For the most part of its 237-year history, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has been a very Japanese-centric brand.
That all changed in 2013, when the healthcare group embarked on a journey to taking the company more global.
And as Vice President of HR for Emerging Markets (including Asia-Pacific) Ana Cardoso shares with HRM Magazine Asia, HR was the catalyst of this transformation.
“Three years ago, we didn’t have a global set-up, and each unit was independent,” says Cardoso.
Then in 2015, she was tasked with setting up a new Emerging Markets headquarter in Singapore. Today, the Singapore office supports all 37 countries that form the Emerging Markets unit.
In line with the organisation’s mission “to be as global and as local as needed”, Cardoso and her team also started to consolidate all of the company’s numerous HR systems and processes into one global analytical platform.
This consolidation has increased the efficiency of talent management processes and information accuracy across the board, by allowing offices on different parts of the planet to extract a wealth of data on one another, including promotions, gender diversity and, pay scales.
“Before, if I had to get data from 37 countries where we operate in, I would have Excel files of information to consolidate, knowing that it was unlikely they would be reliable,” says Cardozo.
Since the introduction of data analytics, internal promotion rates across all countries, for example, have risen substantially, from 40% in 2016 to 66% in 2018. HR and team managers are now able to forecast what capabilities will be needed in the future and where the talent gaps of each business division are, all of which informs its leadership development, training, and succession planning strategies.
For the first time, the company also started tracking analytics on diversity. Now, gender diversity has become a big part of the conversation among senior leadership, and is one of the business’ key performance indicators.
All these efforts have helped Takeda to improve employee engagement levels globally, and its standing as an attractive employer.
When the first staff engagement survey for the Emerging Markets group was conducted in 2013, it was already at an impressive score of 89%. This grew to 92% in 2017, alongside higher talent retention rates.
Following these successes, Cardoso says HR is now getting more respect from leadership.
“I don’t need to fight to talk about people here. Having a management team that supports my initiatives is priceless,” she says.