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Written by Simone Berger, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) / Head of Global Human Resources at STADA Group
STADA’s growth culture and value creation is based on how we interpret the meaning of Diversity & Inclusion and apply it in a unique way.
When you look into the composition of the term Human Resources, it goes back to the root word source, which means the point of origin, start or cause for everything. That could be an idea, a vision, a dream, or be a prototype, a product or a process. This reminds me constantly about the fact that everything we do at STADA is related to the Human Resource. With this in mind, individual development should always be on top of the priority list.
We are constantly re-invented in light of the changing demands of society, globalization, the digital age and lately COVID. Nevertheless, I am a strong believer that the key to any growth is to first focus on understanding the true meaning of Diversity & Inclusion and empowering it yourself. If an organization is able to create a culture, a platform where each human being is willing, and indeed actually eager, to bring his or her diversity, or in other terms unique experiences and dreams every day, this organization will be among the most successful ones and create exponential growth by being the source of innovation.
When we look a bit deeper into what diversity means and how it drives value creation, I would like to point out that, at STADA, we talk about diversity as Uniqueness.
Everyone is unique, and at STADA we recognize our differences as our strength. For us, uniqueness does not only mean gender, age or ethnicity –more importantly it talks to all elements that make a person unique: personality, experiences, sexual orientation, social upbringing, and more. However, such uniqueness only creates the desired value if everyone empowers their diversity and is aware of who they are and why they are who they are – reflects and then speaks up. If an employee has a great idea due to coming from a different cultural background, but does not empower himself or herself by speaking up and taking a stand on the idea, there is no additional value creation from that idea. I believe that all of us need to empower our uniqueness by bringing our whole self to work and speaking up. Through this, we overcome unconscious bias, which could block innovation, in all that we do.
How do we connect the uniqueness of each individual with being part of one big aligned STADA team?
It is through our values Entrepreneurship, Integrity, Agility and One STADA. They are the glue and cultural frame of our organization and ensure that we are all focused on bringing our purpose of STADA “caring for people’s health as a trusted partner” to life.
Diversity, much like growth, has become an ideal that many companies strive for without really comprehending. Granted, the concept is complex, but too often it is used as a buzzword to offer empty lip service to shareholders, employees and customers alike. In the HBR study ‘How Diversity Can Drive Innovation’, Hewlett, Marshall and Sherbin distinguish two different kinds of diversity: inherent and acquired. The former designates traits you are born with such as gender or ethnicity; the latter refers to traits you develop through experience, like educational and professional background.
By collating data from 1,800 professionals, 40 case studies and numerous focus groups, their project discovered that employees of firms that focus and reflect on both kinds of diversity are “45% likelier to report growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.”
A diverse speak-up culture is an essential component and backbone of a strong and high-performing organization. When a group with complementary capabilities and personalities comes together, and all individuals own their diversity and make use of it, we tap into ‘outside-the-box’ creativity, we understand different markets on a deeper level, and we challenge the status quo of outdated models.
Diversity in the workplace accelerates our STADA growth culture because it leads to more creativity and innovation. In my case, for example, I have worked for half of my career outside of Germany, in the United States, China and Singapore, and I have experienced first-hand that cultural diversity leads to much broader perspectives, ideas and innovative impulses, as well as more creative and effective results. This is why I am especially proud of the journey of building a diverse culture at STADA.
At STADA, diversity is not just numbers and quotas. By treating each other with respect based on our value “Integrity”, we can foster diversity in the workplace and live up to it. By being open-minded, we remain true to ‘Agility’. To create future growth and live ‘Entrepreneurship’, everybody needs to bring up and drive new ideas and be focused on implementation.
Last, but not least, treating everyone equally across our more than 12,000 employees around the world makes us one STADA as well. Our inclusive One STADA team celebrates uniqueness. Uniqueness is the winning principle of our growth culture and in our never-ending ambition of becoming the best team in the industry.