Novo Nordisk’s Clayton site began building a foundation for a strengths-based organization several years ago, and in 2008, the insulin production company decided to accelerate its use of strengths-based practices to build employee engagement and increase operating efficiency. The company’s approach and success of its initiative won the 2011 Ovation Award in the mid-size employer category (companies with 250 to 500 employees).
The Clayton site’s decision makers strongly believe that engaged employees desire to stay with an organization long term and strive to contribute to business success, which can lead to revenue growth. Through research, the organization learned that engaged workers are 20 percent more productive than those who are disengaged. With the Gallup Q12 Pyramid and the Clifton Strengthsfinder Inventory assessment already in use at the site, managers discovered that 85 percent of their own employees could be 20 percent more productive.
To implement the strengths-focused initiative, an OD consultant was certified by Gallup as a “strengths performance coach” to design a program allowing employees to discover their strengths and use their talents more effectively. Managers also developed and shared tools to learn employees’ strengths, such as using strengths language when talking with their direct reports.
Employees created individual development plans targeting their strengths. Novo Nordisk used the development plans to help employees gain skills and knowledge to become more effective contributors. The company also provided employees with strengths-based workshops, and all team members received one-on-one meetings with the boss to review their growth and development plan. The organization asked employees to reflect on their best work day in order to find areas of work that would energize them to recreate similar days.
Other strengths-based activities the Clayton site applied included:
- Using strengths language during performance reviews
- Creating teambuilding exercises
- Requiring managers to track and record employee talents.
Once Novo Nordisk determined each employee’s key strengths, it redesigned its company structure to help them attain their goals.
Keeping the program’s momentum up, Novo Nordisk continued delivering its strengths-builder workshops to all 400 employees and created more teambuilding activities centered on appreciating the diversity of others. The Clayton site also developed a DVD showcasing best practices and tips for and from managers. Strengths-based activities are part of the company’s on-boarding process as well.
The organization has achieved success in several areas of its business since implementing its strengths-based program, and it continues to grow. The Clayton site has the shortest lead-time of all Novo Nordisk plants, is one of the premier new product launching sites, and its staff continues to break records on insulin produced per shift. Not only did the strengths-based approach earn the company a 2011 Ovation award, but the program helped the Clayton location remain the number one Novo Nordisk site based on high productivity and low cost.
For more information on how to implement a strengths-based plan for your organization, please contact Novo Nordisk’s Organizational Development Manager, Diane Cox at email@example.com.
CAI recognizes North Carolina companies for innovative HR/People solutions with Ovation Awards during its annual HR Management Conference in February. If you’d like to be considered please send a 2-3 paragraph description of your program to firstname.lastname@example.org. The description should summarize the business need, describe how the solution was implemented, and highlight the measurable and/or forecasted business results.
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