。身为全球十强的欧洲医药巨头赛诺菲(Sanofi),在后疫情新常态下展现出了极大韧性,在中国区裁贺恩霆博士(Pius S. Hornstein, PhD)的带领下,2021年赛诺菲连续第四年获得“中国杰出雇主”的认证,并跃居榜首。

    近日贺恩霆博士接受《哈佛商业评论》中文版采访,分享赛诺菲如何在中国因地、因时制宜,践行作为一家老牌跨国企业所秉持的“全力制胜(Play to Win)”核心价值观,从而在中国卓有成效地大幅推进管理组织变革。

    战略先行。“2018年底我刚到中国时,和很多在中国工作几十年、具有丰富商场经验人士进行交流,没人料到各方面的变革来的如此深远和迅猛。创新成为了医疗行业的关键命题,我们必须在销量和价格之间做出越来越多的权衡。”在贺恩霆博士看来,应对种种内外生态的巨变,离不开“文化-组织-人才”的铁三角,而铁三角成立的先决条件是制定清晰的战略。

    “不少人把调整组织和制定战略的顺序搞反了,战略先行,文化是人力和组织的核心”。他说。因此,赛诺菲中国制定了以下与人才直接相关的战略要务,推动新常态下的持续成长,为建立强大“全力制胜”文化奠定了基础:加快医药和产品创新,目标是在2025年前将至少25种新产品引入中国市场;在进入市场模式深刻变化加速的情况下,与中国的生态密切互动;拥抱数字化新常态,致力于成为数字化程度最高的医药健康企业之一。

    文化是人力和组织的核心
    赛诺菲的文化价值观可以浓缩为四个字——全力致胜(Play to Win)。“我们雄心勃勃,总是给自己设立极高目标,哪怕最后没有完全达到,但其意义在于,高标准能令人以截然不同的心态,不断超越自我。”贺恩霆博士说。
   尽管这四个字说起来容易,但做起来却充满挑战,具体包含以下四方面:
   1.超越自我:赛诺菲希望所有员工能超越自我走出舒适区,但这并不意味着工作量的增大。每个人都可以定义自己需要提高的领域,可能是加强与他人的合作,可能需要更关心病人与其他相关人员;
   2.客户/患者为本:员工以病人和客户为重——这点显而易见,是药企产生积极影响的使命核心所在;
   3.组织为先:员工以公司利益为先,敢于直言,乐于与团队分享信息,不计个人得失,成就他人。
   4.主动出击:最重要的一点,也是最具挑战的一点:赋权员工和主人翁精神,员工能主动采取行动,而非一味接受上级指令。“榜样的力量大过威权的力量。因此我们充分赋能员工,告知他们企业想达成的方向和战略框架,由员工自己决定路线和具体行动。”

    例如,赛诺菲未来关键战略布局中的核心产品——特应性皮炎的创新疗法达必妥®(Dupixent®)在中国的“神速”问世,体现了“全力制胜”文化的精髓。从2019年6月向国家药品监督局递交申请,被纳入优先审评到正式获批,达必妥®仅用了短短不到六个月时间。更重要的是,过去从获批到药品上市在生物制剂领域最快的纪录是50天,但赛诺菲中国不满足于这一纪录,制定高目标,突破了供应链生产极限,将纪录缩短一半,在25天内药品上市,赶上了医保目录谈判延长的利好窗口期。“现在达必妥®经过谈判已进入医保,就是因为我们大胆梦想并付诸行动,才让病患能以前所未有的速度享受到医保覆盖的新药。”贺恩霆博士说。


     吸引而非留住人才
    贺恩霆博士履新中国后,发现大城市年轻人才流动之快令人咂舌,在欧洲离职率可能每年在1%左右,但中国医药行业每年离职率高达25%左右。根据赛诺菲中国的数据分析和人才盘点显示,涨薪这一传统留住人才的手段并非最成功的策略。“因此,我们重塑了人才管理模式,利用数字化工具等组合拳,将赛诺菲打造成吸引人才的磁场,而非试图留住人才”。

    赛诺菲中国拥有十分年轻的员工群体——在职员工平均32岁,平均雇佣年龄28岁,医药代表平均年龄25岁。企业吸引员工的关键一点是,为员工打造让他们在工作和生活中都能无缝衔接的环境。在有效数字化工具赋能下,员工的敬业度有了明显提高。2020年2月初赛诺菲还成为了疫情爆发时中国少数几家在组织上下部署企业微信应用的药企之一,让疫情隔离期间大部分员工实现无忧远程办公,让员工更加理解了数字化的紧迫性和重要性,加速了数字化进程。

     以人才管理数字化为例,赛诺菲中国从2017年就开始利用统一的数据库和数字平台来管理人才,详细识别高潜人才,分析哪些员工离职及其离职原因。如果高潜人才三年后职位还没有变化,就很有可能另寻高就。因此,公司将除高管层外的所有职位都在企业微信上公开,内部员工不需要经过上级允许就可以申请新职位。虽然在3、4个季度之后,公司的所有人才逐渐适应这种内部流动模式,但这一做法也清晰地反映出企业内部各层级管理者的管理能力。如今赛诺菲中国只有30%的管理层招聘来自外部,51%的职位晋升来自内部,企业内部的流动性和多样性有了明显提升,内外部招聘结合达到了很好的平衡。过去招聘主要靠直觉,但现在这一过程越来越数据驱动和数字化。过去12-18个月里,赛诺菲中国引进AI算法已经筛选了超过1万名候选人,提高招聘成功准确率,并节约了招聘时间。

     “从2019年起,我们就制定了为期三年的数字化计划,并与麦肯锡合作,以每2、3个季度为周期从第三方的角度来评估赛诺菲数字化成熟度。2020年中旬我们的数字化程度达到了37%,如今提高到近50%,跨行业数字化程度排名正逼近前10%,明年我们的目标是将该排名上升到5%;并将从职位发布、面试到新员工入职的招聘全流程数字化,让应聘者享受良好的移动端体验。”贺恩霆博士说。

    采访中,贺恩霆提到最多的关键词就是“数据驱动”和“迭代”,尽管赛诺菲已经连续上榜杰出雇主,但他表示赛诺菲更关注自身在杰出雇主排名和人才报告各细节维度的表现,需要针对具体数字和人才池进行分析,对具体维度持续有针对性地进行提升。在谈及成功驱动赛诺菲中国进行变革管理这一极富挑战课题时,贺恩霆总结了四条心得:
     战略:制定非常有说服力、清晰的战略,让员工需要明白所处的现况,才能把努力用到正确的地方。
     沟通:在组织上下要反复透彻地传达、提醒所有人公司目前的进展,以及未来的目标和方向。因为随着时间的推移和取得进展,会产生很多信息噪声,管理者须一遍遍提醒大部队不要偏航。
     文化:给与员工足够支持,才能让他们积极为该过程做贡献。以中国区为例,仅仅20多人的管理团队认可的方向不够,需得到所有中国区8000多名员工认可,才能真正产生变革,其中中层管理者尤为重要。
     迭代:小步快跑,快速迭代,尤其在VUCA时代,制定短期、以季度为单位的清晰小目标,引入OKR等指标衡量结果,才能在过程中及时发现和解决困难,最终实现高远大目标。