As a pharmacy owner, your days are busy completing one task after another to make your business successful and profitable. One of those tasks is retaining a great staff of employees. But nowadays, staffing is a concern as the shortages of pharmacy techs occur across the country.
How often do you check in on your pharmacy staff? It’s important to step away from your own duties to chat with individual staff members. If an employee seems unhappy or isn’t putting much effort into their job, they may be quietly quitting.
Quiet quitting is a form of disengagement where employees fulfill the bare minimum job requirements without actually quitting. Your pharmacy business is a people business, so pay attention to employee behavior toward customers. This will give you the first clues.
Signs of quiet quitting:
Your employees may have stressors in their personal lives that you don’t know about. Or they may just be unhappy with their job. This can create a lack of effort or engagement in their work. If you’ve been noticing a consistent lack of effort on the job, it’s a problem that you need to look into. Make an effort to talk with them, and ask how you can help.
Negativity on the job
Bad attitudes on the job or negative statements about work to other employees can be damaging to your pharmacy. Quiet quitters tend to prioritize self-interest, and that can cause problems with the coworkers who are invested in teamwork and the company mission.
Meager customer service
Great customer service is what your customers expect from your pharmacy, and your pharmacy strives to make its customers happy. When staff members stop caring about the customers, service dwindles and so do your customers.
Lack of involvement
When employees begin to lack involvement at work, it often leads to less interaction with coworkers and company initiatives. An employee may fail to find much meaning in the job and may feel detached.
As a pharmacist, it’s important to stay on top of things going on around you. Are your staff members happy? If you don’t know, talk to them. Observe their work habits. Do they interact well with customers and other staff members? Remember that all it takes is one negative interaction to cause an upset customer to switch to another pharmacy.
Quiet quitting not only affects your bottom line, but also the financial health and stability of your pharmacy. The causes of quiet quitting can range from:
- Excess workload
- Poor compensation
- Poor work-life balance
- Lack of manager support
- Unclear expectations
- Poor communication
- Conflict resolution skills
How to fix quiet quitting
Be open and honest
Having an open and honest conversation with employees is the most effective way to address quiet quitting. Talk openly about any and all issues. Make sure your employee(s) know that this talk isn’t a punishment. Don’t scold. Instead, let them know what you noticed. For example, “I noticed that you’re not tending to customers like you used to. I’m concerned that you may be dissatisfied with your job and want to be sure there are no issues I’m overlooking.”
Instead of throwing your hands in the air and insisting there is nothing you can do, suggest alternatives or agree to some of your team member’s terms. Make some gestures to improve his or her work experience in your pharmacy.
It’s critical that you follow through when addressing something like quiet quitting. Your words alone will not solve problems. Act in good faith and take visible steps to fix the issues. By taking action, you are showing that you’re serious and supportive. Don’t expect instant results. Be patient, keep monitoring the situation, and stay focused on your own performance. Just by trying, you are restoring your employees’ faith and work ethic.
Sometimes it doesn’t work out how you had hoped, and the employee quits. Even though they’re gone, you should still try to improve the work environment so you can retain current and future employees. Sit down for an exit interview with the departing employee and find out why he or she lost motivation. By doing this, you can gain insight for improvement.
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.