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5 Effective Onboarding & Training Strategies for Pharmaceutical Companies

Luke Kreitner
1/16/24 1:00 PM

The Pharmaceutical industry relies on groundbreaking research and the dedicated professionals who drive it forward. From researchers and scientists to regulatory experts and support staff, these individuals make innovative discoveries that enhance global health and well-being.

To support these essential professionals in achieving crucial milestones and advancing healthcare solutions, pharmaceutical companies must invest in robust onboarding and training strategies. These strategies play a pivotal role in nurturing talent and ensuring that individuals are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to thrive. Furthermore, implementing effective onboarding processes can boost talent retention, satisfaction, and productivity rates.


So, What Are the Top Onboarding and Training Strategies?

Research reports emphasize the pivotal role of onboarding in retaining exceptional talent, as 69% of employees who experience excellent onboarding choose to remain with their respective companies for at least three years. By adopting and implementing effective onboarding and training strategies, your company increases the likelihood of assembling a team of satisfied, skilled professionals capable of achieving long-term success. Now, let's delve into five of today's most effective onboarding and training strategies.


1. Create Customized Onboarding Plans

Providing personalized onboarding experiences for new hires yields numerous benefits in establishing a fruitful relationship with them. By developing customized onboarding plans that are informative and engaging, fresh employees can swiftly acclimatize to their positions.

To initiate the onboarding process, request new hires to complete an initial assessment that evaluates their skills, experience, and role-specific knowledge. This assessment serves to identify areas where they may require additional training or support.

After gauging your new hire's abilities and understanding of the role, proceed to establish clear, measurable goals and objectives for them to achieve. Set timelines for these targets, making sure they align with your company's mission. Clearly outlining the expectations, whether it be within 30 days, 60 days, or a longer timeframe, ensures that your employees are fully aware.

Upon completion of the initial phase, provide new hires with a tailored training curriculum encompassing both general topics and role-specific subjects.

It's crucial to note that onboarding should never be a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Tailoring onboarding plans to suit the individual's specific needs is a superior approach to prepare them for life at your organization.


2. Prioritize Onboarding Activities that Involve Participation

Presenting your new hire with a customized onboarding plan marks the beginning of the onboarding activities. It is crucial to prioritize onboarding activities that encourage participation to create a sense of belonging for your new staff. During the onboarding process, new employees are typically expected to complete 54 activities. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that a significant portion of these tasks involves some level of participation and collaboration.

To promote interaction between new hires, conducting group orientation and ice-breaker activities is highly beneficial. Start by having each participant provide a brief introduction about their backgrounds, roles, and something interesting about themselves. Then, initiate team-building exercises such as scavenger hunts, escape room games, and quizzes on Pharmaceutical trivia. Additionally, consider assigning mock collaborative projects inspired by real company initiatives to foster teamwork.

Collaboration is crucial in igniting innovation in modern science, especially among pharmaceutical professionals. Incorporating team-based activities into your onboarding strategy creates an ideal environment for collaboration and facilitates a smooth transition for new hires.


3. Provide Regular Feedback and Support 

As an employer, it is crucial to ensure that new hires are well-informed about their progress and development. Regular feedback is essential for professionals in the pharmaceutical field, given the technical expertise involved in their roles.

To facilitate effective communication, it is recommended to conduct frequent check-in sessions where you can provide insights and address any concerns, while also allowing new hires to seek guidance on their professional growth.

In addition to individual meetings, implementing a recognition and reward program can help acknowledge and appreciate the achievements of your employees in front of their peers. It is important to identify the appropriate performance metrics to measure success, such as meeting project deadlines, maintaining product quality, or achieving regulatory milestones, depending on the nature of your organization.

Furthermore, offering praise and regular feedback should be complemented by providing personal and professional support to new recruits. Mentorship programs have proven to be an effective method in this regard, as they allow new hires to learn from the expertise of more experienced team members.

In fact, research conducted by Gartner highlights the significant benefits of mentorship programs for employee development. According to a five-year study involving 1,000 employees, 25% of those who participated in mentoring programs received a salary increase, compared to only 5% of non-participating workers.


4. Facilitate Hands-On Practical Training 

To meet the demands of a rapidly evolving technological landscape and complex regulatory environment, Pharmaceutical companies must provide comprehensive technical and regulatory compliance training to their new staff.

The advancements in technologies such as AI and virtual reality have necessitated frequent upskilling for professionals in pharmaceutical and MedTech firms. To keep up with the industry, it is important to incorporate hands-on training into your onboarding strategy. This ensures long-term retention of top talent and equips your team with the necessary skills to deliver exceptional results.

Instead of relying solely on theoretical assessments, it is highly recommended to offer practical training sessions to assess the practical skills of new recruits. These sessions provide an opportunity for knowledge transfer by allowing newer team members to work alongside experienced professionals.

Additionally, incorporating state-of-the-art technology, such as virtual reality simulations of laboratory experiments, into your training program can showcase your commitment to fostering employee growth and development.


5. Conduct Regulatory Compliance Training 

Regulatory compliance training is one of the most crucial onboarding and training strategies in the pharmaceutical industry. This training ensures that new recruits, despite possessing professional qualities, are fully aware of the latest industry regulations and how to achieve compliance. 

There are several training methods available to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards. While traditional instructor-led classroom sessions remain effective, utilizing digital tools for comprehensive training can offer convenience and cost savings. Some examples include completing online learning modules, participating in webinars, virtual workshops, and conducting mock inspections and audits to assess staff's regulatory expertise.



Effective onboarding and training strategies play a crucial role in the ever-evolving realm of pharmaceuticals. Prioritizing the growth and development of employees is imperative in an industry where talent is highly sought-after and retention can be challenging.

To ensure success, pharmaceutical companies can customize onboarding plans, emphasize participation in activities, provide regular feedback and support, conduct comprehensive technical and regulatory compliance training, and foster a culture of continuous learning. These strategies not only contribute to higher retention rates but also lead to increased productivity and innovation.

By investing in people, pharmaceutical companies pave the way for groundbreaking research and innovative solutions. Building a robust onboarding and training strategy cultivates a future filled with limitless possibilities.

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