JOY – Juniors and seniors at work for the Chiesi of the future

By the editorial staff

What is JOY? It is, without a doubt, a unique opportunity for discussion and collaboration to gener ate innovative ideas that will enable Chiesi – to achieve its future goals. But how is this different from what other companies do?

The name JOY stands for Juniors On strategY and aims to truly listen to the perspectives of the most junior people in thecompany, through working and collaborating closely with senior colleagues on strategic issues for Chiesi, proposing ideas and implementing them.

When we talk about ‘juniors’ we are referring to employees who completed their studies no more than 6 years before the start of the JOY project. This helps to reduce the generation gap: juniors can share their ‘freshness’ while seniors offer their experience.
This is the winning combination that makes it possible to generate value for the company! The project came to life in 2017 and – this is something I am very proud of – the idea came from two junior people within the Global Strategy department in response to our CEO’s need to ‘hear what young people think…’

Who better than them, then?
The frst edition of the project was dedicated to the theme of diversity and then, in 2020, we launched the second edition, which focused on the theme of simplifcation; the third and fourth editions, currently underway, are exploring the themes of focusing on patients and having a sense of collaboration and unity, respectively, thus going beyond departmental or role dynamics.
Each activity is based on and inspired by the values of the company.

In each edition, the group of juniors is the beating heart of the project as it guides activities and dialogue with the seniors. Each edition of JOY is supported by a project leader who, in order to promote a virtuous circle and ensure that
the programme is also an opportunity for development for all participants, is also a JOY participant from a previous edition.

In addition to this fgure, the presence of a mentor is fundamental, i.e. a senior person who is an expert in the theme of
the current edition, whose task is to help the team to understand the theme and manage the programme.
The first edition shone a light on the theme of diversity, which at the time was still little explored. During the workshop – a crucial moment for JOY – juniors and seniors generated ideas and, subsequently, some of these were selected and
better described in specifc action plans.

One concrete example is the tagline ‘Everyone of us is different, everyone of us is Chiesi,’ which is now at the heart of Chiesi’s values. The second edition of JOY, which started in September 2020, had as its strategic theme ‘Fromm complexity to simplicity: the revolution to become more agile’ and ended in April 2021.

For this edition, it was decided to broaden involvement, offering all juniors the opportunity to apply through an extremely transparent launch, communication and selection plan… supported by videos in which the candidates explained what motivated them to apply.

The second edition of JOY, which started in September 2020, had as its strategic theme ‘From complexity to simplicity: the revolution to become more agile‘.

Another great novelty in this edition is the implementation phase: once the idea deemed most impactful and feasible to achieve the objective has been selected, it will be developed over the following months. This is a way of demonstrating that change is indeed possible; moreover, to give continuity to the generation of ideas, we have offered juniors the opportunity to lead the implementation of one of these, with the support and backing of seniors.

In particular, the second JOY team completed 2 projects: ‘Smart ACTitude’ and ‘BlackBox’.

SmartACTitude aims to make the most of one of the most important resources we have: time! To this end, the team has created tools to manage meetings more effectively: guidelines, in collaboration with our R&D colleagues, and an IT tool to support effcient meeting management in the preparation, conduct and follow-up phases. These two tools have been validated with a pilot test involving a number of company departments and given the excellent results, will soon be extended to the whole group.

BlackBox, on the other hand, aims to make processes more fluid by collecting anonymous feedback from people involved in the process. The team tested it, for example, on the strategic planning process and the pilot generated brilliant results. It has been refined and will soon be available to anyone who wants it.

We are proud to have created a programme like JOY – we think it is unique and are working to enhance it in the long term, to improve it and make it increasingly impactful for the future of our company. We are convinced that juniors can change the world and, through JOY, have the opportunity to change Chiesi!