While the majority of businesses were sending employees home at the beginning of the pandemic, Moderna was rapidly scaling. When the pharmaceutical company joined the race to a vaccine, it grew overnight by more than 2,000 employees. Suddenly every Moderna employee was thrust into the public spotlight, making it more important than ever for leadership to ensure employees and their families felt cared for and supported.  

In this episode of the PRovoke Media Podcast, Megan Miller, head of content partnerships at PRovoke Media, talks with Scott Allison, global chairman & CEO of Allison+Partners, and Tracey Franklin, chief human resources officer for Moderna, about the impact of the pandemic on Moderna — a company that was propelled to global notoriety as it worked toward a Covid vaccine — and the role culture played in its success. 

Allison and Franklin discuss the immense value of face-to-face video calls with their people during a crisis, as well as the unexpected ways in which they met the needs of their employees during a time of risk and uncertainty. Moderna’s established culture that already prioritized taking care of its people was put to the test during the pandemic as employees’ needs demanded new types of support that included things like childcare and meal deliveries. It was this commitment to putting people over the work that was instrumental in Moderna’s successful development of a Covid vaccine.

Topics like burnout, growth, working from home and handling being a company shot into the global spotlight as Moderna was are also discussed.  

Topics covered: 
05:58 Rapidly hiring over 2,000 employees and the need for detailed company culture
11:06 Ways in which a public relations firm integrates with a fast moving client organization
13:00 How Allison+Partners and Moderna pivoted early in the pandemic to support teams
16:48 The role of face-to-face interactions during a crisis
19:37 Addressing the public spotlight in the midst of pandemic response
24:05 The role of authentic leadership and what it means for a brand
26:25 The importance of self-care for leaders in the midst of a long-term crisis
29:11 Keeping tabs on the well-being of employees and encouraging time off
30:57 The values that got Moderna through the pandemic