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Creating strong employee engagement and retaining talent in the new normal

By Marie Little

Marie Little

The new normal has been a much-debated topic over the past two years. What would life and work look and feel like post-pandemic?

Now, as we approach autumn 2022, we have a clearer idea. While COVID-19 challenged all of us working in medcomms and our clients, it also created opportunities for fresh thinking. It is important that our work is highly engaging for our people, but we believe it’s just a part of what creates great employee engagement.

As we look at employee engagement in medcomms, the nature of the work is a big pull, making a difference to and improving patient lives. Now in our 11th year, Bedrock is a multi- award-winning healthcare communications agency with a strong sense of identity and values. At the heart of our engaging culture is something bigger than how we coped in the pandemic or how flexible we are now. It’s about the drive to do the best work of our lives.

Engagement and the pandemic
While remote communication was nothing new, the pandemic made it a mainstay for pharma, agencies and healthcare professionals (HCPs). Bedrock certainly wasn’t alone in having to shift our business to remote working overnight. In terms of employee engagement, while lockdown challenged many, the Bedrock team really pulled together, as Sarah Brooks, Account Director at Bedrock explained. “Even working remotely, I never felt ‘alone’. Everyone is always happy to support and help where needed. It’s a fantastic, dedicated and passionate team that inspires me every day.” It’s something that Rupinder Sohal, Associate Account Director also felt, twelve months after joining in the middle of the pandemic. “The Bedrock values are within us all, we help each other out, we are authentic and straightforward.”

Freethinking agility
Building an engaged team is one thing – getting remote working right for clients was down to being able to listen and adapt. The challenges faced by HCPs also created opportunities for the Bedrock team to respond. HCPs had to contend with a severe lack of time, lack of connection with peers, how to support patients better and how to deal with patient backlog. These were all areas where we could make a real difference by listening, understanding and putting our audience first. We evolved as a business in ways we couldn’t have expected and that’s been fascinating in terms of some of the work we’ve produced. For example, the project that recently won the Agility & Flexibility category at the 2022 Communiqué Awards was based around our response to a challenge at the heart of the pandemic. To provide clarity to HCPs treating MS patients about using the COVID-19 vaccine, we built a fully remote community of experts who came together to reach consensus within a record-breaking time frame. The work brought out the very best from our team of dedicated freethinkers.

How our values support employee engagement
Freethinking is one of five values that are the DNA of Bedrock and our parent company, Resonant Group. Our values play a significant part in creating the Bedrock culture, they are central to everything we do. In terms of harnessing true creativity and innovation, our freethinking approach is pivotal. It gives our people the space and lack of constraints to allow them to genuinely think freely about our clients’ issues. Everyone has their own voice and we’re curious by nature. Our people are encouraged to be inquisitive and then propose and build a better outcome based on their findings. Our values unite us, so we are greater than the sum of our parts, which creates a highly inspiring and engaging way to work. What’s more, we use processes and tools that ingrain agility to adapt our working practices. We are also passionate about building resilience and proactively avoiding burnout.

Aimee Allen, People and Culture Manager, added: “The pandemic altered employees’ relationships with their places of work. Our forward-thinking mindset has enabled us to adapt as an employer.”

Our tips for building strong employee engagement

  • Listen to what your employees need to be their authentic self and do the best work of their lives – then act on it
  • Keep your values core to everything you do
  • Communicate effectively and frequently
  • Foster your team spirit organically using the 4 Cs – connect, communicate, collaborate, celebrate.

Could our agile and freethinking approach support your 2023 aspirations? Contact us at

Marie Little is MD at Bedrock Healthcare Communications, part of the Resonant Group

13th September 2022

From: Marketing


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