Focus team goals: Changing Performance Management at Roche

The digital transformation is fundamentally changing healthcare. Both processes and patient requirements are no longer the same as they were years ago. In order to be able to shape further developments more quickly and creatively and to respond to customer needs in the best possible way, new ways of working are coming into focus at Roche: entrepreneurial action, open feedback, a positive handling of mistakes, cross-functional and self-organized teams. These among other things, make up the Roche corporate culture. Such an agile corporate culture requires courage and flexibility and needs to be understood as an ongoing development.

Reaching the goal together: As part of a pilot project, Roche is currently also experimenting with performance management. For example, instead of individual employee goals, people work together on the basis of quarterly team goals. How does this work? Employees of Roche Pharma AG in Grenzach report on their experiences from the project phase:

What challenges and sticking points did you encounter?

"The open and lived feedback culture guided us in this process", Peter Meyerhuber (Integrated Strategy Lead Lung Cancer Immunotherapy) tells us.

Focusing on feedback made us grow as a team and led to more productivity; at the same time, we realized that this process takes time. There is no switch you can flip to launch into a perfect agile world.

For Florian Brand (Finance Business Partner), regular and "proper" feedback is not a given. "Implementation can be very bumpy, especially at the beginning of a project, if the feedback mechanisms are not established", he recounts, looking back on the past few months.

What positive experiences have you had?

"Personally, I perceived the pilot project as very positive", says Dagmar Ginzky (Commercial Excellence Manager).

For me in particular, the team-based processing of goals and reduced bureaucratic problems are in line with the change in the corporate culture at Roche and will remain positively in my memory!

For Manuel Baier (Project Coordinator in Market Access), transparency and a sense of togetherness are key. "How incredibly much more transparent we work together!", he tells enthusiastically.

Overall, for me the cooperation in the team has increased significantly, which I perceive as very positive!

Florian Brand appreciates the clarity about the responsibilities of individual tasks. "I know the team's priorities. I know what we are working towards and who is responsible for it", he says. "By contributing to the team goals, I get a deeper insight into new upcoming tasks. This increases my personal motivation and I have the opportunity to take on new challenges!", he answers when asked about his personal experiences during the project phase.

Lessons learned from the project?

Stephanie Reimer (Head of Talent Acquisition) summarizes her learning from the project phase:

Continue - challenge more - and let go!

Florian Brand on the other hand sees the added value of the method for the entire team. At the same time, he emphasizes the need for regular retrospectives in the team, i.e., reflecting together on the collaboration in the last quarter and agreeing on ideas or possibilities for further improvement. "The concept only works with passion and initiative!" he adds. Taking responsibility and driving one's own topics forward - for Florian Brand, these are important learnings from this project. Dagmar Ginzky joins in:

The way of working together is positively influenced, goals feel more collaborative and I appreciate the increased openness.

Manuel Baier emphasizes that agile working is not a self-runner and maintains a continuous learning process.

We still have quite a long way to go before team goals are cultivated and no longer seen as a tool or process. We also need to become more active and work harder on our "feedback culture," especially if we want to achieve our goals better together.

Aspirations for the future?

Peter Meyerhuber wishes that "we accept that every single contribution in the team is important! The team goals should be based on the needs of the team, so we can use synergies, overcome vanities and move mountains together." Stephanie Reimer would like to see an outward view - into other departments such as IT or an external view of agile processes in other companies. "I wish that the transparency created by the team goals would continue to be used more intensively to initiate cross-functional collaboration," Florian Brand formulates his wish for the future of agile working. "I wish that we continue to work so optimistically and openly and that working in a team with team goals becomes the new normal," adds Manuel Baier.