A chance to see the world differently
A global company needs staff with a global point of view – also at a local level. Experiencing new ways of working and thinking inspires employees, advancing their careers and the company. This is the case for Luciana, a communications assistant at the Roche Diagnostics affiliate in Sao Paolo, Brazil, who took part in our Changing Perspectives Programme.
At 24, Luciana’s selection for the programme gave her young career a welcome boost, with the opportunity to work at Roche Diagnostics in Rotkreuz, Switzerland, and the Roche Diagnostics affiliate in Burgess Hill, UK. “I have no words to describe how it changes your point of view of life,” she says of the experience.
Although her time at Roche has so far been short, Luciana revels in the experience it’s brought her: “In two and a half years at Roche, I feel I’ve gained five years’ growth. I have opportunities to grow every day, with challenging projects, good professionals around me and space to express myself and to learn how to express myself better.”
Being a woman has never been a career barrier to Vesna Cizej, Adriatic Management Centre Head and General Manager of Roche in Slovenia. “We are all different. Intelligence is independent of race, gender and geography,” she says. “And it is this strength of talent, with these combined differences that become the foundation for our success.”
Acknowledging diversity in Roche’s workforce has allowed Vesna to adapt her leadership style to meet the needs of individual employees. She knows the importance of having an overall vision for her team but that communicating that vision requires fine-tuning. “You must communicate that vision to every person in ways that are meaningful and motivational to them,” Vesna says.
Ultimately, it’s all about what an employer offers its staff to keep them inspired. At Roche, this is the opportunity to be part of something important. “I can see where my contribution is making a real difference to people’s lives. This renews the passion I have for my work,” Vesna concludes.
Flexibility breeds content
We realise that our employees have lives outside Roche, and helping them to balance their work and personal lives will help us retain top talent. Flexible working means giving staff the option to work part-time or from home, and appeals particularly to women who have children.
We’re currently testing the waters at our headquarters in Basel – offering flexible work more often and learning from experiences at other sites. Employees can take advantage of flexible options depending on the nature of their job and their ability to work productively away from the office.
Our accountants in the Corporate Finance Informatics (CFAI) department know this better than anyone: their department is a showcase of flexible working. "It’s important for line managers to trust employees’ reports, while they in turn must show that they won’t abuse that trust. The performance has to be there," says Susanne, Head of CFAI.
Flexible working can show that a modern company like Roche can provide successful careers alongside a fulfilling home life.
A long and varied career
After 30 years with a company, it’s hard to imagine that your career can still throw up challenges. Tuygan Goeker, Head of the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Indian sub-continent region, thinks otherwise. His latest work involved developing strategies for seven emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Korea, Mexico and his native Turkey. After successful completion of the E7 project it was handed over to each region.
“Promotions and career opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. It’s up to you to learn how a new role can provide you with skills that could be critical for your future success,” Tuygan notes.
Keeping it interesting
In 30 years at Roche, Tuygan’s career has scarcely stood still, punctuated by a change in responsibilities or a country move every three to four years. He started out at Roche Istanbul as a Junior Product Manager, moved to Basel to take over as Business Director some years later, and had a brief stint as General Manager of Roche Indonesia before returning to Basel to take up his current post.
The constant change has given Tuygan a sense of adaptability. “Along the way I’ve had to expand the way I define success,” he says. “Sometimes the scope or budget of a new role has been tiny in comparison to a previous position. On the other hand, the number of employees and indirect responsibilities turn out to be much greater.”
Either way, Tuygan’s career has always kept him motivated and, more importantly, kept him at Roche.