AstraZeneca has a long history of recognising and rewarding outstanding performance within their business. The Academy was created as an incentive programme, designed to not only reward staff, but to become a unique management tool that has helped define the culture and effectiveness of the UK Sales and Marketing Operation. It has played a pivotal role in the development of the UK business through recognising employees – both sales force and head office – for outstanding achievement.
Only the “best of the best”, the top 5% qualify annually to become “Academicians”, through consistently achieving excellence against personal pre-determined measurements. They are firstly recognised at an exclusive winner’s lunch where the UK Senior Management Team personally welcome them to the Academy and publicly applaud their achievements. They are then rewarded with a place for themselves and their partner on a fabulous, luxury, all expenses paid, 4 day, overseas event. Last year’s trip to Boston received outstanding feedback from the winners who enjoyed fantastic activities including their very own America’s Cup Sailing Regatta.
However, that is only the beginning as the “Academicians” behaviour and performance make them clear role models for their colleagues and peers within the business and are recognised publicly as such. Through the programme they are identified as potential for the company’s talent succession planning; future leaders in the making. In 2014/15, 42% of winners secured a promotional role within 12 months of achieving their Academy place and for 8%, that role was within the Global not UK organisation.
The Academy has driven every aspect of performance, which can be seen in both the qualitative and quantitative results achieved. Increases in revenue, employee engagement and effectiveness scores, as well as consecutive periods of growth. The Academy has delivered against every one of its objectives for AstraZeneca.