Creating a work environment in which all employees can maximize their potential

Creating a work environment in which all employees can maximize their potential

October 09, 2020
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Takashi Matsumoto
Vice President, Human Resources Department
(Global head of HR of the Daiichi Sankyo group of companies)
Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited

Helping employees grow by understanding their aptitudes and aspirations

We live in a dynamic world where advances in science such as immuno-oncology are saving lives and technology is dramatically changing how we work—today’s most popular smart phone, for example, is 120 million times more powerful than the computer that sent men to the moon. Within the Daiichi Sankyo Group of companies (the “Daiichi Sankyo Group”), we are transforming our entire organization toward our 2025 vision of becoming a “Global Pharma Innovator with competitive advantage in Oncology”.
More than 15,000 employees worldwide are working in Daiichi Sankyo Group across Japan, the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Our mission in Human Resources is to enable our colleagues to be their very best to serve our patients by creating a culture where each person can thrive, so we are investing to create a truly diverse workforce and culture where each person can bring their unique insights and ideas, grow both personally and professionally and contribute to realizing our mission and 2025 Vision.

Fostering employee growth with both local and global perspectives

As the Global Head of Human Resources for Daiichi Sankyo Group, it is especially important for me to help nurture a Daiichi Sankyo Group culture in which all of our global employees love to be a part.

One reason new employees join a Daiichi Sankyo Group company is that they are attracted to our mission, “to contribute to the enrichment of quality of life around the world through the creation of innovative pharmaceuticals, and through the provision of pharmaceuticals addressing diverse medical needs,” and to our core values of innovation, integrity and accountability.

Our employees come from a wide range of career paths and cultural backgrounds, and their diverse skills and experiences give birth to a robust variety of ideas and opinions, which in turn increases the overall potential of our business. At the same time, since quick decision-making is required for success in business, having shared core values helps employees be efficient and decisive with respect to their work.

The Core Values of the Daiichi Sankyo Group are Innovation, Integrity, and Accountability. While advancing these Core Values, we are engaged in a broad range of initiatives to create workplaces that respect the values and culture of each country and the individuality of each employee.

There are currently 105 colleagues in ex-patriate assignments at affiliate companies around the globe, gaining important experience in living and working in different countries. Moreover, in order to expand such overseas work opportunities to broader range of Daiichi Sankyo Group colleagues, we encourage short-term assignments for colleagues around the world to enhance their language skills while also having the experience of working in the context of different countries and cultures.

Based on global corporate policy, we are and will continue to roll out HR initiatives that address unique or local characteristics and issues while sharing best practices across the Daiichi Sankyo Group companies.

In addition, numerous, exciting global projects for our oncology products are currently in progress, and we are managing a global diversity initiative that goes beyond the boundaries of countries and regions.

In the US, for example, this means authentic and open discussions between employees to empower equality and inclusion especially in times of social unrest and racism; the creation of business employee affinity groups as a resource to provide a voice to express their views, lead diversity initiatives to better serve our patients and invest in the development of colleagues; and a learning curriculum for all employees on the topic of “conscious inclusion.”

To ensure ongoing progress, we hold regular meetings that include HR colleagues from each of our major global bases of operation. Each regional manager discusses local challenges with the other attendees and we participate in a meaningful discussions to find solutions to each problem that is raised. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis, these meetings have moved to video conferencing. Despite some downsides to remote communication, this new format has had the benefit of increasing the flexibility and speed of the meetings as compared to in-person events.

Going forward, to make our shared “ONE DS" culture feel even more tangible to our employees across the world, we are working on a number of initiatives to crystalize in the mind of employees, beginning with a single corporate culture with a long-term perspective to ensure we are all aligned and working towards the same goal. Others include the internal sharing of patient stories to remind us of what is truly important, a renewed focus on our core values of innovation, accountability and integrity that apply for all employees, and investment in cultural training so we truly understand and respect each other’s culture to collaborate effectively.

Based on these and many other ongoing or planned initiatives and programs across the Daiichi Sankyo Group, we are putting significant efforts to make our workplace environments one that takes this culture and encourage employees to embrace the diversity of all, and to become more innovative than ever before.

Our next phase in HR strategy: becoming a stronger global oncology player

In order to fulfill our “2025 Vision” of becoming a “Global Pharma Innovator with Competitive Advantage in Oncology,” we are committed to welcoming talented new employees to the Group while developing outstanding authentic leaders who are connected to and inspire their people.

In Japan, from 2017 to 2019, Human Resources led “the Create Our Future project,” with the goal of transforming the Daiichi Sankyo Group in Japan from a primary care company to an oncology company. This was a bold move, and to achieve this transformation we worked together globally to recruit outstanding talent and to develop the skills of our existing employees to support being an oncology company. The result has been the approval and launch our first HER2-directed ADC oncology medicine in December 2019 and a rich portfolio behind it. This is just the beginning and today we are planning to invest more in learning, encourage more career moves globally and maximize the potential of technology to facilitate collaborative working.

I would like every one of our employees around the world to feel pride and satisfaction as an employee within the Daiichi Sankyo Group, and to join in building an outstanding global culture. We believe that the long-term growth of the Daiichi Sankyo Group and the achievement of our Mission and 2025 Vision are only possible through the strong desire of our employees to participate and contribute, and we are dedicated to finding new ways to support them in achieving these goals. We in HR will continue to strive toward building an authentic and energizing culture that helps all employees maximize their potential, bring their unique skills and contribute to a better and healthier world for all.

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