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How to Manage Difficult Employees in Your Pharmacy

How to Manage Difficult Employees in Your Pharmacy by Elements magazine | pbahealth.com


September 15, 2015


One of the many responsibilities of an independent pharmacy owner or manager is managing employees. And sometimes, not every employee performs as expected.

If things aren’t running as smoothly as you’d like with your employees, use these guidelines to get back on track, without harming employee morale.

Take a step back to understand the problem

An employee may seem difficult or act irrationally, but try to understand the problem before making judgments.

First, listen to what that employee is telling you. There could be a problem out of his control that’s making him seem difficult to manage.

Or, the employee could be unaware that his actions are negatively affecting others, or being perceived as less-than-favorable. Oftentimes, by making the employee aware of how his behavior is affecting the team, the problem will solve itself.

Listen to other employees who might be negatively affected by the problem behavior too, but draw your own conclusions.

Praise in public, address problems in private

When addressing a problem with an employee, make sure to do so in private. Although her behavior is difficult to manage, she deserves your respect.

You also don’t want to risk elevating the situation by embarrassing the employee in front of others.

And, consider that you may need to handle employees differently based on their job type. For example, here’s how to handle a difficult pharmacy tech.

Address the problem objectively

It’s important to keep the conversation about a problem with an employee professional.

Use only clear examples of inappropriate workplace behavior, such as, “You have been 20 or more minutes late to work 10 times in the last month. It has started to negatively affect the rest of our team when you aren’t here on time to do your job.”

Avoid using language that expresses how the employee’s actions affected you personally, such as, “I am so stressed out that you’re not here on time. It has really started to make my life harder.”

If you notice a recurrent problem, it can be helpful to document it, along with key points of the issue. Not only will this help your employee understand the problem better, but it will also help you clearly articulate the situation when you meet with the employee.

Help your employee fix the problem

If the problem requires more than a simple fix, make sure to remain patient with the employee while she makes the adjustment you requested.

For example, if an employee has trouble communicating with customers in a calm, pleasant way, make sure to clearly explain what you’d like to see and demonstrate it.

If the employee has to re-learn a certain task, be patient, and allow her a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem. Offer advice, guidance, and feedback about how her performance is improving.

Use these guidelines to manage your employees effectively in difficult situations.

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