Going Long on Benefits

Novo Nordisk

The small staff of Novo Nordisk’s Seattle office benefits
from generous policies set by the global pharmaceutical firm. Standing, left to
right: Jill DeGreen, Alex Simon, Mary Mainville, Angie Hammond, Noel Balantac.
Seated: Ida Mathiasen.

You’ve heard of free coffee, free soda and bagel Friday, but
at the Seattle branch of Novo Nordisk, it’s free fruit for all employees—delivered

Talk about approaching wellness head on. Perhaps it is not
surprising that as one of the largest biomedical and pharmaceutical companies
in the world, with 27,000 employees worldwide (and just 47 in Washington
state), Novo Nordisk addresses wellness with such direct and simple solutions.
The company’s been at it since its founding in 1923.

A major manufacturer of insulin and other pharmaceuticals,
Novo Nordisk takes care of its employees—or at least makes sure they take care
of themselves. Here in Seattle, the company provides employees subsidized gym
memberships, free flu vaccinations, three annual all-company events promoting
sports and outdoor activities, and a $100-a-month gift card for sports
equipment for all employees who bike to work. Each year, the company
participates in the Hewitt Benefit Index to measure where it stands with
medical/dental coverage among its peers. Novo Nordisk was ranked No. 1 three of
the past four years compared with 15 other major pharmaceutical companies in
its benefits group.

First Place

Large Companies Not Headquartered in Washington

There’s also an 8 percent 401(k) match, ergonomics experts
who visit to provide employee workspace assessment, and company-paid lunch for
all employees once a week. And, of course, the fruit.

Vacation benefits are similar to those at Novo
Nordisk’s Bagsvaerd, Denmark, headquarters. All employees get 11 holidays,
three floating holidays and up to 10 paid sick days annually. These benefits
are on top of the 15 days of paid vacation for anyone with up to four years of
employment. An employee who makes it to 15 years gets twice that—essentially a
month and a half of paid time off. 

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