Our HR Strategy continues to center around partnering with the business to support the company’s strategic direction as well as investing in our existing and future employees. This includes particular focus on the employee life cycle, including the attraction of talent, the development and the retention of our employees.
This is underpinned by a culture of innovation, customer-centricity and merit. 2019 has been a pivotal year for Lonza in light of the investments in future growth in Pharma Biotech & Nutrition (LPBN) and the carve-out of the Specialty Ingredients segment (LSI). We have hired more than 1,000 highly skilled employees in 2019, and expect a further 600 in 2020, in LPBN. This work has aligned with Lonza’s growth ambitions by attracting diverse skillsets and competencies in a very competitive environment. It has been completed while the wider business continues to focus on operational efficiencies.
The prerequisite for successful talent attraction is the identification of the talent needs across all our sites and functions, on a global basis. To address this, we have set up a talent plan, which aligns to the strategic business plan and functions. This will enable the business to introduce talent marketing initiatives.
Talent acquisition is the first interconnected step of the employee life cycle. In the spirit of close partnering, our recruitment teams have been more closely aligned to the business structure. This will ensure that relevant HR expertise is best positioned to provide specific industry or functional knowledge to the respective business divisions and teams.
2019 also saw the launch of our new Employee Value Proposition (EVP) “A Meaningful Difference”. It articulates our belief that our greatest competitive advantage is talented people working together, devising solutions and providing services that help our customers improve lives. We believe employees’ ideas, big and small, can genuinely positively impact our business and our industry. Our EVP aims to portray the future of our workforce and forms part of our “Make Your Career Count” initiative, which focuses on hiring the skilled talents we need for the future.
One integral component of Lonza’s growth ambition is expanding existing sites and opening new ones across the world. We have delivered site expansion projects in Guangzhou (CN), Visp (CH), Geleen (NL), Houston, TX (USA), Portsmouth, NH (USA) and Slough (UK). It has been essential to attract the very best talent to these sites, and carefully manage their onboarding to ensure they integrate fast and feel engaged.
Through our recruitment processes, we strive to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. We believe that different backgrounds, opinions, perspectives and experiences ultimately drive innovation and creativity throughout the organization and help to make us a truly global company.
Development at Lonza
Encouraging and facilitating professional development is a priority within our employee life cycle. We want our employees to feel empowered to shape their own careers whilst also working on innovations that will shape our future. Developing our leaders is also of utmost importance as their decisions drive the business, impact the performance and wellbeing of colleagues, and ultimately impact our financial results.
The ability for our employees to develop is underpinned by our talent development programs and systems. We believe that development should roughly follow 70% on-the-job experience, 20% via social networks and 10% via traditional learning programs.
Our employees take on different responsibilities during their career at Lonza and are given opportunities to move on numerous occasions throughout their time with the business. In order to further encourage such moves, in 2019 we focused on simplifying and streamlining our global mobility policies and procedures. Our aim is to make it even easier for employees to seize opportunities across the globe, promoting a culture of mobility and removing barriers to global talent exchange.
In 2019, priority was also placed on simplifying our talent management processes to be more agile as the development needs of our workforce continue to evolve.
Retaining our Talent
Retaining our talent is critical, as existing employees hold a unique knowledge of our business. We take a holistic approach to retention of our employees, focusing on robust onboarding, personal and career development opportunities, as well as a culture which fosters leadership, innovation and growth.
We ensure our Total Rewards offering is competitive to attract and retain the talent we need to deliver our ambitions. We continually review our rewards packages to ensure we remain competitive and aligned with the evolving needs of our workforce.
Engaging with our employees to better understand their needs, challenges and motivations helps guide our decisions for change in the organization. The results of employee engagement are more beneficial when conducted in consistent environments where results can be compared over time. During a period of change in 2019, our employee engagement strategy focused on selected teams and functions within the organization to ensure alignment and understanding of the Lonza journey.