- Location: Worldwide
- No. of employees: 58,000 (10,000 in UK)
- Business sector: Pharmaceutical manufacturing
- Business activities: Pharmaceuticals
- Stakeholders: Employees, union representatives, occupational health and human resources professionals and senior management
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.
What did the company do?
- Work–life balance
- Rehabilitation and treatment services eg physiotherapy, counselling and return to work programmes
- Health promotion eg sports facilities, health screening
- UK health insurance spend is lower than benchmarked, saving £200,000 a year
- UK absence levels are 31% lower than average levels for the UK quoted by the CBI
- Employees note significant improvements in concentration and productivity at work
- Ranks in top 10% of Dow Jones Sustainability Performers worldwide, in the top 20% in Europe, and recently listed in the FTSE4Good series
Health and safety benefits
- 53% reduction in ergonomic-related cases per million hours worked by UK employees in first 6 months of 2003
- Downward trend in number of work-related stress cases
- Scores for depression in UK staff are 20% to 30% lower for under 40s compared with BUPA averages
'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.