Expanding a culture of Coaching and Development

Executive-Quality Coaching at BioMarin

Skillsoft & BioMarin Case Study

BioMarin Pharmaceutical, a global leader in developing first and best-in-class therapies that drive results for rare-disease patients, partnered with Skillsoft Coaching, to pilot a bespoke, scalable, executive-quality coaching program. The program targeted new and mid-level managers globally as part of a corporate initiative to expand its culture of coaching and development.

With 44 participants across the U.S. and U.K., BioMarin embarked on a new leadership development pilot focused on cultivating effective leaders who take an inquiry-based approach to managing others, lead with questions, and create ample space for reflection and experimentation.


Because their employees work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment using breakthrough science to develop innovative therapies for patients with rare diseases, BioMarin needs to ensure that all of their Learning & Development (L&D) programs can stand up to the intellectual and scientific rigor inherent to the technical nature of their workforce. It’s also crucial that their L&D initiatives reflect the culture and priorities unique to their organization.

To this end, they chose to customize Skillsoft Coaching’s onboarding assessment and 360°, incorporating the behaviors most important for successful leadership and management within BioMarin. Participants completed a diagnostic self-assessment and 360° tailored to BioMarin’s behavioral framework.

They then chose a subset of core development areas to be the focal points of their coaching engagement. With their initiative to create a culture of coaching, all BioMarin participants focused on ‘Coaching’ as one of their core development areas. Each coaching engagement consisted of twelve 45-minute sessions over the course of six months.


Skillsoft Coaching is dedicated to demonstrating quantifiable impact. Results are observed across three main categories, all of which are customizable to our partners’ culture and initiatives. The customizability of the focus areas in the assessment ensures that partners are able to drive their unique cultural values and leadership behaviors, as well as measure impact in key areas most relevant to them. BioMarin chose to customize a number of features in the three areas where we measure impact, namely:


Each Skillsoft Coaching participant focuses on three to four of the behaviors selected by their organization to be included in the initial diagnostic self-assessment and 360°.

Test Title

All BioMarin participants had the behavior ‘Coaching’ pre-selected as part of the organization’s initiative to build a culture of coaching among leaders. Participants recorded a 28.1% improvement in their ability to coach others after six months of coaching, while their 360° reviewers noted an 11.9% improvement.

Test Title

For the remaining behaviors, participants chose from 34 of BioMarin’s custom focus areas using a proprietary algorithm to suggest a subset of behaviors they might be most interested in. The most selected behaviors were ‘Delegating’ and ‘Thinking Strategically.’

Test Title

BioMarin saw an 18.8% average improvement in core focus areas across all participants after six months of coaching.

"Skillsoft Coaching created an environment and commitment for me to consciously make career development and self-reflection a priority.”



The BioMarin team customized the Sentiment Survey questions in order to understand the impact coaching would have on participants’ level of confidence as managers, how supported they felt by the BioMarin organization, and how focused they were on their overall development.

The results of the Sentiment Survey suggested that Skillsoft Coaching was a significant driver for managerial confidence building and development of focus. BioMarin managers felt better equipped to lead their teams, more recognized by the organization, and more in control of their careers and personal development.

After six months of coaching, they rated significant improvements across key engagement areas.

Improvements in Sentiment Regarding Confidence and Support:

  • + 11.2% "I am clear on my responsibilities as a manager.”
  • + 9.2% “When I do good managerial work, it is recognized.”
  • + 7.8% “I am actively focused on my professional development.”

Improvements in Development of Focus:

  • + 10.2% “I know what I need to do in order to advance in this company.”
  • + 13.8% “I have the authority and support I need to succeed as a manager.”

3. Goal Achievement

As part of their coaching engagement, BioMarin participants worked with their coaches to create an individualized development plan in which they identified specific goals and outcomes. The plan helps hold participants accountable, as well as provides them with relevant, concrete objectives whereby they can apply what they’re learning in their coaching sessions. Goals typically fall into one of three categories:

  • Personal Development
  • Team Development
  • Business Development

BioMarin coaching participants achieved an average 93.6% overall goal achievement across all three categories.



Average improvement in core focus areas across all BioMarin Participants


Average improvement in added clarity in participants’ professional development within BioMarin


Coaching Sessions


Avg. Session Rating

What do our customers have to say?

At BioMarin, our pioneering spirit pushes us to constantly envision and explore new possibilities in every aspect of our business. We are curious, adaptable, and committed to continuous learning. For this reason, coaching and fostering our next-generation of leaders is among our top priorities.

Amy Wireman

SR. VP, Human Resources, BioMarin


Has BioMarin’s story inspired you? Learn how you can unleash your organization’s edge by working with Skillsoft.


BioMarin is a global biotechnology company that develops and commercializes innovative therapies for patients with serious and life-threatening rare genetic diseases. The Company’s portfolio consists of several commercialized products and multiple clinical and pre-clinical product candidates.