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Learning and development

Cultivating a learning culture

Cultivating a learning culture

We believe that UCB’s ongoing ability to adapt and evolve is critical to enabling our company’s long-term success. Learning and development should therefore be a core and daily feature of working life for all UCB colleagues.

In 2020, we launched a global learning campaign, aiming to cultivate a culture of ongoing learning, reflection and knowledge sharing across the entire organization. Our focus on changing mindsets and instilling the idea among all employees, regardless of seniority, department or area of expertise, that there is always more to learn, always room for self-improvement, and always a new opportunity for these learnings to help us create value for patients.

Efforts to transform UCB’s learning culture are being championed from the very top of our organization, with leadership teams themselves embracing the opportunity to brush up their existing skills or learn new ones. In partnership with IMD Business School in Switzerland, we have developed several leadership programs intended to help leaders hone their strategic and leadership skills. Three cohorts have already ‘graduated’ from the program, with another group due to complete their training in March 2021. A specific “strategic intent” program has been developed and was launched in December 2020 for our senior leaders. This will run until May 2021.

In 2020, 98% of our employees received regular performance reviews, and 84% of our employees received regular career development reviews.

In 2020, UCB invested over €15 million in learning and development programs, content, technologies, and services to deliver on our commitment to grow talents and foster personalized development.

Véronique, Head of Sustainability at UCB, and Professor Jean-Philippe Pierron, philosopher and professor of philosophy of life, medicine and care, Université de Bourgogne, France during the third #imagine webinar “Putting the care in healthcare” held on September 9, 2020.

At UCB, we believe our business interests can and should align with wider social and environmental needs. To help us progress on this journey, we started a cycle of webinars called #imagine enabling employees to engage with renowned experts and reflect on key societal challenges, such as animal health and its links with human and environmental health, the societal responsibility of business, and the value of care. By offering to employees the opportunity to include new perspectives in their thinking, we can work together to reshape global systems for a better tomorrow.

The highly specialized nature of our industry makes for a competitive talent market. Attracting, developing and retaining top research and development talent is therefore crucial. To this end, in 2020 we rolled out several related initiatives within the UCB Development Solutions and Early Solutions teams:

    • The Graduate Development Program in Global Clinical Development welcomes medical graduates to UCB, allowing them to build on their academic knowledge and gain hand-on experience in a rotational way. By collaborating with multiple teams over time, program participants make a concrete contribution to our company goals, while also taking the first important steps in their professional journeys within the pharmaceutical industry.

    • Job rotations between different roles are open to all employees working in Development Solutions. This is currently organized in a rather informal way, with employees encouraged to consider what parts of our business they may wish to explore or which areas of expertise they would like to further develop through such a rotation.

"I had the opportunity to join the Patient Value Quality Assurance (PVQA) team for a six-month job rotation, in order to increase my knowledge on patient value processes through PVQA activities. I worked on several projects, each with its own set of challenges and learnings. This was a wonderful adventure and such a rich experience! This kind of training is so valuable!"

Maite, PV Learning Excellence Manager, Rotation in PVQA, PV Quality Compliance
    • To further the professional development of Early Solutions colleagues, we launched a webinar series focused on providing insights into various aspects of UCB’s drug discovery journey. The goal of the series is to help colleagues explore new areas of professional interest. Since April 2020, 44 talks have addressed topics as varied as UCB’s therapeutic areas, antibody discovery and engineering, structural biology, small molecule discovery, gene therapy, data science, and aspects of development science covering safety and pharmacology.

    • Recognizing individual and team contributions towards our wider company goals helps boost morale and retain top talent. To celebrate our colleagues’ scientific initiatives, 2020 saw the first virtual edition of the Early Solutions Science Awards, with colleagues requested to nominate each other for recognition in nine different categories, including “Best practical lab skills”, “Best publication”, and “Best progress towards patient value”.