A look into how GSK provides a secure and comfortable culture in the workplace

Being part of a workplace environment can be daunting, especially if you do not feel comfortable with your surroundings or fellow employees. Workplace culture is an extremely crucial element in ensuring employees can enjoy the work they do that occupies an exceptional amount of their time.


GSK recognise how important culture is as they believe that providing a secure and comfortable work culture can not only help an employee embrace their new role but it can also support their health and wellbeing as well as contribute to future career developments. GSK feel their culture is driven by performance therefore, striving for a comfortable work culture is a key company objective as it provides their employees with a supportive environment in which they can continue to achieve their goals both professionally and personally.

GSK focus on what matters most to their employees, helping them in three key areas; to be themselves, feel good and keep growing, in ways that work for them. Find out more about what each of these mean to GSK in detail below.


Be you

GSK currently have over 94,000 employees, all with different background cultures, experiences, and lives. With such a diverse community within the organisation, GSK is committed to wanting to create a secure working environment in which all their employees feel supported enough to reach and achieve their full potential. To strive in ensuring each and every employee can truly be themselves whilst working, GSK have introduced four global diversity councils which covers disability, ethnicity, gender, and LGBT+ that help in providing support across the organisation for these aspects. Another form of support given to GSK employees across the world are their 13 Employee Resource Groups. Over 10,000 passionate employee volunteers partake in these Resource Groups with the main aim of supporting inclusion and diversity across the organisation.

With an initiative to support gender diversity, GSK have set themselves a long-term objective to increase gender diversity at all levels within the organisation. GSK now have a 2022 goal, with a mission to increase their female representation in senior roles to 37%. This is an imperative step for GSK to take and commit to in order to show their company attitude towards inclusion of all genders and cultures.

GSK have a strong focus on the promotion of inclusion regarding their LGBT+ employees within the organisation. GSK have set themselves a goal to be acknowledged in global LGBT+ indices. On top of setting this goal for the organisation, for two consecutive years, 2019/20, GSK were recognised by LGBT+ rights group, Stonewall, as a Top Global Employer. GSK have gone to great lengths and efforts to show and prove that every employee can truly be themselves whilst working, and their triumphs have been rightly awarded.


Feel good

Mental health and wellbeing are key factors that contribute to employees’ work life, any elements of poor mental health and wellbeing can affect a person’s ability to work or generally enjoy their time spent in a place they spend a large majority of their time. GSK are extremely committed to ensuring the protection of their employees’ health and wellbeing, ensuring their people have access to unlimited sources of support that help make everyone feel very comfortable with their health and wellbeing whilst working.

One effort in contributing to protecting employees’ health and wellbeing, is their Partnership for Prevention programme which allows employees and their families access to preventative healthcare in 127 markets. Since the programme was established, it has benefited 172,366 people by giving access to 125,414 services, an incredible figure that GSK should be extremely proud of. GSK also launched ‘Mental Health Matters’ training for all line managers that would provide them the opportunity to increase their awareness, skills and knowledge to offer beneficial support to their employees when needed. Employees are also provided access to counselling across all levels of employment that can help overcome both professional and personal problems to better improve their work capability.

GSK are intent on not only caring about their employees’ mental health but also their physical wellbeing. GSK are continuously offering their employees exciting ways to take control of their health, to manage their energy levels and adopt healthy behaviours. In 2019, over 15,000 employees took part in several energy and resilience programmes whilst also collectively taking more than 20 billion steps in the 2019 Virgin Pulse Global Challenge – this allowing GSK to gain the title of the Most Active Organisation for the 4th year running!


Keep growing

GSK are committed to improving the development of all employees’ careers, not only through promotions and advancements but by building experience and capability. In order to do so, GSK implemented a development portal called ‘Keep Growing Campus’, this portal allows employees access to several resources that match to their roles, development needs and interests. The Keep Growing Campus allows employees the opportunity to select specific resources that they personally want to investigate or ones in which they believe would help improve their work abilities and further grow their career in the best possible way.

Another career growth initiative put into place is the Early Talent programme, which has become established across the world with a goal to help develop talented students, graduates, and postgraduates. This year alone, 799 individuals are involved within the graduate and MBA programmes across the globe and approximately 398 apprenticeships are running across several locations including the UK, US, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, and Belgium.

In 2019, GSK piloted a new programme with 845 of their leaders with a focus on supporting the continuous investment in progression of leadership within the company. The new programme is expected to be rolled out again this year across all levels to hopefully increase the leadership roles within GSK.


How can other companies ensure a secure and comfortable work culture?

GSK demonstrate how to achieve a secure and comfortable company culture for all their employees through a number of initiatives. Taking inspiration from them and implementing some of what we have discussed here could therefore help you take a step towards improving your own company culture. From inclusion policies and resource groups to health and wellbeing programmes and personal and professional development resources; these are just some of the ways in which you can start to create a safer and more enjoyable environment for your employees.

However, it’s not a case of just putting a few things in place and job done. You should also regularly review your company goals and reset them where necessary to ensure the culture is continuously improving in accordance with your company objectives as well as individual needs. Listen to what your employees are asking for to help them feel more secure in their job role as the happier your employees, the better the work culture! Take note from GSKs’ contributions in providing a safe work culture and consider how you can achieve this environment too.