Novartis Pakistan – Human Resources [HR] Report



The merger between Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy was completed on March 7, 1996. The focus of this new organization is on health care, agriculture business and nutrition and this would place them as the world leader in life sciences. Although a new company, Novartis is a leading innovative force in health care. It employees 100,000 people world wide and ranks number one in generics and crop protection (agriculture business) world wide and is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

In Pakistan, the two companies have merged but remain two separate legal entities. However, due to the merger they are working under the holding company of Novartis.


The Company overall is divided into 3 main Sectors: Pharma, Crop Protection and Servipharm(Generics).

The largest sector, Novartis Pharma, is further divided up into 3 business units.  Head of each business unit reports directly to the sector head of the Parma division. Although strategies are formulated at the parent company, the pharma sector and other two sectors are independent in terms of policies.  This structure uses a top-down approach in communication flowing from the higher level of management to the lower level managers and employees.  A seven-member committee consisting of representative from finance, the 3 BU’s, distribution, HUMAN RESOURCE and factory managers devise the policies for the implementation for the various strategies.

Novartis Pharma Sector


These business units within the Novartis Pharma Sector are:

1.   Central Nervous System-Cardiovascular System & Dermatology Business Unit

2.   Ethical Business Unit

3. Specialty Business Unit


The other important departments are:

  1. Finance Department
  2. Human Resource Department
  3. Procurement and Administration Department
  4. Marketing and Medical Services


The business units and the important departments are discussed below in detail, with special reference to the problems faced at the time of the merger.


1. Central Nervous System-Cardiovascular System & Dermatology Business Unit


The structure of the Business Unit (BU) is such that it has four product managers, 2 sales managers, 10 field managers and 85 representatives making it the largest BU in Novartis Pharma. Mr. Lanewala is the head of the Central Nervous System/ Cardiovascular System/ Dermatology Strategic Business Unit.


Department Strengths:

The strengths of this department include speed, pro-activeness, integrity and innovation.  Monitoring is continuous at both the management and field levels.  Levels of satisfaction in the field are high due to the challenging nature of the job.  Another major strength is that this BU has the highest number of products and the highest number of employees.

The strength lies  in the fact that the employees work as a team. The product managers and sales managers have a meeting every month to ascertain the next three months of budgeted sales. They also review the problems that existed in the last month’s sales. Therefore there is close contact at all levels.


Another strength is the strong emphasis on speed, action and integrity.

There is close monitoring of target set both in field and management levels.


There is delegation of authority to lower ranks.


2. Ethical Business Unit



The Ethical Business unit has three product managers who handle approximately 3 -4 products respectively. Besides achieving the management result, the business unit head is also responsible for the development of the Human Resources within his unit.  This includes the three product mangers and 12 sales representatives.  For their development, a framework of 8 shared values has been adopted to empower the employees and facilitate commitment to the firm’s objectives.




The major strength of this BU, is proper allocation of resources.  Internally, this BU is strong in terms of products and sales growth.  It has the top most selling products, namely, CAC 1000 and Voltaren. Another strength is that internal communication within this unit is strong.  A committee meets regularly, with representation from all departments, to devise strategies and determine the direction of the unit.




A major problem of this BU is that the directives are centralized with all launches and objectives from the parent company.  However, the Ethical Business Unit is independent in terms of policy making.

The sales force seems to still feel affiliated with their pre-merger products and tend to push those in the market. As far as the sales force is concerned, they need to be trained more extensively to learn about the new products assigned to them and perhaps given incentives to push these in the market.




The post-merger integration within the Ethical Business Unit was smooth and implemented within one year.  Employees were integrated in every unit on a functional basis.  Duplication of many jobs resulted from the merger and a stringent assessment process was used to select employees of Novartis Pharma.


Within the Ethical Business Unit, many critical problems exist which have arisen out of the merger.  The most serious being with the sales force.  The sales reps seem to have a strong association with their pre-merger products and have a tendency to push those in the field.  To alleviate this problem, their products were switched and this did have an adverse affect on sales in the initial stages after the merger.  Hence, a major weakness of the unit remains the development of its people, but the 8 shared values system should help overcome this situation.  Another major weakness of this unit and Novartis overall is the absence of a mass volume product.  This restricts profitability and market penetration.


3. Specialty Business unit


This business unit has Human Resource product managers, Human Resource sales managers and fourteen medical coordinators reporting to the business unit head. The product portfolio consists of drugs used for cancer, schizophrenia, blood diseases and transplantation.



The major strength of this department is the fact that all the product managers are medical graduates keeping in view the nature of the products handled by them.  Similarly the presence of medical graduates facilitates the training of sales representatives who more frequently visit the consultants and chemists.


Novartis Servi-Parm (Generics) Sector

1.Servi- Pharm Business Unit


The Servi Pharm sector is concerned with the manufacture and marketing and distribution of generic drugs. Under the Sector Head are 4 product managers and 3 sales managers with 60 field officers.


The objective of the Servi Pharm sector is to become the market leader in antibiotics.



There is usually a delay in the launch of its new products. Currently the sector is paying the support departments of the Pharma sector for services. But these departments tend to give first priority to work of their own sector leading to neglect of work for the Servi Pharm sector. This has led to frustrating delays.


In order to solve this problem Servi Pharm should set up its own support departments. Currently they are paying  a great deal to the Pharma sector departments of Human Resources, Medical and Marketing Services and Finance and Control. Therefore it would be financially beneficial for the Servi Pharm sector to have its own departments which would be dependable so that delays would not occur in the launch of new products.


Procurement and Administration

The Administration department reports to the Finance Department so it is not at the same level in the hierarchy as other functional units and therefore has the status of a support function.  Its main activities include procurement of materials locally and imported, administration and PR, and protocol.


The strength of this department lies with the employees.



Medical and Marketing Services (MMS):

This department has a staff function. It is responsible for providing training facilities to the sales representatives. (For more details on the training aspect of the firm, refer to “Pharma Training and Development Program”).


Novartis Pharma lays great emphasis on the training of sales representatives because of the nature of the job performed by the sales team. These sales representatives are referred to as the “consultants of the consultants” rather than the traditional name used for this team. The function performed by the sales team directly adds to the customers’ value through the proper communication about the drugs being marketed by the company. Manuals are designed for assisting the sales team for preparing presentations and differentiating the drugs from those offered by the competitors.


A number of responsibilities are given to this dept. to aid the marketing function.  The main activities of this dept. are as follows.

  1. The training and development of sales representative. Initially, this department handled the entire training and development of its representatives.  But now, that function has been passed on HUMAN RESOURCE with MMS overlooking the process to make sure it is in line with corporate strategies as well as fulfilling the requirements of the marketing department.  The sales representative’s most important training is in personal selling with knowledge, skills and proper attitude being passed on to the trainee.
  2. Scanning of promotional material. Brochures, literature and other written promotion must be approved by MMS to ensure that the claims being made are justified.  This department also monitors the strategies of the product managers as well as offers recommendations to them. Training material from the parent company is simplified for local use. This department makes sure that the material has not altered in meaning when presented to the sales force.
  3. Arrangements of lectures, seminars, symposiums.
  4. Arrangements for traveling etc. of sales people.


Structure of the Human Resource Department at Novartis


Novartis itself is divided into three main sectors:

  • Pharma Sector
  • Crop Protection sector
  • Servi-pharm – Generic products sector


Each Sector has its own HUMAN RESOURCE set-up, although the size of the HUMAN RESOURCE department in each sector varies with the size of the sector itself. Servi-Pharm sector was provided with its own HUMAN RESOURCE manager about three months ago.


The policies and practices are the same across all departments. The company strives to maintain uniformity in policies pertaining to employee benefits so that there are no grievances from the employees of either company.


A Group Country Organization HUMAN RESOURCE Manager has been appointed at the Novartis Head Quarters, where the MD sits. This GCO HUMAN RESOURCE head is responsible for ensuring that all policies are common amongst departments and that there are no major discrepancies.


Gratuity fund, Provident and Pension fund policies are common amongst departments however some differences to exist. For example, in Crop Protection, sales representatives need to travel over rough terrain so they are provided with jeeps. However, a sales representative at the same level but in Pharma will be given a car because his market lies within the city. The sector HUMAN RESOURCE managers do not report to the GCO head.


Basic Responsibilities of HUMAN RESOURCE Department at Novartis


At Novartis the HUMAN RESOURCE manager classifies the department’s responsibilities as “looking after the needs of the employees”, which in turn is three-folded:

  • Entitlements
  • Developmental Needs
  1. Training
  2. Career planning
  • Human Resource Planning


These responsibilities are carried out in close collaboration with the line

managers at the office and at the plants.


The HUMAN RESOURCE department ensures that its employees of  the Management

Cadre have career plans that will accomplish mutually beneficial

personal and corporate goals.


The HUMAN RESOURCE department conducts a Training Needs Analysis regularly in order to formulate required Training Modules which can be “Need Based”.


They also design Personal Development Programs  which focus on providing or enhancing the knowledge and skills of the employees and to help them actualize their personal  and professional goals.


For Human Resource Planning, the set up is such that every sector conducts its own HUMAN RESOURCE planning process.


Philosophy preached by the HUMAN RESOURCE department

If it is to be, it is up to me”


The HUMAN RESOURCE function at Novartis encourages the managers to exert some pressure themselves on their own bosses to develop plans for them that will enhance their skills, knowledge, experience and enrich their jobs. The employees themselves ought to show eagerness to grow and develop within the organization.


Recently Conducted Job Analysis

During 1999, Novartis Pharma hired an outside, independent Consultant agency called Strategic Business Systems Ltd. These consultants evaluated all the jobs being performed at every level within this sector so that specific tasks to be performed can be identified. After the merger this had become essential because one of the immediate problems faced after the merger was lack of clarity in Job Description which allowed no standard measure of performance to be set.


However, it was only the jobs, not the people who were analyzed .


It took the consultants a month and a half to complete this evaluation process. At the end of it the final change implemented was the flattening of the organizational structure. This was accomplished by reducing the number of Job Levels that existed previously in the company. The number was brought down from 8 Job levels to 4 or 5 levels. Thus the chain of command was shortened making the organization more flexible, and proactive by speeding up its decision making process


Employee Relations


The group has in the past set up certain foundations with the objects of employee welfare, employee share participation, scientific research, management education and environmental protection.


These foundations are autonomous, with independent boards responsible for administering the foundations in accordance with the foundations´ objects and the law. They are legally prohibited from transferring any of their assets to the group except in pursuance of their objects and are not consolidated.


In 1997 the scientific research foundations, in accordance with their objects, contributed CHF 40 million to basic, high risk, research projects executed by the Group. Also, in 1997 the management education foundation spent CHF 18 million on a new Novartis management training center and providing training courses.


The head of the HUMAN RESOURCE department reports directly to the sector head. The HUMAN RESOURCE dept. Has 10 employees, of which 8 are at the main office and 2 are at the factories. The Human Resource Information System includes basic information about the people e.g. qualification, photograph, family addresses etc.



The major function of the Human Resource Department is to obtain, maintain and retain a satisfied and motivated workforce. It is the job of the HUMAN RESOURCE head to travel to all the cities in the country and solve any problems that the workforce might be encountering.


An efficient and a motivated sale force is of prime importance to any pharmaceutical company. Novartis realizes the need for providing training and other learning opportunities to its sales force, which is one of the major functions of the HUMAN RESOURCE department.


Impact of Merger on HUMAN RESOURCE Management

After the merger, the old CIBA policies were adopted.  However, people preferred the old Sandoz policy. Post merger, the Human Resource department was given the responsibility to redefine the various jobs as the organization structure in both the companies was considerably different. A committee was made of ten managers to decide which jobs will be equal to which. For example, sales people in CIBA were given a bike whereas in Sandoz they were given a car.


The task of integrating the organizational cultures of both the companies poses the major problem for the department. To counter this the head of the department hired an outside consultant who revised and integrated the job analysis and job design information. Job description of both CIBA and Sandoz were combined together and given to the employees.


Succession policy is practiced for department managers and lower level managers. However it need improvement. (are they talking post merger?)


Approximately 40% of the combined labor force at all levels from both the companies were laid off. For a job, two people were compared, one from each company, on the basis of tests and interviews which were conducted by an outside agency. Their ratings along with the decision of the sector head determined which person would be laid off and which person would be hired.


The initial training involved both off-the-job and on-the-job training. Each training program had 30-35 workers in it. And 5 top managers went to different cities to train their workers. The techniques of training included class- room sessions and work shops.


Evaluation of employees is both quantitative and qualitative with scores and weights given to each activity.




Corporate goals for Novartis Pakistan are based on the broad based goals that come from its headquarters at Singapore. These are in turn based on the local company’s past year’s performance. Corporate goals are in the form of target sales to be generated. These goals are filtered down to each level of management. These are successively broken down into smaller targets.


For the Human Resource Department, generating sales is not a direct objective but they contribute by facilitating the employees and meeting their professional needs in the shortest possible time. Accomplishment of HUMAN RESOURCE goals depends on how quickly they can process them.


By the middle of January all the objectives are set by the management staff through mutual discussions and agreements between the personnel department and the manager. The targets are also calendarized to ensure timely accomplishments.




The candidates have to meet a certain selection criteria, before they can be inducted into the company. The personnel managers who are responsible for making these regular selections, are trained for the Competency Based Interview Techniques (as discussed in Pharma Training and Development Programs), and the Selection Criteria that are to be met, are clearly laid down in the Management Development Program (MDP). This enables the HUMAN RESOURCE managers, to hire the “Best of Class” candidates, so that they can meet the standards of a High Performance Organization (HPO).


These selection criteria for Novartis are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher from reputable Universities / Colleges in various functional disciplines depending on the needs.
  • Strong Academic excellence (top 20% of the class).
  • Proven leadership in Extra Curriculum activities or work experience.
  • Analytical ability and self-starter.
  • Commitment and dedication to excel.
  • Internal talent with relevant qualification and experience.



  • Each location / division determines each year, whether trainees will be hired depending on business and organizational needs.
  • Focus is on Campus Recruitment drives, newspapers advertisements recruitment fairs, internal talent reviews. 95% of the hiring in Sales and Marketing is internal. The jobs are advertised within the company and the applications from the current employees are welcomed. The internal system of hiring is strongly advocated, as the management believes that the internal recruits have already undergone the basic training sessions and are well aware of the company policies and procedures. The cost of initial training is saved. There is also less resistance from the co-workers. This is an important factor, as an external recruit is likely to face some degree of animosity from his fellow workers. Also, he may take a while to adjust to the new environment and thus the pace of work of that particular job slows down.
  • The Selection Committee is formed for identification of suitable candidates.
  • The Human Resource Department forms the Selection Committee together with the Sector Head.
  • The Final Selection decision lies with the Committee subject to the Sector Head’s approval.



Job Role Clarification

There are the Human Resource underlying principles:


1) Induction is person-specific

Individuals needs will have to be carefully thought tHuman Resourceough and agreed with. Group activities will no doubt be used for some stages of induction but unless they meet the individuals requirement, they will not be seen as useful.

2) Induction is a Manager’s Responsibility.

  • Induction should be related to real work.

Many people join SKB specifically because it does not carry out protracted training projects but gives people responsibilities and involvement almost immediately after joining.



Human Resource Orientation:


The individuals should be notified where to arrive, who will they work for, and travel and accommodation arrangements made. It may be appropriate to send information about the business to help the new starter. The appropriate manager should ensure he or she is available to spend at least the first two days with the individual. He should also ensure the provision of meaningful work and facilities. Some preparation of the Job Role Work Sheet will be helpful at this stage as a preliminary to the initial discussion of the nature of the job and work priorities.


Day 1

First impressions last for a long time. It is essential that the starter receives a warm welcome by the Manager. The impact of taking the person to an office, name plate on door, being shown their own desk, telephone and filing cabinet will be immense but these are minimum requirements. Starters should be introduced to colleagues, secretaries and other with whom they will interact.


Only when the initial reception is complete should they be introduced to HUMAN RESOURCE policies and staff rules. The finance manager completes the formal introduction to the company and offers help and guidance on Hygiene factors. It is also essential that fire and toxic procedures are properly covered.

Day 2

It is now the issue of real work to be addressed. What will be the new recruits role. What responsibilities will they have. How can they make good use of their knowledge. The Job/Role worksheet provides and framework for this.


The manager needs to describe the organization relationships between people, and give a sense of the team in which the new starter will work. This is the time to clarify performance expectations-what is required and how it should be achieved. Success Criteria are stated and methods of measurement highlighted. This process should take place in a non-threatening way and leave the individual with a strong sense of purpose, clear direction and ownership.


Week one

The new recruit is beginning to do his or her job and will meet new people and get a sense of the environment in which they work in. This can be assisted by providing information, illustrating local and group systems and procedures. “How to get things done around here……” This can also include information on who to ask for help and who are the specialists In the organization. Other essential information includes safety training, quality induction and core programs.


Some of the information can be parted by a group process, a one day training session could be used to cover a wide range of issues. Inspite of a large amount of information to be passed across emphasis should be on developing meaningful relationships and doing useful work. The recruits should go home after the first week even more convinced that they have joined the right company and with a genuine sense of worth.


Month 1

Over the first month the recruit should develop a high level of understanding or his/her business function. By the end of the first month the  recruit should be able to explain:


  • Their business function
  • Its purpose
  • How it operates
  • How it relates to other businesses/functions
  • What are its products
  • And who its customers are?
  • Relate their own work to the business/ Function purpose.


The end of the first month is the ideal time to carry out a formal review of work progress and achievement against expectation. This allows then individual to share success and to highlight difficulties.


Quarter 1


The new recruit will naturally begin to widen his/her horizons in order to do their job effectively. This must be encouraged by the manager who should support meetings in other parts of the company and involved in activities outside the immediate work area.


The end of quarter one is a good time to build on the managing performance which was started on day 2. Monthly reviews have been carried out and both parties are developing a good sense of understanding of each others needs and capabilities. Performance expectations can now be set up over a longer time span, say 6 months and those can be defined an individual development plan. This plan will highlight further stages of induction, will show other development needs against job requirements and will also be explicit about learning goals from the experiences to be met over the following months.

Quarter 2


The new recruit should now begin to feel they understand a lot about the work and the environment in which it operates. This is suitable stage to conduct a further review of progress using the Job/Role Worksheet and to review the development plan. By involving the manager and the new recruit in a discussion about key issues such as values of the corporate body the development of a strong sense of belonging to the organization can be developed.




Personal Review And Work Objectives

A key part of personal review is a focus on objective setting. This should support the focus o the job/role outline and should provide a valuable focus for managing development and setting plans.


Setting Good Objectives and Measurement Criteria




  • The performance management system aims to help managers improve the performance and develop the talents of the people.
  • Managing people’s performance to achieve a highly motivated and quality work team therefore is a vital process.
  • This process a starts with developing or clarifying a list of accountabilities or key result areas for each individual in the manager’s team
  • Accountability should then be prioritized according to the strategic business objectives and the individual’s improvement plan.
  • Objectives are then set within the individual’s accountability
  • Objectives are statements of intended results; they define the performance expectations of the individual.


Characteristics of Good Objectives:


  • Measurable
  • Numbers or quantifiers as a yard stick
  • Reduces subjectivity
  • So that both manager and subordinate can tell when the objective has been met. Quantitative objectives are relatively easy to measure, example Sales increase of twenty percent, while qualitative objectives may require more thought.


  • Specific
  • To ensure clear understanding of what is expected
  • To focus the direction of work and effort firmly along the lines required by the business. Uncertainty is removed leading to greater commitment. Being too detailed however specially in defining needs rather than ends, may significantly decrease the subordinates freedom to make meaningful decisions leading to a decrease in commitment. Being too detailed they also lead to a large number of detailed objectives, blurring the focus. As a rule, no individual should have more than about half a dozen objectives.


  • Time Bound
  • Deadline or time period
  • There should be an agreed target date for achievement of each objective. Preferably not all 3oth September! Phasing target dates through the year helps to set priorities and to plan work and the use of resources. Prioritizing may be further helped by agreeing to an order of importance of the objectives to the business.


  • Controllable
  • Within the control of the individual.


  • Realistic and Challenging
  • Achievable to avoid frustration by challenging to stretch people to meet high expectations
  • A balance requiring careful planning and objective mature discussion.
  • While stretching and thus helping to develop this subordinate, objectives must be achievable. It has been suggested that non achievers will generally set objectives which either have a near 100% chance of success or which will equally certainly fail (“I told you so…”). Somewhere between the two extremes lies the motivator of real achievement.


  • Consistent
  • Within the work unit
  • But also depending on the potential and past performance of each individual.




Sensing the Need

  1. Is there a real performance issue/development need?
  • What are you dissatisfied with at present?
  • What is the difference between what is happening and what should be happening?
  • What is the evidence to say things are not right?


  1. Is the issue sufficiently important to merit action?
  • What would happen f you left it alone?
  • What would it cost for you to do something about it?
  • Is there likely to be payback to individual and/or business?



Determining the Issue


Is it an issue of :

A: Need to improve individual capability


B: Improve job structure and environmental factors


These have been explained in detail below:


Issue A: Individual Capability


Identify the individual capability gap against the cor development standard/job needs


(Also does the individual have the potential to develop the new skill? What about their motivation?)

Define Clear Development Objectives and Determine clear training Options


a)  On the Job Training
b)  Self-paced/ Flexible Learning
c)   Formal Courses
Action Plan
·     Agree on Individual Development Plan
  • Agree on time scale and responsibilities
  • Clarify support for learner and plan to implement learning



  • Undertake coaching
  • Start self-paced study
  • Attend courses
  • Plan to apply learning on the job



  • Development Effectiveness
  • Business Requirement met


Issue B: Job/Environmental Factors


80% of performance improvement needs are due to factors which are essentially out of the individuals own control and are more about :

  1. The definition/structure of the job
  2. The environment or climate


Line managers can seek help from Human Resource Division to explore these areas further and look for improvement opportunities e.g. redesign of jobs or organization, carry out a climate survey, clarify accountability e.t.c.





Discovery     1 2 3  4  5 Awareness  Acceptance Understanding the Impact Motivated to Correct Recognizing the Objective Is it acknowledged that the need exists?Is it accepted that the need exists?Is it understood that having the need has an impact on performance and may effect career progression?Is there sufficient motivation to correct the need?Is there sufficient knowledge of the result of taking development action?
Development      6  7   8 Self-Development Capacity Planned Training & Development  Providing the Practice Is there sufficient skills base to correct the need without outside help? Has a planned training and development effort, with adequate resources, been applied to the need?Has adequate opportunity to apply apply the acquired knowledge, skill, trait and/or attitude been given? Have they had time to practice?
Demonstrating 9  10 Giving Feedback and Support Demonstrating competence Has adequate feedback and support been given?Can the acquired knowledge/ skill, trait/ attitude be fully completely performed?



Core Programs


This information enables managers to help their staff to get the best value from the core programs.


In planning attendance the managers at Novartis bear in mind the following points:


Individuals will learn best when:

  • They can relate their new learning to their practical experiences
  • The new learning is seen to be relevant to their role or in the near future
  • The learning is seen to be applicable to problems that they have to solve.
  • They have a positive wish to learn and develop


The managers feel that these principles clearly indicate the need for a good preparatory discussion between the manager and individuals to ensure that the attendance on the course is put in a clear perspective. It is also important to ensure that the timing of attendance is considered to match up with other developmental experiences which will be occurring in the course of an individual’s work and with the needs of their role.



When planning future attendance at core events, the manager at Novartis is trained to use the timings suggested as guidelines only, and ensure that individuals do not attend events when it is inappropriate.


They believe that there is nothing to be gained from accelerated attendance on the Core Programmes, particularly if it becomes difficult to apply and test the ideas in practice. This application and testing is after all, the critical part of the development.


A “Road Map” is used to guide the new trainee in their planning. The training Manager helps with any particular interpretations of the guide.


A Development Worksheet is completed in discussion with the members of the staff before they attend any core event. They have a copy of the same Development Worksheet. However, the manager is able to chalk out, using guidelines the sort of issues to raise in preparation for the events. It is most important to ensure follow-up after the event to discuss the action plans that will have been prepared during event


These will have real application in helping the achievement of business objectives in the managers area and this is and also needs to be reinforced.



Parts Of A Development Worksheet Used At Novartis:


  • Date, Description, Aims and Objectives


  • Manager/ Participant Preparation
  1. In what ways is this activity relevant to the present or next role?
  2. What business/organization priorities could be improved by applying the learning from the event/experience?
  • What benefits could result from tackling these priority issues?
  1. Am I clear on the potential benefits of this event for me – what are they?
  2. Are there any concerns or reservations about attending this event/undertaking this experience – how could they be resolved?
  3. Agreed date for follow-up discussion?



  • Reviewing the Development Activity and Preparing Action Plans


Complete and collate your learning log to record significant insights/ ideas. Pull these together to develop your action plan.


Action Planning and Goal setting at Novartis Company Limited


A: Consider Your Present Situation


  • Review your learning log/courses notes and list what you have learned.
  • Reflect on the basic concepts/models displayed during the event.
  • To what extent do you consciously practice these skills ad knowledge in your present job ?


B: Consider your Future Situation


  • How could these skills and knowledge be applied to resolving the business/organizational priorities, identified previously with your manager?
  • How might you operate differently an how would you recognize the differences?


C: What else do you Need to Consider to Achieve B?


  • Further experience/ opportunity to apply your learning?


  • Any support needed – from whom?


  • Other ways of reinforcing / extending your learning?


  • Help in continuing to learn from your experiences.


  • What else can you build on – what might hinder you?


  • What opportunities are there in your present job to develop these skills/ experiences further?


D: Complete the Action Plans and Goals on Action Plan Sheet



  1. Follow Up Discussion Participant/ Manager


(Date agreed at time of preparation)


  • To what extent did the activity meet the expectations identified before the event?


  • What thinking lay behind the responses to Questions in the preparation of the action plan?


  • Review and agree final action plan in light of discussion


  • How will we follow up and review the action plan?


  • Agree follow up date to review progress on action plan.





Training of the Managers:


At Novartis, the training and development is carried out for the sales force and at the managerial levels.


The Servi-Pharm Sector has deputed training responsibilities to the line managers who tend to neglect them a little because of their other, more important job duties.


The Pharma Training and Development Programs are sector wide, i.e., for each and every sub-department including Sales, Finance , Marketing, and Manufacturing. These Programs are designed to help enhance the managerial and leadership effectiveness, as well as the interpersonal skills, so as to achieve a consistently high level of performance. Special courses are given to teach How to conduct Training Need Analysis. In this the manager assesses the skills required for the job. Then assesses the persons capable enough to perform the job. Then performs a Gap Analysis, in which he looks for the Gap in capabilities and then fills the gap through training.


When the overall training program is chalked out it is decided at that time, how many will be required to attend a course on “Negotiation Skills” or “Training Skills.


For training employees may go to any of the following locations:


1) Basle Switzerland

2) Asia Pacific Regions

3) Local Institutions


Training at Executive Level:


Training at all managerial levels is compulsory at least once, per year, per person, either within the company, within the organization or externally anywhere abroad.


About ten people are selected to go abroad for international training, attend workshops or participate in exchange programs and seminars.


Training and Development has always been a key priority for the Asia Pacific region. A highly motivated, skilled and trained workforce, the Novartis management believes, will help it become a truly High Performing Organization (HPO), as well as distinguishing the company from its competitors.


Most of the training programs are conducted either internally, within the company, or at the regional headquarters in the Asia Pacific in Singapore. All the employees are sent abroad for training, at least once in their career.


The Asia-Pacific Management Training / Management Development Model is created through a collaborative effort in the region. The model crystallizes the company strategy of providing advanced management development programs and courses that are developed locally within the region. The Management Development Program (MDP), details a process which the company uses to develop High Talents in each country through a clear and carefully structured “on-the-job” developmental program within and across functions using both international and local attachments or assignments. Besides developing High Talents, the Novartis trainees also benefit from the sharing of Best Practices and Competencies across the Region, which enhances their competitiveness.


The Pharma Training and Development Program is divided into three broad sections.

  1. Corporate Development Program
  2. Asia-Pacific –  Management Core Skills
  3. Asia-Pacific – Management Development Program


  1. Corporate Development Program

This program focuses on the following areas:


  1. i) STRAT Pharma General Management Program


Target Groups: The target group for this training program includes those managers who are identified as talents, who have the potential to take over a local/global key position within the next two years or have recently been promoted to such a position.


Objectives: This Program is aimed at enabling the participants to integrate their functional management skills at the level of the organization as a whole. This integration is achieved by:

  • Broadening the perception, attitudes and responses of the participants, to the objectives and plans of Novartis Pharma.
  • Reinforcing their leadership skills
  • Assessing their Pharma knowledge, analytical skills and the ability to work with and through others.


Methods: Apart from the usual seminars and group discussions, this program also encompasses a Pharma business simulation game, group exercises and Pharma-specific case studies.



  1. LEAD Pharma International Leadership Program


Target Groups: The employees from all the functions, who have the potential to take a position with a more global dimension in Management or have recently been promoted to such a position, are the target group for this training course.


Objectives: The key objectives of this program are:

  • To develop a clear understanding of the Novartis Shared Values, and to explore how those values guide the managers and leaders of Pharma.


  • To create an awareness of the dynamics of a High Performance Organization


  • To recognize that learning is key factor for innovative leadership.


  • To explore the challenges provided by cultural diversity and globally dispersed teams within a business characterized by constant change.


  • To receive expert feedback on aspects of personal leadership and management capabilities in order to gain valuable insights into one’s own behaviour and to identify areas for further development.


Methods: The seminars held, comprise feedback instruments providing insights into how executives learn, grow and change, as well as how personal behaviours and interactions impact leadership styles and effectiveness of teams. The Novartis Shared Values set the framework for this highly interactive and experiential program.



  1. AWARE Pharma Business Awareness Program


Target Groups: Same as the LEAD program.


Objectives: The objectives sought are as follows:

  • To see business in a wider context and to gain an insight into the strategic and operational background and underlying principles of management.
  • To gain an awareness of business performance policies, measurements and value creation.
  • To appreciate the importance of cross-functional cooperation and coordination, and learn how to manage financial resources effectively.
  • To understand the effect of an individual’s decisions on business financial results and success.
  • To improve participants’ contribution to efficacy and efficiency in their respective areas of activity.


Methods: Apart from seminars, there are intense inter-cultural teamwork and a broad-based business simulation.

  1. Leading Teams:


Target Groups: Managers and leaders, with 2-4 years of experience in a leadership function.


Objectives: The objective of this course is to familiarize the participants with the methods that facilitate the creative leadership of an innovative and performance-oriented team.


Methods: The methods employed in this training program include presentation, discussions, group work, case studies and role playing.


  1. Leadership Explorer:


Target Groups: Mangers and specialists who have recently taken over a function with leadership responsibilities or are about to do so.


Objectives: The main purpose of providing this kind of training is to enable the participants to reflect on their role as leaders and broaden their leadership competence in the Pharma environment. The trainees become familiar with their personal role as a leader in Novartis Pharma and optimize their leadership competence in order to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.


Methods: The methods used are: presentations, teamwork, role playing with video analysis, application of what has been learned to everyday management duties.


  1. Situational Leadership:


Target Groups: The new Managers / Supervisors, who are currently in a leadership position.


Objectives: To familiarize the participants with the various styles of leadership appropriate for different situations.


Methods: Presentation, discussions, group work, case studies and role plays.





Management Core Skills:


This set of management core skills was created as a result of the need to provide basic management skills training within the Region in a consistent and cost-effective manner, to new supervisors or managers. The courses are conducted locally by internal resources or Regional trainers, depending on needs and requirements.

The programs were created internally by functional experts, and the materials are made available to everyone within Novartis. By creating this set of core management skills and rolling it out locally with their own trainees, they will ultimately save on training costs or the region as a whole. It will also ensure that all management staff possesses basic management skills that are considered critical to their continued success.


This program seeks to inculcate the following managerial skills into the participants:


  1. Competency Based Interviewing Techniques


Target Groups: All managers / supervisors, who have to conduct selection interviews on a regular basis.


Objective: To train all participants on these techniques for Novartis Pharma, based on their Competencies and Shared Values.



  1. Performance Management System:


Target Groups: All management and staff.


Objective: This course enables the company to become an HPO, by focusing on business goals, setting clear direction and priorities and creating mutual expectations between the organization and the individual.



  1. Coaching / Mentoring Skills:


Target Groups: All supervisors / management staff, with coaching / mentoring responsibilities.


Objectives: The purpose behind imparting these skills is to ensure that there is continuous development of key talents in the organization.



  1. Change Management:


Target Groups: All staff affected by Change Management or will need to lead change efforts in the future.


Objective: To enable the participants to acquire the basic skills to deal with change effectively. This course was especially helpful in enabling the employees to grow accustomed to and adjust to the change brought about by the merger of Ciba and Sandoz.

  1. Conflict Resolution Skills:


Target Groups: All staff in work environments where conflict resolution is critical to continued success of the organization.


Objective: To help the employees deal successfully with conflict situations in the workplace after the program.


  1. Continuous Process Improvements:


Target Groups: All Staff of the company with a need to embark on process improvement efforts to increase productivity and reduce costs.


Objective: This training will serve to enhance the competitive advantage of the company in the market place.


  1. Finance for Non-Finance Managers:

Target Groups: All non-finance management / supervisory staff with a need to better understand financial concepts and measurements in their jobs.


Objective: To educate participants on the financial implications and aspects of their functional activities through information on elementary accounting and financial management systems within the company.


  1. Presentation Skills:

Target Groups: Anyone who needs to give a presentation and requires some basic training to create a good impression.


Objective: To ensure that the participants are aware of the basics of making an effective presentation.





Management Development Programs (MDP):


The Asia-Pacific Management Development Program (MDP), was created as an additional tool to help develop the Key Talents in the Region, as well as recruit the top talents from various functional disciplines for the future expansion needs of the company.

Building a talent pipeline is a critical focus, as it will determine the continued future success of the organization in the future. Both the Local, Region and Corporate Human Resource teams will play a key role in ensuring the success of the company’s efforts.


  1. Asia-Pacific MDP Program:


Objectives: The objectives behind this particular program lay the backbone of the entire HUMAN RESOURCE Planning of the company. This training program focuses on the selection criteria, recruitment process and evaluation of the new hires.


The objectives are:


  • To establish a reputation of Novartis as an “Employer of Choice”.


  • To satisfy organizational expansion and growth needs.


  • To establish an actionable development program for building the Talent Pipeline.


  • To identify and develop internal talent to provide career growth opportunities.


  • To recruit the “Best of Class” candidates, from the top schools / institutions to fuel future growth.



  1. Career Development / Succession Planning Program:


Target Groups: Senior management staff identified for next promotional position for succession planning needs; Key Talents who require exposure to other disciplines or locations for career development purposes.


Objectives: These are:

  • To provide developmental opportunity for identified succession planning needs and career development initiatives.


  • Actual on-the-job training with a view to acquiring critical skills / competencies.


  • Development will come from assignment to new positions that could be cross- functional or within the same function.


  • The new positions to which participants are assigned for identified needs, may be local or international or a combination of both.


  • To create an actionable development program for identified candidates.


  1. Short- Term International Rotation Program:


Target Groups: The key talents with developmental needs for the future; experienced managers with the necessary skills / competencies that are lacking in other locations.


Objectives: This programs aims at ensuring a highly competent Human Resource network.


  • To transfer the Critical Skills / Competencies.


  • To fill the short- term gaps in the key positions in skill / competency levels.


  • To provide and opportunity to share experience / expertise / skills between locations.


  • To develop experience for key talents with international exposure.


Training of the Sales Force:


A medically qualified and trained workforce is important due to the nature of specialty products sold in the market. Qualified product managers help train the sales representatives and thus have a direct impact on the sales volume for specialty drugs. Product managers in the Specialty unit are medical graduates and the Medical and Medical Services help train the sales representatives.

Field force training can be categorized into:

  • Basic Medical Skills Training
  • Selling Skills Training


1) Basic Medical Skills Training

This training program is aimed at enhancing the knowledge of the salespeople about the anatomy and the medicines they are selling and a better understanding of the side-effects of the products.


  • Selling Skills Training

Tactics for better success at selling are honed into the sales force to enhance their selling abilities.


Each year the field force must attend a minimum of two weeks of training in either or both of the above categories.


Training of Factory Workers:


Training takes place on three levels to enhance work skills and ensure prevention of accidents.


  1. On the Job Training
  2. First Aid Training
  3. Safety Training





The process of goal setting is a combination of top-down and bottom-up approach. The top approach is used by the headquarters, which passes on the goals, which have to be achieved for various drugs. The bottom up approach is used in the day to day affairs. The product managers receive information from the field force during their quarterly meetings in which the current position is evaluated and necessary changes are made in the goals to be achieved. The product managers, in relation to their product portfolios, decide what needs to be achieved and how it is to be achieved. These strategies are then discussed with the Business Unit Heads (BUH) and then passed on to the field force.





The employees hired are evaluated on an annual basis, after being given a chance to work towards the achievement of their goals and objectives, laid out at the beginning.

The steps involved in the evaluation process are:


  • At the start of each rotation, the trainee and the Departmental Head will work out the objectives, goals, specific skills/ knowledge to be acquired, training plan, assignment duties, milestones etc. Similarly, the objectives are set for all managers and employees, in collaboration with Department Head, for the next year, and the performance is evaluated against the achievement of those objectives.


It must be noted here, that the HUMAN RESOURCE department helps the employees in the setting of goals and objectives and the goal setting is not left to the discretion of the employees. The objectives are laid down for each employee and each team, according to the company’s objectives of the following year. These objectives are passed on to the HUMAN RESOURCE department by the senior management, which then forwards the objectives on to the employees, in the annual goal setting meetings. (These have already been discussed in detail).

  • A mid-rotation evaluation is done informally, to ensure all learning goals and objectives are met and no revisions or adjustments are required.


  • Upon completion of each assignment, both the trainee / old employee and the Department manager do a formal evaluation and review.


  • Each trainee or old employee is evaluated against performance, objectives and Novartis values.


  • There is an open system of evaluation prevailing in the company. The annual review is not kept secret from the employee or trainee. In fact, it is openly discussed, between the employee, the Department Head and the HUMAN RESOURCE Manager.


  • The individual career aspirations are also discussed in such meetings. The HUMAN RESOURCE department offers career planning and guidance counseling services to the employees as well.





  • World- wide policy of Novartis regarding compensation is that it is to be at the median of the top 6 companies. These are Glaxo Wellcome, Roche, Abbott, Smith Kline and Beecham, Novartis and MSD.


  • Novartis has an incentive-based salary system. According to this system the sales force was given stretched targets there was no penalization for not achieving these targets. However exceeding these targets would result in generous bonuses.
  • Promotions are based 100% on merit. Few promotions have been made after the merger.

CIBA                   9 LEVELS

SANDOZ              5 LEVELS

NOVARTIS           8 LEVELS.




Incentive Schemes:

Novartis Pakistan offers two main incentive schemes for its employees.


  1. Sales Staff Incentive Scheme:

This one is based on the sales targets that are to be met by the sales people. If a sales person meets the targeted sales level he is offered bonuses and other non-monetary rewards.


  1. Management Incentive Scheme:

All managers from all departments set their objective at the beginning of the year which may be revised half yearly. A rating system is used to assess their performance and monetary benefits of upto 10% of salary is awarded if 100% is achieved.


If targets are met even before the deadlines, then the employees are entitled to extra benefits which are almost always monetary.


Medical Benefits:

Medical Allowances are “actuals based” and have been kept flexible for their convenience. Except for certain areas, where abuse of medical benefits is excessive, the company has appointed certain hospitals and doctors for the workers. These doctors can refer them t o specialists as and when necessary.


An observation has been made that abuse of medical benefits is more common amongst factory level workers, who tend to give more trouble.


Gratuity/ Provident Fund:


After the six-month confirmation for an employee, that is, when their probation period is over they are entitled to partake of the gratuity as well as the provident fund, set up by the company. The statutory requirement by the government for contribution to gratuity fund, is 7.5% of basic salary. However, Novartis contributes 10% of basic salary fully funded by the company.



One of the major post merger problems is the integration of the work force:


  1. The field force incurred approximately 25 – 39 layoffs.  The evaluation process consisted of analyzing the three-year performance of each sales representative as well as a critical analysis of each rep’s overall profile (qualifications, length of service, sales achievements, etc.). At the business unit management level, a third party was deployed to conduct the assessment.  A performance analyst conducted group discussions and interviews as well as past performance analysis and criterion-based judgments to select the 3 business unit heads.  At the end of the selection process for Novartis, all salaries were harmonized.


  1. Sandoz and CIBA still have biases towards their old product. The sales reps will promote their old products first, as they are comfortable with the sales strategy of those products.


  1. The Pharma head and the three business unit heads are from Sandoz. Due to this, product managers from Ciba had problems initially dealing with people they had not worked with previously. Both the product managers and sales representatives would push products, which belonged to their previous company. However, this problem has been overcome and the company is now operating smoothly.


  1. Some of CIBA employees have been given a lower level because of the change in structure, which is leading to dissatisfaction.


  1. The communication network of Novartis initially weakened right after the merger, due to lack of awareness of the company policies of both the companies, as well as the level of expectations. Also, the adjustment problems faced in the neonatal stages of Novartis, rendered the communication network, relatively unreliable.


  1. Culture Clash due to merger between Sandoz and Ciba Giegy, was another problem.


  1. There was a different incentive structure at both companies, which led to dissatisfaction after the merger.


  1. Ciba-Giegy put more emphasis on training the field force as compared to Sandoz. Employees who previously worked for Sandoz have problems dealing with this change.


  1. The two organizations had different organizational structures. After the merger the Job analysis has not been clearly defined. Moreover the jobs have not been redesigned and as a result the employees are still not sure about the activities they are required to perform as part of their jobs.






A great deal of importance is attached to Health, Safety, and the Environment (HSE) at Novartis. Our aim is to be a leader and to show constant improvement in these fields. The importance of each of these three areas is underpinned by our HSE guidelines. These guidelines reflect the sense of responsibility which the management feels towards it

employees, towards the general public, and towards the environment. They also demonstrate the commitment of Novartis to internationally recognized HSE principles, such as the “Business Charter for Sustainable Development” and the “Responsible Care” initiative of the

chemical industry.


Efficient, Simple Organisation


Bearing in mind that 87,000 Novartis employees in over 100 countries have to work to the same HSE principles, it is easy to appreciate that an efficient and carefully thought-out organisation is needed if these principles are to be implemented. To this end, the Novartis organisation has a three-tier definition of its HSE responsibilities – namely at Corporate, Sector, and Plant levels.


The HSE policy and guidelines valid for the Group worldwide are generated at the Corporate level. Managers are trained in their implementation, and audits are conducted in the Sectors and Plants.


With their research, their products, and their manufacturing operations, the Sectors (business areas) have a primary influence on health, safety, and the environment. For this reason, they have their own HSE organisations, which amongst other things are responsible for training their employees in HSE issues and carrying out audits at their own plants. Sector-specific guidelines and instructions ensure a worldwide uniform HSE standard within the industry.



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