Total Employee Engagement

Faced with challenging economic realities, Medtronic closed fiscal year 2011 with a global restructure that included reallocating human resources and streamlining HR processes to improve efficiencies and support the company’s long-term sustainability. These actions reinforce our commitment to employee engagement, as we acknowledge the value it generates in productivity, retention, customer satisfaction and corporate financial performance.

Our fiscal year 2011 engagement highlights include initiatives to recognize and guide performance, encourage community outreach and charitable giving and foster diversity and inclusion in Medtronic workplaces around the world.


Medtronic introduced eMpower during fiscal year 2010 to drive three key elements of employee engagement: fostering participation, recognizing performance, and maximizing employee potential. As part of this initiative, Recognize! was rolled out globally during fiscal year 2011 to acknowledge individual and team accomplishments that help Medtronic achieve its Mission. The Recognize! framework includes peer-to-peer thank-yous and an awards program that allows managers to confer an array of points or cash rewards to employees based on a consistent set of guidelines. In total, nearly 24,000 thank yous were issued to employees from their managers or peers and more than 18,000 financial awards were given through the program during fiscal year 2011.

Performance Acceleration

Responding to feedback from managers and employees around the world, Medtronic began transitioning to a more frequent and efficient performance review process at the close of fiscal year 2011. Our new Performance Acceleration process replaces a numeric rating system, designed to differentiate performance among employees, with focused discussions about an individual’s performance against specific business objectives. The process allows for quarterly feedback and goal setting between managers and employees and ensures that individual, team and departmental objectives remain relevant to critical business activities.

Employee Resource Groups

Medtronic’s Global Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement team supports 14 different employee resource groups (ERGs) around the world. Each ERG has a formal mentoring program, and in FY11 the mentor programs were in high demand. For example, one ERG, the Medtronic Women’s Council, supported 158 matched mentor/mentee pairs in FY11 which was a 92% increase from the previous year.

Diversity Training in India

With a goal of creating a model for other emerging markets, Medtronic launched a diversity and inclusion training program in India in partnership with the Office of Workplace Inclusion. The training consisted of four all-day sessions held at each of our facilities in India. The training also generated an organization development effort that included creating a Blueprint for Change strategic plan for Medtronic India with goals to increase diversity and representation of women at professional and managerial levels and to develop initiatives around recruitment, development, retention and recognition of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Medtronic launched an India Inclusion Council and plans to develop a Women’s Employee Resource Group in conjunction with this program. To learn more about diversity and inclusion at Medtronic, please read our 2010 report.

Volunteerism and Giving Survey

Results of a global employee volunteerism and giving survey indicate that 95 percent of Medtronic employees give to charitable organizations. In addition, nearly 74 percent reported participating in hands-on, skills-based or Medtronic-sponsored volunteer projects during the past year, and 70 percent indicated that they’d like their volunteering to impact their local communities. Project 6 is one example of how Medtronic helps employees globally benefit their local communities. For information on other ways we support employee volunteerism and giving, please read our 2010 report.

For information on our management approach to employee engagement, please read our 2010 report.

Project 6 Demonstrates Employee Commitment to Local Communities

Photo of Project 6
Medtronic employees in the Czech Republic spent several hours building pathways, cleaning forest areas and repairing a fence in the Krkonose National Park on June 9, 2011 as part of a recent Project 6 event.

Our June 2010 Project 6 global volunteerism event engaged more than 2,000 employees in 80 volunteer events in 22 countries in fiscal year 2011. Participation in the program doubled from its inagural year in 2009, as did the various local outreach events which included collecting and packing food for the hungry, reading storybooks to preschoolers, cleaning local parks and wildlife areas, and building and repairing homes for those in need. At the outset of fiscal year 2012, participation continued to grow as Project 6 inspired more than 4,200 employees from 36 countries to participate in 255 projects during June 2011.

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion through Project SEARCH

Medtronic is the first employer in Minnesota to implement Project SEARCH - a business-based model of training and employment for people with disabilities.

During fiscal year 2011, Medtronic participated in Project SEARCH High School Transition, a one-year business-led internship program for students with disabilities that takes place during their last year of high school. The program, which is targeted for students whose main goal is competitive employment, takes place in a business setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process through continuous feedback and application of new skills.

Students interning at Medtronic completed rotations in manufacturing, Document Solutions (indexing and reproduction) and Expense Reporting departments. One intern was subsequently hired to work at a Medtronic manufacturing facility. A new “class” of interns will begin rotations in September 2011.

“I sincerely enjoyed having the Project SEARCH interns as part of my team,” said Kathy Daas, Senior Finance Manager at Medtronic. “The interns displayed great attitudes and brought an abundant amount of enthusiasm to the job every day. I believe that my team and I have all developed a heightened sensitivity and understanding of diversity, inclusion, and patience, which has resulted in a deeper level of trust and respect for our co-workers. I was extremely proud to be allowed to experience the power and passion of the program and look forward to my continued involvement.”

Project SEARCH is a collaborative effort of Medtronic, Minnesota Department of Education, local school districts, Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), Anoka County Community Transition Interagency Committee (CTIC), Anoka County Developmental Disabilities, and Project SEARCH.