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WHAT’S on your mind Beyond the Basics A friendly work environment goes a long way. Flexibility to move your schedule around to accommodate issues related to family/kids also is important. An industrysize salary, and a fair bonus system based on work effort com bined with good insurances and 401K savings opportunities are other more basic require ments. Anna Buckley SENIOR MEDIA PLANNER CMI INC. Building Comradery Obviously, recognition on a company or industry level is important. But I think the daytoday expressions of support are vital as well. These could include happy hours or din ners to just get everyone together in a festive atmosphere outside of the office so that people get to know each other on a different, perhaps more personal level; emails and memos com plimenting some important completed task or project sold; even small supplies of donuts for breakfast, cookies after lunch etc. to give peo ple a break from their day and a small unmen tioned thank you for their work. These may be minor, but I believe they keep people going, making them feel good about working there and that they are appreciated. Mike Reynolds DIVERSION MAGAZINE An Educated Employee is a Happy Employee In an effort to motivate and incentivize employees, in February 2001, ArQule’s mar keting communications department institut ed the “Employee Education Program.” This program is founded on the belief that if employees know more about the industry in which ArQule operates (drug discovery), the pharmaceutical industry, and drug discovery in particular, they will be more enthusiastic, more motivated, and more interested in, and engaged with, the success of ArQule. The program is simple — reprints of rele vant articles are circulated to all employees. Articles are derived from a variety of sources including the “Wall Street Journal,” industry publications, and busi ness/financial publications and are at a level that can be understood by all employees (everyone from our receptionist to our Ph.D. chemists). To encourage readership of these articles, a series of quiz questions derived from the article itself are circulated with each arti cle. Employees who submit correct answers to all questions by a set deadline are rewarded with a prize which has the ArQule logo on it (Tshirt, pen, laptop bag, travel mug, etc.). For select quizzes, one or a few prizes are offered (rather than a prize for everyone) — prize win ners are chosen randomly from among those employees submitting correct answers. These prizes have included tickets to a local sporting or theater event, or a gift certificate. In addition to earning prizes for each quiz, participants receive a reward point for each quiz they complete. These reward points can be used like airline frequentflyer miles — employees can cash in points during the year for great prizes such as concert tickets (one of our scientists just won two luxury box tickets to a Paul McCartney concert), premium seat ing for sporting events, and even a chance to play in a celebrity golf proam tournament. The executive assistant to the CEO took her stepdaughter to the N’sync concert with tick ets she won through the program. Half of ArQule’s 400 employees participate in the program. Feedback has been tremen dous — employees feel as though they are learning about ArQule, the process of drug discovery, and the pharmaceutical industry. They love being rewarded for their efforts and many have a great sense of pride about the prizes they earn. As a result of this program, many employees feel more engaged in the suc cess of ArQule. Will this education program retain an employee who is unhappy in their current position? No, but we firmly believe that the program makes the work environment at ArQule an even better experience. Christine Quern DIRECTOR, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS ARQULE OPINIONS Keep ’em smiling … In the April 2002 issue of PharmaVOICE, we asked how companies are keeping employees motivated, incentivized, and smiling on a regular basis. We want to know what types of ”personal” incentives are keeping employee turnover to a minumum. Keeping All Involved At VisionLine Media we have several core items that keep our employees interested in continuing to make VLM better. We evoke decisionmaking policies that involve cost efficient measures of creating, designing, and producing a show. The entire “team” receives a bonus when a show gets completed prior to the established time. Individuals receive a commission on the net revenue upon job com pletion. We have employee profit sharing. And, for our sales people, we have a faststart bonus in the first quarter of each year. Frank Burns VISIONLINE MEDIA Making a Difference I think one of the biggest reasons turnover is low across inChord is that each employee has the opportunity to make a significant dif ference as part of a team that works together to provide clients with innovative solutions. Keeping employees smiling starts with hiring those who are self motivating and pas sionate about what they do and who are inher ently driven to expand upon their existing talents. As our company has grown, we’ve added formal training initiatives to allow for sharing skills across teams and personalized development programs to help each employ ee grow by investing in their specific needs. Personal incentives across the organization include everything from formal recognition programs to simply empowering managers to find what makes each of us tick and acting upon it — anything from concert tickets to an impromptu halfday off work after a major project success. In addition to personal rewards, the envi ronment and culture of each company is expressed in ways that are motivating. At our WHAT’S on your mind Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer (GSW) office in Columbus, the space itself reflects a culture of creative spirit that encourages idea exchanges among teams. For example, the agency estab lished several “family rooms” with names such as Big Pickle and Brainstorm, which are fur nished and decorated around fun themes to encourage creative thinking. At our interactive company, Blue Diesel, the office furnishings and decor reflect a pro gressive, cuttingedge environment. Another motivating thing is having fun — we take time to celebrate our successes and to simply enjoy getting to know one another so when we do face challenges, we’re that much more driv en to pull together and work through it. It’s truly a different marketing communications company and that feeling is one that attracts top talent and keeps them here. As once an intern at GSW 10 years ago when we had only 40 people, I myself rejoined GSW as they expanded and my career was evolving. For the past four years, I’ve had the privilege of seeing it grow and now marketing it as inChord, a company of more than 500 associates across seven companies worldwide. Caren L. Henry DIRECTOR OF MARKETING INCHORD COMMUNICATIONS INC. CrossTraining The incentives Peregrine Pharmaceuticals offers to retain employees are stock options, a good workplace atmosphere, and we strive to promote from within. We also permit employ ees to change disciplines within the company as long as they can meet the requirements for the new job function. This expands the employees’ job experience and gives the company cross trained employees. Most of our employees like working in cut tingedge medicine because of the challenges it provides and knowing that they are saving peo ple’s lives. Edward Legere PRESIDENT AND CEO PEREGRINE PHARMACEUTICALS INC. Employee Appreciation We have a large number of personal incentives that we think are helpful in keep ing our employee turnover rate to a mini mum. In addition to a very competitive ben efits package (including 401K, short and longterm disability, 12 paid Common Health holidays, paid vacation, flexible spending account, legal plan, etc.), we offer a wide variety of employee appreciation pack ages. Some specifics: . The Money Purchase Plan — Once an employee has been with the company two years, 10% of their salary is matched by the organization each year and put away for the employee in an interestbearing account. Employees are able to direct where the money is invested. The money remains in the account for the duration of their tenure with Com monHealth. . WPP (parent company) stock options are automatically awarded each year to staff mem bers who have been with the organization for two full years. They are then exercisable in three years. . Family Day — during one work day in the summer, CommonHealth sponsors an annual “Family Day” picnic, which allows employees the chance to relax and have fun with their colleagues and family members. Always an entireday event, Family Day is held offsite at a number of different locations, and all attending are given the opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities — everything from swimming to fishing, softball to tennis, roller blading to arts and crafts. Of course, there is always a large amount of food and beverages to appeal to all palates. . The employee “Thank You” program — a strictly colleaguenominated program, which allows coworkers to say “thanks” to one another when someone goes above and beyond the call of duty. Depending on the good deed being commended, employees are given gift certificates for dinners out at local establishments, movie coupons, music store coupons, etc. . Employee referral program — for jobs that become available within the Common Health network, if an employee refers a candi date and that candidate gets hired by the com pany and stays for at least six months, the referring employee receives $3,000 compensa tion. . The John F. Zweig Odysseus Award pro gram — a program created to honor one of the founding members of CommonHealth. Creat ed to inspire employees to map out their own visions of personal and professional challenges and growth, helping to finance the best of these dreams. Interested employees submit a proposal to the Odysseus committee — one that explains the personal “journey” they would like to take and how it would benefit not only them, but CommonHealth and the community, as well. Past recipients have been given funding to take motivational courses, develop a Website for hospitalbound chil dren, take a trip to Nepal, benefit N.J.based artists by having a gallery to showcase their work (and purchase works for display at Com monHealth companies). . CommonHealth University — During company time (9 a.m.5 p.m.), staff members are given the opportunity to attend classes on a wide variety of industryrelated and/or job specific topics. Classes are taught both by internal and external experts. . Tuition reimbursement program for full time, benefitseligible employees who choose to continue their education toward a higher degree or course that relevance to their job at CommonHealth. . Every Monday, CommonHealth brings in bagels for employees in honor of employees celebrating a birthday that week. Employee birthdays are posted in the kitchen so others will know who to thank for the bagels that week. . Each year on the anniversary of their employment with the organization, employees receive a delivery of one rose for every year they have been employeed with CommonHealth. . There are no set number of allowed “per sonal” or “sick” days — it’s up to the employ ee and their manager to determine what is (and is not) reasonable. Beth Porteous VP, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS COMMONHEALTH Recognizing the Extra Mile Cline, Davis & Mann recognizes those that go the extra mile with an “above & beyond award” given to about 10 people every quarter. Pictures of the awardees are proudly displayed on a board in the lobby, a memo is sent to the company highlighting their efforts, not to mention a good old fashion financial incentive. In addition, CDM offers generous bonuses, beautiful office space, and great clients. What could be better? Debbie Renner VP, ASSOCIATE MEDIA DIRECTOR CLINE, DAVIS & MANN A WellBalanced Company We have a few programs for employee retention: summer hours (close at 1:00 every Friday during the summer); company sports teams (softball, flag football) and we’re good!; allcompany outings — usually something competitive like paintball or football; and annual anniversary celebrations (this year Rick French took the whole agency and guests to see Jimmy Buffet for our fifth anniversary). We also have very robust benefits for all associates. Finally we were ranked by Inside PR as the agency with the “Best Work/Life Bal ance” in the nation. Britt Carter VP RICHARD FRENCH & ASSOCIATES 9 PharmaVOICE M a y / J u n e 2 0 02