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Eli Lilly employs around 1,500 people, with an additional 500 outsourced & contract staff involved in the provision of day-to-day support services for the company’s operations. The manufacturing campus in Kinsale employs over 750 people, and supports the commercialisation, manufacture and supply of many of the medicines in Eli Lilly’s portfolio.

Promoting Workplace Wellbeing – The Process

Eli Lilly took a number of steps to promote workplace wellbeing:

  • Gained management commitment and employee engagement
  • Used the HSA Work Positive Survey to identify what was important to employees
  • Identified what was already being done in the wellbeing space and increased employee’s awareness of these programmes
  • Developed a holistic integrated wellbeing programme based on four elements, Live Safe, Live Fit, Live Healthy and Live Well
  • Developed an annual calendar of wellbeing events, identifying local, national and international events
  • Used data from the Employee Assistance Programme  to help identify areas to focus on

Initiatives were evaluated using a wellbeing survey in 2012 and 2016. On-site class metrics from the Fitness Centre were measured and reported to senior management. Feedback was requested from employees who attended information sessions as part of the wellbeing programme.


  • Identifying and communicating the need for developing a site wide wellbeing program and building a case when the organisation was going through change was a challenge.
  • Organising events based on what employees wanted was also a challenge. Using the Work Positive Survey to identify the needs and wants of employees helped rectify this.


Low cost or no cost initiatives were used. External low-cost awareness programs offered by Cancer Society, Irish Heart foundation, Pieta House were engaged. Collaboration with the company Health Insurance Provider ensured support for events.


  • Employees increased their physical activity through use of Fitness Centre
  • Lower absenteeism rates
  • Talent attraction and retention
  • Relationships built within work groups and the wider Lilly community


  • Identify what is  already being done in relation to wellbeing  and build on these programmes
  • Brand programmes so all initiatives are recognisable to management, employees, and key stakeholders.
  • Use networking opportunities.
  • Align initiatives with organisational objectives and goals.
  • Consider low cost or no cost initiatives.