Work values shifted in the face of profits versus layoffs during the Covid 19 pandemic. Without learning opportunities to stay engaged, employees working from home were intellectually stunted and flailing to find inspiration. Business as usual now needed the new leader to emerge in a virtual environment.
With revenue goals to meet, and increased pressure to perform with newly approved FDA medications, management was unable to engage employees, leading to high levels of turnover. The results were a loss of talented individuals and an inability to market essential life-extending and saving biopharmaceuticals to health care providers that treat rare diseases.
Management was faced with carrying operating costs for employees that were unable to reach customers. Yet, there was a lack of transformation in leadership to engage the customer facing employees. This led to above average attrition, creating a need for new people to be hired. Training for newly hired employees was implemented, increasing costs, and creating gaps in sales cycles. Disruption amongst teams was evident as management experienced a communication gap with front-line employees.
Post Covid 19, sales leadership must emerge out of its cocoon, and spread its four wings. Grounded in transformational leadership theory (Burns, 1978), idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration must be adapted in a hybrid virtual world. Leader management exchange theory may be practiced but the key emphasis should be on attraction selection attrition (ASA) theory.
Authors: Amit Garg
Cite as: Garg, A. (2023). Employee attrition in pharmaceutical sales: ASA theory. Muma Business Review 7(7). 79-90. https://doi.org/10.28945/5212