Building a Strong Culture in Your Pharmacy

A strong business needs to have a strong culture. As an independent pharmacist, you and your staff must come together in unity for your customers to truly be successful. However,  it cannot be forced. Culture has to be cultivated, and the group has to learn it. Follow these five steps to help you grow a strong culture in your pharmacy:

Be clear on your mission and values

Define your mission. Remember that everything will flow from your mission, both internal and external. From the inside, this includes hiring, recognition, benefits, and other policies and processes that are associated with your staff. On the outside, it’s all about how you serve your customer and community.

As the owner of your pharmacy, you are in charge of setting the mission. Why did you start the business? What need were you hoping to meet? What purpose do you plan to fulfill? What are your values? Why does your store do what it does? Invite your team to help you define the core values. It can be a great way to allow them to be a part of these initial stages of development.

The mission should formalize your goal for your store and bring together staff so they are all working toward it. It’ll keep your pharmacy on track and help you hold yourself accountable as well as your staff.

Make them visible

Keep your mission and core values in front of your staff and always on their minds by investing in a sign or plaque that outlines your pharmacy’s mission. Place it in a common area where it will be visible, such as the break room or in a highly trafficked area in your workspace.

Don’t let your core values slide over time. Remind your staff consistently how important it is to stay true to the core values. You can even tie performance, awards, and recognition to those who go above and beyond. Turn the spotlight on them when everyone is gathered in a meeting. Recognition makes your staff members feel good and reinforces the behavior you’d like to see in your team.

Have fun with your staff

Spend some quality time with your team members. A study conducted by researchers at Oxford University, MIT, and Erasmus University Rotterdam found that happy employees are 13% more productive.

It’s important to take some time out to have fun with your staff, whether it’s a short break early in the day or after the workday is complete. Order coffee and donuts for the early-morning staff. Have a few board games in the break room they can play during lunch. Plan an evening out with your team to go to a sporting event, arcade, or to play mini golf. Organize a local ice cream truck or food truck to stop by your pharmacy one day, and pay for everyone’s orders. Having fun with your staff is important in helping make your pharmacy a success.

Make your mission known

Involve your customers in your mission and core values. Use your mission statement in your advertising, or make it visible on receipts, signs, social media, and mailers. Not only will your staff feel a part of your culture, but so will your customers. Remember: a strong culture is more than what happens at work. It also has to do with how a company relates to and serves its community. So, get out there and share your mission and values with the world!

Be aware of cultural inclusion

Don’t overlook the power of inclusive and diverse culture. Some institutions put their focus on  metrics. However, metrics do not promote to psychological safety. Fostering a positive culture can be calming. It brings about a sense of belonging and harmony between coworkers. When you feel a belonging, you feel that your contribution has value and meaning.

Having an awareness of the impact of different cultures on human behavior is only one aspect to achieving cultural intelligence. You also need to be aware of your body language and the message that gestures can send to a staff member. They must demonstrate that you’ve entered the conversation from their worldview. For example, a proper handshake, offering them water or coffee, and getting to know them on a more personal level. This will help them become more trusting of you as a leader.

A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.

An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.

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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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