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10 Traits of Successful Pharmacy Employees

August 15, 2019

Inside: Foster these traits in your pharmacy employees for a happier and more productive pharmacy.  

What makes for a good pharmacy employee? They work hard, for one. But beyond elbow grease, there are certain personality traits that spell success for employees. Whether you are hiring a new employee or looking to foster the talents of your current team members, certain qualities will make some people stand ahead of the pack.

Encourage these habits to create a productive and satisfying work life for your employees.

1. Persistence

When faced with obstacles, the best pharmacy employees keep going until they accomplish their task.

Persistence is more than just not giving up. Your persistent employees are clever enough to adapt when their first approach isn’t working. Even if they repeatedly hit roadblocks, these employees don’t make excuses and keep on trying.

Especially when objectives aren’t simple—like figuring out how to best implement new tech into your pharmacy or experimenting on a new marketing strategy—the right attitude is a must. No matter how difficult, persistent employees will get the job done, and get the job done well.

2. Dependability

Great employees don’t necessarily have to be brilliant revolutionaries—they just need to be consistent.

You might have team members who outpace all others during their shift, but they come in late or sometimes don’t show up at all. Dependable employees shows up on time every single day, follow company policy, and handle their duties with steady efficiency.

Because they can get their work done reliably, without someone looking over their shoulder, these are the employees you should single out for professional growth within the pharmacy.

3. Proactivity

Proactive employees don’t just meet the goals that you have set as a manager. They also set workplace goals on their own and work towards them with enthusiasm.

These team members probably have a bold vision for how they want their career to progress, and act with discipline in order to accomplish that vision.

If you make a point to touch base with these employees, you can help them develop their personal goals in a way that benefits the pharmacy. In the end, their ambition will make the pharmacy more productive.

4. Leadership

Not every employee is cut out to be a leader, but it’s important that you recognize the ones who are.

Employees with a knack for leadership not only do their own job well, but they inspire others to do well, too.

As an independent pharmacy owner, you’re always busy. Having an employee who is willing to step up and take the lead when you can’t is invaluable.

Not only do these employees ensure your pharmacy runs smoothly, they also make it easier to hire from within when you need to add a manager or other leadership position to your team.

5. Positive attitude

Even your most productive pharmacy employees can bring everyone else in the pharmacy down if they have an overwhelmingly negative attitude.

During the busiest hours, the pharmacy can turn into an overwhelmingly stressful place. Great employees won’t let this stress get to them and be able to smile through the turbulence. They will be able to serve patients with excellent customer service even if they are feeling swamped by their workload.

Just like negativity, a positive attitude can be infectious. One employee who’s upbeat during a time of stress will help others stay calm and collected.

6. Willingness to learn

The landscape of pharmacy is always changing, which means that the skills your employees came in with might not always be enough.

But in a pharmacy—where employees have power over patients’ medication and health—there is little to no room for mistakes when a procedure changes.

Asking for help is hard, but employees who are humble and eager will ask for feedback when they don’t know how to proceed in order to avoid making unnecessary mistakes.

7. Clear communication

Time and energy are wasted when managers and employees don’t understand each other.

And poorly communicated messages don’t just cause misunderstandings—they can also result in hurt feelings, conflict, and costly mistakes.

Good communication doesn’t only mean speaking clearly. It also means listening well. Team members should be concise and make eye contact while speaking with patients or co-workers. These practices ensure their message gets across and the other party feels heard and appreciated.

8. Flexibility

If one employee has a family emergency, you want other pharmacy employees to be able to pick up loose ends.

Unpredictable situations pop up all the time, which is why a great employee is able to think on their feet. Flexible employees will stay calm and collected when unexpected problems arise, and might go the extra mile when they see that a co-worker is overwhelmed with tasks.

However, this doesn’t mean you should dump all pharmacy’s extraneous tasks on your most flexible employees. Treat their flexibility as a secret weapon that can be used in case of emergencies to help them avoid burning out.

9. Team mindset

Ambition can be a great asset for an employee, but if it comes at the expense of other team members, you have a problem.

With so many moving parts, your pharmacy only works if everyone is on the same team.

A team player will work hard to take care of their personal responsibilities while also celebrating the successes of their co-workers.

They treat everyone with respect regardless of different working styles. This respect also extends to not participating in workplace gossip, which can alienate certain employees and make for a toxic work environment.

10. Passion

Passion is possibly the most important trait for a pharmacy employee to possess—a passion for health, and a passion for serving patients.

Burnout is a problem in all professions, but it’s particularly bad among healthcare workers.

RELATED: 5 Mistakes That Burn You Out (And Hurt Your Pharmacy)

Pharmacy employees who feel called to help others will rely on their passion when they are feeling low. With a sense of purpose, passionate employees can be your patients’ best assets.


An Independently Owned Organization Serving Independent Pharmacies 

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is an independently owned pharmacy services organization based in Kansas City, Mo., that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, distribution services, and more.

PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.

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