The awards ceremony for the European Best Place to Work Competition took place on Thursday, March 27th 2003 in Brussels. ALBA (represented by Mrs Zoe Kourounakou, Director, Applied Research & International Projects Department) was sellected and invited to present five of the ten best European workplaces, as well as fifty of the one hundred best European workplaces.
One Greek company, the pharmaceutical firm Janssen Cilag, was among the 10 best workplaces in Europe. The evaluation was based on the three following criteria: a) the trust of employees towards management and department heads, b) the sense of pride of department heads for their work, c) the satisfaction and content of employees regarding the good relationships with their peers and the “family atmosphere” within the company.
The 10 best European workplaces are the following (in alphabetical order): Asda (UK, retail chain), Caja Madrid (Spain, banking), Cloetta Fazer (Finland, pastry company), Ferrari Maseratti Group (Italy, car manufacturer), Janssen Cilag (Greece, pharmaceutical company), MBNA (Ireland, banking & finance), Microsoft (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, information technology), Unimerco (Denmark, materials & components manufacturer), VX Company (Holland, high technology) and Winterheller Software (Austria, information technology).
The fact that 6 Greek companies (Janssen Cilag, Piraeus Direct Services, Nova Bank, SAP Hellas, Kraft Foods Hellas, ΤΙΤΑΝ) are included among the 100 best European workplaces, was very favorably commented, since this percentage was substantially high compared to the percentages of the other 14 participating countries-members of the European Union.
During the ceremony, 3 companies received special awards by the EU Commissioner, Ms Anna Diamantopoulou. The 3 companies awarded exhibited outstanding contribution in the fields of life-long learning, diversity and gender equality. Namely, the special award for life-long learning was awarded to the law firm Hannes Shellman (Finland), the diversity special award to Intel (Ireland) and the gender equality award to Schering (Germany).
Ms Diamantopoulou expressed her satisfaction for the distinction of Greek companies in the European competition and added that she hopes that more Greek companies will invest in their people, by implementing human resources management practices.
The European Commission funds and supports the competition in the framework of initiatives that aim to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic world market. In this way, the European Union tries to emphasize human resources issues, improve working conditions in the European countries and promote the emulation between European companies, not only based on their financial performance, but also on the working conditions that they provide their employees.