Summer parties motivate staff at Astellas Pharma Europe

Astellas Pharma Europe motivates its 550 UK employees in the warmer months by offering summer parties, sports facilities and flexible working arrangements.

Astellas summer parties

The pharmaceutical organisation, which employs 15,000 people across 40 countries, engages its UK staff with an annual summer party, which employees can invite their family to. The parties are also themed. For example, the theme of its 2014 party was the ‘Wild West’.

Robert Wigmore, senior manager, reward and human resources at Astellas EMEA, says: “With about 25% of our employees having a family, a gathering where families and partners are welcomed is ideal and creates a buzz among staff.

“We had about 250 staff attend the 2014 party, which shows how popular and appreciated these are.”

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Staff are also offered the opportunity to take up Astellas’s flexible hours policy, which is particularly utilised in the summer months.

Wigmore says: “Many employees being on holiday during the summer can make the office disjointed, which is why we make the most of the isolated environment we have. Our offices are located by a river and lovely fields.”

Staff can also take advantage of the on-site sports court, as well as take part in the Global Corporate Challenge, which the organisation has participated in since 2010.

In addition, Astellas’s corporate social responsibility agenda enables staff to take a day to carry out some improvement work in the local area.

For instance, Astellas staff help to redecorate and make improvements to a local special-needs school. Wigmore says: “This really resonates with employees because they get out in the open air and do something worthwhile. We help out the same place every year, which allows us to see how we have really helped [it] out.”