Novartis' Integrated Approach to Employee Learning

Novartis' Integrated Approach to Employee Learning

There’s nothing better than a personalized experience, curtailed to our unique needs and wants. Those experiences are why social media platforms are now highly customized to our likes/dislikes, why we’re welcomed by name when we log in to our online banking platform, and why restaurants remember our order with mobile apps. It is those specialized options that attract our interest and make us feel connected to a company.

There’s nothing better than a personalized experience, curtailed to our unique needs and wants. Those experiences are why social media platforms are now highly customized to our likes/dislikes, why we’re welcomed by name when we log in to our online banking platform, and why restaurants remember our order with mobile apps. It is those specialized options that attract our interest and make us feel connected to a company.

As the head of U.S. Learning for Novartis, a leading global medicines company in more than 140 countries, it is my job to pique that interest in our employees. We’ve studied this topic in-depth, to determine exactly the type of learning experience our people want and need.

Our team is continuously creating personalized experiences for our training programs. We offer employees courses that directly apply to their needs, delivered in a method that works best. Here’s how we’ve “accelerated curiosity” at Novartis, and increased employee satisfaction and engagement in the process.

The Evolution of Learning in an “Unbossed” Culture

Novartis is all about innovation. Our employees must be kept up-to-date on new medicines and how best to communicate important information about those medicines to the health community. Our workforce needs to be continually learning and acquiring new skills, and as a company, we’re searching for the best way to disseminate that information.

Over the past several years, our company has taken a step back to look at how learning can encourage and inspire our employees and work effectively in an “unbossed” culture. We discovered that education plays a crucial role in igniting people’s curiosity about their work.

Novartis has done industry-wide research, and it all comes down to the word “accelerate;” how do we accelerate the curiosity, growth, and impact of our training? We live in a world that is changing at an accelerated rate, and we need to stimulate our workforce’s curiosity to learn to keep up.

To accomplish this, we follow these four key principles:

  • Learning needs to be social. People don’t learn in isolation.
  • Learning needs to be personalized. When we offer training, it has to feel specific to employees’ roles and motivations.
  • Learning needs to be contextualized. People need to be able to apply this to their careers and what they need to achieve.
  • Learning needs to be integrated. We’re striving for learning that flows into people’s work and becomes a part of what our employees do daily.

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