April 1, 2015
If you’re looking for new ideas for your business, it might be time to stop searching the Internet. Your best resources for ideas might already be in your pharmacy—your employees.
How often do you ask your employees for suggestions? Studies show the benefits of this practice are invaluable. Asking your employees for feedback encourages them to take initiative, improves the work environment, and it might even land you with an idea that will transform your business for the better.
Here are some ways to encourage your employees to suggest great ideas—ones that will improve their job satisfaction and your business.
You’ll never get great ideas from your employees if you don’t encourage them. Make sure your employees know that you’re open to their ideas and that you want their help in improving your pharmacy. Get them as excited about boosting your business as you are.
Help your employees help you by explaining all facets of a problem you’re working to solve. They might not understand all of the constraints, obstacles or outside factors until you give them that necessary information.
For example, if you’re asking for employee input on rearranging your front end, make sure your employees know beforehand if it’s possible to add or remove aisles, to increase stock or if you’re working with pre-designed planograms. This will ensure that all the ideas you get are valuable—and feasible.
Different employees will feel more comfortable sharing their ideas in different circumstances. Once you know what works for each employee, you can schedule regular team meetings, one-on-one check-ins, or just solicit ideas in regular conversations.
Keep in mind, however, that great ideas can come at anytime. Maintain an “open door” policy, so employees always feel comfortable approaching you with their suggestions.
Help your employees understand areas of your business that they don’t usually see. Doing so will help them grasp the “big picture” of your pharmacy, and the more they understand, the better the ideas they’ll be able to contribute.
For example, if you’re looking for ways to improve the buying side of your business, teach your employees how it works. If they aren’t aware of inventory management, wholesaler contracts and the buying process, then their ideas won’t be much help. Once they know more about it, they might be able to spot an inefficiency you’ve missed or an area that could be improved.
Get your employees to suggest great ideas, and you can grow your pharmacy. Encourage them to start sharing today.