When the 2020 global pandemic caused a worldwide shutdown, it challenged every business — especially, the medical sales industry. Overnight, companies were forced to adapt to a new reality. For most businesses, that meant shifting their strategies to ensure the safety of their employees as their No. 1 priority.
An OSHA fact sheet stated that workers who believe that their employers provide a safe and healthy workplace are more likely to report to work during a pandemic. This particularly rings true to those medical sales reps who are considered essential workers.
Our Best Places to Work survey respondents were overwhelmingly positive about how their employers responded to their needs during these unsettling times. A Getinge Account Manager shared, “They [leaders] reacted immediately putting employee safety front of mind. They have continued to be mindful, making decisions based on the importance of employee safety.”
In response, we asked Getinge, a 2021 Best Places to Work finalist, to share how they shifted their procedures and policies in order to keep their medical sales reps and clients safe during a pandemic. Here’s how Getinge leaders protect its No. 1 asset, their medical sales reps:
The highest priority in any company should always be the safety of your employees. It is critical that you regularly re-evaluate safety protocols, procedures, and policies in order to make the necessary changes to continue to keep your team safe and supported in the event of a crisis.
Getinge Territory Manager reported during the pandemic, “[Getinge] provided all employees with training and PPE. They support frontline workers and keep us all updated and informed.”
Getinge leaders immediately recognized that their field representatives and service teams were considered essential. Their mission is to support customers with life-saving products — and one of the most critically needed COVID-19 products includes ventilators. As a result, leadership quickly moved to provide medical sales reps with PPE and safe passage letters to access their customers, which included hospitals and medical facilities.
In addition, Getinge’s service teams were also on the frontlines making sure equipment was operating effectively. The company worked to secure support from other parts of the organization to ensure that hospital needs were being addressed and met, all while keeping employees safe.
The global crisis not only affected employees professionally but also had ramifications on employees’ mental health. During uncertain times, it’s critical medical sales reps feel supported by leadership on both a professional and personal level.
Getinge’s leadership provided continuous communications regarding supporting their employees on all levels. This included offerings of childcare reimbursement, well-being support, and appropriate compensation and coverage while under quarantine.
It’s important to note that it’s not enough to just say that you are “here for support.” A clear and consistent focus on mental health as an organization is key to ensuring your team knows how to use the resources you provide for their well-being on every level.
Sometimes, that means looking to outside sources for best practices and new protocols. A Getinge Product Specialist reported, “Our company listened to the experts and attempted to do everything it could to keep our staff and clients as safe as possible.”
No one likes to be kept in the dark, especially during times of uncertainty. Communication plays a vital role in making sure medical sales reps feel informed and protected. Over the course of 2020, many companies adapted to virtual team meetings and conference calls to stay connected.
Getinge’s Clinical Support Specialist, Pam Leblanc shared, “Getinge ensured internet ramp-up to support communications and enhancements of MS Teams and other communications means.”
Furthermore, clear and timely communication regarding on-site protocols, changes in paperwork, working with new systems, and safety practices are essential to keep medical sales companies compliant. Leblanc continued, “They [Getinge] supported us tremendously, including with the paperwork necessary to ensure our ability to do in-person client visits at hospitals. They made sure we knew the proper protocol for cleaning the equipment. They helped us feel and be safe, for ourselves and our hospital customers.”
Ultimately, protecting your No. 1 asset means ensuring paths for communication stay open no matter what obstacles arise. This assures medical sales reps feel safe, secure, and supported, building confidence in leadership and across sales teams.