Denmark's Best Workplaces, the annual survey conducted by the Danish Great Place to Work Institute and Danish business magazine Berlingske Nyhedsmagasin, has established Novozymes as one of the country's best places to work.
Among Danish companies with more than 1,000 employees, the enzyme company came in at number one. The contest involved major firms such as Statoil and Sjælsø Gruppen.
In the overall survey of 100 companies of all sizes, Novozymes came fourth.
"This means a lot to Novozymes because we believe that happy employees benefit our business," said Mette Vestergaard, vice president for people & organisation.
"We are also therefore working not just to get the world's best but also the most satisfied employees by creating exciting jobs in a challenging work environment. And this award shows that we are focusing on the right areas within working climate, management, and employee development."
The announcement tops off a good week for the enzyme firm. Novozymes' enzymatic interesterification process was recently recognised as one of six Technologies of the Year for 2005.
The food-processing innovation, which uses enzymes to develop healthier fats and oils for use in margarine, baking and confectionery applications, was commended as a viable alternative to conventional partial hydrogenation technique that produces large amounts of trans fats.
"I am sure that one of the reasons why our employees are happy to go to work is that we send products to the market that we can rightly be proud of," said Vestergaard. "And this helps to increase motivation."
Novozymes has certainly been quick to develop viable alternatives for food makers, and the establishment of new market segments such as this has ensured that the enzymes market remains highly lucrative.
While the volumes of pure enzyme protein produced are very small, their value reached over $2 billion (€1.53bn) in 2004. A recent report from Business Communications Company estimates that by 2009 the market will reach €1.83 billion.
Recent research from market analysts Frost and Sullivan pinpoints these enzymes as the fastest growing segment with a compound annual growth rate of about 7.2 per cent. The market for bakery enzymes came in at €32.1 million in 2003, expected to climb to €52.3 million by 2010.
Novozymes dominates the enzyme market with about a 50 to 60 per cent share. US biotech firm Genencor, that now belongs to Danisco after acquisition clearance earlier this year, falls into second place with an approximate 30 per cent slice.
The companies in the Denmark's Best Workplaces survey are subjected to an employee satisfaction survey for up to 250 representatively chosen employees, who give detailed descriptions of employee conditions. The participating workplaces are assessed on employee satisfaction in the workplace and on the management's ability to set up structures, systems, guidelines and rules to promote a good working environment.