Human Resources

Boehringer Ingelheim claims ‘Global Top Employer’ award

Health Industry Hub | January 27, 2021 |
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Pharma News: Boehringer Ingelheim has been named one of the world’s 16 best employers in the Global Top Employer 2021 rankings, with the company’s Australia and New Zealand business recognised for excellence in strategy, corporate culture, and employee engagement.

The Top Employers Institute is an independent authority that audits and recognises excellence in people practices. Certification is based on a rigorous program examining Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Wellbeing, Diversity & Inclusion, and more.

Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim Australia and New Zealand, Wes Cook said to be recognised globally and locally for organisational excellence was an enormous honour.

“At Boehringer Ingelheim, we have always viewed our people and culture as core to our success,” he said.

“For 135 years, Boehringer Ingelheim has remained a family-owned company with a clear vision and strong values. This is reflected in the way we work; from the people we hire to the way business decisions are taken and communicated.”

Mr Cook said that Boehringer Ingelheim has focused on organisational stability with the flexibility to think and plan in generational terms.

“At the heart of our business are talented and passionate people. In growing their careers with Boehringer Ingelheim, our employees have not only helped deliver year-on-year growth in Australia and New Zealand but are each passionate about the work they do to improve the lives of patients and animals,” he said.

The Top Employers Institute highlighted the long-term strategic orientation, modern management culture, open communication with employees, and inclusive corporate culture of Boehringer Ingelheim at the local and global levels.

Boehringer Ingelheim Australia and New Zealand Human Resources Director, Elaine Wilson said, “These are all ingredients to create closer ties and loyalty among employees and the company”.

Ms Wilson stressed that meeting the grade to receive a Global Top Employer ranking requires a whole-of-company effort to integrate business strategy with corporate culture and development opportunities throughout an employee’s career.

“The rigour involved in meeting benchmarks set by the Top Employers Institute highlights the extent to which our people and teams are invested in our company vision and culture.”

“2020 was a year of challenges and change. What held us in great stead was the sustained investment we’d made in change management and leadership skills since the integration of the Merial Animal Health business in 2016.”

Ms Wilson said that cultivating an inclusive culture in which company values are embraced and lived required a practical and consistent approach.

“From induction and training to talent development and leadership succession, every team member is 100 per cent clear on the behaviours that we expect and that lead to success in our company. One of the things that stand out is our ‘no-blame’ culture where finding solutions to problems is a shared responsibility.

“Hierarchical or functional barriers are impediments to effective teamwork,” she said. “We have strong programs and processes in place to ensure our people know one another and are comfortable presenting ideas or seeking support, knowing that colleagues across the business will be receptive, regardless of their role or seniority.”

Initiatives developed locally to enhance cross-functional teamwork include the Boehringer Ingelheim Australia and New Zealand Business Acumen Capability program and My FOCUS cultural program which provide employees with the opportunity to step outside their day-to-day roles and work with colleagues across the business to accelerate learning and skill development.

Mr Cook acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic had challenged businesses worldwide.

“Of course, the primary focus for Boehringer Ingelheim Australia and New Zealand was to protect the health and safety of its employees. Beyond this, the company’s strong culture and commitment of team members meant that we were not only able to support the needs of our people but also supported their drive to go above and beyond to deliver for customers, care for patients and support the community,” he said.

“When uncertainty presented, we saw our ‘can-do’ culture come to the fore. Our people demonstrated ingenuity in working together and with colleagues around the world to provide an uninterrupted supply of medicines to clinical trial patients across state borders and helping doctors and veterinarians navigate new ways of managing patients.

“We also saw increased interest in volunteering to help communities significantly impacted by the pandemic, and we responded by providing ten additional days of paid volunteering leave to every employee around the world. Locally, this led to Boehringer Ingelheim team members donating their time and expertise at animal shelters, aged care homes, supporting the Smith Family and volunteering with a broad range of community-based organisations across Australia and New Zealand.”

Alongside flexible work arrangements and an Employee Assistance Program, in 2020 the company strengthened its focus on mental health and wellbeing, introducing a sustained year-round program that delivers weekly interactive seminars, webinars and portal access to practical resources to support employees and their support networks.

“Looking after one another – whether it be mental or physical, in the work environment or at home – is a fundamental part of the Boehringer Ingelheim ethos,” Mr Cook added.

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