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5 pharma industry challenges that can be solved with an intranet

For many in the pharmaceutical industry, the past year has been marked by both emerging challenges and significant triumphs. As leaders look to build the foundation for tomorrow’s breakthroughs, many are turning to digital technology to equip their employees with the tools needed to generate innovative results.

Pharma employee using mobile responsive intranet

All eyes on the pharmaceutical industry

Between suspended drug trials and supply chain disruptions, several new challenges have arisen due to COVID-19. However, the pandemic has also spotlighted the crucial role that pharmaceutical enterprises play in protecting and empowering society at large.

To keep consumers safe, enterprises are embracing next-generation technology to underpin services like telemedicine. Similarly, forward-thinking workforces are turning to digital tools to help their employees adapt to new challenges. Many leaders are increasingly utilizing intranets to maximize knowledge sharing while centralizing resources that will level up efficiency.

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The ultimate guide to intranet ROI

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5 employee engagement challenges your pharma intranet can solve

From encouraging innovation to keeping pace with evolving consumer expectations, pharmaceutical leaders have several priorities to juggle at once. The key challenges that can be solved with an intranet include:

#1. A new frontier demands new skill sets

Digitization is rapidly changing the playing field for pharmaceutical companies. 86% of technology professionals agree that the industry’s digital moment has arrived. Despite this, many enterprises in the sector have yet to determine a clear path forward. Only 40% of pharmaceutical leaders feel confident that they know the skills required to fill talent needs and prepare for new ways of working.

Your enterprise cannot rely on hiring alone to bridge knowledge gaps, particularly because the demand for coveted capabilities like data analytics and engineering is four times higher than the supply. Instead, supplement recruitment efforts with re-skilling schemes designed to empower your current employees. Your intranet can serve as the hub for learning and development initiatives by centralizing video webinars, explainer articles, and trainings on in-demand topics.

#2. Innovation is non-negotiable

For many pharmaceutical enterprises, the stakes have never been higher. With the world eagerly awaiting treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, research and development are increasingly prioritized. While securing funding for experiments and trials is one challenge, building a culture that encourages innovation is what will put your enterprise on the fast-track to ground-breaking work.

The organizations that will thrive are those that aren’t afraid to step away from the status quo, incentivize deliberate risk-taking, and empower every employee to share their ideas. If you’re looking to level up innovation, consider launching an ideation hub on your intranet. Employees can create and publish ideas, vote on their favorites, and watch user-generated suggestions turn into real-life results before their own eyes.

Unily ideation on laptop

#3. Evolving consumer behavior

COVID-19 has transformed patient behavior and expectations. 80% of industry experts named changes in consumer attitudes as the issue that will have the greatest impact on their company. With the rise of telemedicine leading the way, new technologies are revolutionizing how patients access and engage with healthcare solutions.

To stand out in a field that is increasingly driven by consumer expectations, you can’t overlook the importance of employee engagement. The link between CX and EX is well demonstrated: customer satisfaction rates are twice as high at enterprises that rank in the top quartile for employee experience.

How can you keep your employees engaged, particularly as they encounter new challenges brought on by the pandemic? Take advantage of recognition capabilities like kudos and badges to spotlight internal ambassadors and launch new social media initiatives to boost morale amongst dispersed teams.

#4. Collaboration becomes crucial

Niche expertise is a mainstay in the pharmaceutical industry. From doctors to researchers, your employees have honed specific skillsets and amassed advanced levels of knowledge in specialized fields. All too often, much of this expertise remains siloed amongst one team or department, preventing your organization from taking full advantage of your internal knowledgebase.

As your employees strive to keep pace with heightened demands, the need for cross-functional collaboration will reach a peak. Put a stop to segmentation by turning to your intranet’s directory to highlight who knows what and efficiently initiate group work. Take these efforts a step further by getting the word out on what various teams are working on and the inspiring results they have achieved.

Unily people directory

#5. A disconnect between executives and the frontline

The good news: job satisfaction remains high for frontline workers in the pharmaceutical industry. More than 70% of frontline respondents have positive expectations about the changes that are happening in their sector.

However, when it comes to monitoring disruptions and identifying skill gaps, there are noteworthy disconnects between teams in the field and their counterparts in leadership. For example, while frontline workers count social and emotional skills as a rising workplace priority, pharma operations executives do not rank these capabilities as vital.

A synergistic relationship between your frontline staff and your leadership team is crucial. Empower your field workers to share insights from the frontlines by adding feedback forms and suggestion boxes on your intranet. Encourage all employees to use social networking and discussion forums to build a more connected outlook.

Spotlight on Biogen: connecting the dots with a next-generation intranet

How does a pioneer in neuroscience build the foundation for medical breakthroughs that will prove revolutionary? For the leading biotechnology enterprise Biogen, a collaboration-focused intranet is a crucial part of the equation.

The organization’s solution, Synapse, maximizes knowledge sharing and equips every end-user with the tools and capabilities needed to produce inspired work. By shining a light on Biogen’s various affiliates and intuitive navigation and targeted content, Synapse takes cross functional collaboration to the next level while also halving the amount of time employees spend searching for key information.

"Our employees use Synapse every day to get their work done.  It’s a central hub to get to the apps they need, the action items they have, or to the content they require to get their jobs done.  They can now focus on value-add activities instead of spending time looking for the content they need."

Travis Gregory - Associate Director, Corporate Functions IT at Biogen
Biogen homepage

Gain a competitive edge with your pharmaceutical intranet

Here at Unily, we work with 2 of the top 5 pharmaceutical companies, as well as the largest pharmacy retailer in the world. With just 8% of pharmaceutical enterprises currently describing themselves as digitally mature, the leaders of tomorrow will be the organizations that take advantage of cutting-edge technology today.

If you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve, get in touch with our digital workplace experts to learn how to take communication and collaboration to the next level.

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