Great changes with small actions

Pfizer Finland and its personnel acquired new tools to improve their employee experience. The steps taken made job satisfaction in the Internal Medicine team the highest in the entire group.

Business impact:

  • According to the personnel survey, employee satisfaction was improved by 25–30%
  • The Internal Medicine team became one of the top teams in the group
  • The personnel also realized the significance of presence in customer meetings

Pfizer started a development project in the unit’s commercial team when the management detected the need to strengthen team spirit of a group of professionals with very different perspectives.

An empowered collaboration and employee experience were set as the objectives of the development project. The key objective was to find the targets and means for development in collaboration with Talent Vectia. “It was emphasized that every employee is a part of the process and the input and insights of every employee are important. We did not want to provide training that is controlled from top to bottom”, says Orakoski.

Small deeds have great meaning

In addition to the 12 members of the commercial team, the closest internal collaboration partners were also requested to participate in the first group meeting of the project, which was launched at the turn of the year. The objective was to find a goal and the means to renew and start the change process.

One of the basic assumptions in the development project was that employee experience is also inevitably reflected in customer experience. “It is important to remember that the clients are the key to our success”, notes Tegelberg.

The development project consisted of joint team meetings, in addition to which a consultant from Talent Vectia facilitated small groups between the joint meetings. During the whole journey, the participants thought up small actions that were related to encounters and collected feedback on how they work in everyday situations.

According to the feedback, a strategy, functional structures, objectives, and clear management are not enough to create a winning team, even though they are a prerequisite for it. It takes extensive interpersonal skills, such as empathy and mutual understanding and the creation of joint experiences, to make people feel like they belong to the community.

Stopping is important when you are in a hurry

The soft elements of personnel management can be easily neglected in busy business life, where everyone seems to have too few hours in the day. Electronic means of communication do not rise to the challenge, as emojis cannot always fully convey real emotions. ‘We should stop more often to ask how someone is feeling. If you do not have the time to do so, you can be surprised by, for example, how differently different people can interpret the same message. This poses a challenge, particularly when not all employees work in the same location’, reflects Päivi Kerkola, the Managing Director at Pfizer Finland.

We saw the changes as early as in connection with the first job satisfaction survey, which results showed a great percentage increase. Now our job satisfaction is among the best at Pfizer when viewed globally", — Mailis Orakoski, sales and marketing responsible, Pfizer

Kerkola emphasizes the significance of soft values. ‘Soft values are hard currency. To have the courage to be human to another human being, to talk to people about what you are grateful for in your everyday life, as there often are many reasons to be grateful.

The results of the training were fantastic, as the evaluations provided by the personnel were improved by 25–30% in several measures when compared with the previous survey. ‘Somehow this generated trust in our joint efforts within the team. We have been provided with the opportunity to affect our own work more than before, although this has been just as much a journey of self-development’, reflects Tegelberg.