AstraZeneca recognises that personal well-being is essential for employees to build the company’s innovation and creativity, adding competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive global environment.
Well-being in AstraZeneca is one of a broad range of initiatives aimed at promoting health, safety and welfare. In the UK, this includes a variety of support activities that covers all employees.
‘I found the counselling helped me to find out a lot more about myself, even though my situation was a personal one, I didn’t realise how much it affected my job.’
Employee, AstraZeneca UK
The programme has involved both standalone projects and improved management of health associated with ongoing activities, making costs difficult to quantify. However this is a fraction of the savings from a lower absence rate, estimated to save £5 million per year in the UK when compared with CBI data.
‘Corporate responsibility is not an add-on extra. It is an integral part of all that we do.’
Sir Tom McKillop, CEO, Astra- Zeneca.
This drive from the top leads to corporate managers taking staff health seriously. For instance, the head of global safety, health and risk management is involved with the development of innovative pressure management methods. Senior managers participate in one-to-one mentoring sessions on work–life balance.
In 2000, crossfunctional focus groups made up of a broad spectrum of staff representatives (including reps from Amicus, GMB and TGWU) worked to identify common principles for an environment that encourages physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being.