Ferring is not only a research-driven biopharmaceutical group committed to helping people build families and live better lives - their commitment to education, the development of employees and improving the dialogue with them have been major priorities over the last few years. It is therefore not surprising that Ferring also embraces a corporate culture in which employees can grow and develop themselves.
How Ferring creates a global learning culture .
GoodHabitz is a great fit. Thanks to the wide variety of languages in which the online courses are offered, an international company like Ferring has the opportunity to take the competences of its employees in all sites around the world to the next level. However, it’s not just the locations at Ferring that vary – the roles of their employees couldn’t be more diverse either: Besides the cultural differences, their fields of work, tasks and the skills they need are quite different. In this client story, you will learn about Ferring’s approach to giving its lab and manufacturing workers access to eLearning and what a successful collaboration of a global HR community can look like.
One of the challenges Ferring was facing was to find the right learning platform that can align with their learning culture and be integrated into their learning methodology. It turned out that GoodHabitz is a great fit and supports Ferring in creating an engaging environment where employees can grow and develop their skills for the current and future needs of the organization. What most HR managers know, however, is that purchasing learning content is not enough. The question for Ferring was: How could they most effectively introduce the GoodHabitz online courses to their employees?
“We decided on a combination of a push and pull strategy. On the one hand, we allow our employees to freely enter our LMS and to visit the GoodHabitz courses they are interested in”, says Pedro Calleja, Senior Director Global Head of Rewards at Ferring. With this approach, Ferring enables all its employees, lab and manufacturing workers included, to freely choose the courses they would like to learn more about. “In addition, we follow a more strategic approach by building a GoodHabitzmultidisciplinary community with key stakeholders and ambassadors to share best practices and promote organizational learning within the company.”
Alongside the GoodHabitzmultidisciplinary community, Ferring created a communication plan with email campaigns and recommendations for learning actions. In this communication plan, the top level of the organization as well as the team leaders who are responsible for the development of their teams, are involved as well. The team leaders suggest specific GoodHabitz learning actions to their teams and also integrate online training courses to employees’ individual development plans.
“As mentioned before, our development methodology that follows a 10/20/70 strategy is strongly aligned with GoodHabitz: Our employees acquire 10% of their competencies through individual learning with the GoodHabitz online training, another 20% through exchange with colleagues, and the remaining 70% through challenges and tasks in their daily work”, states Pedro Calleja.
Since the focus of Ferring’s learning program is not only on individual online learning, learning content should also be increasingly integrated into practice. Laurence Tétaz, Human Resources Coordinator at Ferring, states: "A new idea I am hoping to test this year is to roll-out GoodHabitz training as face-to-face training. We observe that some people are more motivated when learning in groups with an opportunity to share."
"We believe that rolling out a popular GoodHabitz training course ‘live’ could answer that need."
To help promote learning in a team, GoodHabitz offers the WorkOuts - the perfect didactic method to take an online course on a certain topic together in a team, as well as discuss and exchange ideas in the group. This method encourages teamwork and transfer into practice.
To make sure that the learning strategy at Ferring delivers success, the HR managers at Ferring regularly analyze employee engagement and share these figures and KPIs with the international locations. “We have created a healthy competitiveness between the countries and the more one employee uses the platform, the more interest is created trying new learning actions”, says Pedro Calleja.
Global HR-Community: Learning across borders
The exchange and comparison between countries means mutual enrichment. The multinational GoodHabitz community, that evolved with the introduction of the GoodHabitz courses at Ferring, consists of around 20 HR and L&D managers responsible for the different Ferring countries / regions. These include Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, LATAM, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the US and many more. They have monthly virtual meetings in which they come together and share best practices, challenges, suggestions and learnings regarding cultural differences. Furthermore, they have quarterly communication campaigns that are sent to all employees in which they recommend three specific GoodHabitz online courses. The topics of these campaigns are defined according to global needs or strategic topics – the HR managers can then decide for themselves whether they want to integrate the campaigns as they are or adapt them locally to their country's needs.
With these campaigns, Ferring aims to continuously motivate the individual employee to focus on personal development. At the same time, the HR managers at Ferring integrate the online courses into their organizational strategies and corporate goals. And, by involving leaders and managers in their learning strategies, they ensure that there is also a focus on learning and development within the teams. In other words, Ferring has a holistic view of using GoodHabitz and their entire learning offer, with which the company establishes a successful learning culture and thus prepares the whole organization for today's and tomorrow's work environment.
Despite intercultural differences, Ferring has similar learning objectives worldwide, which are followed by the global HR community: “In our focus on People and Culture our objective is to improve engagement through executed action plans and to enable development opportunities for all. In our Global Manufacturing Network, we follow the objective to build a strength-based and performance-driven organization in which our employees learn and grow”, explains Laurence Tétaz.
Manufacturing workers – challenge & success
Personal development for all employees working at Ferring – a great vision, not always easy to implement. The manufacturing workers at Ferring don’t have a personal computer for work-related tasks or online learning. That’s why they have access to shared computers within the production zones. Laurence Tétaz, who is responsible for this project, explains that manufacturing workers have the opportunity to complete a GoodHabitz course when it is integrated within another training course, such as with their MyCareer Program. Otherwise, when there is a production issue and a machine stop, the blue-collar workers have the option to take this time to develop themselves in the way they prefer. In this case, Ferring offers them laptops that they can borrow or share links to the learning platform so they can connect with their personal mobile phone.
“The GoodHabitz training catalogue is very rich and varied, and it offers us diversified training to enrich our Development Plan. The titles of the courses are fun, attract our curiosity and make us want to start them. The fact that each course is divided into several short modules facilitates learning. It is great to have such a tool available for our personal development”, says Frédérique Batteur, Production Quality Coordinator at Ferring. As many other companies know, a good learning and development strategy for manufacturing employees can be a big challenge due to various circumstances. That’s why Ferring wants to implement specific learning blocks in the blue-collar workers’ agendas to make sure that their individual development keeps up by next year.
Present and future achievements
“I’m pretty sure that the different learning opportunities and our development ecosystem has contributed to achieve a better engagement level and it also had a direct impact on the performance”, says Pedro Calleja.
“It demonstrates that HR has an integrated part of the business, we build an engaging environment where employees grow and perform with passion and purpose. GoodHabitz helps us to achieve our vision.”
A great support has been the different team leaders, who have actively promoted the development of their teams and integrated courses in the individual development plans.
The employees at Ferring have already learned a total of 7,876 hours, they have received 1,341 test certificates for completing courses, with 2,492 active users learning with GoodHabitz. The most popular courses are ‘Asking for Feedback’, ‘Microsoft 365 Teams’ and ‘Keep your Eyes on the Goal’.
This year, Ferring’s Swiss Manufacturing Plant (FSMP) is planning to roll-out the MyCareer program for their employees. The program is designed to help them determine what they want from their career and how to elaborate smart development plans by integrating their strengths. Furthermore, FSMP also wants to invest in the development of its people managers. “We have designed a specific training program for them this year around ‘The Leader as a Coach’. We want to encourage our people managers to become leaders that facilitate problem solving and encourage employees’ development by asking questions and offering support and guidance rather than giving orders and making judgments”, explains Laurence Tétaz. Ferring wants to be positioned as an employer of choice and to earn that accolade, permanent development and growth must take place at all levels of the organization.