Stories and Viewpoints
Voices of Viatris
By: Niki Kapsambelis
February 22, 2022
For Ashley Tisdale, her role in developing talent is more than a career; it’s a part of the legacy of strength that she inherited and strives to live every day.
As a third-generation educator, Ashley’s desire to help people broaden their knowledge base is, quite literally, written into her DNA. But unlike the classrooms where her mother and grandmother taught generations of children, the tools of that trade are now at her fingertips.
A manager of Viatris’ global talent development team, Ashley focuses on managing and transforming the company’s e-learning strategy – a project that has grown substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel we’ve jumped light years ahead,” she explained. “Our days have changed. A little bit of time has opened up. On our lunch breaks, we can take a stroll around the neighborhood and take 10 minutes for development. People are seeing the advantage of having learning at their fingertips, on demand.”
As people transition to new positions or roles that may be unfamiliar, learning resources used by Viatris colleagues for business and leadership skill development have taken a front-row seat as tools that enable them to pivot more confidently. These assets also help people who may be looking to upskill.
Ashley’s mother just retired from 42 years of teaching elementary grades, all in the same school. And her grandmother taught for more than 40 years – also in a single building. In both cases, they taught students and then those students’ own children. And both women had a profound influence on Ashley.
Knowing what they accomplished “made us work hard to raise that bar,” Ashley said. “When I think about the hard work, resilience and sacrifices that were made for me to be successful, I feel it’s my responsibility to make good on the promise of every generation to do better than the one before it.”
She began her career, like her mother and grandmother, in the classroom, where she created curricula for students with special needs. That led her down the path of instructional design, taking what she had learned into the corporate world to create and develop training for adult learning.
“It’s a very natural progression. I saw the passion that my mother had, that my grandmother had, for teaching – for helping others achieve their goals. And that’s where I am today,” Ashley said.
Hearing positive feedback from people about how much they like content on the platforms she manages, and how they apply the skills learned to their roles is rewarding, she said. Users report that the content is easily accessible and has led to improvements in performance and productivity. She hopes to continue expanding Viatris’ offerings to open more opportunities for mentoring and digital coaching, as well as interactive learning. And she encourages people to challenge themselves not only in the content they access, but in the people they work alongside.
“It’s all about stepping outside your comfort zone. We’re all so quick to stay inside the realm of what, and who, we know and what’s safe,” she says.
Sometimes, people don’t know where to start, so Ashley has a simple recommendation: start out with lunch. A simple “we don’t know each other well, but do you want to go to lunch – in person or virtually?” can help people learn from each other, both personally and professionally, and gain an appreciation for who they are, what they do and how they contribute each day.
That kind of collaboration is why Ashley likes being at Viatris: “It’s - fantastic to be at an organization where you actually feel like part of a team.”