Top 10 complaints about working in Biopharma

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Most professional consulting groups have all commented about the serious shortfall of working for a biopharma company.  Over the last 5 years my colleagues and I have developed a list of the most common complaints about working in marketing for pharma.  Here is the list…

1ne: Too many damn meetings!  By far this is the top complaint we have heard.  Pharma companies are matrix organizations which means meetings, a lot of meetings usually taking up employee calendars for days and weeks.

2wo Takes too long to implement programs.  This is a complaint I usually hear from digital marketers.  Digital marketing is about implementing with speed and testing new things. Unfortunately pharma tends to move at a snails pace which frustrates employees.

3hree: Too many “lifers”.  A lifer is someone who goes from pharma company to company with outdated ideas. He,or she, is more interested in their title and political status than bringing new thinking to the organization.

4our: Our CEO is too far removed from our business and is too concerned about Wall Street rather than Main Street.

5ive: Good job, but you’re being laid off.  Too many pharma companies still lay off the wrong people when one of their products comes off patent or sales decline.  The idea of “finding a new job within the company” is quite common even for employees who have great reviews and have proven their value.

6ix: No work/life balance.  Answering emails on weekends and at night has become quite routine, but it takes its toll on employee morale.

7even: Benefits have become more expensive.  This is a common thread throughout a lot of industries.  Raises are often eaten up by increases in health insurance for example.

8ight: Open office concepts.  Whoever invented the open office should be forced to work in one for the rest of their career.  The bottom line is employees don’t like and prefer to have at least some privacy at work.

9ine: Too heavy a workload.  I consistently see employees who are doing two or three jobs.  Rather than hire people to do specialized jobs, like online analytics, they just add another KRA to someone within the team.

10en: Finally, there is the annual team building events which seem to install a belief that you’re building a cohesive team .  One event per year does not help a team gel it’s something that has to be done everyday.

Of course employees are going to complain but what we have seen is the exit of very good people from the industry and it’s bleeding.  Unless pharma executives wake up, and soon, the industry is going to continue to be hurt by the exit of good employees.


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