Employees in Life Sciences – what you need to keep them happy

Just like in any other company in any other industry in Life Sciences you’re usually better off keeping your talent happy. In order to achieve that you need an understanding of what your employees are like and what drives them. Not that Life Science employees are overtly special or different but – thanks to the distinct requirements of the industry – they often emphasize certain tendencies over others just because of the nature of the industry. And they get hired and potentially leave their employer because of them. So which of these traits are especially important? Let’s look at some of them.

Foster innovational spirit

Since Life Sciences companies very often need a high level of research intensity and innovative drive in order to develop transformative technologies and the new breakthrough product, employees tend to invest a lot of time into these fields. Meaning, they need to be able to stay excited about their research and they need to see that it’s getting them somewhere. Just like ProClinical Global Recruitment Director Richard Thomas said: “The importance of creating an inclusive company culture, internal opportunities for career growth and regular recognition can't be underestimated when planning strategies for the attraction and retention of leading life sciences talent.“ (Source) When you invest into your intellectual capital, it’s more likely that you get repaid and at the same time keep up the innovational spirit in your company. So be sure to encourage new ideas, collaborations and stay agile to keep up with the minds that are most valuable to you.

Understand versatile skill sets

And it’s not easy – don’t get me wrong – to understand the potential you’re dealing with. Following the diversification of the industry the skill sets in your employees have also become much more versatile. And they develop in more different directions than they used to – which can be a good thing! Employees can employ more versatile strategies to adapt to new developments in the industry, include new technologies to streamline processes etc. If you understand the versatile skill sets you can not only use them more to your advantage but also adapt the mission of your employees so they feel more understood and can work better. That way you give them recognition and they feel like they can develop in the company. Something, research has shown, they value highly.

The mission is the new bonus

You hear everywhere that employees these days tend to be less tempted by financial bonuses to boost their confidence and motivation and instead need more ideal incentives. And you might say: awesome, cheaper for me! But in fact, it can be even more challenging since you need to invest time instead in adapting individual patterns to your incentives according to the type of employee you’re dealing with (and his age!). And you need to make sure you give people a mission to go for and that can often also mean that you need to let go of some responsibility and trust others with it. A purpose can be better than a bonus but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier. You need to work on a whole atmosphere of entrepreneurial spirit.


In a technology-centered industry like the Life Sciences, it may be obvious that technology plays a vital role in your employee’s satisfaction. But although it may seem obvious, it’s much less obviously applied as one might think. It includes every aspect of your technology, starting from the computers and lab equipment your employees are working with on a daily basis down to the structure and quality of your company’s website that represents your employees as well. You need a comprehensive approach to technology in order to keep up.

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