This ‘Guest Blog’ Post has been contributed by Mr. Hasan Jamal, a longtime veteran of Pharma Industry. The Guest Blog Posts are also published on https://pharmaveterans.com . You are welcome to contribute. You may write your own story or about some memorable events of your career or about Pharma Industry. Please send your posts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Continued from last……
- Infusing sense of Security and showing a clear career path
Another up-hill task for me was to create the sense that we all belong to the Hoechst family and from time to time reassured them that the company has clear plans for growth for those who deliver, new products and projects are in the pipe-line, which are opportunities for the serious workers and achievers to grow with the company. Teams were made aware of certain plans for restructuring, few were already under-way.
“As the marketing experts say, that there is a hierarchy of basic needs that people require before they can be motivated to reach their full potential. Security falls right beneath physiological needs like food and water. Once employees feel secure, they’re more likely to be motivated to reach, and further stretch their potential”
I worked to infuse sense of security, sense of belongingness and slowly and gradually showed them a broad-based, non-committal career path. This endeavor clicked.
- Training on product, selling, doctor’s selection and detailing
Initially for few months, once a month full day training sessions were conducted by me on different topics mentioned above followed by discussion, Q&A and detailing sessions, which created an official-cum-social atmosphere. Later during follow-up training sessions, the whole team was involved with each member to prepare small lectures on different topics and deliver in front of the house. This exercise not only helped in improving product knowledge, evoking confidence but improved team-work greatly.
- Worked together to define and determine potential of each territory and doctor
Each territory was re-evaluated and re-structured and we worked together to determine potential of each territory and doctors. In this process distribution colleagues and sales officers, who rendered a very valuable contribution, remained involved with the promotion team. This generated a great environment of understanding in the two otherwise dissipated and opposing groups, promotion and distribution departments. The foes turned friends.
Periodically we used to have combined meeting with the distribution team to get the feedback on demand situation, identifying weak and strong areas also areas with sales stagnation. This helped to keep our information level up-dated and enabled us to take immediate corrective measures wherever needed.
- Practically showing the results and helping to achieve
The outcomes of all the above exercises became overt soon and could be observed from the statistical figures we got from the distribution side and while working together in the field. Sales picked up swiftly and positive feedback came from the distribution. High-ups in the head office also started getting positive feeling.
No single approach to management works in every situation. Rather, I chose tactics based on the situation. For example, as the deadline approached, instead of adopting a hardline approach, I ensured the work got done. I realized that teams could not operate at full-speed perpetually, so I adopted a more relaxed approach during downtime in the process of achieving objectives and extended helping-hand. This gave time to the team to regain their strength and work with renewed energy and motivation.
- Involving the teams socially
It was not the work always but at the time of month closing, taking break going out together to enjoy dinner became a regular feature of our activity, even sparingly going out to Murree on weekends. Quite regularly the distribution team was also invited on such occasions.
Teams are complicated, complex structures because they are comprised of individuals with different personalities, biases, strengths, and weaknesses. Before people can form into an integrated and effective team, they must first learn to work together. Managers must work through personal differences, find strengths to build on, and balance collective commitments against the demands of individual job requirements and then align the energies with the company’s objectives. During this process the manager must learn to keep cool, have patience and use his analytical prowess.
Leaders must deal with team needs that arise from the pressures of personal differences and the demands of the individual jobs apart from the team. Addressing these issues is as important as the team’s task of meeting company’s objectives. Often both managers and team members underestimate the need to develop themselves into a cohesive group.
Teams that run smoothly can concentrate on their primary goals. Conversely, teams that fail to build internal relationships waste time on internal control conflicts, misdirected and unfocused efforts.
It is important for leaders to understand that the more they know what to expect as their teams progress, the better equipped they are to handle difficulties and problems as they arise. This knowledge enables leaders to recognize problems and work through the ones that cannot be avoided.
The most obvious team efforts are associated with the task of improving a process or solving a problem. This includes holding meetings, gathering and analyzing situations, planning improvements, making changes, and taking action. However, beware that when individuals are formed into teams, the complexities of group dynamics seem, intermittently, to inhibit their ability to work well together.
The issues associated with group dynamics include hidden problems, concerns, and agendas that create specific undercurrents and distract the team from accomplishing its assigned responsibilities. Some of these undercurrents can be seen in a host of conflicting emotions: the excitement and anxiety of being a part of the team, an individual’s loyalty to his head quarter and the company, and a nervous anticipation regarding the team’s success. Left unaddressed, these conflicts can inhibit the team’s effectiveness.
Managers, therefore, must involve their teams in activities that are not directly related to the assigned task, but that build understanding and support within the team. This could essentially be social activities which are as important. Only in this manner managers can resolve these internal issues and underlying problems and achieve the ultimate.