Visionary, courageous leadership, R & D retooling, and a new business model are usually the answers given for what is needed to resolve the pharmaceutical industry’s current state of dysfunction. I believe that unencumbered performance and productivity levels of front line employees is the foundation for resolving many of the issues facing the industry today. And, I am not suggesting industry people are not working hard today. So what do I mean?
Industry reports, Wall Street commentary, media exposure, and trade journal articles continue to paint a pretty depressing picture for the pharmaceutical industry. Declining revenues, thinning pipelines, prominent blockbuster products coming off patent, an inordinate number of disappointing clinical trial results, and inexplicable regulatory rejections are just a few of the issues haunting Pharma executives. Collateral damage from mergers and acquisitions, plant closings, downsizings, and continued regulatory and legal consequences from questionable, if not illegal, activities. The state of the pharmaceutical industry seems more than just a little challenging as a place to work.
In the midst of this challenging environment, pharmaceutical executives need the support and high level performance from their employees more than ever before. Unfortunately, executive credibility among the rank and file may be somewhat compromised by uncertainty precipitated by their actions of the past and more recently, the pick slips handed to many of their fellow co-workers. With the continued threat of even more cost cutting and downsizing, inspiring and maintaining employee morale will take more than visionary leadership and executive cheerleading.
The single biggest factor company executives have to deal with as they try to manage through to prosperity is the psyche of their employees. What if I’m worried about my job, the financial viability of the company, the stock price (my retirement), more pipeline failures, litigation losses, and bad press? Can I really be performing at my highest level? Do I even care?
So, when are people most productive and performing at their highest level?
When they feel good about themselves, their job function, and their company. When they are well trained and have the expertise to perform at a high level. When they have the right mindset about who they are, the role they play in what they are doing, and how well they are doing it. When they feel they can still grow in their jobs, know they can learn and feel good about finding new ways to do it better. When they don’t feel like their job is a job but rather what they do makes a significant contribution to the good of the company. When their efforts and performance level are acknowledge in a meaningful way.
How does your company deal with these issues? Do company executives and managers have a psyche improvement plan? Do they have the training to help employees create and develop the right mindset and reach these higher levels of performance? Or, are they just hoping things will get better? firstname.lastname@example.org