QIAGEN contributes to society’s economic sustainability primarily by nurturing our business for the long run. Our mission extends beyond creating shareholder value to making improvements in life possible for global and local stakeholders – providing jobs, driving growth, enhancing healthcare and other areas of life, and funding public services.
Lasting business success for QIAGEN demands the efficient use and sustained cultivation of all of our assets and resources – human capital, strategy for innovation and growth, brand equity in our markets, and responsible business practices. All of these factors contribute to creating sustainable value for all of our stakeholders.
QIAGEN’s focus on making improvements in life possible instills a long-term orientation throughout our business. The 21st Century has been called the Century of Biology, and we are a leader in the emergence of molecular technologies as a driving force in scientific progress and human health. Over three decades, QIAGEN has strategically expanded across the continuum from discovery research to translational and clinical research, to routine use of our Sample to Insight solutions in healthcare and other applications. We are committed to making a difference by investing in the sustainability of our business.
QIAGEN’s active commitment to its workforce is a foundation to our success. Our insistence on ethical business practices is recognized by our business partners, and our persistent innovation is a key to delivering Sample to Insight solutions successfully to our customers.
Employee training and retention
QIAGEN treats employees as our most important resource, and our focus on human capital drives economic sustainability. The exceptional talent, skill and passion of our people are key to our long-term success and growth. Employee development at all levels is viewed as an integral factor in creating lasting value for our customers, patients, colleagues, partners and shareholders. We have established transparent career paths with the QIAGEN Profile Navigator, which defines jobs, core competencies and approaches to advancement across the global organization. QIAGEN’s global Performance Enhancement System (PES) creates a clear framework of regular, one-on-one review sessions for each employee and their manager to discuss career development. These include discussions of goals and achievement levels, assessment of relevant competencies, as well as training needs and career planning steps.
Professional Training & Development at QIAGEN is an ongoing process that reaches all employees, cycling from the PES discussion to training participation and learning transfer, and then back to PES (see chart). The recently introduced QIAGEN Academy, our global e-learning portal, expands opportunities with a flexible blend of online learning and in-person training. A series of regional training programs augment these opportunities. For example, QIAGEN China has an innovative effort called the Leadership Acceleration Program to develop middle managers into the future leadership of the company. A work environment that empowers and involves employees supports our global goal of being the industry’s employer of choice by attracting and developing top talent and teams.
We recognize the importance of cultivating leaders at QIAGEN who can serve as role models to create a culture in which employees feel inspired, motivated and engaged.
Transformational leaders create meaningful change and truly make a difference. To create a career path from first-line management into the senior ranks, we give special attention to development in entrepreneurial and leadership competencies such as strategic thinking and acting, decision making, risk taking, change management, performance management and employee development. QIAGEN has implemented a pilot program to identify and systematically develop the most promising managers to prepare for senior positions.
We also offer the opportunity to participate in the QIAGEN Executive MBA Business Integration Program in cooperation with the University of Würzburg, Germany, providing professionals with a wide range of management skills and knowledge essential to an executive career. Participants study in an international environment with colleagues from around the world. Two modules of the program are conducted with U.S. partners: Boston University and Florida Gulf Coast University. A total of 76 QIAGEN employees will complete the MBA program by the end of 2018.
QIAGEN has implemented frameworks for performance-based compensation, equity-based compensation and incentive programs designed to stimulate new ideas and innovation. The QIAGEN bonus system integrates every employee, allowing the entire staff to benefit directly from the company’s economic success. Our equity incentive program is designed to encourage share-holding employees to work for the company’s long-term benefit by providing incentives for sustainable success.
QIAGEN views the health of our employees as directly related to the health of the company – increased job satisfaction, improved morale, reduced injuries, and increased productivity are just some of the benefits of a healthy work environment. In most headquarters locations, QIAGEN regularly offers “health days” where employees are invited to receive free screening and nutrition programs, and medical check-ups. QIAGEN provides in-house gyms, sports courses coached by professional trainers, on-site soccer fields, beach volleyball courts and table tennis, as well as mobile massages for relaxation. All employees have access to medical care, including flu inoculations. All female employees have free access to screening for HPV. QIAGEN also regularly offers smoking cessation and weight loss programs.
QIAGEN provides services to help employees balance their personal lives with the company’s dynamic work environment, including in-house corporate child care and sabbatical programs. Flexible work hours apply to all employees except those in functions that require on-time presence (such as production).The company also implemented voluntary workshops for employees to learn about stress recovery, balanced diet, exercise, relaxation and how to balance work and personal life effectively.
Strategy for growth
QIAGEN pursues a corporate strategy designed to drive long-term growth. We focus on Sample to Insight solutions to help our customers transform raw biological materials into valuable molecular insights and use this core competency to sell our products in several markets. We have a leading position in each of these customer classes: Molecular Diagnostics, Applied Testing, Pharma and Academia. Most of these markets are underpenetrated, providing strong potential for enduring growth. This is particularly true for clinical diagnostics in human health, where molecular methods are increasingly replacing traditional solutions. Our flexible strategy seeks to accelerate growth and drive future profitability by developing innovative new platforms, consumables and bioinformatics, partnering with researchers and Pharma companies, and acquiring companies or technologies to complement our portfolio. QIAGEN follows a rigorous business development process to add value through opportunities in fast-growing customer segments and emerging regional markets.
» A clear and concise strategy, a strong brand and our relentless focus on innovations to address customer needs are the cornerstones of QIAGEN’s past success and future growth.«DR. THOMAS SCHWEINS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT HUMAN RESOURCES & LIFE SCIENCES BUSINESS AREA
Just as QIAGEN’s kit innovation revolutionized molecular biology in the 1980s, we are committed to expanding our global leadership in Sample to Insight solutions through ongoing innovation. Relative to sales,our research and development investments are among the highest in the industry. About 1,000 employees in research and development work in QIAGEN centers of excellence on three continents. We understand innovation as a comprehensive, multi-level process that is organized cross-departmentally and transparently.
QIAGEN has embraced “agile” development, moving through iterative stages to create a new product, with rapid adjustments based on empirical feedback, to make R&D as effective and efficient as possible. Development of the GeneReader NGS System benefited greatly from an agile, collaborative process. Working with laboratories in QIAGEN’s early adopter group, we identified customer needs up-front and adapted the platform. By innovating based on customer needs, we created a well-received Sample to Insight solution that delivers efficient, end-to-end NGS workflow.
The recent transformation of our eCommerce capabilities has allowed us to drive growth by providing customers with seamless online care. QIAGEN has embraced digital transformation throughout our business. Our teams are using digital tools to improve efficiency and effectiveness in both internal and external interactions.
Customer satisfaction and loyalty are fundamental to long-lasting success, and QIAGEN has created one of the strongest brands in the industry. We are committed to further developing these relationships with customers around the world. In 2014 and 2015 QIAGEN undertook a major rebranding effort reflecting our “Sample to Insight” strategic framework. It is based on our belief that the real value of genomics is not in the billions of base pairs sequenced, but in the actionable insights that enable scientists to achieve breakthroughs in knowledge and clinicians to make accurate diagnostic and treatment decisions. With automated workflows and end-to-end integration of bioinformatics, we deliver Sample to Insight solutions accessible to laboratories large and small. In addition to QIAGEN’s corporate brand, we carefully steward the brand equity of individual products, including those acquired from other companies, with a centralized approach to ensure that the external image of QIAGEN is consistent for all of our customers.
Responsible business practices
Conducting business lawfully, ethically and with high integrity are undisputed fundamental values and principles for the long-term success of any company. QIAGEN takes this to heart, and we believe we are more committed to ensuring compliance with these business principles than many other companies. QIAGEN has established a comprehensive Compliance Program under the leadership of a Chief Compliance Officer, supported by a Compliance Committee that coordinates our efforts, consisting of managers from Legal, Internal Audit, HR and Regulatory functions.
The Compliance Program translates our Code of Business Conduct and accompanying corporate compliance policies – as well as applicable legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements – into clear, precise, understandable guidelines for our employees. These policies are collected in a Global Policy Manual, which is provided to all employees worldwide. Online training reaches all employees, supported by multiple communication resources. We have established a hotline for reporting accounting-related concerns on an anonymous basis in good faith. We also offer a direct email and telephone hotline for employees to address questions or make suggestions for our Compliance Program.
One area of compliance that has received public attention involves conflict minerals. QIAGEN has performed an extensive inquiry into the company’s supply chain to ensure that no conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries are used in the company’s laboratory instruments. Further information is provided in the company’s public financial disclosures.
Results and progress
QIAGEN is uniquely positioned to address the significant growth opportunities in the life sciences and diagnostics markets. As the molecular revolution transforms medicine and other fields of endeavor, QIAGEN’s market leadership builds on our global footprint, portfolio of solutions across the value chain from sample processing to actionable insights, and expertise in leveraging our core capabilities for all customer classes. Molecular biology continues to find new applications, and we keep innovating to maintain our global leadership in sample technologies for even the most advanced needs. QIAGEN has transformed our portfolio to accelerate growth with a strategic focus on several product categories that are driving our sustained development.
The successful management of knowledge is a key driver for sustainable innovation and a strong indicator of the success of QIAGEN training and retention programs. The central element of our initiatives for growth and effectiveness has been to expand, develop and strengthen QIAGEN’s leadership and talent base. In a typical year, more than 1,600 employees worldwide participate in more than 35,000 hours of training – continuing to develop our talent. In Germany, QIAGEN has been recognized as a Top Employer for several years running, including 2017, based on evaluation of a broad range of HR practices by the CRF Institute, an independent coalition of human resource experts. The award was given against a background of significant changes at QIAGEN. In Maryland, QIAGEN has won several Alliance for Workplace Excellence recognitions. QIAGEN has an enduring commitment to being an employer of choice and further enhancing our position as a great place to work.
The successful launch of our innovative GeneReader NGS System in late 2015 demonstrates the value of QIAGEN’s agile development approach as we create novel Sample to Insight solutions to meet needs in the diagnostic and life science markets. In 2016 the GeneReader NGS System was recognized for excellence in the healthcare sub-category of the Red Dot Award: Product Design program, as well as garnering an Instrument Business Outlook (IBO) Bronze Award for industrial design. This innovative new solution for Sample to Insight next-generation sequencing is rapidly gaining adoption from customers.
QIAGEN’s brand has become synonymous among customers with the highest quality and trust. We regularly conduct surveys among laboratories to measure our brand equity and image compared to other companies in the industry. In the December 2015 survey, molecular diagnostics laboratories globally ranked QIAGEN No. 1 in overall brand image by a significant margin and No. 1 in the factors most likely to influence buying decisions, citing our high quality of products (71 percent), “best value for money” (77 percent), and fast and accurate delivery of products (77 percent). In the competitive life sciences marketplace, QIAGEN again led in overall brand image (53 percent) and ranked in the top three companies among our peers for all major factors influencing purchases. The impact of strong brand reputation and familiarity goes well beyond customer recognition. These values also help attract new employees, expand leadership and increase market share, while reducing costs and building competitive advantage. All of these factors make QIAGEN an economically and financially sustainable company.