Julie Staudenmier is the Vice President of Global Learning & Development at Pfizer. The overall objective of her group has been to create learning and development programs, with a special focus on leadership for colleagues at all levels at Pfizer. Julie expressed that her goal is to have everyone at Pfizer understand the personal and professional development capabilities that are connected to Pfizer’s four core values - courage, joy, equity, and excellence.
Julie feels that the Global Learning & Development team at Pfizer has been able to generate real enthusiasm around what it means to, “live with courage, demonstrate excellence, stand for equity, and experience joy.” She has worked so hard to ensure that these values are not just words on a wall or screen to people, but instead are understood to be achievable goals that everyone at Pfizer should work and live by. Julie’s goals are for Pfizer Colleagues to see how these values can impact their lives personally to help them develop their skills to work better and more powerfully.
LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT AT PFIZER
Today, many job seekers need to know that there are real opportunities for career development; it plays a critical role in their decision-making process. Julie provided some valuable insight into the opportunities that Pfizer offers regarding training and tools available for incoming colleagues. Pfizer makes sure to prepare incoming colleagues before they even get to the office. The company provides incoming employees with ideas about what Pfizer’s culture is all about, along with buddies and mentors to prepare them for the transition. When Julie joined the company four years ago, she shared that she was able to sense the energy and type of company Pfizer was before she even showed up for her first day of work. This is the goal and mantra that Pfizer aims to hold true with all incoming colleagues. Furthermore, it is echoed in how Pfizer recruits colleagues. This is demonstrated in interviews, during which the questions prospective colleagues are asked are connected to Pfizer’s values and behaviours.
Pfizer makes continuous career development a priority when it comes to their colleagues. Keeping the line of communication open for everyone to connect with the people they work with and the teams we work on is very important. Julie says that guidance for how this is accomplished is provided by individuals and team leaders, to ensure that curriculum includes discussions about what someone is working on currently, along with attention paid to goals and aspirations for the future. That way, a colleague always has a target to aim for as one’s career progresses. Julie emphasizes how it comes down to conversations and listening to our colleagues in order to be attuned to opportunities that may arise.
THE CURRENT SITUATION
Due to COVID-19, L&D is shifting to address remote learning challenges. The shift to remote working was made very readily with support from Pfizer’s very strong digital organization. This group did a terrific job making sure the infrastructure was in place for colleagues to make this shift. Julie expressed how the silver lining to the COVID situation has allowed for Pfizer to grow as a company. It has shown everyone that we are resilient and empathetic, and we are checking with people to make sure everyone is ok, because we are in this together. Julie experienced that her team has grown closer as they have been working remotely, that it created a more personal and stronger bond for her team members to confide in one another. This communication has inevitably allowed for stronger trust to build between colleagues.
When I asked Julie what she thinks the foreseeable future of learning is going to look like, she said that things are going to change and continue to evolve. On Julie’s team, some of her global team members have already started conducting some virtual and in-person training sessions, but they do it wearing masks and in smaller groups. She is developing new creative ways for people to interact in-person and over the camera. Pfizer prides itself on learning from one another and Julie emphasized that this characteristic of Pfizer’s culture is not going to be lost during this time.
Originally published on Thursday, November 25, 2021