If you’re trying to transform your pharmacy from a functional workplace into a model of efficiency, teamwork might be the missing ingredient.
Turning coworkers into teammates is a process. Creating a sense of camaraderie at your pharmacy starts when you recruit new employees and requires consistent maintenance. It can be difficult, but the benefits of teamwork, including improved efficiency, a better working environment and a more connected staff, are worth the extra effort.
Here are five simple steps you can take at your pharmacy to transform your employees into a team.
Step one: Hire team-oriented employees
To get a pharmacy team that works well together, start with your hiring process.
Include “teamwork” or “team player” as an attribute you look for in candidates for every position. Ask candidates for examples of when they have contributed to a team, what they think they bring to a team and how well they think they would work in a team environment.
Hiring team-oriented candidates makes team building simpler, so make teamwork a priority from the very beginning of your hiring process.
Step two: Create common goals, procedures and standards
Shaping your employees into a team begins with establishing common goals, procedures and standards that everyone is expected to follow.
When everyone plays by the same rules, and works toward the same goals, it builds a sense of togetherness and collaboration. Making sure everyone is working toward the same objective also gives your employees something to rally around.
Step three: Create a workplace that encourages teamwork
Make sure your workplace actively encourages teamwork.
Start by creating an atmosphere of respect for all employees, and encourage your employees to become comfortable with one another. When employees respect one another and are comfortable sharing their ideas, they’ll operate more effectively as team.
Use language that encourages teamwork, such as referring to your employees as members of a team, or reminding employees that they’re all on the same team. Reinforce this message during employee meetings.
Step four: Reward employees who work well together
Encourage teamwork by rewarding and praising good teamwork at your pharmacy.
For example, if a pharmacist and a tech have perfected their system of convincing a nervous patient she needs a flu shot, and work together to calm the patient while preparing the shot, make sure to recognize and reward that type of behavior.
Praising teamwork and making it clear that it’s something you value in performance reviews can help encourage teamwork to develop among your employees.
Step five: Conduct team maintenance
Regularly work on team-building projects and conduct team-building training to maintain your pharmacy’s team.
Assign team projects, such as asking groups of employees to brainstorm a new promotional event for your pharmacy, or asking employees for suggestions for a new service or product your pharmacy should provide. You’ll get better suggestions if employees feel comfortable working together to improve one another’s ideas. Assign this type of project every few weeks to bring employees together after long periods of solitary work.
Also, conduct team-building training. At your annual retreat, consider doing some team- and trust-building exercises. Or, make your holiday party a team-building exercise, like a scavenger hunt or trivia challenge, so employees can have fun while practicing their teamwork skills.
If conflict is getting in the way of your pharmacy’s team, use these tips to resolve workplace issues.
Follow our series!
Stay up-to-date with the latest from our series on pharmacy management. Learn how you can manage your pharmacy more efficiently, reduce conflict in the workplace and get the most out of each of your employees with our series on pharmacy management. Each installment discusses a different aspect of pharmacy management, its challenges and tips that you can use in your own pharmacy to manage your business more effectively.
Pharmacy Management Series Part 1: Common Causes of Workplace Conflict
Pharmacy Management Series Part 2: How to Be a Mediator
Pharmacy Management Series Part 3: How to Transform Your Staff Into a Team
Pharmacy Management Series Part 4: How to Get the Most Out of Your Employees
Pharmacy Management Series Part 5: The Skills You Need to be a Great Pharmacy Manager
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