Changing pharma’s company culture

  • Pharma companies need to recruit Millenials, but company culture is a barrier.
  • Allowing employees to wear jean is not a way to attract new talent.
  • The pharma organization must go through a transformation in order to better compete.

The CEO of Novartis made a huge mistake if he believes that allowing employees to wear jeans is going to attract new talent to his company.   The Millennials, who represent the biggest demographic in the workplace, could care less about dress code for them, it’s about “a sense of purpose” and having enough time off to have a life.

The old way of doing business has to be replaced by the new organization.  Here are some ways:

1ne: Open offices actually drive employees away so ditch the idea that open offices facilitate communicationthey dont‘. According to a study, workers in open plan offices tend to move around more, as opposed to people in cubicles and private offices. The former ended up less stressed, while the latter were more anxious and unhappy at the end of the day.

2wo: Millennials don’t like a culture of all day, back-to-back, meetings.  Meetings choke productivity. And when productivity slows, the company’s bottom line suffers and employees start looking for the door in frustration. Let me explain further.

3hree: Your CEO’s values have to be aligned with the employee’s values.  How can you expect someone to put patients first when a new CEO is getting $30 million to achieve quantitative financial results?  CEO’s who talk about “the good we’re doing” while they cater to Wall Street are eroding company morale.

4our: Expect turnover.  Millennials don’t expect to stay with their employers for longer than 3-4 years.  This is a problem for pharma who relies on skilled organizational navigators to be more productive.

5ive: Benefits count.  What good is giving someone a 4% raise when their company health insurance goes up 10%?  Millennials want more benefits like extended vacation time, better on campus food, summer hours and other perks.  The better your benefits, the better your retention.

6ix: Fix your managers. Employees don’t leave your company they leave bad managers and in pharma there are a LOT of micromanaging bad managers.  You need to identify your best manager’s thru feedback of people that work for them not through sales objectives alone.

Any company, regardless of industry, is only as good as its people.  Yes, there are a lot of good people in pharma, but there are too many  bad ones who are used to “fitting in” and not caring enough to change stale cultures.  Changing cultures to attract top talent has to be the goal of every manager.