JMJ and Pfizer work together to create a blueprint for a cultural shift in IIF SafetyDownload PDF of this article >
- Client: Pfizer
- Industry: Pharmaceuticals
- JMJ Service: Safety: Delivering Incident and Injury-Free® (IIF®) Results
Pfizer embraces IIF culture to create behavioral changes that resulted in a measurable, sustained safety improvement
At the time the Incident and Injury-Free initiative was started at the Pfizer Grange Castle site in 2009, safety performance was good, but there were several areas for improvement. There was some struggle around employee ownership of safety throughout the site and a background level of incidents and injuries still occurred--people were still getting hurt. While Grange Castle had attained a certain level of safety proficiency, site managers were struggling with how to make more than minor improvements in the overall safety culture.
Pfizer Grange Castle is one of the largest biotech sites in the world. Over 1,000 people work at the Grange Castle site, which includes five manufacturing suites, a warehouse, quality control, development and technical services laboratories, and engineering and utilities facilities.
Construction for the site began in 2000. The site shifted from construction through commissioning and validation to its first commercial production in 2005. Between 2005 and 2010, site development continued while manufacturing increased. Operating as a true startup during this time of growing commercial production, the primary focus was on increasing performance measured through business performance metrics. As a relatively new, growing site, priorities were: working towards developing quality systems, bringing in new products, and maximizing results despite a steep organizational learning curve. Pharmaceutical industry challenges have increased the need to operate with greater cost effectiveness. Consolidation in the industry led to a transition of corporate ownership, as the site’s original owner, Wyeth, was acquired by the Pfizer Corporation.
• To improve safety performance and the overall safety culture.
• To reduce safety incidents and, ultimately, operate without incidents and without injuries.
• To improve the personal connections to safety, moving beyond the production schedule to take a more holistic approach to safety.
• To increase overall personal accountability to safety throughout the site.
How JMJ Helped
By working with the Pfizer Grange Castle Site Leadership Team and providing a blueprint for a cultural shift, JMJ shared what a transformational change could look like for safety performance on the Grange Castle site. IIF workshops, coaching and roadmaps provided the leadership team with support for implementing an Incident and Injury-Free approach to safety and creating a clear safety message that could be shared throughout the site. This message, created in an initial Alignment Workshop, states, “Our safety is at the heart of everything we do at Grange Castle. We will be free of injuries and incidents because we care about everyone here.” The ensuing IIF workshops and personal coaching and mentoring of the leadership team helped ensure the success of the IIF program by providing support to fulfill the commitment that no one is hurt while working at Pfizer Grange Castle.
“JMJ helped us to take safety more seriously as a leadership team, to walk the walk more than we had been doing,” said Pfizer Grange Castle Vaccines Lead Tony Walsh. “Yeah, sure we talk the talk, but do we walk the walk? JMJ challenged us to do that.”
Throughout the engagement, underlying issues within the organization that were impeding safety progress were identified. A primary impediment was a general perception that there was little risk on the site. By identifying that risks did exist, IIF practices allowed for proper actions to be taken to address risks that had not been considered before.
The Integral approach of understanding safety from both external and internal perspectives was also very helpful to see how previous approaches to safety had been a bit narrow. The critical factor to activating the step change that became the IIF program was the engagement of the Campus Leadership Team (CLT). This was achieved by two significant elements: the first was appointing an EHS Leader to the CLT in order to influence their peers and the second was the establishment of a leadership team specifically for the IIF program. (This had not been done during previous EHS initiatives.) The CLT highlighted that the underlying reason for caring about safety was that employees were cared for as people—not just to meet the safety metric. It helped make safety personal, which was an approach not used before.
“JMJ encouraged us to keep to a simple message, and to keep focusing on the message that we’re trying to take care of people and that it’s what everybody does every day that matters,” said Nick Maishman, Pfizer Grange Castle Senior Director, Parenterals. “That was a way of going about the program that turned out to be very successful. Without the help of JMJ, we may not have sustained such a simple message and such a simple approach for so long.”
Jim Roycroft, Associate Director, Manufacturing Support, echoed this sentiment about the value of the message.
“JMJ leveraged previous experience and expertise and were able to relay meaningful examples from other industries to show it wasn’t just pharmaceutical specific,” he said. “They found ways to make it very personal with a simple, clear message that resonated with individuals directly.”
He said that JMJ also helped the Grange Castle site bring already existing safety processes into the new IIF approach. The specific processes that EHS modified as part of the IIF program were the Good Save, Recognition and Communications processes. These were modified in order to improve colleague engagement in the EHS program. All other technical procedures remained unchanged. This integration offered a structure that helped people understand how to engage with safety and with each other. This helped people create relationships through proactive safety conversations, rather than only talking about safety during interventions. By securing support from key stakeholders early on, skepticism throughout the organization was appeased, and the IIF message was able to take hold.
After Commitment Workshops with senior leadership, Orientations to Incident and Injury-Free safety were offered for all of the employees on the site. Twenty-five on site workers were trained to be Orientation leaders. As the initial Orientation sessions began to spread the message throughout the company, JMJ ensured that Grange Castle staff members were well prepared to lead these sessions.
“When we launched the Orientation sessions initially, they were conducted by colleagues rather than members of management or outside consultants or trainers. They were folks around the facility who put their hands up and said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to do this.’ That sends a very compelling message to the participants that they weren’t being lectured to, which is a positive thing,” Roycroft said.
“The framework and training JMJ provided for those initial IIF facilitators was very strong and it armed them with the structure and confidence to carry out those sessions and to have meaningful conversations. The feedback from those sessions was always very positive.”
“There’s been a very high level of engagement and commitment to the IIF program at the site, much greater than any other business change program we’ve had,” said Maishman. “There’s been a strong emphasis on individual behaviors and commitments and on leadership behaviors and commitments that people have said they agree with, and people have changed their behavior as a result. In anything we’ve done before, we have never seen people describe the results as a change in their behavior like this.”
These behavior changes resulted in a measurable, sustained improvement in the number of positive safety interventions, or “Good Saves.” In 2008, there were 387 positive safety interventions. By 2011, there were 6627. There has also been a measurable decrease in the amount of reportable injuries and incidents: The total injury rate has decreased from 0.6 in 2008 to 0.32 in 2011.
Results like these are indicative of the sorts of strides Grange Castle has made in their safety culture over the past three years. Before the IIF approach was first implemented in 2009, the site had a primarily rules and compliance based safety program. By 2010, however, the site experienced a “tipping point,” as 96% of the population had been through the IIF Orientation.
Soon, an overall, observable culture shift had taken place. Internal surveys revealed that, over the course of three years, there had been marked improvements in the perceptions of employees, who now saw themselves as more cared for and more appreciated members of the organization. The leadership team developed a “You Said, We Did” campaign to share actions taken as a result of Good Save reporting, and IIF leadership practices were incorporated into individual performance plans. “Hands Free Walkarounds” were implemented as a way for IIF leaders to leave the clip board behind and have safety conversations focused on acknowledgements, relationship building, and open ended dialog about ways to improve safety with workers throughout the site.
“The look and feel of the place definitely changed from what we were to what we have become, but that’s hard to describe,” Walsh said.
He cites an IIF poster campaign and a highly viewed and locally developed Pfizer IIF video as examples of the sort of cultural shift that has happened. In the video, employees are seen looking out for others’ safety both on the site and off. Walsh says this is actually the way it has become.
“There are a lot more happy people and a lot of happy families out there that might not have been if we hadn’t changed,” he said.
The video and poster campaign were the products of a highly engaged IIF branding strategy undertaken by the IIF Leadership Team and, ultimately, by the entire site. Their IIF messaging was participatory, and became a badge of pride and ownership for employees. By 2011, the Grange Castle site had taken the IIF strategies introduced and brought them to a new level of personalization that deepened ownership of the program.
Because of these efforts, there is a greater sense of relationship reported throughout the site, and the IIF program continues to have an impact even three years after it was first implemented. By the end of 2011, other departments outside of the IIF Leadership Team had taken notice of the effectiveness of the IIF methodology for spreading awareness and engaging workers. Grange Castle has now begun expanding the principles of IIF to improve the performance of the entire culture—from health and wellbeing to production quality.
“We look for opportunities to create awareness about safety in new ways and to perpetuate the IIF message,” Roycroft said. “At the end of the day, safety and being incident and injury free is symptomatic of how people behave. If we decide to apply those same behaviors and principles to how we work, it forms a key part of a high performance culture, which is where we’re heading next.”