Keeping Talent: How to keep employees happy with more than a paycheck

October 11, 2016 - 2 minutes read
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Life sciences is one of the most complex and challenging industries. Since life science firms are typically at the forefront of innovation, the competition for talent and human capital is enormous. As the pharmaceutical industry matures and the turnover rate in the industry drops, from 27.2% to 14.2%, it becomes increasingly difficult to attract talent. To maintain their competitive edge, firms must offer employees competitive compensation to acquire and retain talent. Recent research however shows that monetary compensation is not always the most important factor in retaining employment. When considering organizational restructuring programs to cut personnel costs it is important to note that there are alternative compensation packages that can be offered to retain your talent.

Current labor landscape

According to census data collected by Kelly Global Workforce Index the majority of employees worldwide would take pay cuts in exchange for learning new skills. This is especially the case in APAC countries where the average was 69% of the workforce.

skills graph

Other significant compensation influencers include a more flexible work schedule (35% globally), a better work-life balance (53% globally), and doing socially conscious work (27% globally). By understanding the influences of “fringe” benefits on employee satisfaction, restructuring initiatives can achieve the same cost reductions without the accompanying talent drain.

Alternative practices

The same “fringe” benefits that might increase employee satisfaction can also be engines of lean. Leveraging flexible schedules and improved work-life balance to reduce the front office footprint by creating an open office design is just one way to reduce waste. This is an especially powerful leverage since most life science employees (68% globally) prefer collaborative environments. Other potential alternatives might be recognizing the employee of the month, team goals with incentives for success and monthly potlucks. These types of initiatives are low cost but have proven to be effective in increasing employee satisfaction. In this way a cost-cutting restructuring can achieve the same results at a fraction of the human capital cost.


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