Due to rapid growth in biotech, demand for talent with highly specialized skills continues to be one of the most pressing challenges facing the industry. While in the past biotechs have struggled to find qualified candidates, today they have access to much bigger talent pools. But this poses a new challenge for biotech companies: effectively managing talent fluidity—meaning, the greater rate at which employees are moving to new biotech companies and their larger pharmaceutical peers.

With this challenge in mind, biotech companies are increasingly focused on leveraging culture as a differentiator and “stickiness” factor to 1) retain existing employees and prevent mass exits and 2) leverage existing employees as informal recruiters to ensure the highest quality talent is being attracted to their company and mission.

And one of the top culture characteristics biotech employees report looking for in a company’s culture is flexibility. See the case study below for how Werk helped one biotech company address its flexibility gap and integrate flexibility as a key lever of its employer brand.

A mid-sized biotechnology company based in the Bay Area identified a lack of flexibility as the single-greatest factor dragging their employee net promoter scores (eNPS) down. This was particularly concerning for the company not only because it was impacting the engagement and retention of existing employees, but also because the company relied heavily on leveraging “employees as recruiters.” The company reported having some degree of flexibility available to employees, but employee feedback was telling them it wasn’t working or wasn’t meeting their needs.

The company wanted to take a more data-driven approach to flexibility and develop a program that was tailored to their unique employees’ needs as opposed to driving top-down policies where uptake was low. The company used Werk to measure employees’ need for and access to flexibility, and to assess the impact it was having on people metrics including eNPS, retention, and burnout.

The data revealed that employees who had access to the flexibility they needed had an average eNPS score 50 points higher than those who didn’t. For those who didn’t have their needs met, the gap was primarily driven by a lack of access to time-based flexibility like TimeShift and MicroAgility. The company used this data to put clearer, more structured policies in place for existing employees and then integrated flexibility into their employer brand to bolster their attraction and recruitment strategy.