That was the year that was: For Novo Nordisk humanity and being human defined 2017

That was the year that was: For Novo Nordisk humanity and being human defined 2017

What is Novo Nordisk and what makes it unique?

At Novo Nordisk, we are driving change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions. Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people with other serious chronic conditions: haemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 41,700 people in 77 countries and markets its products in more than 165 countries.

The Novo Nordisk Way is really what makes us unique, our special culture, which supports all of our employees to really focus on what matters in alignment with our core values, such as being patient centric and treating everyone with respect. It reminds us that patients are at the centre of everything we do, no matter which department we work in, and that our ethics must never be compromised.

Through our partnership with Team Novo Nordisk, the only professional cycling team whose members all have diabetes, we seek to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes.

We also try to find ways in which we can give back to the community and to engage our employees, particularly through TakeAction (Our Global volunteering programme) and Novo Health. These initiatives are underpinned by our Triple Bottom Line approach and giving something back and having a healthy and engaged workforce is very important to us, it just shows that sometimes it does not have to be all about work, we can do something else that will still have a notable benefit.

What does Novo Nordisk focus on?

Novo Nordisk is a world leader within diabetes care and has been producing insulin since 1923, however we are also very proud of our work within haemophilia, growth hormone therapy and obesity.

Since the company was founded in Denmark more than 90 years ago, we have been focused on improving diabetes care. Our key contribution is to discover, develop and manufacture better biological medicines and make them accessible to people with diabetes throughout the world. However, it takes more than medicine to defeat diabetes.

By partnering with patients, policymakers, healthcare professionals and non-governmental organisations we are helping: address diabetes risk factors in urban areas, ensuring that people with diabetes are diagnosed earlier and that they have access to adequate care to be able to live their lives with as few limitations as possible.

Did you have a set of established targets at the beginning of the year? Yes, both financial and non-financial targets ranging from our commercial expectations to how we go about educating HCPs and our work in the community. Every team and member of staff has clear key performance indicators which help to track effectiveness and we all ultimately work towards the same goal no matter what department we work in, and that is to help the patient at the end of it all.

What significant milestones has Novo Nordisk achieved in 2017?

We are pleased that we have continued to deliver the outcomes of clinical studies that demonstrate the significant potential and benefit of our medicines, for patients with unmet clinical needs.

Have there been any unexpected victories? In 2017 we were delighted that we were able to make our medicines more accessible for UK patients.

What single moment sums up your year?

We completed ‘Pedal for 7’. We had a team of cyclists that cycled for 5 days through 7 cities in the aim to inspire customers, patients and employees on the burden of diabetes.

What have been the biggest challenges over the last 12 months?

Brexit continues to presents challenges our organisation and our industry, along with the continued slow update and access of new medicines within the NHS. The outcomes of the Accelerated Access Review may help in part to address this.

What motivates your employees?

Often employees say that they like working at Novo Nordisk because of the people and the environment in which they work, but the real driver is always helping patients and supporting healthcare professionals.

As an employer, we are focussed on engaging our workforce and motivating them in the roles they do, but we recognise that we have to do things outside the roles to keep people engaged long term. Developing talent is a key area of focus and we believe this goes a long way towards showing employees we want to help them develop their career.

NovoHealth and TakeAction are two global initiatives that the employees love. NovoHealth supports employees to be healthy at work through healthy eating, 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 not always 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 and small group round table discussions with executive management.

We also launched our new employee engagement survey this year Ourvoice. This enables us to listen to the employees and gives us a good idea of how the employees are feeling, fortunately we had a very high engagement score which we are very proud of.

We also celebrated with our Novo Nordisk Way Ambassadors and Top Performers with our summer event at Wimbledon which as you can imagine was a fantastic day out and recognised those that really live up to the Novo Nordisk values and culture.

What does the future hold for Novo Nordisk?

We will continue to develop and launch new medicines to try defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions, especially in obesity.