Pharmaceutical and Life Science organizations have strict regulations around how they are able to speak about their products and, while it doesn’t always get the glory, the MLR process plays an integral role in the development and dissemination of medical and promotional content. However, even the best designed content management systems, supported by thorough and thoughtful SOPs, can fall victim to liability when they aren’t being used appropriately. One way to ensure that your MLR stakeholders are operating in the desired manner is to have a thorough and effective training strategy.
While the specifics of an organization’s training strategy will vary depending on the size of the organization, the technology involved, and other cultural elements, there are four main pillars of an effective MLR training strategy:
- Material – The foundation of any effective training strategy starts with the specific training materials that your organization uses to train your stakeholders. In our experience, it is best to avoid the drawn-out training sessions of old. Identify the core content that you want your team to understand and break it down into material that can be presented in 90 minutes or less. Typical subject matter includes Principles of Ad Promo, Content Management System Navigation, and SOP adherence. Extra points for interactive content!
- Cadence – This is one area that will vary significantly from one organization to the next but is an important aspect of any training strategy. If you are a pre-commercial company preparing for an upcoming launch, you will likely have a big lift of initial training sessions to establish your MLR processes and content management systems, but recurring training will ensure that your team doesn’t develop bad habits during the window where your MLR team and infrastructure will be the most stressed- during a commercial launch. More established organizations will benefit from regular refresher training sessions, be it quarterly, semi-annually, or annually by reinforcing good habits and educating your existing stakeholders on potential new functionality within your content management system.
- Consistency – Consistency is closely tied to the two pillars above and applies to two areas of a training strategy: new member onboarding, and recurring refresher training. Strong training material is important, but the instructors who lead your training sessions are key to knocking your training sessions out of the park. Having engaging instructors who deliver a consistent training experience allow other stakeholders to trust that their new colleagues understand the environment that they are entering into. Similarly, recurring training, delivered in a consistent manner, can drive home points of emphasis as your processes and technologies evolve over time.
- Agility – Agility is a commonly used buzz word, but when it comes to your training strategy it is essential. The ability to update your training material quickly in response to organizational, process, or technology changes will determine how quickly you can implement change with your organization. If you are not regularly revisiting your training material and training process, you should be, and if you are, it’s best if you have a designated team member to lead this initiative, and a formalized process by which it can be facilitated.
A well thought out training strategy provides long-term stability for and drives process compliance and efficiency within your MLR organization. Your training strategy should address the material you use to train your team, the frequency that new and existing stakeholders are trained and re-trained, the consistency with which the material is disseminated to new and existing stakeholders, and the process for how your training content will be updated and maintained. If you have these four pillars in place, you’ve set up your MLR group for success.