Inside: Discover how to bring out the best qualities in your pharmacy employees. Fulfilled employees will do a better job and improve your pharmacy business.
How is an independent community pharmacy like a car?
There’s no punchline for this one, but there’s an important connection.
The most important part of a car is its engine. But dozens of smaller parts pump and pull and pivot to make the engine go. When those parts don’t work well, and in harmony, the engine putters out.
All the parts need to function at their best for the car to function at its best.
You may be a top-of-the-line pharmacy owner or manager. If you could do everything on your own, you could probably get your pharmacy from zero to 60 in no time.
But if your employees don’t excel at their functions, your pharmacy will come to a halt.
That’s why the best way to empower your business is to empower your employees.
Here’s How to Bring Out the Best in Your Pharmacy Employees
How can you get the most out of your pharmacy employees and inspire them to drive your pharmacy to greater heights? Try these strategies.
Give employees freedom
The best way to stifle something is to contain it. Nothing can grow without space.
Your pharmacy employees are no different.
When you don’t give them the freedom to fail, you don’t give them the freedom to grow.
When you micro-manage employees’ responsibilities, you show you don’t trust them. With your actions, you show that you don’t think they’re smart enough or good enough to succeed on their own.
And that’s demoralizing for anyone.
Give employees the freedom to perform their tasks without your intervention. Even if they fail in the short run, they’ll succeed in the long run.
Let employees have some power
Give your pharmacy employees more than just freedom. Give them power.
Of course, you shouldn’t let employees make the big business decisions. But you can allow them opportunities to take part in decision making.
For example, if you’ve assigned a pharmacy technician the job of preparing and filling prescriptions, ask her if she’s found ways to make the process more efficient.
Or, consider holding a monthly team meeting. Use the time to discuss business initiatives and to brainstorm solutions together.
You can also empower employees by letting them manage small initiatives. For example, ask a pharmacy technician to manage the front end, plan an event or stock the robot. Giving employees a little responsibility at a time allows them to learn with low risk and to develop confidence in their abilities.
Make work meaningful
People aren’t robots, so their work shouldn’t feel robotic either.
For the best employees, punching in and out for a paycheck doesn’t fulfill them.
The more connected employees feel to their work, the more productive (and happier) they are.
Your employees likely don’t feel fulfilled by filing papers and sealing envelopes.
But it takes all types of tasks to run a business. And mundane tasks are part of that. Try to mix up employees’ duties so they don’t solely complete mundane or tedious work. For example, if a pharmacy technician often performs inventory counts, also let him interact with patients.
And, show employees how their work, whether menial or magnificent, is essential to helping patients have happier and healthier lives.
Reward your employees
The number one reason people leave their jobs is because they feel unappreciated.
Recognition makes employees feel appreciated and makes their work feel rewarding.
Reward your pharmacy employees for reaching goals, completing significant tasks, or loyally serving the pharmacy.
But don’t just reward your staff as a whole. Reward individuals.
Too often employees feel like just another body in the assembly line. One personal congratulations, token of appreciation, or significant reward can create deep satisfaction and loyalty in an employee.
Consider creating an individual recognition program for each employee to ensure that you don’t accidentally overlook anyone or any of their accomplishments.
Invest in your employees
If you want to get the best out of your employees, you have to give them the best opportunities.
Invest in making them better at their jobs and at their futures.
Investing in your employees not only makes them better at their work, it also makes them feel valued.
Here are some ways to invest professionally in your employees:
- Provide leadership training so they can transition into management roles
- Provide communication skills that’ll help them better interact with patients
- Reimburse employees for university classes that improve their knowledge and their credentials
- Bring in various experts for lunch-in lectures
- Pay employees an “educational stipend” to use on any means of education
- Pay for employees to attend an industry conference
Communicate clearly to your employees
Nothing frustrates employees as much as thinking they’ve done the right thing and then you tell them they’ve done the wrong thing.
Communication errors don’t just irk your employees; they kill their productivity.
When you assign tasks, take the time to articulate exactly what you want. That sounds simple. But many managers assume employees know what they mean and then end up disappointed with the results.
Also, communicate why you want something done.
Knowing the “why” behind tasks helps employees know they aren’t wasting their time. And they can connect their tasks with meaningful results.
Your business runs on more than just your leadership, it runs on your pharmacy employees. Empower them to empower your business.
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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