“Mēness aptieka” has once again been recognised by the international Best Places To Work programme. The award is granted to the best workplaces in the world after assessing employee satisfaction with the company’s leadership, values, HR management, remuneration and other benefits, colleagues and company atmosphere, work-life balance, overall commitment to the company and the company’s impact on society. In total, eight aspects of the company’s work environment are assessed in different ways during the certification process, and in one of the assessments – a survey carried out by international experts – employees of “Mēness aptieka” voted it the best place to work.
“For the second time, “Mēness aptieka” receives the international award for the best workplace in Latvia. We are a stable, modern pharmaceutical company, loved and valued by our customers and employees. Caring for the professional growth of our pharmacists is an important part of our sustainability journey. Together we learn, collaborate and continue to improve our daily processes and work environment. We take care of our customers and the whole community in a responsible way. The recognition we have received is motivation for further improvement and growth”, says Vilma Druliene, Chair of the Management Board of “Mēness aptieka”.
So far “Mēness aptieka” is the only pharmaceutical company in Latvia to have applied for and received the international Best Places To Work certificate, notes Baiba Pedraudze, the company HR Director: ““Mēness aptieka” has received the internationally recognised best workplace certificate thanks to our employees and managers. Teamwork and continuous development are our strength, both in our daily work, additional training and improvement of various processes. We base our daily work on the values such as care, responsibility and knowledge”.
The evaluation of the programme is in fact an audit of processes. Together with the Best Places To Work certificate, which confirms that “Mēness aptieka” deserves its best workplace status, the programme experts also made recommendations on what can be improved to make the work environment more pleasant and motivating for employees.
One of the eight aspects assessed by the experts was the diversity of the workforce; employees at “Mēness aptieka” range in age from 18 years old, some of whom are still studying, to employees in their 80s, who have a wealth of experience. Training was also an important aspect of the assessment of the company, and here the strength of “Mēness aptieka” lies not only in the continuing training opportunities provided to employees, but also in the way it involves representatives of other professions in the pharmaceutical sector, providing opportunities for retraining, for example as pharmaceutical assistants. In this way, 200 of the 1,150 employees of “Mēness aptieka” started working here right after retraining as pharmaceutical assistants, and according to Baiba Pedraudze, these people start their new career with a certain motivation and are therefore very responsible both in their training and later in their working life. “We are pleased that so many employees have rated “Mēness aptieka” as the best workplace in a survey carried out by international experts – 72% of the team have confirmed this. And as many as 85% said that “Mēness aptieka” is a team, this is particularly important in a large pharmaceutical company. At the same time, we are aware that we still have room to grow and we need to keep working on improving processes. We also have a high global engagement score of 79%, which is the result of combining data from employee surveys and data provided by the company management on various processes and measured against other international organisations”, says Baiba Pedraudze, HR Director at “Mēness aptieka”.
From a professional point of view, such an award from the international Best Places To Work programme means recognition and confirmation that the way a company works on a daily basis, what initiatives it takes and how it treats its employees are highly valued. From an emotional point of view, such an award motivates employees – it makes them proud of their workplace, gives more meaning and value to the little things that everyone in the company does every day. Of course, it also makes the company more attractive to potential employees and inspires confidence in customers.
Jeļena Bebre started her career as a pharmacist and for five years she has been the pharmacy manager at “Mēness aptieka” located at Riga East Clinical University Hospital: ““Mēness aptieka” is a company where it is possible to improve yourself and further your career, which I also take advantage of through the additional training it offers. I enjoy organising the work of the pharmacy, communicating with both customers and colleagues, and I am actively involved in creating educational materials for the company publicity, for example on social media. I manage a team of four people and we work together to ensure that customers get everything they need. Working in a hospital pharmacy has its peculiarities, there is a lot of communication with doctors about the medicines needed for therapy, explaining to customers about the correct use of medicines, side effects, drug interactions. I really appreciate the work and support of our team, both the pharmacists and the management!”
Pharmacist Kristaps Moločenko started working at “Mēness aptieka” three years ago after his studies and is satisfied with his chosen workplace: “I like to help people, so I am glad that this is possible in the pharmacy in all kinds of situations. I serve an average of 100 people a day and I put a little bit of myself into every conversation! It is important to me that every customer feels that I am a true pharmacist, because during the consultation they receive what they need as well as gain an understanding of how to use the medicine. The most rewarding moment is when the customer comes back after a while and thanks me for the advice. We arrange shift work so that everyone can work at their own pace, combine work with studies or other activities outside work. I want to grow professionally and regularly attend training courses offered by “Mēness aptieka”, thus refreshing my knowledge and adding to it. The training also provides an opportunity to receive continuing education points. I appreciate that the company organises group events for employees, where during the day we have educational lectures, etc., and in the evening we can relax together and get to know our colleagues from all over Latvia”.
For Sandra Liepiņa, a change of career, becoming a pharmaceutical assistant with the support of “Mēness aptieka”, has changed her whole life. Not only does she now work in one of the oldest pharmacies in Latvia – Jaunā Torņakalna aptieka in Riga, but she has also moved to the capital from Aizpute after changing her profession. This choice was influenced by events in her personal life, but now Sandra Liepiņa is happy with what she has achieved – the work gives her both satisfaction and the opportunity to be closer to her grown-up children. “I used to work as a physician’s assistant, but realising that joining the pharmaceutical industry would open up new opportunities for me, I decided to apply for a training programme offered by “Mēness aptieka”. I worked at the pharmacy during the week and travelled to Riga on the weekends for 2.5 years and studied at the Riga First Medical College of the University of Latvia. Of course, it was a challenge at my age, but I proved to myself and to others that I could become a pharmaceutical assistant! There were several of us in the programme at similar ages, supporting each other. I am a living proof that if you are motivated, anything is possible! Of course, I have to continue my education now to be able to do my job to the fullest, and “Mēness aptieka” helps us a lot in this respect”.
Best Places To Work is one of the most popular programmes in Europe among employers, including pharmaceutical companies, it provides an objective assessment of a company work environment. Participation in the programme is voluntary and it is up to the company to choose whether to be assessed. In total, the certification process assesses 8 aspects of the company work environment, which are evaluated by employees as well as by representatives of HR and other departments of the company administration. If a company achieves the required score for international certification, it qualifies for Best Places To Work status.
The pharmacy company “Mēness aptieka” has both small pharmacies in the regions and pharmacies in shopping centres and polyclinics. The company has pharmacies with a doctor's office next door, 24-hour pharmacies and pharmacies with in-house medicine production. The “Mēness aptieka” brand is also used by one of the oldest pharmacies in Riga – “Vecpilsētas aptieka”, which has been in operation for more than 200 years, as well as by all well-known 24-hour pharmacies in Riga – “Kamēlijas aptieka” and "Jaunā Torņakalna aptieka”. “Mēness aptieka” has also implemented the option of remote pharmacist consultations and home delivery of pharmacy products (including prescription medicines when necessary).
“Mēness aptieka” is the most loved and responsible brand in the pharmaceutical industry in Latvia. In a survey of the population, using a special internationally recognised methodology, “Mēness aptieka” has been ranked first in the pharmaceutical industry of the TOP 10 most loved brands in Latvia.
“Mēness aptieka” is a customer-friendly company and has been certified as a “Customers’ Friend – Superior Excellence” / “Customers’ Friend – Because it’s you we care about” by ICERTIAS.
“Mēness aptieka” is the most sustainable brand in the pharmaceutical industry in Latvia. This is evidenced by the latest results of the Europe’s 2022 Sustainable Brand Index. In people’s opinion, sustainability for “Mēness aptieka” as a pharmacy brand available throughout Latvia is an important feature.
In 2022 and 2023, “Mēness aptieka” has been awarded the international programme’s Best Places To Work certificate, an award for employee well-being indicators within a company.