Think big

‘We are on a mission'

The Galapagos group CSR report

Think big.

we raise the bar.

In 2018, our team has grown immensely.

Diversity and the complementarity of talents is key: it enables us to develop the company in a way that is sustainable long-term.


Annelies Missotten has been VP Human Resources at Galapagos since March 2018. In the same year, the company’s workforce increased from 600 to 725 employees, and this growth is showing no signs of slowing. “Creating a challenging and secure environment where people can perform at their best, without being afraid to make mistakes along the way, is crucial for realizing our ambitions.”

Annelies Missotten

VP Human Resources

“As a company, it’s important to be able to offer people a meaningful job with room for personal development. In our case, that’s not so difficult: we are all united around a terrific common goal, which is to use our scientific expertise to improve the health of patients. At the same time, we are constantly expanding, which offers a wealth of opportunities that we combine with an attractive work environment. Our transition to a fully integrated, global biopharmaceutical company with a human face offers prospects for plenty of talent.”

We have to help each other to remain responsive and to remain able to make decisions quickly and flexibly

Vision and audacity

“‘Think big’ is an inspiring vision that has brought Galapagos to where we are today and it will take us much further still; it sets a challenge and generates a lot of energy. Such an ambitious vision means that you have to dare to step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis, stay alert, be capable of self-reflection, and keep up with what’s going on in the wider environment. Furthermore, a very important part of the dynamics of our growth is helping each other to avoid getting bogged down in cumbersome processes, and to remain responsive and able to make decisions quickly and flexibly.”

Cultivating talent

“For an emerging biopharmaceutical company, the human capital makes all the difference. How can we best mobilize our knowledge for innovation? Quite a lot depends on the mindset and attitude of our people. It is the role of HR, together with the Galapagos leadership, to ensure that every employee feels engaged and challenged, and that people are supported and guided from the moment they are hired to the start of their career and further development within the organization. It is essential to develop talent management, professionalize the way that newcomers are welcomed, and to maintain a human approach in an ever larger and more geographically widespread organization. Providing a buddy for new employees is one of the many little examples that support this.”

Mix & match

“We are deliberately developing this company with people from different industries, with a wide spectrum of backgrounds and experience. Diversity and the complementarity of talents in our teams is a key part of this. This is a well-considered choice: it enables us to develop the company in a way that is sustainable long-term. Recruiting people on the employment market ourselves, wherever possible without intermediaries, is very important for the success of this strategy. A match stands or falls with the cultural fit and we are best positioned to make that call.”

Receiving and taking responsibility

“We expect our people to take responsibility and take ownership of their work. Our basic principle is: you have skills and experience, you can do your job in whatever way you think will allow you to make the greatest contribution. It’s all about entrepreneurship: you give the best of yourself, take initiative and follow-through. Of course, you may make mistakes along the way. As an employer, we do our best to create the conditions in which you can excel. ‘I have the feeling that what I do has impact, that it really matters’, is something I hear a lot from employees. Taking care of people and creating an environment that is stimulating and secure, where you can succeed through trial and error, is crucial for realizing our ambition to bring our medicines to patients as rapidly as possible.”