The war for talent is real – and retaining enthusiastic staff is of paramount importance. But how can clinical development teams work to attract – and keep top teams? Based on 28 years of experience developing clinical teams, Tara Fitzgerald, Clinical Development Services at Syneos Health shares her philosophy on attracting, building and retaining top talent. Here’s her top considerations for staffing solutions:
- Start With Plan. Whether you're starting with a single leader and building a team or working to find the right leader for a function, success is usually when you have optimized skill sets and have found the right relationships. Fitzgerald suggests a common first step: creating a basic resourcing plan with regional considerations as well as the clients’ interests in hand. By matching expertise and passion – you optimize your success.
- Employee Recognition Varies. To retain teams, leadership must be trusted. We need to listen intently and understand how to make our employees feel valued. Not everyone defines ‘reward’ the same, so it is important to create programs and recognition that fits all regions and all levels. That is not an easy process to master. But if we embrace the thoughts and ideas of our staff, if we listen, we will find the answers.
- Plan to Mitigate Problems in High Turn-Over Functions. According to Fitzgerald, certain high-demand roles will have turnover no matter what leadership does to retain employees. There are specific tactics teams can take to mitigate these expected losses: for example, where possible create benches and cross-train staff; develop strong career paths and mentorships, embrace and support diversity. If we stay close to our staff, we will sense hesitation early and will be able to remedy situations faster. Working very closely with talent acquisition teams is paramount. The bottom line is that employees want to feel valued, want to contribute, and want to feel success. As leaders, it is our obligation to support our employees.
Finding Talent is One Thing; The Key Is Retaining It. Cultivate a safe environment where staff feel like they can use their talent, where they can be heard and feel valued. Leaders need to create opportunities to allow teams to be who they are. “We didn't hire these individuals to sit in a corner and not say anything,” comments Fitzgerald. “Leaders have to do their part to open up doors and allow employees to do what they are passionate about, what they excel in. By nature of doing that, people stay.” People become dedicated to an organization with honest, genuine and humble leaders. Kindness goes a long way in retaining talent.”