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Employee errors costing pharma

Pharmaceutical employees in the UK and US that do not understand their jobs are costing the sector $37bn every year
Pharmaceutical employees in the UK and US that do not understand their jobs are costing the sector $37bn every year, according to a new IDC white paper commissioned by intelligent employee assessment specialist, Cognisco.

The report, $37bn: Counting the Cost of Employee Misunderstanding, details the full scale of the impact of employee misunderstanding on the pharma industry. IDC published the white paper after conducting a telephone poll of senior HR, finance and operations staff at 400 companies across the US and UK that collectively employ a total of 5000 people.

"Large enterprises are potentially losing millions of dollars each year to 'employee misunderstanding' yet very few organisations are taking action or are even aware a problem exists," said Lisa Rowan, program director HR and talent management services for IDC. "The potential impact and repercussions from this misunderstanding should be addressed by all organisations and at the highest level."

The white paper reveals the pharmaceutical sector has one of the highest potential costs of employee misunderstanding. The poll showed that 96 per cent of the companies surveyed said employee misunderstanding increased their exposure to a loss of sales.

"An organisation's greatest asset is its employees but if any one of them misunderstands or misinterprets their role, this significant asset can be easily eroded," said Mark Clarke, CEO of Cognisco. "This can have serious repercussions in the boardroom, ranging from loss of business to impaired reputation, as demonstrated by the responses from the pharmaceutical companies surveyed for the white paper."

37 per cent of the respondents said that a loss of business as a result of unplanned downtime was the greatest impact of employee misunderstanding.

An unnamed pharmaceutical company surveyed for the white paper said: "A procurement error resulted in significant production downtime. A dedicated production facility could not function without a chemical catalyst. This oversight left us with no option but to shut down production."

4th July 2008

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