Pharmaceutical company aims to make winners of all

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 July, 2009, 12:00am

Gold Award winner pharmaceutical company Pfizer Corporation encourages its staff to 'think global, act local' and has implemented a series of staff empowerment programmes to make 'everyone a leader'.

The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products globally.

'Our parent company was founded in the United States over 160 years ago. It has a clear mission and visions that the Hong Kong operation has adapted to the local culture,' said Stephen Leung, country manager of Pfizer Corporation Hong Kong.

The headquarters focuses on developing new products using the latest technologies. Collaborating with various top medical institutions is also high on the agenda. Local branch offices concentrate their resources on adding more value to the products by tailoring their services to meet the diversifying medical needs of different markets.

'As part of our CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme, we strive to provide access to our medicine to patients, particularly those in underprivileged communities whom we have not reached before,' he said.

Under its customer-focused service initiative, Pfizer Hong Kong provides extensive training in professional knowledge to its sales representatives. The company evaluates the performance of sales executives based on business results and looks at the quality of the service delivery process.

'Our clients are doctors who attach great importance to the in-depth product knowledge of the sales representatives of medicine. We properly equip our sales representatives so that they are able to add value in the service-delivery process and tailor the supply of our products to the specific requirements of individual clients,' Mr Leung said.

'We have given clear instruction that our sales representatives must refer any issues they are not sure about to the pharmacists at the office.'

Pfizer has established an information hotline service staffed by several full-time pharmacists to answer inquiries from medical professionals and patients.

To make its core values visible to staff, the Hong Kong branch has named all its meeting rooms after the core values set by the parent company.

'Because we believe the road to success is a journey, we have integrated the Continuous Improvement concept [CI] into all aspects of our operation,' Mr Leung said. 'The CI concept is a holistic approach which enables our employees to improve themselves on professional and personal levels.'

The company offers employees talent-development training. Staff are motivated to advance their personal growth through continuing education and the company also pays attention to employee well-being at work.

Pfizer Hong Kong's 'Care' culture introduces CSR activities to its employees. Care stands for communication, aspiration, reward and recognition, and encouragement and empowerment.

'By embracing Care, we will achieve the intended outcome - everyone is motivated to work together for a healthier world,' he said.

Good relationships among staff are important to the company and Pfizer Hong Kong holds weekly meeting involving all staff to build mutual understanding, trust and respect between the management and employees at all levels.

New recruits are asked to introduce themselves and sometimes act as masters of ceremony at the meetings.

'Meetings like these enable our employees to deepen their understanding of the corporate culture and core values,' Mr Leung said.

'They are motivated to add value to their work and to each other because we get their buy-in by giving them the ownership. For instance, individual employees have formed groups to participate in charity events on their own initiative. They have also taken the lead in alerting all colleagues to avoid certain high-risk areas since the outbreak of the human swine flu epidemic in Hong Kong.'

Staff participation in CSR programmes is an integral part of the talent development initiative developed by Pfizer Hong Kong.

'On top of donation of resources to various charities and community projects for the underprivileged, we ourselves personally get involved. Individual employees contribute their time and make use of their professional expertise to help those in need,' Mr Leung said.

For instance, managers in the human resources department have volunteered to help prepare some unemployed single parents for job interviews by teaching them techniques at a community centre. Staff in the information technology department regularly provides telecommunication support to various non-governmental organisations. Several pharmacists helped man the public enquiry hotlines set up during the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003.

Mr Leung also gives lectures at a local school for pharmacists regularly.

'The Gold Award belongs to all staff of Pfizer Hong Kong. We are very proud of their accomplishment,' he said. 'We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the judges and examining board. They provided us with a lot of insights regarding Total Quality Management.'