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Redesigning of the Onboarding Program of a Leading Pharmaceutical Company

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Redesigning of the Onboarding Program of a Leading Pharmaceutical Company

The Case:

One of our leading clients in pharmaceutical industry was facing people-related issues and suffering huge business losses due to less productivity of medical representatives. Our team at 3EA, did an assessment of all the Human Resource processes of the organization and competency assessment of all the employees. This helped the organization to realize that a complete HR restructuring of the organization was necessary in order to ensure systems and processes are properly defined and the employees are channelized towards optimum productivity.

We started with redesigning of the onboarding and induction program of the organization, as Onboarding or organizational socialization post recruitment, is probably what goes on to determine a new recruit’s tenure in the organization. Helping the new hires adjust to the social and performance aspect of their new jobs quickly and smoothly, depends entirely on the organization they chose to be a part of. Based on our discussions with the senior leadership team, we tried to outline an approach towards building a robust onboarding / induction program using the 4 C’s of onboarding. Our prime agenda was to help the organization in leveraging itself on these four building blocks in order to make its overall onboarding strategy successful. The induction program was developed on the following building blocks:

A. Company Culture:

While making an acquaintance with a company’s written code of conduct is essential, and learning professed values- requisite, we recommended to have a gamification-based induction system to allow for an employee to get an idea of the lay of the land more informally. Understanding how things works around in the organization expedited the process of converting ‘the company’ to ‘my company’ for the employees. We encouraged the organization to understand that if a recruit is challenged to go and interact with colleagues on the floor and get an understanding of what they do, the employee would learn to navigate both the physical and social infrastructure of the company.

B. Clarification:

Understanding the bigger picture and crucial company operations would make a new employee feel immensely valued and motivated. Hence, we assisted the HR team of our client to make the training program more customized and granular. This included spending one-on-one time with the recruits, understanding their hopes and aspirations, career objectives, expectations etc.  Laying down a rudimentary individual development plan could help a new joinee feel galvanized into action. Giving an understanding of a role and how it aligns to the aspirations gives great returns, especially given that studies conducted by 3EA show that employees often decide to leave the organization within 7 days of joining.

C. Connection:

Another purpose of this robust induction program was to give the fresh recruits role models in the organization. The hires were put in teams where they could work in close proximity with such identifiable role models. This also helped the medical representatives to see his job as an opportunity to learn and grow, they also thrive on the idea of being able to be a part of a successful and an intellectual crowd. Great care was taken to motivate the employee and great impetus was given to their ambition. Negative comments about the role and the industry were to be avoided at all costs.

D. Compliance:

Taking the employees through the basic legal rules and regulations, for instance, even the signing of an employment contract, helped new-joiners understand their roles and responsibilities, their entitlements, and the company’s expectations. We recommended to get this done as early as possible to instill a sense of belongingness in the new hires.

Strategic Solution offered by 3EA: Designing the Induction Program

Our expert team at 3EA, extensively researched on induction programs of the competitors and examined the best practices, across industries. Based on our research, we had developed the following induction plan, customized for the organization’s vision and capabilities, and the ownership of certain tasks had been given to the hiring manager.


Fig : Onboarding exercise – Day 1
Fig : On-boarding exercise to be initiated post the first day

Fig : Pre On-boarding exercise, to be initiated at least a week before the actual date of joining

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