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What would make your employees stay?


Human capital, in almost all companies, is the resource with the greatest potential to deliver the company’s success. Therefore, understanding how to maximise the potential of every employee in the company is of great value to any discerning leader. Constantly bringing talent in from the external market has significant implications that directly impact a company, and so a well-designed and effectively implemented human capital strategy, which focuses on the sustained development of the workforce, is critical. The main goal of such a strategy should be to cultivate a rich and balanced pipeline of potential leaders capable of taking the company forward.

In contrast with this view, our research into companies and individuals in Massachusetts showed that for mid-level roles (Director, SD, VP, SVP), where early leadership skills are seeded and grown, candidates are sourced, in the main, from external sources. This indicates that the internal pipeline of leaders is insufficiently and inefficiently utilised.

Therefore, we also asked life sciences professionals about the aspects of work they value most when considering whether to remain working for their current company. Although the same top 10 factors were chosen overall by men and women, we found that the order of importance was different, revealing gender specific priorities. Within the top 5 factors, women prioritised co-workers and career progression, while men favoured work environment and pay and rewards. Looking at gender-specific differences, we found that women value recognition and flexible working more than men, while men place more importance on work environment, pay and rewards, organisational stability and making a difference.

Although factors such as gender diversity of the board and inclusion were outside of the top 10 ‘core career priorities’ obtained by the analysis of all individuals overall, these factors increase in importance for women as they progress up the career ladder, reaching 12% and 38% at the C-level and board level respectively. Reports from men show an opposite trend where both board diversity and inclusion decrease to 0% at the board level.

In order to improve retention of individuals currently employed within a company, organisations need to examine their current practices and assess the sentiments of individuals working in these companies. By doing so, they should be able to improve understanding of key issues that lead to employees, especially women, dropping out of the leadership pipeline, and design bespoke retention strategies.

Liftstream uses evidence to shape the future workplace of life sciences companies. #ElevateMyBio

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