The Challenge: Clear, concise, and comprehensive communication framework for employer transparency & employee performance evaluation.
At a crucial point between a $125 million Series B financing round and its upcoming IPO, SpringWorks Therapeutics was looking to set the foundation of a sustainable corporate culture that was meaningful and would contribute to its success for decades to come.
As a “mission-driven medicines” company focused on developing life-changing treatments for rare diseases and cancer, its corporate values were well-established and had roots in its original spin-off from within Pfizer’s corporate structure itself.
This set of values would have to be embodied by individuals; the talented team that comprised SpringWorks itself. In order to breathe life into a culture driven-by its leadership and employee team, SpringWorks was looking to develop its messaging architecture and sought a communications design that would express these values in a contextual manner.
Core values are great theoretical ideals to adhere to, but what SpringWorks was seeking was a practical application of this culture in behavioral habits and tangible processes. The goal was to distill a set of applied behaviors and deep characterizations of these values that would communicate them on an intimate level.
Distinguishing corporate identity and employee culture for a major brand spin-off.
With the IPO nearing, the communications design project took on increased significance to aid in preparation for SpringWorks’ ability to scale and standardize its talent acquisition process. Going public would make transparency, SpringWorks’ core goal, a crucial element of its broader corporate values. We began by discussing the core objectives in depth.
Employee talent is the lifeblood of any company. SpringWorks Therapeutics’ dedicated and skilled workforce is one of its major competitive advantages, alongside a robust portfolio of pharmaceutical-related intellectual property.
When it comes to securing top-tier talent, maintaining rigorous consistency in expectations and communication standards is paramount. The client’s goal was to develop a holistic framework to deploy throughout each stage of the employee journey, including at the candidate-level, interview process, evaluation, and internal feedback.
The client sought a set of highly-articulated “Employee Competencies,” “Leadership Competencies,” and internal behavioral-based interviewing collateral that could serve as both a qualitative and quantifiable measure of performance.
These handbook materials would then be used to both express expectations and to measure achievement, finding application within the performance review system and talent acquisition process.
Pre-IPO Internal Communications Design
Setting Tone & Performance Expectations through Behavioral Competencies
Designing messaging architecture for employees and leadership alike
With an existing set of values in place, the challenge became communicating those values to staff and leadership teams in a way that was not only clear and compelling, but also transparent and as objective as possible.
This required measurable standards that not only served to communicate effectively but also provided tangible methods of assessing company-wide talent. To express these values eloquently was a matter of art, but to ensure such communications were quantifiable and consistent at scale, that would be a matter of science.
We began by considering the “two-way” nature of the materials, giving deep consideration as to how they could both set the standards and be used to measure against them.
With performance evaluated by this yardstick, it would be essential there was as little room for ambiguity as possible. Any arbitrary standard or communication lapse would poorly position Human Resource managers and provide a challenging employee environment in the process.
Building corporate culture from the ground up; identifying habits and behaviors that sustain meaningful work.
Working closely with SpringWorks’ human resources department to ensure accurate production of their internal mission, we began mapping corporate values into actualizable behaviors for employees and leadership alike.
Looking for practical and applied behaviors would form the core of the personal embodiment of these values. Time was spent examining core values, like “Acts with Urgency” and “Care Hard,” in great depth in order to avoid mistaken inferences. For example, “Acts with Urgency” could easily leave the impression of a desire for swift, potentially sub-optimal action. This was clearly not the case and balancing such values with clearly defined habits would help us clarify this.
Careful thought and consideration was put into the messaging architecture of individual values, alongside how each distinct set of values (“Employee Competencies” and “Leadership Competencies” respectively) could operate together to form cohesive synergies throughout the organization.
This included an evaluation of both the shared and unique aspects of each role and its corresponding set of competencies. By maintaining a complementary, yet distinct, set of performed behaviors for each, we could demonstrate both how leaders could spur actions consistent with corporate values and how employees could perform to achieve better “harmony” with leadership.
Democratizing Corporate Values through Defined Individual Behaviors
After an official launch of the talent competencies during a summer corporate retreat, SpringWorks Therapeutics went public in a highly-successful IPO, raising $162 million in late 2019.
Following the initial communications design project for its Employee and Leadership Competencies, we continued our work relationship by developing additional corporate collateral for the client’s talent acquisition process.
This included material for behavior-based interviewing methods, aiming to gauge accurate responses without leading candidates, maintaining continuity with prior project assets.
B2B Corporate Communications
Biotechnology & Life Sciences
Human Resources Collateral
Behavioral Competency Development
Human Resources Copywriting
Behavioral Interviewing Assets