How could a little blue man change a company culture? {video}

Recognition AstraZenecaWhen leading global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca decided to take a fresh look at what it meant to be an ‘employer of choice’ in its Australian operations in 2009, they went all out and decided to have a bit of fun in the process.

They set out to create a strong culture of recognition across their remarkably diverse workforce and at the heart of their plans was a small blue mascot – ‘Charlie’ – who quickly became synonymous with recognition and reward. Four years on, he is still an immensely popular and recognisable figure across the organisation.

The ‘’myRecognition” program was launched in January 2010 but that name is now all but forgotten – employees across the company are always on the look-out for ‘Charlie-worthy’ behaviour, and ‘Charlie points’ have become the single (sought after) recognition and reward currency.

Engagement levels are evident everywhere – past competitions have seen employees donning blue face paint, surfing with Charlie cut outs or even submitting Charlie-related poetry to be front and centre in the AstraZeneca recognition landscape.

The program’s success was formally recognised by being named Best Employee Incentive Program at the Incentive Marketing Association’s Circle of Excellence Awards 2013.

But don’t take our word for how deeply Charlie has become embedded in the culture of AstraZeneca; watch the video to see what Mark Fladrich, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, and Kimberly Elliott, Director of Human Resource Management – and others – think about Charlie and his impact on the company culture.