Sanofi – see what we can be


Sanofi – see what we can be

See what we can be
In January, Sanofi Canada launched a new theme to engage employees, called “See What We Can Be.”

It’s about looking deep within yourself, questioning the lens through which you see the world, envisioning the possible, thinking creatively and, most importantly, being positive.

At Sanofi Canada, we are going through the conversion of becoming Orange Frogs while seizing the Happiness Advantage for our individual benefit, our business and the patients we ultimately serve.

The Challenges of Healthcare
We are all too well aware that today’s evolving healthcare environment is challenging, no matter where we live.

We have older populations, a greater prevalence of chronic disease, rising costs, payers are optimizing budgets, and innovative medicines are pressured to bring speedy, breakthrough solutions to smaller populations. For healthcare companies and employees, the pressures from all sides can be overwhelming. Employees can perceive these significant environmental challenges as either a

For healthcare companies and employees, the pressures from all sides can be overwhelming. Employees can perceive these significant environmental challenges as either a glass-half-full or half-empty situation.

The Right Workplace
About three years ago, we at Sanofi Canada knew we needed to “reset” our culture and skillsets, to reach our goals of truly meeting patient needs and making a difference in healthcare.

It was at about that same time we were preparing to move to a new Head Office building. So, we adopted a novel approach and developed a change management strategy that proactively involved our employees in making decisions about our culture and working environment. Our goal was to create a more open, transparent and innovative culture and live in a building that reflected this reality.

We succeeded in our cultural transition, and the fresh new building buoyed us for a good period of time, but the skillset issue still needed to be addressed. With support from global and local human resources, we looked at ways to be more agile, foster new thinking and develop more efficient management model to improve our competitiveness.

Olympic Skill
The Olympics were the same year of our move, so we took advantage of that theme to support our employees.

As a company, we were beginning to reach momentum in generating new and more innovative ways of bringing healthcare solutions to Canadians and ideas to partners in health who had previously perceived us less positively.

But just when you feel you are reaching your goal, the goal post gets pushed back. So as we prepared to kick off 2015, we asked ourselves, where do we go from here? How do we go the extra mile in an already fiercely challenging environment with talented, engaged and skilled people?

A Green Frog
The answer is: go to your core.

Question your inner drivers and the lens through which you see the world. Ask yourself if you see the glass half full or half empty. This is how we came to find Shawn Achor, an American author and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology as a route to a happier and more adaptable workforce. Shawn illuminates his work on the “Happiness Advantage” through the story of an Orange Frog, who discovers that positive behavior is both productive and contagious.

Truth be told, I needed convincing that Shawn Achor’s “Happiness Advantage” and Orange Frog were right for us to realize our objectives of changing our mindset as a company. I came to learn that Shawn had proven evidence that thinking positively produces tangible results for individuals as well as businesses.

Going for Orangekill
Therein began a new stage of Sanofi Canada’s journey.

All employees participated in an Orange Frog workshop with Shawn. Since then, we have generated over 90 ideas to keep “positive” in our day-to-day work life, held 2 employee-managed “happy” activities and are planning on 8 more this year at the head office and in the field.

The journey has been, well… happy. If the first six months of 2015 are any indication of how a positive mindset can generate positive and mutually beneficial solutions with partners, then I can tell you, I have a great deal of hope for the future of healthcare in Canada, and Sanofi as a part of it. We all win with a little bit of orange!