Gary Bothe, Director of HR at Bayer UK & Ireland, chats about the correlation between their ‘Baylympics’ and improved productivity.
What can HR and businesses do to create a relaxed atmosphere during both traditionally relaxed and busy times of year?
Creating a relaxed atmosphere – be it in busy or quieter times of year – is essential for a fully functioning, productive workforce. As technology has evolved, the distinction between work and home-life has become increasingly blurred. All too often, this means our colleagues can find it difficult to ‘switch off’, a much needed requirement if you want perspective to deal with challenges in working life.
Did you notice a correlation between the ‘Baylympics’ and improved productivity?
Absolutely. As well as improved productivity, staff were also introduced to other parts of the business and new colleagues that they weren’t previously engaged with. The simple fact is: in large organisations many people never interact with parts of the business they don’t directly work with. However, this often means business opportunities are missed, purely because people don’t realise they exist. We’ll definitely be running similar events in the future, to capitalise on the success we enjoyed over August.
What else has Bayer done to earn its place as the top ranked biotechnology and pharmaceuticals company to work for?
It is a key objective for us that Bayer is a great place to work. We believe our HR activities have a key role to play in promoting Bayer as a trusted partner in the life sciences sector – and we have a variety of dedicated programmes internally to help us do exactly that. We do a vast number of things to promote and support employee wellbeing, including providing free employee medical cover, discounted dental care, employee discounts, including gym membership and we even gave our employees an additional day-off for this coming Christmas because we achieved a really high ranking in our first year as a Great Place to Work company. As we plan for our move to our new corporate HQ in Reading, we are also fostering more flexible working, to support employee wellbeing and this fits nicely with our two of our cultural anchors of trust and experimentation.
As well as this, we have a proactive approach towards diversity and foster a culture of passion and innovation. All employees are encouraged to introduce new ideas and approaches, regardless of their length of service or experience. This is why our employer branding emphasises this – “Passion to Innovate. Power to change. We also regularly update all staff about the strategy and direction of the company and report all news – good or bad – before it goes to the media.
All of these things help us to ensure we are a great place to work. However, in a constantly evolving market, the measure of success is not achieving it once. We will continue to work with representatives across the business to ensure we achieve it again (and again!).