Now more than ever, this changing world has reinforced our commitment to building a culture that creates a sustainable organisation for our people and communities.
Key events in 2020, such as Covid-19 and the highlighting of societal injustices through the Black Lives Matter movement, have reminded all of us of the vital role we at UDG play in influencing society. Although a year of disruption, in many ways this was also a year of reflection for UDG Healthcare. Led by our Senior Executive Team, we reinforced our positive commitments to our people, our society and our environment.
Focus on Culture
Our culture is key to our success. Our corporate values of Quality, Partnership, Ingenuity, Expertise, and Energy represent the guiding principles of our organisation’s culture. The behaviours which underpin these values guide our people’s priorities and actions as they go about their day-to-day working lives.
Our UDG Healthcare CEO awards this year continued to highlight examples of employees who demonstrated our values and went beyond expectations to role model those values across the globe. The number of people recognised in the nomination process increased by 15% in FY2020, with some outstanding examples of excellence in role modelling our values.
In early 2019, many of our businesses implemented local pulse surveys and focus groups to track employee engagement. The results of these surveys were reassuring and confirmed that our activities were broadly aligned with our employees’ own values. As 2020 unfolded, our attention switched to developing a specific understanding of the impacts of Covid-19 on our workforce, and how we could support our people.
As the pandemic hit, we were acutely aware of the challenges posed for many of our colleagues from both a work and personal perspective. Our people adapted quickly, and within a two-week period, the majority of our employees adjusted their lives to remote working. In order to support our people, regular pulse surveys were implemented to understand how remote working was impacting our employees, with a focus on their wellbeing. We sought further feedback to understand their views on returning to the office environment. Obtaining this feedback enabled our businesses to create appropriate and agile working policies to facilitate the new world of work for our employees, giving them greater flexibility to balance both their work and personal commitments.
Our senior business leaders placed a significant focus on keeping our employees connected throughout this period through regular weekly communications and video messages.
Through the initial phases of Covid-19, we were aware of the sacrifices that frontline workers across the globe were making to ensure our employees and their families were safe. In June, we launched a global social media campaign engaging our employees in recognising the courage of frontline workers everywhere. Our #MarkForHeroes campaign involved our people showing their appreciation for their local heroes in any frontline activity and making a pledge to support them through various acts of kindness. We were extremely proud to see how our employees engaged with this initiative, making a positive impact to others in their communities.
Ethical Business Behaviours
UDG Healthcare does not tolerate bribery or corruption in any form. Our approach is summarised in our Anti-Bribery and Corruption policy, which states that bribery, corrupt payments and any other form of unethical business practice are strictly prohibited. Together with the Group’s Code of Conduct, our Compliance Programme articulates the Group’s ethical business control processes.
Furthermore our Compliance Programme describes our expectations of our suppliers and follows the principles of ethical business, as set out in the Group’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
Human Rights & Anti-Slavery
Our business model strives to fully comply with applicable human rights legislation in the countries in which we operate.
UDG Healthcare is completely opposed to slavery and human trafficking and will not knowingly support or conduct business with any organisation involved in such activities.
A copy of our Anti-Modern Slavery Policy and Human Rights Policy is available on our website. On an annual basis, our Quality and Compliance department reviews progress of all training on this Policy.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
This year we committed to injecting fresh energy, focus and perspective into our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) activities with a commitment to looking for additional ways to learn, to improve and to identify areas where we can create real change and opportunity. The worrying trend of social injustice in our key markets was commented on by our Senior Executive Team who issued an open letter in June to our employees and stakeholders, unequivocally demanding an absence of racism in our communities. Our leaders committed to do everything they can as leaders of a global company, to ensure equality, dignity and inclusion without any compromise, in our workplaces.
We progressed the DEI agenda across the Group this year, with some key tangible initiatives. At a global level, we appointed a new internal Senior Executive Team sponsor and UDG Healthcare DEI Council to create our 2021 strategy and deliver a roadmap for activities. We also recently hired a DEI Officer for the group globally, whose key responsibility will be driving our strategy. Our Diversity and Inclusion Champions Network delivered local initiatives marking international events such as PRIDE and International Women’s Day with enthusiasm.
At a business level, across the globe we saw some great achievements, our Vynamic business was voted one of the Fortune 2020 best places to work for women. Canale Communications announced in June 2020 an internship programme to address racial inequality in biotech careers targeting African Americans. Cambridge BioMarketing implemented an active social media campaign to highlight disparities in the provision of healthcare and, across all our businesses, we were proud to see the renewed determination by our leaders and employees to create awareness of injustice in our society.
At Board level, we are delighted that the Board now comprises 40% female Board members. However, we are equally cognisant that diversity has many forms and the Board’s policy on diversity states that it will continue to take into account all forms of diversity when considering appointments to the Board.
Identifying and developing talent continues to be a key priority across our businesses. We reward talent by providing our people with prospects to grow and develop their careers, and we offer them the opportunity to make a difference. Annually, we review and test the robustness of our talent process and this year we refined it to ensure the topic of talent is a standing item on our Senior Executive Team’s meeting agenda and also integrated this topic into our regular business reviews. This approach places our people, their development and the overall management of talent activities on an equal footing with our business performance discussions. Our rationale for doing so was to reinforce the interdependence of performance and people.
Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, the development of our people remained high on our agenda. We quickly developed and launched ‘The Art of Managing Remotely’ and in an eight-week period we were able to deliver the programme virtually to 60% of people managers globally. We completed the pivoting of our new first line managers programme ‘LEAP’, from face-to-face to virtual delivery, and in September our internal faculty of ‘LEAP’ trainers completed their internal accreditation training.
In addition, we continued to support our business development community through the virtual delivery of our Inspire Business Development curriculum in a virtual format and added a further programme to support our sales people.
During this year, we also commenced our InspireTalks series which provided access to virtual bite-sized learning for all managers, delivered by external and internal expert hosts. Furthermore, we were delighted to bring our Inspire leadership programme to India and in December 2019 the first cohort of people leaders from India attended the programme in New Delhi.
The high level of satisfaction we achieved on all these programmes is a testament to the ingenuity of our people who enable these activities and the partners who we choose to support us, and are fully aligned with our culture and values.
The physical and mental wellbeing of our employees is of key importance to our organisation. While we ordinarily mark all important international health days, in 2020 the arrival of Covid-19 created an even greater focus on employee wellbeing. In April we launched an employee wellbeing portal ‘Wellspace’ to support our people through this challenging time.
Our Mental Health Awareness Month in June enabled our people to access advice and interactive sessions with both physical and mental health experts. We also provided mental health coaching support to employees to help them cope with the challenges they were experiencing.