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Preparing Pharma For the Future: How Learning Management Systems are Bridging the Skill Gap

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Kamal Dutta, MD India for Skillsoft writes about the perks of investing in up-skilling and retraining programmes for employees by pharma companies

Rapid technological advancements are constantly changing the way pharma companies operate, deliver services, manage supply-chain and engage their workforce. Evolving business processes have made it necessary for HR leaders in the pharma sector to drive a change in their people management practices. While workforce training programs are nothing new, the pharma industry, which directly deals with human health and undergoes continuous research and development, needs to train and up-skill its workforce more than any other sector. It is especially critical today for the pharma industry to regularly review development programs and realign them with the changing organizational goals and compliance regulations.

Benefits of Investing in Human Capital through Learning and Development
It is no secret among organisations that investing in employee learning and development is important to draw concomitant gains from tech-led transformations and ensure business sustainability. The HR has to look into replacing the ‘check-the-box’ mentality with a learning culture that can proactively up-skill the employees. But, as L&D function are sometimes challenged with limited time and resources, they need to justify this investment by quantifying its benefits in terms of furthering their business goals. Training indeed has numerous financial benefits for an organisation. One of them comes from employees’ improved understanding of compliance and security regulations, which can save the company a lot of financial as well as reputational damage that could have arisen otherwise.

Talent with the right skills can prove to be very useful in product innovation, current research and development, both of which are intrinsic to the financial development of companies operating in the pharma space. This implies that training can lead to higher ROI for the companies. Moreover, when organisations give employees training and career insight, they effectively fulfil their usually unexamined demand for professional growth and development. This can help them retain the existing talent and also attract the best kind in the industry. In the Indian pharma space, which is facing attrition to the tune of 30-35 per cent per year, this could mark a significant victory for the companies. Given the fact that the cost of developing talent internally is 1/6th of external hiring, the former surely implies noteworthy financial gains.

Leveraging New-age Learning Management Systems for Efficient Up-skilling
But how can the L&D department determine that their learning-oriented initiatives are making a tangible impact on the workforce and organizations? The best solution to this is adopting advanced Learning Management System (LMS), which not only facilitates training but also captures the larger picture with its efficient feedback system.

Here are some ways in which a new-age LMS can help organizations:

  • It uses eLearning, which makes it very effective in training employees as it is scalable and instantly accessible to a large number of people. Employees situated in different geographical locations have access to the same learning resources through an LMS. Thus, the learning delivered is not restricted.
  • Training online is more practical as employees can gain knowledge without spending time away from work. It can actually produce more desirable results by providing adequate training to employees, on-the-job.
  • Companies and their employees don’t always have enough time for training. An LMS allows employees to start their learning process when they can. It also opens up the option for employees to go back to the course if they had left it midway.
  • It has a modern and highly engaging content which provides employees with a fun learning experience. Through gamification of the content using podcasts, quizzes, simulations, etc, the LMS can enable higher knowledge absorption and better results because it provides involved learning experiences.
  • The feedback system of an LMS takes into account the probability of training not translating into the acquisition of the intended skill. This allows HR leaders to define clear metrics that can connect the impact of learning on innovation, revenue growth and productivity. It reports employee underperformance or excellence in a particular course. This enables the company and its employees to focus on problem areas and take requisite steps.
  • It boosts healthy competition within the organization and improves its performance while allowing the company to increase productivity.

With the help of an LMS, you can augment people management and embed learning into the company’s culture. That said, Indian pharma companies—which have been struggling to juggle between their basic duties and new up-skilling challenges—can come closer to the meeting, and even exceeding the high global industry standards. This will open new growth opportunities for companies and empower employees in their career growth journeys. All of this will combine to help companies not only succeed at staying afloat in a fast-changing market, but also strengthen themselves to sustain their growth in the future.

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