Eisai’s Preeminent Career Navigation Tool
FIELD TRAINERS – Michael Tomlinson
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
I have heard that saying since I was a child and I finally got a glimpse of what it means with my experience at Eisai. Nobody was “perishing,” but people were leaving because there was no vision. No clear path.
Fortunately, the ENRICH program was created to empower sales professionals with their own career navigation and provide a tool to help them gain the appropriate vision for what their future potential could be at the company.
It all started when I joined Eisai as a sales professional. I was excited about the new company and the role that I had in promoting products. But after some time, I started inquiring with my manager about career paths and where can I go from here. He didn’t have a great answer but said that I was in control of my career.
I thought to myself, “How could I be in control of my career when I don’t even know what’s available?”
And so, I started to work on an initiative called “So You Want to Be a ______.” I presented it to my manager, to the next level manager and I even presented it to HR, and they all loved the idea.
In the meantime, I was witnessing a retention program that the company was currently experiencing. People were leaving because they didn’t know or understand the many career paths that were available. The more I dug into it, the more I realized people just didn’t know of all the opportunities that existed for a sales professional.
At this time, I was promoted into a field training manager role where I realized that there were many other sales professionals who needed some type of guidance or vision to help them with their career navigation. So, I took the “So You Want to Be a ______” program to our national sales director and vice president of sales, where they embraced the idea and loved it.
The only thing they didn’t like about the program was the name. It was not easy to say, and it did not have a great acronym as a shortcut. Therefore, with some ingenuity, creativity and the creation of a team, we changed the name of the program to ENRICH. And truly that made all the difference!
The E stands for Empowered and the N for Navigation. We wanted to put the career development in the hands of the sales professional and develop a plan for career paths through four key ideas:
- Recognize what career paths are available.
- Identify skills knowledge and training necessary for each career path.
- Collaborate with internal colleagues who exemplify excellence in the role.
- Help develop excellence and retain top talent through career navigation.
The ENRICH Program has three main facets:
- The ENRICH Team: This is a cross-functional team that implements and maintains the ENRICH program. One of the great things about the ENRICH team is that people serve for at least 18 months to ensure the program continues to be successful.
- The ENRICH-MENTS: A series of one-page summaries of job descriptions that include essential functions, recommended skill sets and recommended training to be successful in the role. These ENRICH-MENT one-pagers are accessible via Eisai University.
- The ENRICH Sessions: Selected colleagues provide information about their current job and recommended skill sets and training essential to be successful in said job. They provide this valuable information for a small group moderated by a member of the ENRICH team interested in learning about the position who sign up for the session ahead of time.
Within the first two sessions of ENRICH, 60% of the salesforce attended the two meetings and were energized by the vision of knowing their potential career paths.
The ENRICH program has become the preeminent source for career navigation at Eisai. ENRICH truly has become a “vision” that is diminishing the “perishing” of people and it will continue to evolve as the workplace evolves now and in the future.
Michael Tomlinson is area business leader for Eisai. Email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.