Myonex Member Spotlight: How Culture and Core Values Fuel Global Growth
In my travels as CEO, I have come across many great MEA Member employers, all contributing to our vibrant community. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting with Maryanne Walsh, Vice President of Client and Employee Engagement at Myonex. I want to share a little of their story and how they have made Culture and their Core Values an essential strand of their business strategy.
I am sure the founders of a Norristown, Pennsylvania drug store back in 1865 would not recognize the company that has now become a global, clinical trial supply partner to many of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. More remarkable is how the company, formerly named Myoderm, went from 20-25 employees in one location in 2014 (and one employee in the UK) to 150 plus employees on their way to 200 with facilities in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and one more on the way in Germany with a full array of clinical trial services. And still family owned!
One key to their successful growth is maintaining a strong connection to the past while focusing on the future. When you enter their new headquarters building in Horsham, PA, you immediately understand the importance of their history with the display of signage and images from the original drug store.
On the wall and on their website, they share their history from 1865 until today.
Storytelling is an important means for many of our members to share their culture. But back in 2014, CEO/Owner Michael Cohen realized that the growth they sought would need further processes, so they implemented the EOS business process (one that we also use at MEA). As part of the development process, they established their Core Values:
- Be a Great Team Player
- Be Customer Focused
- Learn and Grow
- Find a Way
While these are Foundational Values for Myonex, they have adapted the language of one of their Values to reflect language differences in a region where they operate.
What I really like is the use of descriptors with each Core Value to make them real. For example, the descriptors for “Find a Way” are:
- Take the initiative … Own it
- Be ethical and successful
- Identify problems, generate solutions
- Be flexible and adaptable
It is nice to have Core Values, but what kind of commitment is needed to make them stick? When I asked Maryanne this question, the real power of their Culture and Core Value focus was revealed. Several key business processes demonstrate their commitment:
- During their EOS Management quarterly meetings, the Core Values are always reviewed, especially the descriptors. Managers and employees are encouraged to ask for changes or additions for consideration by the Leadership Team.
- The Core Values are prominently displayed on the office walls and their website. Employees have cards with the Core Values and descriptors.
- The interviewing and hiring process incorporates senior management input into someone’s fit with the Core Values.
- There are a variety of methods for continuous recognition by all employees such as Victory Memos that highlight how someone used a Core Value and achieved success. There is also a Recognized Excellence Wall tied to Core Value metrics.
“Myonex Advantage” is an online recognition platform that enables employees to recognize other employees through shout outs and monetary awards. This platform uses Rewards Gateway.
- There is a regular cadence in which new employees receive core values training. In the US, new employees also meet with Chairman Michael Cohen to learn about the Company’s history.
- As Myonex has grown rapidly and moved to a hybrid working environment, the company keeps the Core Values top of mind during every department, management, and employee meeting.
So, why do all this? Maryanne pointed to several reasons:
- A lot of time went into developing their Core Values. These values make up who they are, and leadership strongly believes in living the Core Values every day.
- By making it easy to recognize fellow employees, more and more employees take part in reinforcing the Core Values. This has created tremendous energy around the Core Values.
- According to Maryanne, they have been able to grow the business and team at a very rapid pace with constant innovation. Their strong values have allowed them to avoid hiring mistakes as they grow.
- Retention rate is favorable with only 6 leavers in total, for the 2022 calendar year, out of 150 employees globally through August 2022.
It is also telling that today, Maryanne’s title is Vice President, Client and Employee Engagement. I think the message here is invest in your people as you do with your clients and the return will be clear.