People & Culture

Building an Enduring Company Culture

Posted By Gerald Quirk, Chief Operations Officer, Lisa Roberts, Associate Director, Human Resources,

June 2, 2020

By Gerald Quirk, Chief Operations Officer, Lisa Roberts, Associate Director, Human Resources

One Team, Strengthened by Diversity: Syros Core Values

Culture is what sets the great companies apart from the good. It informs not only what a company does but how it does it, what it stands for, and how people interact with each other and with the outside world. And great cultures don’t happen by chance.

Sure, sitting on the other side of the interview table (or these days, the screen) when candidates ask about culture, we can talk about our competitive potlucks, weekly massages, mid-day yoga and mindfulness classes (all on-site events, some of which we've taken virtual)—but that is not what ties us together as a team. That is not what keeps the pulse of an organization going through big challenges like the ones we’re all facing now as individuals, as a company, an industry and a society. What unites us is our Core Values.

Since the earliest days at Syros, we have intentionally set out to create a culture that puts patients front and center, fosters innovation and collaboration, and encourages our employees to learn, grow and, most importantly, be themselves.

None of that has changed, but in the years since our founding, we have evolved from a discovery-stage to a development-stage company, expanded from a handful of employees to nearly 100, and have great plans for future growth. Always remaining mindful that great cultures need to be nurtured, we decided it was time to review, reaffirm and refresh the Core Values that serve as the foundation of our culture.  

So we turned to our greatest resource – our employees – and asked what values were most important to them and what made us who we are as a company. Here is what emerged.

As one team, strengthened by our diversity, we:

  • Value each day of patients’ lives
  • Operate with integrity and respect
  • Inspire excellence in all
  • Communicate transparently
  • Embrace big challenges

These refreshed Core Values speak to how we work together, every day, to achieve our mission of transforming patients’ lives and deliver our vision of becoming a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company that creates unparalleled value for patients and other stakeholders.

They reflect that we are one team, working together toward our shared mission and vision, that our diverse backgrounds, perspectives and ways of thinking make us stronger, and that we harness the power of that diversity by empowering each of us to use our VOICE.

Value each day of patients’ lives

It’s no coincidence that this value is first: it is at the heart of everything we do. We work with urgency because each day of a patient’s life matters, and we are committed to doing everything we can now to speed the discovery and development of medicines that provide a profound benefit for patients.

Operate with integrity and respect

Integrity and respect are not new words for us. They were part of our original Core Values and were two of the top values our employees told us were foundational to who we are and how we operate as a company.

Inspire excellence in all

We strive every day to bring our best selves to work and bring out the best in each other. We strive to inspire excellence in others, both within and outside our company, through our actions and our example. By inspiring excellence in all, we achieve collective greatness as a company, an industry and a community.

Communicate transparently

Communication is one of most important factors in ensuring that a team effort really works – and how we communicate can change outcomes. Transparent communicating means we are honest, that we share relevant information with each other and with the outside world, and that we listen. Transparent communication builds trust, and trust allows us to accomplish great things together for patients, our community, and our other stakeholders.

Embrace big challenges

Though last, this value is by no means the least. It speaks to our curiosity, our thirst for innovation, and the boldness with which we approach everything we do. Something is only impossible until someone makes it possible.

The reflection of who we are is built into these Core Values. What best defines our culture is a team of people who can be our true selves as we set out to deliver transformative medicines to patients, because these values are the common thread.

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