How to Cultivate Company Culture for a Happier Workplace

How to Cultivate Company Culture for a Happier Workplace by Elements magazine |

Inside: For more productive and satisfied team members, foster a positive company culture.

If you asked each of your team members about your pharmacy’s values, how many different answers do you think you’d get?

In a team without an established company culture, you’d probably expect wildly different responses. In workplaces with strong company cultures, team members are able to talk about the pharmacy’s overarching purpose and identify why their work is important.

But having a great company culture is more than having a mission statement and making sure everyone’s got it memorized.

Company culture is taking the values in that mission statement and using them to make your pharmacy a great place to work.

Think of it as your pharmacy’s personality–just like there’s no one right way to be a person, there’s also no exact way to have a company culture. You might want to have a warm and inviting environment, or you could strive for fast-paced and fun. You could place emphasis on individual efforts or decide to be more teamwork oriented.

No matter what fits your pharmacy best, the most important part of establishing your company culture is to make expectations and values clear. At the end of the day, what you want is a workplace that is respectful, a place that clearly cares about its employees.

By fostering a welcoming workspace, you’re setting up your team members to feel better about their jobs, in turn creating a better customer service experience for your patients.

And studies have shown that happy workers are the most productive workers.

Learn how to create a consistent and healthy company culture to keep your employees happy and productive.

Hire Amazing People

The journey to a great company culture starts before your team members walk through the pharmacy door on their first day.

If all you’re thinking about when hiring is credentials, you might be setting yourself up for a disaster down the line. A person might have all the right skills on paper, but that doesn’t mean they are the best person to represent your business.

During the hiring process, you should be thinking about culture fit as much as technical abilities and experience.

Ask job candidates questions about their career goals, their views about working with a team, and the kind of work environment in which they will thrive. Do their answers line up with your view of the pharmacy?

Hiring a team member who doesn’t fit in with the company culture can create disruption within the pharmacy, and ultimately result in increased employee turnover.

On the other hand, when team members fit well, their job performance and job satisfaction will be higher.

Have a Clear Mission Statement (and Live By It)

Knowing your pharmacy values is the only way you’ll be able to create a cohesive and consistent company culture. Writing down those values as part of a mission statement is a must.

A good mission statement will describe:

  • What your pharmacy does
  • Why you do it
  • How you do it


It’s a big picture view of your pharmacy, but still concrete. Warby Parker’s mission statement is a great example:

“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.”

But don’t just write up a mission statement and then let it gather dust on the “About” page of your website. Your mission statement should help you make decisions about your pharmacy.

When creating workplace policies, ask yourself, “How is this helping to uphold our mission statement?” As a manager, it should always be in your back pocket—a handy tool to help you stick to your values.

Never Stop Communicating

As a leader, you have a responsibility to set the tone in your pharmacy. The easiest way to do that is through clear communication.

If you make decisions based on values but don’t share that reasoning with your team, it may cause confusion.

Instead, constantly reinforce your mission, making it a part of your everyday routine. Be transparent instead of issuing edicts from on high, and take time to explain the reasoning behind decisions that might be sticky.

By being consistently open and honest, employees will feel comfortable coming to you when they need more clarification or are having trouble with something. This will prevent small issues from becoming big problems in the future.

Value Everyone

Even though you should be the driving force behind establishing your company culture, remember good ideas can come from anywhere.

Take suggestions from your team members seriously, even if they don’t exactly align with your personal vision for pharmacy.

When you can, involve everyone in the decision-making process. This way, your team will be more invested in the outcome. They’ll feel incentivized to work hard and strive for success.

Because you’ve taken the time to hire for culture fit, you should be able to trust your team members to make good decisions.

And, because every position has a different perspective on the business, your team members might come up with ideas you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

Hold People Accountable

Though you want your employees to be happy and comfortable, you can’t let underperforming employees slip through the cracks to maintain peace.

If someone’s not pulling their weight—either because their job performance is slipping or they have a bad attitude—you owe it to the rest of your team to intervene.

One bad apple will spoil the whole basket. Team members who have to work with the poor performer will begin to dread having shifts with them, and that will bring down your positive atmosphere.

RELATED: How to Avoid a Toxic Culture in the Pharmacy Workplace

Take time to coach team members who struggle with the company culture, and remember that they have to want to change.

Celebrate Wins Consistently

When the tasks of a job are the same day in and day out, even the best employees can start to fade.

That’s why it’s so important to celebrate successes both big and small within your pharmacy. With a clear mission and goals, team members have something to strive for.

You don’t have to throw a party for every good deed, but verbal praise can go a long way. If someone makes an extra effort to give a patient a great experience, don’t let that slip by without recognition for great work.

Every single day should feel like an opportunity for your team members to do something great. They’ll look forward to coming into work and make the pharmacy a more positive place overall.


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

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