Culture . . . Does it make a difference? Is the culture of your company unique? Are you amongst the best and are you recognised for it? THIS MONTH sees the final article of the series exploring the world of small to medium sized pharma companies and how different they are from the giants. The culture or ethos of small to medium sized companies appears to have a huge impact on the level of job satisfaction and recognition among their sales people.
How does a smaller company manage to recognise their successful people so effectively? Some common characteristics within small to medium sized companies enable them to see, recognise and reward quickly and effectively, which in turn gives a real motivational boost to sales people.
- Freedom to STAND OUT and be an individual
- FAST TRACK - personalised promotional opportunities
- BROAD commercial experience and personal access to senior management
- Autonomy and responsibility to really manage your OWN territory
- Opportunity to be RECOGNISED and REWARDED for your successes (£££ and Promotions)
Sharon King, Business Manager LEO Pharma, joining 2 years ago from Pharmaceutical giant GSK, and having worked for the original “Welcome Foundation” experienced the metamorphosis of a small company turning into a large one. She describes “having been there for the transition of going from a smaller company, then evolving to a larger company can be overwhelming. You start to ask yourself questions about your place within the organisation. Where do I fit? How small am I really in this now huge company? Being a manager in a smaller company means you have direct input into strategy, marketing, and can pick up the phone and speak to a director, if you need to. This gives a much greater awareness of the customer needs and allows us to react quickly to customer needs as they change. In a smaller company we do react more swiftly and efficiently, because there is less red tape.”
Komal Rafique, GP representative LEO Pharma, spoke at length about the recognition she received as a rookie rep, and continues to receive after three years in the industry. “My manager is always encouraging us to know everyone in the office and see our names on the website for successes we have achieved. I was nominated as The Most Successful New-comer last year. I felt so valued by the company. I received a Highly Commendable rating awarded on stage at conference. I have been nominated this year for Young Sales Professional 2004 which highlights all my hard work and achievements throughout the year. The LEO culture is unique and I love it!! I have always been impressed that everyone knows everyone, including senior managers, a real intimacy, like a family relationship.”
Glyn Sheriston, Key Account Executive, LEO Pharma, joined 6 months ago and already feels like he knows everyone and everyone knows him. “I was impressed from the beginning and I had other job offers, but LEO was the one I really wanted because everyone I talked to had positive things to say. I feel really lucky to have got the job. Especially, after hearing how many of the sales people had been there for over 25 years. They must be doing something right. There is a large canteen in Head Office and there is an unwritten rule that all staff must leave their desk to eat in the canteen and mingle with everybody. All the staff top to bottom comply, different divisions and departments attend and everyone takes time to get to know each other. After only 6 months, I feel I know everyone in the office. I am not sure what it is about the culture but something makes it a great company to work for. It is the most enjoyable place I have worked so far in my career.” It appears there is a vast difference in culture of small to medium companies and this is further supported by the outcome data in the 2003 Company Perception Survey. The results of the survey showed that nearly twice as many people in small to medium sized companies had a greater job satisfaction in relation to the recognition they received for the job they do.
Why would you make the change from a larger company to a smaller company?
Steve Smith, Primary Account Manager, Schering tells Pf why he made the change. “I felt inspired and motivated to do my part . . . to be responsible for my own business and within a culture that is friendly and supportive, while remaining acutely focused on the business.” Umbereen Mirza, Medical Representative, Solvay, has worked for both small and large companies and is very clear why she prefers a smaller company. “The main benefit of working for a smaller company is the culture. You feel more valued and are not just a number. Your efforts are recognised which means you get noticed by those at the top much quicker”
What would you find different in working in a small to medium sized company?
Gillan Mumford, Medical Rep, Napp Pharmaceuticals, tells us what she finds different. “I feel rewarded everyday. I felt lucky to have this job. I rate my job satisfaction 10 out 10.”
Keith Burston, Hospital Representative, Napp explains what he finds different from his 22 years at GSK compared to his 2 years with Napp. “The whole ethos is totally different. It has amazed me because I am advancing within Napp when I thought I would be going back, but the reality is, I am going forward. The difference in culture has re-energised me.”
How would you describe your level of job satisfaction and personal development?
Stuart Ellison, Business Manager, Merck, described what he felt about his job satisfaction and personal development. “You need drive, enthusiasm for responsibility, and to genuinely care about the business. This absolute reliance on reps who have this self-starting, responsible attitude means that a lot of representatives work their way up through the ranks of a small to medium sized company relatively quickly . . . This involves taking a lot of personal responsibility, but the benefits are real! The focus on the individual‚s performance and success means that personalised career paths and individual recognition, are a very big part of the company culture.”
Sharon King, Business Manager LEO, elaborates on personal development within LEO as compared to a larger company. “Your own job remit is bigger, so you have integrated development within your role. In a large company you are given materials and told what to do with them, in contrast, in a smaller company you can work together to create something along with Marketing and Medical that really meets the needs of your customers. If you want to you can. . .” A move to a small to medium sized company means a move to an environment rich in autonomy, independence, and individual recognition. Indeed it is a unique culture that results in a high level of job satisfaction. It appears after all the exploration and examination that size indeed does matter in the Pharmaceutical Industry, except Bigger is NOT always better. The representatives from each of the 5 companies we have featured here, Solvay, LEO, Merck, Schering Health Care, and Napp would challenge you, their fellow sales people, to ask yourselves some tough questions. Are you getting what you want from your sales career? Are you recognised for your successes? Is it time to take the blinkers off and contemplate a move back to the real world of sales?