The need for a sense of purpose and belonging has never been more important than in the COVID-19 era.

At Medtronic, purpose and belonging have driven our business since 1960, when our Medtronic mission was written. Our mission dictates our first and foremost priority is to contribute to human welfare. Today, this is our North Star, continuing to serve as an ethical framework and aspirational goal for all Medtronic employees globally. It guides our day-to-day work, reminding us that our efforts are transforming the lives of millions of people each year even during the pandemic.

Tenet 5 of our mission calls on us ‘to recognize the personal worth of all employees’. This tenet stands at the root of our efforts to create an inclusive workplace as we work to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life. It reminds us that everyone is different and that our differences make us better. To this end, we believe that Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) powers the potential of our people, so we ingrain ID&E into all people practices, systems and culture. Simply put, if we aren’t inclusive at our core, we cannot maintain a diverse workforce.

“To this end, we believe that Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) powers the potential of our people, so we ingrain ID&E into all people practices, systems and culture.”

Our purpose is grounded in our mission and we are continually building and evolving to build a workplace that provides a consistent employee experience across the globe, recognizing, rewarding and caring for employees throughout their career journey with us. This feeling of purpose and belonging drives personal accountability ensuring our customers are the center of everything we do. 

When the global pandemic hit, our focus was to maintain the wellbeing of our employees, but also asked ourselves, how can we continue fostering a sense of belonging for all employees in a virtual environment?

The answer: our employee resource groups (ERGs) which are employee-driven groups designed to inspire and bring about change in the organization. We have a range of ERGs, including ERGs dedicated to women in the workplace, our LGBTQI community, and also includes social clubs.

Developed in conjunction with our ID&E and culture efforts, our ERGs work to ensure that all employees feel a sense of belonging at Medtronic. During the pandemic and lockdowns, our ERGs brought us together and helped us connect above and beyond the virtual team meetings, or all-company online events.

For example, we had Paralympian Dylan Alcott speak at one of our ERGs about disability and how we can all be advocates, while Medtronic Women’s Network raised nearly $4,000 for Red Nose Day.

Our ERGs reminded us that by continuing our ID&E efforts, we are building a better work environment for all our employees.

At the same time, we also continued to share patient stories to maintain our employees remained strongly connected between the work they do and the impact it has on our patients. Our patient story program is one of the most powerful and unique ways in which we bring our purpose to life.

The need for a sense of purpose has become more important than ever before for many companies. The pandemic has meant new employees not only want to see this when they go into a new job but expect their employers to be true to their mission. Companies need to ask themselves how they are bringing this to life and are they taking their employees on this journey.