Sustainability Report > Workforce > Employee Recruitment, Engagement & Retention
Sustainability Report

Employee Recruitment, Engagement & Retention

Employee turnover


Retention rates after parental leave

Employee training hours

Programs for skills management

Employees receiving regular performance reviews


Edwards Lifesciences’ work to improve Employee Recruitment, Engagement and Retention supports our Aspiration to Attract and Engage Talented Employees.

Developing strategies for attracting, developing and retaining employees.


Management Approach

Edwards Lifesciences unites our employees around a common passion for improving patients’ lives. We execute our work with the utmost precision and care, knowing our therapies have the power to positively impact patients in a real and lasting way. And we’re committed to this vision for years to come. As a growing company, our culture must attract and retain top talent that will continue to advance our progress.

Training & Leadership Development

Our greatest assets are our employees’ knowledge and skills. To foster their personal and professional growth, we provide development opportunities through many programs. Edwards University is an online platform comprised of “colleges” and centers of excellence with targeted instruction for the diverse responsibilities of our workforce. These include:

  • College of Engineering
  • College of Information Technology
  • College of Operations
  • College of Sales and Marketing
  • College of Supply Chain
  • College of Quality, Regulatory and Clinical
  • Leadership Development
  • Corporate Business Practices
  • Business Excellence
  • Centers of Excellence: 
    • Product Lifecycle Management
    • Global Health Economics

Our leadership development curriculum, Aspire, offers skill-based workshops to our professional employees. Curriculum topics include: 

  • critical thinking
  • strategic execution
  • project management
  • time management
  • leading at Edwards
  • performance management
  • finance for non-financial managers
  • effective conversations
  • powerful speaking
  • situational leadership
  • communicating among different personalities

We design our signature programs to aid in the development of our top talent around the globe. These are nomination-based programs that build leaders for the future. The Edwards Lifesciences Leadership Program (ELLP) focuses on our culture and living the Edwards Credo. Participants learn to be trusted partners with each other, in business and in the community. With case studies, experiential learning and a capstone closing activity, the program offers participants an experience they will take with them through the course of their careers.

We also nominate leaders to participate in the Edwards Leaders Forum, a nine-month cohort-based program that focuses on the whole person. Incorporating a variety of assessments, executive speakers and discussion-based learning, participants apply what they learn in their current and future roles. Finally, we offer employee tuition assistance for continuing education and degree programs at higher educational institutions.

Fostering Employee Engagement

Edwards regularly conducts an Employee Survey to measure employee satisfaction across a variety of dimensions, including quality, trust, empowerment, involvement, engagement, retention and charitable activities. This feedback helps us sustain the things we do well and close the gap where we need improvement. Our Executive Leadership Team reviews survey results, selects priority areas for development and implements action plans at both the corporate and manufacturing levels.

One priority is to expose all Edwards employees to patient stories each year to improve engagement. Additionally, we have a goal to provide a vehicle to engage employees in sustainability efforts by 2018.

Recruiting Top Talent

To attract and retain top talent, Edwards provides competitive compensation and benefits packages. Our goal is to maintain a healthy and productive workforce and provide effective programs while continuing to manage costs. We offer performance-based incentives, stock options, retirement plan options, paid time off, family leave and health, life and disability insurance.

Edwards recruits the best students from universities across the world to join our team. Our programs include:

University Recruiting

Labor Relations

Edwards does not operate in collective bargaining environments. In Singapore, we register with the National Trade Union Consortium to help maintain positive labor relations. We’ve established a good reputation for workplace standards, collaborating with the union to maintain balance in our Singaporean workforce.

Annual Performance

As we grow, Edwards Lifesciences continues to strengthen our employee engagement initiatives. In our 2016 Pulse Employee Survey, we continued to improve on measures of engagement, quality, trust and retention. Results also yielded improved scores in our focus on process simplification and empowerment. Our 2016 Employee Value Proposition Survey of our hourly manufacturing employees provided a baseline for how well Edwards delivers on topics that are important to our employees. We rated highly on patient focus, product quality and trust.

Fostering Employee Engagement

In 2016, we provided patient stories to most of our employees at Edwards’ regional headquarters and manufacturing facilities. We accomplish this goal through the use of video, live presentations and our company’s OneEdwards intranet via a dedicated “Patients First” section featured on the homepage. In addition, these stories are shared at all employee meetings held regularly at our major locations, with office personnel, at annual sales and marketing meetings for field personnel and at annual global summits held for our functional groups. We estimate that 90 percent of our global employees were exposed to at least one patient story in 2016, and believe the majority had the opportunity to interact with multiple stories during the year.

During numerous meetings around the globe in 2016 with corporate employees, senior leadership and field sales, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Mussallem recognized Edwards’ sustainability efforts and progress. In addition, our Corporate Responsibility Officer highlighted Edwards’ progress during international site visits, engaging with employees and seeking feedback. To further engage employees in sustainability, Edwards will utilize a new engagement vehicle by 2018—a goal the company commits to meet. 

Parental Leave

In 2016, Edwards continued to offer both our male and female U.S. employees the opportunity to take parental leave.

  Male Female
  2016 2015 2016 2015

U.S. employees 40 or under





Employees who took parental leave





Employees who returned from leave





Employees still employed within 12 months after leave*





Return to work rate





1 year retention rate





*As of December 31, 2016

Employee Training

Edwards supported employee development in 2016 by providing instructor-led training opportunities, tracked through our Learning Management System (LMS), as well as online training through Edwards University. 

  Male Female

Average hours of instructor-led training per year per employee



Average hours of online training per year per employee






Tuition Assistance Program

In 2016, Edwards offered our U.S. employees tuition assistance for educational programs.

  Employees Participating in 2015 Percent of Employees Participating*

Hourly Non-Exempt



Salaried Exempt Employees



Salaried Non-Exempt



*As of December 2016

Sustainability Targets
Actively engage all Edwards employees by exposing them to patient stories each year.
Attract and Engage Talented Employees
Sustainability Targets
Provide a vehicle for employees to engage in sustainability efforts by 2018.
Attract and Engage Talented Employees
Highlight Story
Internship Program Partners with National Society of Black Engineers
Edwards University Recruiting Team partners with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) offering paid summer internships to its membership of professionals and college students. Opportunities include project-based training and experience in the areas of quality, manufacturing and research and development. We conduct interviews and recruit at NSBE’s regional meetings and annual convention. In 2016, we interviewed 52 candidates and hired eight interns for our programs in Irvine, CA, and Draper, UT, campuses. In November 2016, one of those interns was hired full-time in our Technical Development Program.