As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its third year, medical sales companies are making changes to retain staff and keep their medical sales reps happier and more secure moving forward.
We are currently in an era called “The Great Resignation” because of the record number of employees opting to quit their jobs in favor of a better working environment. With such a high number of employees leaving their jobs, it’s up to management to make changes that will keep employees satisfied.
Medical sales companies are among those that are reevaluating the way business is conducted in order to determine if there are more productive or otherwise smarter ways of communicating with staff members.
Understanding why many medical sales reps have left their posts will help inform what changes need to be made to keep more reps from leaving. Dissatisfaction with compensation and work environment, a lack of flexibility and unclear career advancement opportunities are just a few of the reasons that medical sales reps consider leaving their jobs.
Generating higher retention rates among medical sales reps will involve making changes to the way promotions are discussed, clearly explaining expectations for growth and changing the way we look at flexibility in the working environment.
Moving toward a more virtual workforce, communicating clearly about current and future benchmarks and creating consistent growth opportunities has proven to make staff happier and more likely to stay with their current company.
The choice by some medical sales companies to transfer to a more digitally-based office will be one that likely saves a good portion of staff members from looking elsewhere for work.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s estimated that only 7% of Americans worked from home. Now, more than a third of all Americans are working from home in some capacity. The United States Census Bureau has estimated that switching over to telework has actually increased the overall health and happiness for those who previously worked in an office.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that companies that allow their workers to telework have a 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t. With concerns about employee retention at the forefront for many medical sales companies, allowing at least part-time telework makes employees feel more valued and appreciated, which may lead to them staying at their jobs longer than if they were coming into the office.
Changing the office environment and using flexibility as a hallmark within the company is seen as a sign of understanding and appreciation for the workers. Simply put, if employees are able to meet their sales goals from home, there is no need for medical sales companies to schedule employees to come into a brick-and-mortar establishment every day.
Most employees have said that since the pandemic forced them to work from home, they now prefer a more hybrid environment where they are trusted to be working on company time, whether in the office or at home.
Reevaluating Company Culture
Ever since the pandemic started, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have clear and consistent communication with their teams regarding upcoming changes and expectations for growth.
As the bottom line has changed over the last two years, the best way to keep staff members at ease is by communicating with them regularly. Though the pandemic was unprecedented, many workers who have left their jobs in the last two years have reported that they did so because of their company’s inability to adjust to changes caused by the pandemic.
Security is a crucial factor for any business hoping to retain employees over long periods, which is why clear communication is necessary.
Medical sales companies in particular have had to change their sales expectations many times throughout the pandemic in order to accurately reflect a reasonable amount of growth.
As we move forward and the effects of the pandemic begin to lessen, the best thing medical sales companies can do is continue to communicate with their staff about all benchmarks and expectations.
Planning for the Future
Another change medical sales companies are making to retain staff is the way they talk about future possibilities and growth within their company.
As with any other job, a sense of security is very important for medical sales reps, which is why staff members are more likely to leave a company if they do not see a clear path for advancement or growth.
As a management team, it is necessary to construct a pipeline that staff members can reference at any time to see what qualifications they should aim to meet in order to move up within the company.
Beyond just sales commissions, employees want to have access to opportunities for advancement and be rewarded for their hard work. According to MedRep’s 2021 Annual Medical Sales Salary Report, most medical sales reps value potential career advancement possibilities over a high salary.
And according to the 2021 report, most sales reps said they expected and prepared for the worst when the pandemic started, only to be surprised that around 80% of reps made the same or more than they did pre-pandemic.
With the great resignation still in full swing, it’s an employee’s market more than an employer’s choice. Employers need to plan for their future with their staff by including them in important conversations that will affect their potential career development and growth.
If not, employees may opt to find another company that is more clear about expectations and projected earnings over time.
There is not one single company that has it all figured out. The COVID-19 pandemic made all medical sales companies reevaluate their priorities and understandings of how they can exist in an ever-changing world.
Fortunately, as the pandemic begins to wane, there is the potential to take what was learned from large-scale teleworking and apply it to the office culture as a whole. Listening to your employees and carving out a plan for success that suits their needs and still meets your expectations and quotas is the best way to retain staff over time.
Staff retention involves more than just the promise of raises if vague goals are met. Companies that listen to their employees and value their personal contributions are far more likely to keep staff on payroll moving forward.
Though there is not one clear-cut answer to apply to all medical sales companies, a unique combination of allowing more flexibility, planning for the future and involving staff members in big decisions will make employees feel more valued and will result in higher retention rates.