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Cross-functional mobility: Delivering the promise of growth and development

Samhita Sen, Marketing Executive | 10/10/2023

At Avalere Health, cross-functional mobility is encouraged as a path for employees to gain experience and progress their career and development. In this article, hear our employees’ perspectives on how internal, cross-functional mobility has impacted their careers.

Internal and cross-functional mobility is crucial to any company committed to its employees’ career growth and opportunities. This offering supports individuals in moving vertically, laterally, or pivoting to a new role entirely within the same organization. At Avalere Health, this type of mobility is not only encouraged but also celebrated as a means of enriching employees’ career experiences.

Avalere Health’s deeply people-centric philosophy helps foster a culture that is equitable, purposeful, diverse, and inclusive for all, including differences in working needs and ambitions. Our Career Experience (CXP) team is dedicated to this goal, working to ensure employees’ well-being, experience, and development remain top priorities. This is reflected in the company’s approach to cross-functional mobility, with investment toward career progression that may not be linear.

Investing in a non-linear approach

Teresa, currently working within our Integration team, was originally a US-based, client-facing Project Manager in Global Marketing and took on several internal and cross-functional opportunities to progress her career. After a six-month secondment from the USA to the UK in 2022 to deepen her project management experience and build strong professional relationships around the world, Teresa pivoted to a trans-Atlantic team focused on internal process improvement initiatives.

“These internal mobility opportunities that the company provides are an investment in their employees and in turn inspire us to be invested back in the organization. Providing and encouraging cross-functional opportunities can promote curiosity, mitigate burnout, and bring a renewed purpose to charging up an individual’s career,” said Teresa.

In the twice-yearly Your Voice survey conducted last month as a pulse check and opportunity for feedback across the organization, 74% of Avalere Health’s team members reported that they find purpose in their day-to-day work, and 89% reported receiving support from the people around them when they need it. Always striving to improve, this feedback helps teams create opportunities and resources to meet the needs of our employees, such as cross-functional assignments and flexible working policies.

A nonlinear approach to mobility provides scope for advancement and upskilling to ensure individuals are not only growing within their roles but also expanding their expertise, fostering connections with co-workers globally and across teams, and exploring new areas of business. This approach can help employees discover new interests and passions and bring about more fulfilling and satisfying career experiences.

Daniel, originally an Account Manager with our Global Marketing team, pivoted to Client Services Director within our Medical team. He said, “This experience has given me a far greater understanding of different stakeholders within our clients’ businesses, and how their priorities and challenges may differ. As a result of this, I believe I am now better positioned to help my clients solve their business challenges.”

Cultivating an environment for professional and personal growth

A culture of respect and spirit empowers Avalere Health employees to pursue their passions and interests in and out of work, along with several opportunities and resources the company offers for learning and personal development.

In our Your Voice survey, 90% of employees said their manager genuinely cares about their well-being, which plays a huge part in feeling comfortable taking on new challenges and growing professionally.

Emily, initially a Project Manager in our Medical capability, found her values and passions aligned more closely with the CXP team. Her transferable skills from previous roles, strong drive to succeed, and passion for the employee experience proved to be a great foundation for Emily’s pivot to Career Experience Manager. “It isn’t easy to have a complete career pivot at this stage in my professional career, but the team opened the door of opportunity to me and have supported my continuous development within the role ever since,” she said.

By working in different areas of the business, employees gain a deeper understanding of the company’s operations and can identify areas for improvement or innovation. This approach can also help to break down siloes within an organization, promote collaboration and communication between departments, and create a more agile and adaptable workforce better equipped to respond to changes in the industry.

Grace, now Senior Manager of Client Partnerships within our Consulting capability, has taken advantage of multiple cross-functional moves; originally pivoting from Account Management to Group Business Development, and now to Consulting-specific client partnerships, she has gained exposure to many new colleagues, clients, practice areas, and projects during her time with Avalere Health. “By connecting teams and sharing experience, knowledge, and expertise across the group, I can ensure that we’re always improving and providing a true partnership for our clients,” she said.

Hear our team members’ perspectives on their career transitions

We interviewed some of our employees who have taken advantage of the cross-functional opportunities at Avalere Health to find out how their careers were impacted by their transition(s), and how they are supported and empowered to pursue their path.

Tobi, current Director of Strategy, US Marketing (previously: Account Director, Global Marketing): “With Avalere Health’s focus on career development, with platforms such as Fuel50 and free access to the wealth of resources on Coursera, I have the comfort of knowing my broader career goals are supported and I have the resources to help me upskill to reach them. I was always very interested in the strategic side of what we do and gravitated towards projects or even accounts with that focus, so the opportunity to transition into a full-time strategy role was an exciting one for me. This transition has also allowed me to meet many of the wonderful people within the organization and learn new ways of working, make long-standing relationships, and help me get closer to realizing my career goals.”

Kelsey, current Delivery Lead (previously: Senior Project Manager, Medical): “My career trajectory has definitely changed over the past few months and, even though I have yet to figure out the specifics of my career journey, my team within the company is extremely supportive and is already chatting to me about my own goals and next steps in my career.”

Charlie, current Key Client Partnerships Manager, Group Services (previously: Senior Project Manager, Medical; Project Director, Global Marketing; and Lead Motion Producer, Shared Solutions): “My transitions have enhanced my career by improving my confidence, career satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. These cross-functional opportunities also allow employees to bring their individual work styles, skills, and perspectives to other departments, introducing opportunities to leverage different insights, ideas, and solutions. With my latest role, Avalere Health identified the underlying themes connecting my previous positions and offered this opportunity to progress my career, gain new skills, and learn more about the business from a global level, working with new colleagues and toward a completely different set of projects and objectives.”

Daniel, current Client Services Director, Medical (previously: Account Manager, Global Marketing): “What interests me in my role and my career is the opportunity to continue learning. By enabling team members to transition between business units, as well as the range of training and coaching opportunities provided, the organization helps ensure that we are all given the opportunity to learn new skills and gain new experiences.”

JP, current Internal Communications Manager, Group Services (previously: Assistant Director, Editorial, Shared Solutions): “This move has given me a chance to learn and grow and try new things, while at the same time remain working at a company that I know well and believe in. My current team and I are separated by a continent and an ocean, but I still feel a great sense of camaraderie and security in the knowledge that they have my back. My line manager is a wonderful leader and has already inspired me to take chances that I never thought I would in my career. I’ve learned a lot about thinking innovatively and taking on challenges in a short period of time, and it’s been a huge part of what has made this job so enjoyable.”

Lucy, current Medical Writer Training Director, Group Services (previously: Editorial Business Manager, Medical): “Now working with the CXP team, I have a deeper understanding of how all our different capabilities collaborate and complement one another. Going forward, I want to do, feel, and be my best every day, and strike a good balance between life and work—they are both my personal and professional goals. Avalere Health supports me in this by valuing those endeavors and having a CXP team that genuinely wants the best for everyone who works here. Being in a team with so many forward-thinking people who place a strong emphasis—with actions as well as words—on professional development has enhanced my career and opened my eyes up to a world of learning without limits. With drive and passion, you really can set your goals and go for it.”

Teresa, current Integration Manager, Group Services (previously: Project Manager, Global Marketing): “Every line manager and mentor I’ve had at this company has encouraged me to pursue my career goals. Once I have made my long-term intentions known, each has steered me towards a new learning or relationship-development opportunity that they believe would help me accomplish my goal. I am very grateful for that.”

Grace, current Senior Manager of Client Partnerships, Consulting (previously: Account Executive, Global Marketing; Key Clients Partnerships, Group Services): “I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a company that supports my career ambitions and desires to try ‘new’ things. It has allowed me to build on my understanding of the company and continue broadening my connections across the group. I genuinely believe the more we collaborate, the more satisfaction we gain working together towards a common goal, and most importantly, the more we are able to provide holistic, tailored, and knowledgeable solutions for our clients.”

Emily, current Career Experience Manager, Group Services (previously: Project Manager, Medical): “I never would have considered that a position in the Learning and Development team would be open to me, but I was fortunate that the wider People team saw that potential within me. I’m very much a ‘people person,’ and so being able to support teams on a global scale and create custom solutions for them has been a dream. Having a career that speaks so closely to my personal values makes me feel motivated, enthusiastic, and engaged every day. Internal mobility/cross-functional employment opportunities demonstrate that a company cares about meeting the needs of the individual and harnessing their potential—you’re not just a cog in the machine!”


Find out more about our culture, benefits, and career opportunities here.

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