Wellness project helps boost AbbVie to Great Place to Work award
Judges praise biopharma firm’s efforts to develop unique and supportive culture
AbbVie was named Ireland’s number-one large workplace at the annual Great Place to Work Awards in Dublin recently
Global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie was named Ireland’s number-one large workplace at the annual Great Place to Work Awards in Dublin recently. AbbVie employs more than 600 people spread across five sites in Ireland. These include three manufacturing facilities in Sligo and Cork and two offices in Dublin which serve the needs of the company’s commercial and operations activities.
The judging panel reserved particular praise for AbbVie’s ongoing efforts to build a unique culture, the company’s wellness programme, employee development projects, and ongoing commitment to communities and patients.
Known as AbbVie Vitality, AbbVie’s wellness programme is 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, HR director with AbbVie in Ireland.
“AbbVie Vitality is our strategic approach to employee health and wellbeing 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. “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,” says McClafferty. “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 says. “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.”
According to Todd Manning, AbbVie’s general manager in Ireland, the company understands that addressing complex health challenges requires a comprehensive and responsible approach, and this also extends to the communities where the company has a presence. AbbVie therefore encourages employees to support worthy community causes and actively facilitates participation in a wide range of corporate-responsibility projects in the areas of science education and volunteering.
Week of Possibilities
One of the projects that has made the greatest impact in the company’s Irish operation has been the Week of Possibilities, AbbVie’s signature volunteering initiative. 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,” says Manning. “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.”
On the Great Place to Work award, Caroline McClafferty says the first-place ranking demonstrates the company’s “collective effort to foster an environment where people can thrive and develop. 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.”
According to Todd Manning at 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 says.