January 12, 2023

The Issues That Matter Most in 2023: Talent Management

employees sitting around a conference table with laptops working

Each year, we forecast several trends that will influence life-sciences marketing the most in the months to come ahead. Success in 2023 will mean addressing each of those five issues meaningfully – understanding them fully and giving them real action, not just lip service. You can read our complete whitepaper — today, let’s talk about one of those pressing issues today: talent.

We’ve been through “The Great Resignation,” “quick quitting,” “quiet quitting,” and more, but really, it all comes down to one word: talent.

From patients’ jobs, to healthcare systems, to pharma corporations, to agency life, employment churn is a constant.

It doesn’t matter what care is available if it isn’t within financial reach. And it doesn’t matter what structures, technology, or history a company has to help advance healthcare if it doesn’t have the experienced, creative, engaged brilliance of its talent to bring them to bear.

In the marketing world, for example, brilliant ideas are vital, but they can be more difficult to arrive at via virtual work groups, or with people who may not have the same longevity focused on the same brand, or who may not be as accustomed to working on the same team. And creativity matters just as much everywhere else in our work: when exploring new media channels, for instance, or when developing a plan that finds a way to meet increasing expectations for faster content cycles or more personalized journeys.

EVERSANA INTOUCH, like many employers, has benefited greatly by geographically diversifying its talent base. In 2019, we had fewer than 20 employees who didn’t live within a few hours of one of our offices. Today, we have nearly 400 – including about a dozen who are full-time digital nomads, traveling as they work!

The corresponding challenge has been to evolve our ways of collaborating, managing, and keeping our culture strong. For example, we’ve found that, while you can have a productive meeting in a room of 15 experts, virtual groups need to be smaller and more focused.

And since managers can no longer use proximity to help them read the needs of their team members, we’re helping them find new ways to support and develop the people that report to them.

We’re even testing new ways to celebrate. The big annual red-carpet parties that agencies are famous for do not carry the same value post-pandemic. We’ve been sponsoring more intimate gatherings where teams can break off and play together, get to know each other more organically.

Bringing on more than 500 people a year to our agency is another factor. The future of our success lies in adding systematization and automation to our processes. We can’t rely on organic learning or culture-building, but employee #2000 needs to feel just as comfortable getting work done, and as important to the company culture, as employee #20.

All of this is part of our constant agency evolution, particularly over the last year-plus in the EVERSANA organization, which brings us the strength and wisdom of the entire commercialization life cycle, while it lets us share our own expertise to fuel our new colleagues throughout that cycle.

Talent management is an issue outside, as well as inside, our company, of course. Shorter average tenures mean our clients may have less expertise.

To retain promising talent, clients are promoting people sooner than in the past, so mid-level managers may not have the experience we expect. We are working harder than ever to help our clients fill experience gaps to support their success. Brands are relying upon agency knowledge more than ever. Strong partnerships have never mattered more.

The training programs we have built for our teams are being made available to our client teams, and we offer a variety of services to support out individual clients. (Do you want to “Be a leader that gets star employees to stay?” Need help “building relationships in hybrid times“? Check out our recent articles on those topics!)

Talent management in 2023 will come down to three things: engaging, training, and processing change.

Properly handling this issue – and the other four issues we identified as vital to success in 2023 – isn’t the work of 12 months. It’s the work of a lifetime – a mission we’re privileged to share with you.