Investing in growth: Octapharma's dedication to employee development and career advancement

Lachen, Switzerland
Our employees

At Octapharma, we invest heavily in science, and in our systems, processes and tools. But none of that matters without our most important investment – our people.

Our employees are central to our operations and to our success. And in recognition of the pivotal role that our employees play in driving Octapharma’s success, we are strengthening our commitment to their growth and development.

 “We are committed to helping everyone realise their potential,” says Wolfgang Hofmann, Group Director Learning & Development, Human Resources.

Why this emphasis on learning and development?

Access to learning and opportunities for development can have a profound impact on organisational growth and employee satisfaction, which is one reason why L&D programs are a strategic imperative across Octapharma’s HR network. As Gerda Brandt, Head of Human Resources from Vienna, Austria puts it: "We all want to have opportunities to develop, and we all feel valued when we’re given those opportunities."

At our Springe, Germany, site, where personnel development is a cornerstone of the HR approach, initiatives like the Development Centre have paved the way for career progression. “Employees have risen through the ranks, with some earmarked for leadership roles, showcasing the transformative potential of L&D”, adds Yvonne Aubry, Head of Human Resources Octapharma Springe.

Yvonne Aubry, Head of Human Resources Octapharma Springe, Germany

"We all want to have opportunities to develop, and we all feel valued when we’re given those opportunities."

Gerda Brandt, Head of Human Resources from Vienna, Austria.

Addressing L&D challenges

Of course, there are some challenges to face. “But it's how we address these challenges that sets the course for success”, says Charlotte Jerbom, Head of Human Resources from Octapharma Stockholm, Sweden.

At Octapharma Stockholm, the local HR L&D teams grapple with significant hurdles, the primary one being time scarcity. “While employees show a keen interest in L&D, the demands of daily tasks often take precedence,” explains Charlotte. This dilemma is particularly pronounced in the case of non-mandatory training sessions, where competing priorities make it challenging for employees to dedicate time to learning.

“Ultimately, we provide effective and engaging initiatives for people development that are prioritised by the organisation,” adds Charlotte.

In Vienna and Springe, local HR L&D teams are busy dealing with the increasing demand for development opportunities. Currently, they focus on apprenticeships, leadership training and outsourcing certain programs to external partners. “Additionally, streamlining processes and leveraging digital tools can enhance efficiency and effectiveness,” adds Silvia Heilemann, HR Business Partner & Specialist Development, Springe, Germany.

Gerda Brandt, Head of Human Resources from Vienna, Austria

Vision for the future

Octapharma Stockholm's vision for L&D programs is comprehensive and forward-thinking, encompassing tailored initiatives like training for new managers, leadership programs for non-managers, and instructor pedagogical training.

But Octapharma Stockholm's vision goes beyond just training programs. It encompasses an holistic approach to L&D that evaluates and implements sustainable, long-term solutions across all business units and hierarchies.

In Vienna, the focus is similar. “We aim to establish a comprehensive, sustainable L&D framework that caters to the entire organisational spectrum,” says Gerda Brandt. “The ultimate goal is to cultivate a culture where learning is not just encouraged but embedded into the fabric of everyday operations,” she adds.

Wolfgang Hofmann, Group Director Learning & Development, Human Resources

Career development opportunities

Local HR has a crucial role in motivating employees towards career development, fostering communication, and providing clear pathways for growth. “By fostering open communication, highlighting opportunities, organising targeted development measures and establishing pathways for advancement, local HR can support employees, while also instilling a sense of purpose and motivation,” explains Wolfgang Hofmann.

Within the Springe L&D portfolio, various avenues for career development are available. From leadership training and individual coaching to performance management and specialised programs such as the Female Leadership Academy, employees have access to a comprehensive suite of resources tailored to their professional growth, says Silvia Heilemann.

Octapharma Vienna offers a diverse range of L&D activities, including leadership training, self-management programs like Leaders21, and individualised professional training tailored to specific job functions.

 “These opportunities empower employees to enhance their skills and advance their careers within the organisation,” explains Raphaela Singer, People Development Specialist, based in Vienna.

“Initiatives such as non-manager training and manager networks not only enhance skills but also create pathways for progression, fostering a sense of loyalty and commitment among employees,” comments Eva Stein, HR Specialist Learning & Development, Stockholm, Sweden.

Another notable success story is the "Train the trainer" program in Stockholm, which empowers instructors to effectively transfer knowledge to new colleagues. This initiative, born from a collaboration between Business and HR, has garnered very positive feedback and exemplifies Octapharma Stockholm's commitment to fostering learning at all levels of the organisation.

Without a doubt, L&D programs have a profound impact across many of our sites. By providing opportunities for career development and advancement within the organisation, employees not only achieve personal growth but are also more likely to feel valued and motivated to grow still further.