People and Performance award entry

INFLUENTIAL LEADER NOMINEE: Tuba Ertek, Takeda Turkey HR&Administration Director

Established 235 years ago in Japan, Takeda has been serving society with innovative medicines and helping patients reclaim valuable moments of life from illness and become one of the world’s leading companies. Takeda Turkey started its operations in 2009 and expanded 3 times since then. In 2015, Takeda acquired a local portfolio and launched Specialty Care products. This big transformation opened a new chapter in Turkey’s history.

With 17 years of HR experience, Tuba Ertek joined Takeda Turkey in 2015 at the beginning of this big transformation. She lead the people dimension of the transformation project with her team.

Following the acquisition, she achieved 3 main challenges which were crucial for the new organization’s success:

  1. Bringing more than 200 new talents to organization
  2. Onboarding&creating cultural fit
  3. Transformational Change through new HR strategy

Please read the presentation in pdf document for detailed information.

[pdf-embedder url=””]

The KPIs achieved:

*The engagement score was increased from 34% to 78% in the first year (2015-2016), and it has increased to 90% in 2017.

*280+ new talents from the most reputable pharma companies were brought to the company

*No regrettable loss since the transformation

*Top Employer certification has received both in 2016 and 2017 with 97% score

*A brand new HR team of 13 talents was built and none of the new talents left the company since then

*79 talents have promoted to higher positions and 4 talents promoted to global positions

*A comprehensive training and development portfolio called ‘Plus Your Life’ has been created and all employees attended at least 3 programs each year. In addition to technical and soft skills trainings, Takeda Talks program was also initiated.

*264 employees were awarded in 2017 with Takeda Online Points-based Incentives program.

We believe that the most  innovative thing that Tuba and her team achieved is differentiating themselves as a unique HR team by stopping assuming what is good for the employees and asking them what they exactly need. To truly understand the needs and expectations of the employees HR built several employee groups for specific topics.They have been very transparent to the organization and followed an inclusive approach to the hr initiatives. Here are several examples for this approach;

* Takeda Compensation &Benefits Change Agents: We built a Change Agent employee group from different C&B packages. We shared C&B packages and it’s methodologies, medians and incentive calculation methodologies with anonymous but real examples. We also explained how our total reward strategy were planned which is not sharing any company. This initiative made a serious impact among employees, change agent members were shared this methodology with their team members. As a result of this initiative, the lowest score of engagement survey was about “fair and objective compensation package” question results were increased from 55% to 88%.

*Customer Day: We believed that not only HR should understand employees needs, but also other functions and Support functions should consider employees needs. In line with this idea, we created special day for head Office employees  All head office employees spend their 1 day in the field and tried to understand our customers as well as  the dynamics of the field.  We got very positive feedbacks from employees and we are organizing Customer Day as a tradition.

*Coffee Talks: As HR team, we are organising regular coffee talks with employees in order to understand how they are feelingi what are their expectations.

*Wish Tree: We have a wish tree for employees, which they can write their wishes, feedbacks and anything that they want from company with anonymously. Management team members are consolidating wishes and organizing workshop with them.

*I have an Idea Platform: We created an online platform for employees. They can post their ideas, innovative solutions from this online portal. As HR, we are taking this ideas and bring into action.

In the light of this information, We obtained all relevant inputs and understand what employees exactly need by implementing various initiatives. HR functions are spending a lot of effort and money for being innovative and creating big projects, but many of projects are not  really taken care of by employees.

We believe that Takeda Turkey HR Team’s difference is investing and focusing by listening employees voices.

Please watch our video that our employees share their opinions about the transformation of Takeda Turkey.

During this transformation journey Takeda Turkey has faced with several big challenges; such as limitation of prescriptions of highly profitable and volume products by the government which had a direct impact to the  financial targets and threatened the investment by global Takeda. When faced with this kind of challenge the usual approach is making a restructuring and downsizing the organization. There are many examples of start-up companies which grew rapidly and collapsed sharply.

What makes unique Takeda Turkey’s HR team is the passionate and dedicated approach that led the organization to overcome all these obstacles. Tuba and her team believed in the organization and they successfully managed challenges with many creative and innovative solutions. Here are some examples of behaviors that we think positively impacted the organization:

*Be open in every circumstances. We shared every single detail transparently with employees. Open communication has helped us to build a strong trust culture in the organization.

*Include different level of employees to make critical decisions. Tuba and her team initiated two valuable groups; Extended Management Team and Employee Advisory Board. These two group of employees were involved in decision making processes when faced with challenge and critical situations.

*Create a winning and perseverance culture. Tuba and her team created a strong team culture which helped the organization to be bunched up in difficult times. The secret recipe behind this culture is genuinely taking care of the employees and touching their hearts by making them feel valuable. This is the most common feedback by the employees shared with different channels like engagement surveys, exit interviews, feedback sessions, etc.

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