More Goop! Is your company a good place to goop?
I recently posted about what it’s like to go through the “goop” while adjusting to a new role. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Catch up here. I’ll be here when you get back!) Luckily for me and my goopy experience, Seuss Consulting and Recruitment is safe place to grow. One that values ongoing training and development. Hopefully your company is the same. If not, maybe it’s time to make it so – for the good of your team and your company.
Why Goop Is Good for Your Company
Companies benefit from having employees with versatile skill sets – but even more so, companies benefit from having happy employees. Employees who get to take on new challenges, tackle new roles and go forth with more confidence (on behalf of the company).
More importantly, companies benefit from having employees who can grow…and who can help the company grow with them. Employees who don’t feel like they have to leave to try new things. And ones who, when they do try new things, feel free to truly transform, with all the messy goop that entails.
Unfortunately, far too often in pharma recruitment we see people leaving companies because they don’t feel that they can be honest about their desires or their struggles. They might not even bother to share their doubts or dreams at all, because they don’t see a point. Just…one day they’re gone. It might happen in the first few months; it might happen suddenly after years of stability and loyalty. Either way, the company and the team are caught short. Sure, giving your employees new opportunities may seem to cost you in the short run, but it won’t cost you as much (in terms of time and money) as replacing them. Luckily, retaining your talent as they grow and change is possible.
How to Help Your Team Transition
Step one: Give your team members opportunities to make the changes they need. To try out new things, explore their interests and expand their skills. Trust me, employee career transitions will probably work out well for you. (See above.)
Step two: Accept that the process won’t always be smooth. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed it won’t be, at least for a little while. To reach their new state and spread their wings (or, er, new skill set), transitioning team members first need to let their old form go. They need to “dissolve.” Managers and team members alike should expect this to happen; it’s all part of the natural process. No need to worry: they’ll pull themselves back together, likely much stronger and more confident than before.
Step three: Give your team space to share their thoughts and needs, and make sure they know there’s a safety net for their honesty. That they won’t be punished for wanting to be better life-science professionals and for wanting to take on something new. Perhaps they want to introduce something your company isn’t doing (well) yet. Maybe there’s a new therapeutic area they want to master, or a new bridging role they’d like to play. It’s more likely to help than hurt your long-term goals to let them see if they can make a difference for your team in a new skill area or field!
Step four: Set up regular small or one-on-one meetings to discuss team-member goals. Make action plans to address their problems and help them get where they want to go – even if you don’t yet know if and where they want to go. You often have to ask! This is why it’s important to have a culture of openness in the office. When your company is a safe place to grow and learn, you will not only keep your talent, but you’ll attract new talent, too – no easy feat in today’s competitive pharma-recruitment climate .
Regular check-ins are a good idea whether or not you think there might be a problem with satisfaction. Ask your team members: 1) what they are proud of, 2) what they are struggling with and 3) what their plan is to move forward. Make sure these mini-“performance reviews” aren’t just about numbers, but about skill sets and competencies as a whole. Focus on maximizing strengths rather than fixing weaknesses.
In my case, instead of leaving when things got rough, I was honest with my managers. Together we assessed my strengths, made a plan and Seuss gave me new opportunities to really shine in a way that excited me – for example, leading our process to becoming a brand-led business. And, crazily enough, I did: I really began to feel I was shining. I was super proud of this. And Seuss certainly benefited from my new enthusiasm!
Not only that, but they secured my loyalty; I’m so happy to work for such a forward-thinking company that is willing to give me a chance to explore and find the right place where I can help us both the best.
I know it’s not easy for companies or people to go through the goop themselves or watch someone else do it, but more often than not, the messy middle of an employee career transition will lead to a new professional butterfly on your team. The results will most likely be captivating.
By Jessica Kundapur, Seuss Recruitment Account Manager and international life-sciences career butterfly.