The Viatris way: performance, engagement, and inclusiveness

Updated: Jun 17

Jeff Bote, Viatris’ country manager in Malaysia, shares the ways he manages an office culture that is uniquely Viatris, including taking care of its employees — its most immediate internal market.

COS Asia: How did you reconcile the former and the current company cultures? Were there overlaps, or have things entirely changed for Viatris?

Bote: Right from the beginning, we reached out and listened to our people on the culture that we want. We started from a good place, where colleagues share passion and purpose to genuinely care for the patients and customers we serve. And our mission and combined product portfolio amplify this.

To support and inspire colleagues, we are forging The Viatris Way – a collective effort to build a performance-driven, highly engaging, and inclusive culture through all aspects of the employee experience. Regular Town Halls, employee resource groups, continuous dialogue and skip-level meetings, virtual team building, and Team Day. We always consider Diversity and Inclusiveness.

We also rolled out Share-It-Out to strengthen the culture of openness and collaboration. We recognised and rewarded colleagues who demonstrated positive behaviours. I am happy that the programme was very well received.

As we bring our mission and The Viatris Way to life, our culture positions Viatris as more than just a place to work. It is a place to make a difference in the world.

I like to point out that we were recognised by Forbes on its 2021 World’s Best Employers list and Fortune magazines’ 2021 list of top 10 companies that changed the world.

COS Asia: Let's talk about mental health, a much-emphasised workplace issue nowadays. How does Viatris engage its internal market, primarily the employees, in addressing this?

Bote: Mental health issues call for organisations to put their employees’ welfare at the centre stage. We see how the pandemic affects our employees and their work-life balance. We know many of our colleagues juggle work and life, whether they are caring for aging parents or providing childcare. So, we offer flexible work arrangements and work-from-home equipment to support work-life balance.

Volunteers from our office run Navigate, a support system that provides a safe space for colleagues to ask questions and share their feelings without judgement. Navigate also shares relevant information regarding Covid that will help employees to sift through their questions and doubts. It also connects colleagues to professional counselling if needed.

We also designated a Focus Day, where for half a day in a week, no meetings are scheduled unless it’s business-critical. This enables employees to take a break from meetings and to catch up with other work. This has increased productivity and improved our planning while maintaining the balance between work and everyday life.

During this time, we also ensure that colleagues are cared for through the “Care Packages” we send to their homes. It consists of vitamins, sanitisers, masks, and exercise equipment for their physical activity and health.

Simple as it may seem, our people managers and those from the leadership team usually begin our meetings with gestures of kindness, such as asking staff how they are doing and how they can help them.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Jeff Bote, Country Manager of Viatris in Malaysia. For further coverage please see any of the below links:

Viatris: Empowering a diverse workforce through collaboration

The Viatris way: performance, engagement, and inclusiveness

Jeff Bote: Aligning personal and company goals

Getting to know: Jeff Bote

Viatris manager Jeff Bote sits down with Chief of Staff Asia

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