London – September 25, 2017 – Global biopharmaceutical group Ipsen has partnered with learning specialist Hemsley Fraser to create virtual learning sessions to train its worldwide mentors and support a new performance engagement process. 

“We’ve created a global mentoring community to support the development of our talent pipeline and our newly-onboarded managers,” said Joanne Mortimer, Head of Learning & Development at Ipsen. “Because it’s difficult in a global organization to bring learners together for traditional programs, we decided to test out virtual learning to see whether it worked for us. We found that people feel very connected and well-supported in a virtual classroom. Even if you have 30 people in the ‘room’, it still feels very intimate because each of them engages directly with the facilitator. Participants also like the fact that virtual delivery avoids the need to travel and take time out of their diary.”

Ipsen selected 60 senior managers worldwide to take part in its pilot mentoring program. “We chose experienced leaders who had been nominated from across the business,” explained Joanne Mortimer. “Mentoring is about listening, sharing experience with humility, and guiding people on their development journey.”

Hemsley Fraser designed and facilitated an initial, informal ‘warm-up’ session to introduce the participants to virtual learning. This 45-minute session offered a chance to try out white boards and ‘break-out rooms’ and interact in polls. “It was a welcomed opportunity to get people comfortable with using the tools,” said Joanne Mortimer.

Hemsley Fraser then delivered six 90-minute virtual learning sessions highlighting what mentoring is (and isn’t); the benefits it provides; the characteristics of good and great mentors, and how to start off on a positive note.

“The facilitator was a mentoring expert who brought the key messages to life and explained that mentoring should support and complement the development provided by line managers,” said Joanne Mortimer. “He greatly encouraged all participants to share their own knowledge and experiences, and ensured that everyone was engaged throughout. Hemsley Fraser also delivered virtual learning sessions for our HR community, to help us embed the new mentoring process into our business.”

Recordings of each virtual session are now available as learning assets for Ipsen. “It was very easy for us to review all the sessions and to create a summary of the Q&A content, which we’ve shared with each participant,” said Joanne Mortimer. “The virtual recordings digitally capture all of the knowledge shared which thereafter acts as a valuable resource, as people can play back the sessions as needed. The learning therefore becomes fully-integrated into the business.”

The success of these sessions encouraged Ipsen to run live webinars, facilitated with the help of Hemsley Fraser. In these webinars, senior managers talked openly about how they’d resolved business challenges using Ipsen’s four action principles (accountability, agility, results-orientation, and team spirit).

“These were very pragmatic, ‘best practice sharing’ sessions and the feedback showed that people found them informative and inspiring,” explained Joanne Mortimer. “Again, we have recordings of these sessions which anyone in the business can access in the future.”

Ipsen is now using a blend of face-to-face and virtual learning to support the launch of a new performance engagement process and a new HR information system. Hemsley Fraser has designed four learning modules, covering: effective feedback (how to deliver continuous feedback); coaching for performance (taking performance to the next level); challenging conversations (how to handle them fairly and constructively) and high-performing teams (how to encourage all members of the team to work together effectively). There will be a multi-format approach to the delivery of these management skills development modules, including in-house delivery, utilizing Ipsen’s professional training network, and co-delivery with Hemsley Fraser. A mix of face-to-face sessions and virtual delivery will be used to best suit the needs and geographical spread of Ipsen’s management network across over 30 countries.

To provide additional support, Hemsley Fraser has designed and produced interactive eBooks on performance engagement, with digital media content, and it is creating an animation in which two characters – a manager and an employee – take learners through the performance cycle. The company has also developed a toolkit of advice and resources to enable Ipsen’s HR community to provide ongoing support to managers. These additional resources complement the learner-led e-modules available via the Ipsen Management Academy.

“Our managers need the right support in order to instil a new mindset around performance engagement,” said Joanne Mortimer. “With Hemsley Fraser’s support, we’ll launch and embed this new process, build a connected and collaborative management network and optimize how employees contribute and develop their potential in our business.”

Ipsen intends to expand its use of virtual learning and digital assets to support other development opportunities within the group. It also plans to deliver follow-up, experience-sharing virtual sessions for its global mentors.

For further information, please call Hemsley Fraser on +44 (0) 845 071 2801.

Background notes: Ipsen is a global specialty-driven biopharmaceutical group focused on innovation and Specialty Care. It develops and commercializes innovative medicines in three key therapeutic areas – Oncology, Neurosciences and Rare Diseases. Its commitment to oncology is exemplified through its growing portfolio of key therapies for prostate cancer, neuroendocrine tumours, renal cell carcinoma and pancreatic cancer. Ipsen also has a well-established Consumer Healthcare business. With total sales close to €1.6 billion in 2016, Ipsen sells more than 20 drugs in over 115 countries, with a direct commercial presence in more than 30 countries. Ipsen’s R&D is focused on its innovative and differentiated technological platforms located in the heart of the leading biotechnological and life sciences hubs (Paris-Saclay, France; Oxford, UK; Cambridge, US). The Group has about 5,100 employees worldwide. Ipsen is listed in Paris (Euronext: IPN) and in the United States through a Sponsored Level I American Depositary Receipt program (ADR: IPSEY). For more information on Ipsen, visit

Founded in 1991, Hemsley Fraser provides training courses, digital and blended learning solutions and managed learning services that help to transform individuals, teams and organizations. Part of the Demos/Weidong global family, it delivers learning in 90 countries. The company is consistently ranked each year as one of the world’s top 20 providers of leadership training – and as a top 20 training outsourcing company – by the global learning portal For further information about Hemsley Fraser, please call Amanda Dawson (PR contact) on +44(0)20-8953 8863 or e-mail her at