Our way: Talent attraction specialist, Gemma Sawyer, reflects on a memorable 2016 for Novo Nordisk

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What makes Novo Nordisk different?

Novo Nordisk is a unique company because we really care about our social, environmental and financial responsibility and, indeed, how this is perceived by our customers, employees and healthcare professionals. We also have the ‘Novo Nordisk Way’ – a special culture, which supports all our employees to focus on what matters most. It reminds us that the patient is at the centre of everything we do, no matter which department we work in. Additionally – through our partnership with cycling team Team Novo Nordisk –we seek to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. We also give back to the community through initiatives such as TakeAction and Novo Health. It’s not always about work.


What is Novo Nordisk’s main focus?

Novo Nordisk is a world leader within diabetes care and has been producing insulin since 1923. We are also very proud to work within haemophilia, growth hormone therapy and, more recently, obesity.


Did you have a set of established targets at the beginning of the year?

We have targets, both financial and non-financial – ranging from our commercial expectations, to how we go about educating HCPs and our work in the community.


What significant milestones has Novo Nordisk achieved in 2016?

In 2016 we continued to deliver the outcomes of new clinical studies that demonstrate the potential of our pipeline medicines.


Have there been any unexpected victories?

In 2016 we were delighted to make our medicines more accessible for UK patients.


What single moment sums up your year?

Our move into obesity, at time when the burden of this disease is increasing in the UK, has been a key milestone for us.


What motivates your employees?

When you ask employees why they like working at Novo Nordisk, they will often talk about the environment and atmosphere. We are very focussed on motivating them, while also recognising that they have to be active outside their roles to remain engaged.

Developing talent is a key area of focus and we believe this goes a long way towards showing employees we want to help them move forward in their career. NovoHealth and TakeAction are two global initiatives that the employees love; NovoHealth enables the employees to be healthy at work through eating well, going to the gym, attending pilates classes, tracking their steps with their ‘fitbits’ and keeping an eye on their health with our annual wellness days. TakeAction gets our employees out in the community, giving something back, and it doesn’t even have to be related to diabetes. Employees work with local charities to help out and show that, as an organisation, we care about others and we want to make a difference. We also have great leaders that communicate with the business and encourage honesty and transparency through regular company meetings.


What does the future hold for Novo Nordisk?

We will continue to develop and launch new medicines to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions. In the immediate future we look forward to our new CEO, Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, starting in January 2017.


Did the EU turbulence affect your company?

Our first commitment is to the patients we serve. As long as people with diabetes, haemophilia and other chronic disease in the UK need our care, Britain will remain important for Novo Nordisk. We will continue to monitor developments following the ‘leave’ vote to ensure we continue meet ing the needs of patients in the UK.

Go to novonordisk.co.uk