Life sciences organisation Bayer has rewarded its UK-based staff with a summer activity programme, which included free lunchtime barbeques and an Olympics-themed event.
Bayer, which employs 1,000 staff across three UK sites, introduced the ‘Cool Summer’ programme with the aim of creating a more relaxed atmosphere for employees over the summer, when staff numbers are often reduced while colleagues are on holiday.
The month-long programme was held at the organisation’s head office in Newbury in August 2016, with around 500 employees taking part in one or more of the events.
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Inspired by the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Bayer held its own ‘Baylympics’ event as part of the summer programme, where employees represented different countries and were able to compete in a range of activities such as darts, Wii games and office chair racing.
Winners’ prizes included vouchers for the staff restaurant, while those who preferred not to compete could still take part as games makers or spectators.
As well providing free lunchtime barbeques, ice creams and cakes, Bayer also set up outdoor-themed open spaces for informal meetings with colleagues, featuring deck chairs and bean bags. Games such as a Lego board and giant jigsaws were available, and employees were also able to participate in an organisation-wide book swap initiative.
Gary Bothe, head of HR at Bayer UK and Ireland, said: “We are driven by the passion to innovate and the power to change. The ethos to do things differently motivates our people. Our culture and how we treat our people is what helps us attract and retain the best talent in the industry.
“Cool Summer has been a very popular initiative and, given its success, it’s something we’ll look to repeat on an annual basis.”