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What’s great about Abbvie?

The biopharmaceutical company has been named Ireland’s number one large workplace by the Great Place to Work Institute

AbbVie employees from the company’s Cork, Dublin, and Sligo centres celebrate AbbVie’s first-place ranking at the Great Place to Work Awards.

AbbVie employees from the company’s Cork, Dublin, and Sligo centres celebrate AbbVie’s first-place ranking at the Great Place to Work Awards.


AbbVie, the global biopharmaceutical company with a significant presence in Ireland, has been named as the country’s number one large workplace by the Great Place to Work Institute. The company has been listed among the Best Large Workplaces in Ireland for the past five years and was placed third on the list in 2016 and 2017. The company’s first-place finish also ensures it remains the highest placed employer in the biopharmaceutical industry across all categories.

AbbVie is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. The company employs more than 600 people at five manufacturing and commercial sites across Ireland.

The Great Place to Work Institute audits the policies and practices in place in organisations. These include employee development, hiring practices, recognition and communication. It then benchmarks these against other organisations. Two-thirds of each workplace’s score comes from the results of the Trust Index Employee Survey, with up to one-third of the remaining marks based on a thorough assessment by Great Place to Work of a company-wide Culture Audit. AbbVie scored higher in the survey than its large company peer group in key practice areas.

The Great Place to Work Institute team were also impressed by AbbVie’s ongoing efforts to build a unique culture and praised the company’s wellness programme, employee development projects, and ongoing commitment to communities and patients.

“This first-place ranking demonstrates our collective effort to foster an environment where people can thrive and develop,” says AbbVie’s director of HR in Ireland, Caroline McClafferty. “It’s a tremendous achievement for the company and a reflection on our employees across our five sites in Ireland who have embraced the AbbVie culture and continue to remain focused on making AbbVie a truly great place to work.”

Employee effort

According to general manager Todd Manning, the result reflected an enormous employee effort and illustrated the focus which has been placed on building a strong culture since the company was formed five years ago. “We are very focused on creating a company culture which reflects our values and aspires to make a remarkable impact on patients’ lives in Ireland and beyond,” he adds.

The company’s wellness programme is a multi-year, all-Ireland initiative built around employee requirements which reflects best international practice. “At AbbVie, we are continuously looking at ways to help our people balance their work and personal lives,” explains Caroline McClafferty. “AbbVie Vitality is our strategic approach to employee health and well-being and it includes programmes, resources and tools that educate and encourage employees to proactively manage their own health and wellness. AbbVie Vitality is focused on encouraging behaviours that lead to healthy, engaged, resilient employees, who in turn create an environment that fosters innovation and creative thinking.”

The programme has been designed to respond to ongoing feedback from employees and recent activities have included seminars to help guide employees through the challenges of parenthood; the rollout of a cross-site mental-health roadshow; a safe driving campaign; sleep workshops; and ongoing health screening and physical-activity-focused initiatives.

Employee development is also of key importance, McClafferty adds. “Our people are the most important drivers of success and the company continues to help employees build the skills they need to master their current role while preparing them for changing demands and possible future job responsibilities. In the past 12 months, we have rolled out a number of innovative development and learning initiatives, which are targeted at all employees right across the organisation in Ireland.

“Company culture is also incredibly important to us,” she continues. “It is central to our collaborative, innovative and agile business. We offer something unique in the challenging world of biopharma – an environment of learning and transparency, offering opportunities for early responsibility and growth to retain the best talent.”

AbbVie encourages employees to support worthy community causes and actively facilitates participation in a wide range of corporate responsibility (CR) projects in the areas of science education and volunteering. “One of the most impactful projects in Ireland was the Week of Possibilities, AbbVie’s signature volunteering initiative,” says Manning. “Last year, more than 400 AbbVie employees volunteered almost 1,700 hours to projects that reflect the company’s ongoing commitment to science education.

“Initiatives like Week of Possibilities demonstrate our deep commitment to giving back to our communities and people in need. These volunteer opportunities are critically important to who we are as a company and the fabric of our culture,” he adds.

“As a company, we are also committed to leveraging our expertise in the field of science and business practices to help transform education in the communities in which we work, and our work with schools in our communities reflects this ambition.”?