As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, health care and biopharmaceutical companies are on the front lines of treating victims, advising the public and pursuing effective medicines.

Employees at these organizations are putting their bodies on the line to care for patients and working around the clock to find a vaccine to the novel coronavirus.

It’s not surprising that many of the leading organizations during this difficult time are also Best Workplaces in Health Care & Biopharma ™.

Here’s what some of the best in the business are doing in response to COVID-19.

They put their people first

Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder is among the leaders taking a vocal stance to protect health care employees and the community amid the COVID-19 crisis.

On March 27, Van Gorder issued a statement saying that Scripps expected to be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients in a matter of weeks if stronger actions weren’t taken. He also:

•   Called for a reevaluation of which companies are “essential”

•   Urged people to take social distancing more seriously

•   Said the “shelter in place” mandate must be stricter.

“I realize that may mean a more significant effect on our economy,” Van Gorder wrote, “but as a health care provider, my concern is about the health and well-being of my doctors, nurses and support staff, as well as that of my own family. And yours.”

They stay true to their values

Not all the companies on the list are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they all have high-trust cultures whose lessons may be helpful now. For example, leaders who demonstrate company values during tough times and difficult decisions inspire employees.

One Best Workplace whose leaders have lived their values is Curology, a virtual dermatology products company that focuses on acne and anti-aging medications.

Curology has three values:

•    Humility

•    Get stuff done

•    A team-first attitude

These values affect employees even before their first day on the job.

According to Lindsay Putzer, Vice President of People and Culture, they’re a key part of the interview process. When you ask the right questions, she says, it becomes clear whether people are genuinely humble.

“My favorite question is, ‘Tell us a time you made a mistake, or about a time you got feedback about how you could be better,’” Putzer says. Candidates with large egos tend to say things like “I hold myself to too high a standard.” People who are a better fit for Curology will share their foibles and flaws openly, or otherwise respond in a vulnerable way, she says.

Curology’s values also affect who can stay at the company. An employee who hits their performance targets but fails to demonstrate a humble, team-first perspective simply doesn’t fit the company’s vision. “We have let people go because they haven’t shown humility,” Putzer says.

They reach out and help those around them

A close relative to humility is pitching in for the greater good.

An excellent example of this among the Best Workplaces comes from AbbVie, which is donating $35 million to help support underserved communities and healthcare systems working to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of this donation, AbbVie will support the creation and operation of mobile field hospitals in the United States. These will provide extra capacity and create improved patient flow options as hospitals work to separate COVID-19 patients from other patients.

Challenging times can bring out the best in us all

We at Great Place to Work honor the generosity and sacrifice of all the Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma—especially all the employees on the front lines providing care at personal risk. Thank you for all you are doing.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is putting unprecedented strains on work and life, at Great Place to Work we get to see many heartening examples of companies rising to the challenge and strengthening their company cultures.

To see more examples like these, and for more advice on how to lead during this crisis, visit our COVID-19 resource hub.