Creating a Culture of Innovation and Inclusivity at Avantor: Developing Our Associates

Jul 25, 2023 9:30 AM ET
Avantor associates in costumes from around the world.

Originally published on Avantor Sustainability

Developing Our Associates

At Avantor, we care about our associates’ growth. Our culture of development is fueled by our commitment to align our talent strategy for today and future strategic needs, to know our associates and their aspirations, and to provide opportunities for them to learn and grow future ready skills. Their success provides momentum that goes beyond Avantor and into the world around us. This is why we continually evaluate and evolve our talent strategy to support the careers and learning solutions for our associates.

Talent Philosophy

We launched our global Talent Philosophy for managers in 2022 to support our commitment to keep associates at the center of everything we do. Our Talent Philosophy is focused on accountability, performance, differentiation and transparency, and provides our managers with direction and clarity that enables them to maximize how they manage and guide talent for individual, team and organization performance. With this, our associates are provided a clear view of Avantor expectations of our managers to support our associates’ performance, growth and career actively and effectively.

Increased Learning Engagement

In our industry, a learning culture is critical for an organization's ability to pivot at the pace of change. In 2022, Avantor saw a 34% increase in learning with 317,200+ training completions. Avantor's robust learning catalog reflects offerings for different learning styles, providing associates access to learn what, how and when they want. Programming is designed around topics that matter most, and aligned by persona so associates can easily select the solution that best fit their needs. We continuously evaluate and evolve our strategies through several feedback channels, and we are committed to adapting our learning collection to the changing needs of our associates and our industry.

Leadership Development

Developing a strong leadership capability is critical to the success of Avantor. In 2022, we designed and launched the Avantor Leadership Advantage (ALA), our signature Leadership Development program for first-line managers. Grounded in the Talent Philosophy referenced above, the ALA program provides a comprehensive curriculum that equips leaders with the mindset, skillset and toolset to power performance and associate engagement. This journey consists of six live virtual instructor-led workshops and helps set managers up for success with proven capabilities and a peer community of practice. Topics include Leading People, Leading Performance, Coaching Excellence, Inclusive Leadership, Leading Virtually, Conflict to Collaboration, and Leading You. In 2022, 350 leaders earned their ALA certification and provided a 96% satisfaction score, exceeding our target of 85%. In addition to the ALA, Avantor launched the Avantor Power Skills Series designed to provide leaders with practical tools and strategies to accelerate Avantor’s strategic priorities and boost leadership capabilities.

Professional Skill Building

With our commitment to supporting learning and growth of the whole person, Avantor launched an online learning library tool for all associates. Access to over 16,000 learning offerings provides associates with limitless opportunities to acquire new knowledge, enhance existing skills, and expand professional and personal horizons. In addition, we have carefully curated collections aligned to specific topics of interest based on associate feedback or in support of larger initiatives such as Wellbeing, DE&I, and Career and Feedback. Offerings are available on demand or live and in multiple languages, so associates have an opportunity to learn how and when they choose. Associate response was overwhelmingly positive with 43% of Avantor associates consuming e-learning library content in the first year exceeding the benchmark target of 20%.

Additionally, we included Unconscious Bias and Micro-Aggressions modules in our annual Code of Ethics training for associates to complete around the globe.

Learning Programs for Diverse Associates

We launched Career Accelerator and Leadership Academies for women and people leaders of color to support skills building for career advancement with a focus on the unique challenges that face leaders who are the first or the only of marginalized identity in role.

Workplace Wellbeing

In 2022, wellbeing was a topic of discussion for everyone – not unique to an industry, geography, race or gender. Recognizing our associates were interested in this topic as well, we invited a global expert on resilience and burnout to help our associates learn to recognize signs of burnout, build a toolkit to make stress work for them, and engage in activities that proactively build resilience.

Talent Management

We have enhanced our talent management practices to better enable the mindset, skillset and toolkit for leaders and associates to focus on enhancing our performance management processes and enabling robust feedback and career conversations. Last year marked the launch of our Integrated Talent Review enabling our leaders to have better visibility of talent and leverage our learning solutions to support development.

Bring Your Own Device

We significantly expanded our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, facilitating real-time access to and participation in learning offerings and virtual DE&I and ACT events for our non-wired associates on personal cell phones. Sign-up events conducted in 44 sites across 13 countries, with an achieved adoption rate of over 80%, equal to approximately 30 associates per site.

To learn more, download the Avantor 2023 Science for Goodness Sustainability Report here.