Pharma & Life Sciences

Fast Track to Onboarding: Beyond Typical Orientation, Integral to Talent Management

Our Client

Our client is one of the leading pharmaceuticals divisions of the world’s largest biotech company focused on translating science into effective medicines for patients. The company is dedicated to cutting edge research in various countries and has over 150 partners worldwide. Leading providers of clinically differentiated medicines, our client lists life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines.

The Business Challenge

The Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) group realized the need for a decisive onboarding program and the role it can play in engaging, retaining and helping employees succeed over the long-term. The team has critical roles such as Clinical Operations, Medical Liaisons, and Key Opinion Leaders who are involved in crucial reputation building function for the organization. However, these teams are dispersed across various locations, and each location followed a different onboarding process. Thus, there was no consistent onboarding experience for new employees and tracking the completion of each stage of the onboarding process was very hard. Past experiences had indicated that non-alignment with the strategic intent of the organization and lack of engagement could have a disastrous effect on employee turnover. Additionally having to track manually the new joiners schedule, learning material and assess their understanding was proving cumbersome. Managers failed to get a real-time view of meetings, and this was further complicated when the people who needed to be met with were traveling or unavailable. This lead to the need to digitize onboarding, and streamline the current manual onboarding processes that make employees productive quickly. The onboarding process comprises a mix of activities, such as classroom training, and learning through online courseware that were to be digitized. However, tracking and digitizing face-to-face meetings with key people from different teams was perhaps the most challenging to establish as a part of digitizing the onboarding process.

Our Solution

As part of the accelerated onboarding initiative, we created a checklist that defined the chronology of activities and meeting that a new employee needed to complete which helped us in creating a portal that had various user groups. This rich, dynamic valuable portal became the backbone of this engagement and the driver of accelerated onboarding for new employees. The project ensured that there were dynamic and customizable workflows for the Onboarding Activities and that the design and content structure of the site provides context, coaching and follow-up support. This helped in moving beyond typical orientation program to make onboarding a vital part of the talent management activities. Administrator(s) could now access the portal and map Managers to Trainees, assign checklists to Trainees, and also generate reports of task completion status across Trainees. The focus was to make the site engaging and informative to not only facilitate assimilation into the business and culture of the company but also to align with the client’s strategic priorities.

Key Responsibilities

  • Diagnosing of the business problem and recommending a solution
  • Structuring the flow of events, interactions, sign-off and distribution of relevant learning material
  • Tracking of meetings and completion of tasks
  • Managing the process and flow of the interactions
  • Sensitizing the learners about behavioral expectations and strategic priorities
  • Managing the project from initial consultation through final content redevelopment and delivery


  • We served our client by creating an efficient onboarding program that helped them gain an appreciation of the current workflows and how that interacts and converges to help employee contribute to the achievement of business goals.
  • The portal also helped in understanding areas of improvement in competencies through a post-onboarding evaluation reports that are now available for the leadership.
  • An indication of rapid adoption was visible soon; in the first three months of its launch over 200 users adapted the tool.
  • By six months, the portal had become the tool of choice across four of the five target geographies. Over 90% of the users confirmed that the tool was most relevant to their job and used it regularly.
  • The platform also enables the organization to connect instantaneously employees to areas of expertise and acumen and helps them start their careers in a collaborative and engaged enterprise.