Many employees across industries took the reorganization of work-life amid the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to step back. Whatever their reasons, some who joined the Great Resignation did not stay away for long. Our re-hired, “boomerang” employees discuss what brought them back to Avalere Health and how the company supports their goals and passions at every step, stop, and pivot.
Over the past few years, we’ve had multiple cases of employees who left looking to rejoin our team. As Avalere Health enters its next stage of growth focused on building a sustainable future and leveraging a people-centric philosophy, we are renewing our commitment to fostering a culture that is equitable, purposeful, diverse, and inclusive for all, including both new and re-hires.
As part of our people-first culture, our dedicated Career Experience Team and platforms offer individualized development opportunities that support each employee’s professional aspirations. We celebrate each colleague’s success and commit to supporting career growth in to match our colleagues’ aspirations.
We interviewed our boomerang employees to find out what brought them back and how they are carving out new careers at Avalere Health.
When did you leave Avalere Health and what made you want to return?
Jareth, Associate Creative Director, Copy: I left Avalere Health at the end of October 2021 with a strong desire to work on something new. When I left, I quickly realized just how awesome the people are at Avalere Health and how supported you are when you work for this organization. Avalere Health recognizes that it truly takes a team of individual members with expertise in a variety of disciplines (creative, strategy, science, account management) to deliver exceptional work. Fortunately, the company was hiring a creative and copy lead, so I returned to Avalere Health in December 2021 and am enjoying the new challenges and getting to work with new people both internally and client-side.
Rochelle, Talent Acquisition Partner: I left Avalere Health in June 2021, but I missed my team, the friendships and our comradery, the industry, and the impact I was having. I missed hiring exceptional talent that go on to help change the lives of patients and empower individuals with knowledge needed to improve outcomes. Fast forward two months (and another round of drafting resignation letters, returning company equipment, and saying my goodbyes), I rejoined my team late August. It was like I never left! Before returning, I had a candid conversation with my manager expressing my ambition to grow and develop, with the caveat these aspirations might take me outside of my current team. I was met with support, encouragement, and openness to the fact that new potential for fulfillment may lead me down a different path.
Fiona, Engagement Strategist: I left in October 2020 because I had reached a point in my career where I wanted to try something different. I had always worked in client services, so I was unsure how to go about making the change to digital strategy, which I have always had a passion for. It just so happened that I went to dinner with some friends I used to work with at Avalere Health, and they told me about a new Engagement Strategist role. I wasn’t just keen to hear more about the role because it was within the strategy team; I also jumped at the chance to work with some of the friends I had made, and I always valued the supportive culture.
Rebecca, Editorial Project Specialist: I left in June 2021 and was away for about seven (very long) months. There were several reasons that prompted my return; one very large factor was that the agency I moved to didn’t want to know about composting worms – a passion of mine! I really missed how friendly everyone at Avalere Health is and how supportive managers are. There were also a few organizational changes while I was away that have really benefitted the company, as well as the improved compensation and benefits. I have returned to the same role and am working mostly from home, which is important so I can pester the worms to share the content with everyone.
Sonie, Group Head of Copy: I left Avalere Health in July 2021 with a very heavy heart as I truly loved working at the company. I didn’t really enjoy the new position that I started and, thankfully, Avalere Health was willing to take me back. I’m so grateful! I love working with the same wonderful team, in a great location, but with new challenges and goals.
Abbey, Senior Digital Producer: I left my role as a Digital Producer in April 2021 but missed the challenge and drive the Shared Solutions team at Avalere Health offered. Specifically, on the digital team the culture and environment that persists when coming across a challenge is unlike any job I have had. We are constantly working together to concept new and innovative opportunities for our clients while also partnering across multiple internal teams. Now that I’ve rejoined as a Senior Digital Producer, I’m excited to lead a team, putting an emphasis and focus on delivery, requirements, and start-to-end testing to ensure all tactics are meeting the highest industry standards.
Wesley, Senior Account Executive: I left in February of 2021, but the company I worked at during my time away didn’t value their employees and had no interest in developing meaningful relationships with their colleagues or clients. It made me think back to my colleagues and clients at Avalere Health and how much everyone cared for each other on both sides of the table, and I sorely missed the relationships I had with my former coworkers and clients. I returned to Avalere Health in early September 2021 to a more senior role than when I left.
What do you like most about the culture?
Jareth: There is respect and appreciation from your coworkers and the organization for the interests and expertise you have outside of the workplace. I’m a musician and have had opportunities to share my music and play with my agency peers through some of the cultural events we’ve had. We have poets here, fine artists, globetrotting adventurers, athletes, car and motorcycle enthusiasts, etc. I’ve always come from the mindset that those experiences only help make you better at your job, so they should be encouraged. People should have the work/life balance to be able to pursue them, which Avalere Health is good at providing.
We have poets here, fine artists, globetrotting adventurers, athletes, car and motorcycle enthusiasts, etc. I’ve always come from the mindset that those experiences only help make you better at your job, so they should be encouraged.
Rochelle: I love that Avalere Health prioritizes internal mobility through cultural exchanges or role and departmental transitions. The leadership team empowers career development that may not be linear, and provides scope for advancement and upskilling. Our careers are enriched beyond our day-to-day roles, whether that’s by joining one of our 6 Diversity and Inclusion Employee Network Groups, bringing together colleagues with fun events, or championing our groups’ sustainability initiatives. All of this enables us to increase our skills, provides opportunities for learning and personal development, and allows us to connect with our coworkers’ cross-functionally (and globally) to drive projects and accomplish goals together.
Fiona: The emphasis on our people – there is a huge amount of effort put into supporting every individual to ensure we have the right guidance and resources to excel in our careers.
Rebecca: My favorite part of Avalere Health is the friendly and supportive atmosphere. It is so refreshing to be in a company where everyone is kind and wants you to succeed in both your professional and personal goals!
Sonie: There is a real culture of respect and team spirit within Avalere Health. My colleagues are amazing people who have been so supportive toward me, including when I first started as a freelancer. When I came back to work after having my daughter, leaving the office at 5:30, on the dot, was essential for me. No one ever made a comment about me leaving on time or made me feel bad in any way. I will never forget that! There is also a huge commitment to diversity and inclusion at Avalere Health, which makes me proud to work for the company.
Abbey: Overall, I would say the continued drive for growth is what excites me the most about Avalere Health. In a field that is constantly changing and growing, having a team that is ahead of the industry standard is quite mind-blowing. It empowers me to build my skill set, but also help my colleagues grow so together we can constantly strive toward bigger and better solutions to ensure our clients always remain on top.
Wesley: Avalere Health hires using a culture-first approach. Meaning, they hire as much on merit and culture-fit as they do on qualifications. They’ve built an organization full of people who would all get along wonderfully regardless of their team, business unit, or location. I also value the fact that Avalere Health listens to their employees, and if a piece of business is a bad fit or unmanageable for staffing reasons, they respond adequately to ensure employees have a manageable day-to-day.
How has the company changed since you left?
Jareth: I wasn’t gone for very long (about 8 weeks), but surprisingly there have been some exciting changes that took place or are under way. The new Avalere Health retirement plan is a wonderful example of these improvements. Our new career-path platform, Fuel50, which is just ramping up, seems like it will be very exciting and offer new ways to connect with peers and grow in our careers. It could even help tap into some of those other talents and interests employees have that may lend themselves to some of the work we do from time to time.
Rochelle: Shortly after I rejoined, we had exciting new changes to our leadership, with the appointment of our new CEO, Jon Koch. Since his arrival, there’s been an open forum and transparent dialogue with our Senior Leadership, including frequent all-company Town Halls and the creation of a dedicated inbox to share thoughts or questions with our Executive Committee. In entering this new chapter, flexible work arrangements have been fully embraced, our Career Experience team is driving innovative use of technology in the space, and employees’ wellbeing and development are at the forefront of our People agenda. It’s exciting to be a part of a global People function, with an aligned mission to build a dynamic and progressive workplace, where everybody is empowered to visualize their unique role in the organization’s future.
Employees’ wellbeing and development are at the forefront of our People agenda.
Abbey: Overall, the culture has changed tremendously. Teams and companies are now fully integrated or in the works to be completed. Avalere Health also now provides additional groups, such as the monthly reading club and happy hours, leaving the door open to meeting new faces.
What are your hopes for your career at Avalere Health?
Jareth: I hope to continue to grow in my role and become a creative director in the near future. I’m excited about how the delivery of healthcare-related content will evolve in the coming years with new mediums that connect with healthcare professionals and patients. I look forward to pushing that envelope creatively, while helping to ensure that evolution is grounded in science and that it truly improves experiences for healthcare professionals and patients. Another aspect of my work that I really enjoy and hope to do more of is mentoring and teaching new talent and breaking through some of the preconceived notions about working in healthcare advertising.
Rochelle: Nonlinear careers are becoming the new normal. I have many different interests and creative pursuits, so I like to envision my career trajectory as more of an ever-evolving journey than a one-way route to an end destination. What’s particularly exciting is Avalere Health can support this and will ensure my career is personalized and purpose-filled! One thing’s for sure – at the heart of it all, I want to craft joyful experiences for people. I’m excited to see where it all takes me.
Fiona: I am thoroughly enjoying my role at Avalere Health and am excited to continue building our engagement strategy offering and seeing how it evolves over time. I am also looking forward to building relationships with people from all over the group and continuing to learn from the incredibly talented people around me for many years to come.
Rebecca: Ideally, my career goals would include having everyone on the worm-composting hype, but that seems a bit ambitious. I’m hoping that whatever happens in the future, I will continue to be happy and satisfied in my role and surrounded by good people.
Sonie: Coming back to Avalere Health is one of the best things I ever did. It’s a great place to work and I feel privileged to be part of this great team! My hopes for the future are to continue learning and developing, and to contribute to the amazing culture that we have.
Abbey: As my career grows with Avalere Health, I hope one day to lead the Digital Delivery Team. I have always been taught to find a solution first and then aim for new innovative ideas. I am incredibly thankful for my current managers and leads, who have led me to a place where I can confidently say I can see myself supporting and leading a team of well-rounded, intelligent digital colleagues. Not only do I hope to lead a digital team, but I also hope to contribute to Avalere Health’s internal structural growth and new business opportunities, partnering with various colleagues with different skill sets to grow Avalere Health’s brand as a whole.
Wesley: Whether I continue to climb the Client Services ladder, or transition into another department down the road, I feel confident that my peers and leadership across the organization will help me continue to grow as a healthcare marketing professional, allowing me to think strategically and contribute to elevating the marketing approach of companies in our portfolio.