RN Pharma Sustained Its High Engagement Scores

RN Pharma Sustained Its High Engagement Scores

  • 2% increase in psychological safety
  • 5% increase in feedback
  • 7% increase in trust
RN Pharma logo

RN Pharma is a commercial-stage pharma company that develops therapies for people with rare neurological disorders.

Employees: 200

Established: ~5 years ago


increase in psychological safety


increase in feedback


increase in trust

How RN Pharma Sustained High Engagement For Sales Leaders


The Challenge: Sustaining Engagement for Sales Leaders

How does a young, growing pharma company uphold its high level of engagement as it grows?

One of the best examples we’ve seen was at a company we’ll call Rare Neurological Pharma, or RN Pharma for short.

RN Pharma is a commercial-stage company that develops therapies for rare neurological disorders. Founded in 2017, RN won a constant stream of awards for its culture. With an incredibly high-performing, seasoned sales force, RN partnered with us to build out a leadership development program to sustain their already impressive engagement scores.

1. RN grounded its training in meaningful data.

Since the biggest threat to RN culture was employee engagement, they delivered the Cultural Analysis of a Team (CAT Scan) 180 survey. The assessment delivered an employee engagement score for each leader’s team as well as scores for the specific leadership behaviors that impact engagement (Leadership Quotient, or LQ).

After debriefing their CAT Scan, leaders walked away with not only a clear picture of their team’s engagement but also the specific leadership behaviors they could work on to improve their scores. As a part of the program, leaders will be re-assessed at the six- and twelve-month marks.

2. RN built its curriculum based on that data.

RN let the 12 key leadership behaviors on the assessment drive its curriculum. That way, sales leaders knew that their time (a valuable resource for busy, traveling sales leaders) was being devoted to impactful work—the engagement of their teams.

RN devoted each month to a different leadership behavior on the LQ12 and broke each month into bite-size weekly exercises and lessons to help learning stick:

Months 1-6
Months 7-12

3. RN leveraged a flipped classroom model that was self-paced, yet action-oriented and agenda-driven.

By moving to the next topic on a monthly basis, and by capping each month with a group coaching session, it offered RN’s salespeople a good balance between self-paced and agenda-driven.

The cadence worked like this: One weekly micro-learning or application exercise for three weeks, followed by a cohort-based group coaching session to wrap up that month’s learning. The group coaching session at the end of the month helped to establish a clear finish line for self-paced learning.

4. RN capped each month with a group coaching session to

instigate peer learning.

RN needed a program that would meet the needs of a new sales manager, while at
the same time, still strengthening and broadening the skillsets of highly experienced managers. RN thought of this as similar to an NFL camp where seasoned veterans and rookies do the same drills and get value out of it. Veterans can share their expertise with rookies and rookies can inspire veterans with their energy.

Co-facilitated by an in-house leadership development expert and an external coach, RN’s sales leaders would get together to share what they learned, how they applied these learnings on the job, what questions they had, and what challenges they faced.

5. RN enabled action with purposeful technology.

It was critical to RN to deliver this training through an app in bite-size chunks. The leadership development team at RN didn’t want tech that people found annoying, and they didn’t want a giant library of content that leaders would have to wade through. They chose our platform because we “delivered weekly micro-learning lessons, reflections, and activities in a clear, agenda-driven manner.”

The app also sent out personalized nudges based on leaders’ results on the CAT Scan survey. For example, if someone scored low in psychological safety, they would receive behavioral nudges on that topic. It might read something like, “To build psychological safety this week, share some of your own failures or mistakes to encourage others to talk openly about their experiences.” Then RN sales leaders could click a link to watch a quick video on how to apply this.

One sales leader with over 20 years experience in pharma, described the program saying: “I have been leading people for the past 22 years, and I have improved in a couple
of areas of leadership as a result of participating in this program. If I had to give you
a reason why, it would be the way the program provides ‘surround sound’ leadership training. This is done through topical skill leadership exercises, book summaries related to leadership skills, micro-learning, nudges, live virtual training sessions, and reminders of how to grow and develop team members. All these training tools were used around each skill in the program.“

Results: Not Just Sustaining Engagement, But IMPROVING It

Prior to working with LEADx, RN leaders had been through e-Learning as well as
live workshops like Situational Leadership and GROW coaching. But, they found this program unique from both of those experiences for the way it blends e-Learning and live workshops into a cohesive coaching plan.

On top of that, at the six-month mark now, the results have exceeded RN’s primary goal: To sustain their high level of engagement. They were pleased to see engagement bump up (from already impressively high scores) across three key areas:

• Psychological safety: +2% • Feedback: +5%
• Trust: +7%

It’s clear that this blended approach works for RN’s sales leaders. Data-driven, cohort- based, and tech-enabled is a recipe for engaged learners and ROI.