Cultivating Talent to Meet Patient Needs
Our 3,000 employees worldwide are crucial in the LivaNova Mission to “provide hope for patients and their families through innovative medical technologies, delivering life-changing improvements for both the Head and Heart.” At the core, this is who we are as a company.
The mission is supported by our Values. We believe in putting Patients First, fostering Meaningful Innovation, enabling employees to Act with Agility, demonstrating a Commitment to Quality and Integrity in everything we do, and enabling an environment of Collaborative Culture. These behaviors are how we will achieve success.
The Mission and Values are reinforced by our Four Pillars. Talent and Culture, together with Growth and Profitability guide our actions to deliver results and ensure our success.
Our Culture pillar demands self-reflection and a commitment to ensure that we take actions to address our employees’ thoughts and opinions. Accordingly, we conduct an annual, anonymous employee survey called LivaNova4You to help measure the overall engagement and satisfaction level of our team. Thereafter, our senior leadership assesses employee engagement to understand and identify potential opportunities for improvement.
Upon receipt of our 2020 LivaNova4You scores for example, we implemented a variety of measures aimed at addressing employees’ specific comments and concerns around communication, development opportunities and benefits, among other things. We enhanced and increased CEO communications, implemented virtual town halls, launched LivaNova University, created competency models and career pathing, and improved U.S. benefits, including introducing the global Employee Assistance Program. We also implemented improvements in internal job postings and launched the Stars program, a rewards and recognition program for employees. We were pleased to see improvements in the survey this year that directly correlate to the programs implemented over the course of 2020, and we intend to scrutinize the 2021 results to make corresponding improvements as we move into 2022.
In our 2021 survey, we achieved 89 percent participation across the Company. The majority of our engagement drivers improved slightly when compared to our 2020 survey results, an encouraging result given the hardships all underwent throughout the initial year of the pandemic. We saw an increase in our employee satisfaction & motivation score and equivalent high marks on the employee loyalty score, with a slight increase in our overall engagement index.
The survey also revealed growth in collaboration, that is, employees showing high trust and respect for each other; an increased feeling of recognition on a job well done; empowerment and the feeling of being sufficiently challenged, despite a difficult pandemic environment; and flexibility in coming up with new and innovative ways to work. Our employees also acknowledged an improvement in the tools and opportunities for advancement, one of our highest improving scores as compared to 2020.
As with any employee engagement survey, we discovered areas with opportunities for improvement. Workload, clarification of processes, perception surrounding benefits and the need to further bridge the overall employee satisfaction gap between operators and non-operators, for example, were all areas identified. Leaders within the Company are working with their teams to consider how to address these areas over the next year.
More specifically, managers are having conversations with their teams to share the 2021 survey results and discuss the areas where the Company should focus. Following these meetings, management will construct meaningful action plans by conducting focus groups across the organization. These conversations will allow for a better understanding of employees’ concerns, giving all employees the opportunity to provide input and determine where management can improve as a Company. Additionally, the management team will conduct quarterly reviews to ensure action tracking and progress on the improvements proposed and prioritized. From the bottom up, the Company is listening to its employees and, with the suggestions and comments provided, hopes to implement programs, policies and tools to continue to address their needs.
Compensation and Benefits
Our Talent pillar requires desirable compensation and benefits packages as well as training and development opportunities to attract and retain top talent. Depending on the jurisdiction, we offer, among other things, annual discretionary bonuses; stock awards; pension and health benefits; paid time off and parental leave; flexible schedules; and remote working. In 2021, the following were rolled out across the Company to all employees (except where otherwise noted):
- Employee Assistance Program: a 24/7 free service for employee and immediate family
- Stars: Employee Recognition Program
- Employee Stock Purchase Plan
- Bike to Work program (only in Belgium, UK and Germany)
- Global flu vaccination campaign
- Remote hybrid working approach
- Employee Volunteering Policy
Training and Development
Similarly, we are committed to fostering an environment where our employees can learn and develop professionally, further underscoring our duty to developing our Talent. Our operators are onboarded and trained per requirements and processes specific to their jurisdiction and the product that is manufactured in their locations. Thereafter, they receive ongoing technical training to ensure they maintain excellent standards for production and manufacturing, and throughout, they are continuously connected to, and participants of, the LivaNova Business System, which is integrated into global operations and helps to drive process improvements, improved communication and efficiencies throughout the organization.
Meanwhile, LivaNova offers programs to foster both leadership and professional skills development to its corporate employees. Corporate employees undergo a robust onboarding program through LivaNova University and, at any time, have access to a large offering of training on commercial, ethics and integrity, quality, product, leadership, business strategy, and other key topics and functions in the organization.
We take great pride in listening to our employees and making LivaNova a great place to work. As mentioned in our “Employee Engagement” section, LivaNova University is the direct result of our LivaNova4You survey where employees asked for flexible, scalable access to learning content for professional growth. LivaNova University officially launched as a global platform in May 2021. Through our Workday Learning platform, which hosts LivaNova University, approximately 2,000 employees have access to internally developed content and over 11,000 courses in multiple languages from LinkedIn Learning. Internal content is developed by a global cohort of eight learning partners trained to design, develop and deploy content to support skill development and strategic needs for the organization.
More specific to our commercial teams, our onboarding commercial personnel attend a rigorous Internal Sales Training program that prepares them to support our therapies, products and our customers as well as to develop their business acumen. The North American team, for example, utilizes the Allego sales enablement and training platform so that role playing different relevant scenarios can be practiced and critiqued as part of the ongoing development process. Building upon LivaNova University, our North American commercial team is creating a commercial-focused training curriculum that will become LivaNova Commercial Academy.
Training of the international sales teams is coordinated by the Commercial Excellence Team. Following onboarding – where individuals are trained on the relevant anatomy, physiology and indications for the products, the products and supporting data, selling skills, systems and promotional activities – training then takes place throughout the year to support implementation and enhancement of the skills and behaviors. Coaching is a major factor in supporting the ongoing development of the individuals and additional training and development is achieved with the deployment of Allego, which will be deployed to the whole International region beginning in 2022 with 300 individual users (up from 200 in 2021). This provides remote learning modules via an app, together with peer to peer sharing of best practice and a remote coaching capability.
Additional training includes Insights Discovery (behavioral flexibility and tailoring the selling skills to individual customers), the LivaNova Business System, ongoing CRM enhancement training, and product and clinical updates (launches, new studies, etc.), all supported by coaching in the field.
General Statistics for International (rounded where possible)
Completed in 2021
Insights Discovery: 9 workshops - 160 salespeople (7 different languages)
Coaching Refresher Training: 3 workshops - 18 sales managers
Selling Skills: 8 workshops - 180 salespeople (across all International)
LivaNova Business System: 5 workshops - 100 salespeople
General Statistics for North America (rounded where possible)
Completed in 2021
Launched Selling Skills training to 183 in the NM Field Teams
Conduct Initial and/or Advanced Sales Training for 118 reps
Certify 34 NM EPI OR Support Specialists
Conduct Interviewer Training for 40 Sales Leaders
At LivaNova, we extend our training beyond our employees as well. We are committed to ensuring our customers and their patients are educated on our products and therapies to best serve the patients. Our Cardiovascular division, for example, employs a Professional Education team that is responsible for training our customers on proper equipment use. Meanwhile, our Epilepsy team routinely provides education to our physicians and their staff through our Therapeutic Consultants and our Clinical Nurse Education Specialists, while our Case Managers and Clinical Nurse Education Specialists educate patients who have been identified as therapy candidates by their physicians.
As emphasized throughout, performance management at LivaNova is an annual process guided by our Talent philosophy of Performance, Values, Accountability, Transparency and Differentiation. At the beginning of each calendar year, all corporate employees in collaboration with their manager create their goals aligned to the LivaNova Strategic Triangle. At mid-year, we conduct a check-in, and at year-end, we conduct a review during the Annual Performance Management process to provide an assessment of the employee's performance.
Utilizing our talent philosophy as a guide, we implemented and conducted two full yearly cycles of the Talent Review process in 2020 and 2021. In the first year, we piloted the program with 50% of the employee population to ensure we could deliver a robust and meaningful process. As part of that process, we launched Leadership Conversations, our first internal Leadership Program with identified talent. Thereafter, in 2021, we extended the talent review to all corporate employees and are planning to continue the Leadership Conversations program for a new cohort of top talent.
The Talent Review asks employees to purposely focus on their talent journey and managers to review their organizational development plan. This involves discussing areas for development organizationally and individually, assessing leadership potential and analyzing gaps in our succession planning, including asking our talent what roles they aspire for and establishing individual development plans as to how to achieve such roles.
In addition, we actively partner with educational institutions to develop and deliver employee training and offer several leadership programs to help grow future leaders of our company. We partnered with the London Business School in 2018 and 2019 to develop content and share courses with a focus on strategic thinking, creativity, empathy, and global collaboration and teamwork. Later, in 2020, we partnered with the Resilience Institute and the NeuroLeadership Institute to support the development of our senior leaders in the context of our Global Leadership Conference, with participation from over 100 LivaNova senior leaders. In addition, LivaNova University provides leadership and other related managerial training courses on demand for employees and managers through the LinkedIn training curriculum.
EDUCATION REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAMS
In the U.S., we provide financial assistance through education reimbursement programs to eligible employees who enroll in, and successfully complete on their own time, approved educational courses. Requests for tuition reimbursement must be submitted to the supervisor for discussion and approval prior to course registration. Similarly, outside of the U.S., we provide, upon consideration of a business case, financial assistance for specific educational trainings.
Diversity and Inclusion
The success of LivaNova thrives from the diversity of perspective, thought, experience and background within our workforce. We seek to unite people. We value diversity and offer the same welcome to all employees and partners regardless of race, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age or sexual orientation. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. Bullying, intimidation or harassment of any kind is not acceptable in our workplace.
To help promote diversity, we have a variety of diversity affinity initiatives that span the globe. In October 2020, the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) group was formed in North America, with a mission to empower an environment where conversations of diversity and inclusion develop a culture of belonging. The popularity and reception of “DI&B” internally prompted the creation of another DI&B group in Asia Pacific. The employee-led, executive-sponsored initiatives are committed to building a network of LivaNova employees who embrace an open mindset with an appreciation of diverse experiences and have been meeting regularly, interacting with a large swath of the employee population. Topics range from inclusivity and harassment in the workplace to multigenerational integration and support for working parents. The discussions are open and thought-provoking, encouraging all to share their story, discuss views or simply be a supporter to the cause. In the fall of 2021, the APAC group circulated a survey, garnering responses from 65% of the APAC employee population to better understand how best to focus their initiatives and support their colleagues in their quest to improve diversity, inclusion and belonging across the Company. As touted by the DI&B team in APAC, “diversity is the one thing we all have in common – let’s celebrate it everyday.”
In addition, the LivaNova Women’s Network, with one hub based in the Americas and one hub based in Asia Pacific, was started originally in the U.S. and is in its third year of operation. The program facilitates pairings between mentors and mentees who meet on a regular basis. Topics range from career and financial advice to performance management and connection to the Company’s strategic triangle. A book club originated out of this group and meets regularly to discuss literature relating to building and supporting high-potential women on their path to success. This program continues to provide members with new perspectives, more personalized development and an opportunity to network with other women across the organization, thereby contributing to a better corporate culture based on strong, collaborative relationships and continuous opportunities to grow and develop.
Finally, our senior leadership team monitors and reviews gender and ethnic diversity across our organization on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors receives similar reports regularly and the entire Board of Directors is updated on an annual basis. Diversity, equity and inclusion metrics and conversations are actively pursued from the top down and are reflected in leadership’s continual review of the numbers and commitment in working towards an appropriate balance with respect to ethnicity, age and gender in relation to leadership and development, promotions, and compensation and benefits.
|Diversity as of June 30, 2021|
|Women at LivaNova||51.5%|
|Women Director and above||31.1%|
|Women on the Executive Team||30%|
|Women on the Board||30%|
|Nationalities represented globally||74|
|Ethnically diverse (U.S. only)||32.2%|