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10 Ways You’re Making Life Difficult for Your Pharmacy Employees

10 Ways You’re Making Life Difficult for Your Pharmacy Employees by Elements magazine |

July 3, 2018

Inside: Are you driving your pharmacy employees crazy? You may not realize you’re doing it. Avoid these common managerial mistakes to keep the peace.

Managing employees is only one of your jobs among several as a pharmacy manager.

But it’s probably the most important role. Gallup research shows that managers affect 70 percent of an employee’s motivation. And, motivation profoundly influences productivity. Motivated employees are 31 percent more productive and three times more creative than unmotivated employees, according to research from the University of California.

Even the best pharmacy managers accidentally make work more difficult for their employees. Some bad habits simply annoy employees. Others will make them want to quit right then and there.

The more you’re aware of the habits that drive your team crazy, the better you can take control of them. Before you drive good pharmacy employees out the door.

Which of these bad habits do you commit?

10 Ways You’re Frustrating Your Pharmacy Employees

Are you committing any of these management mistakes? Correct them to see a drastic boost in employee morale and performance.

1. You don’t make your expectations clear

Even the best pharmacy employees in the world can’t meet your expectations if you don’t make them clear.

Many managers assume their employees know what they want. For some things, that approach makes sense. You don’t need to tell your employees that you expect them to show up to work on time.

But for other tasks, employees won’t know what you want unless you tell them. Even if something seems obvious to you, it may not be obvious to your employees. Always err on the side of too much information.

This especially applies for tasks you want completed in a particular way or by a particular time.

For example, if your employees have several tasks to do, make sure they know how to prioritize them. Employees get frustrated when they think they prioritized correctly only to learn they didn’t do it how you wanted.

A good way to make your expectations clear is to write them down. Write out your general expectations in your company policies. And, write out your specific expectations in an email or a to-do list.

Written expectations give employees a reference they can consult. And, they give you a tool to use if an employee doesn’t meet your expectations.

2. You keep employees in the dark

Your employees should know why they’re working on any given task. Few circumstances require you to keep your employees in the dark about the work they’re doing.

Pharmacy employees will become discouraged if they don’t understand the purpose of their work. It breeds complacency and poor performance.

Explaining your reasoning empowers employees. They have ownership of their work and feel more drive to perform well.

And, employee satisfaction rises when they can connect what they’re doing with the company’s goals and visions.

So, instead of simply telling your employees what to do, tell them why they’re doing it.

3. You frequently change your mind

Few things make life more frustrating for employees than working hard on a project that gets scrapped.

When tasks and projects go unused over time, employees will stop investing as much effort for fear of wasting their time.

Although circumstances may force you to change directions, you can reduce the chances of that happening. Before you assign anything to your employees, put in the upfront work to make sure the tasks have a purpose.

Articulate what purpose they serve and make sure they align with your business goals.

One way to ensure your employees don’t become discouraged is to always discuss assignments with them. That will give them an opportunity to ask questions and to understand why you’re assigning the task. (And why it may not end up being used.)

4. You don’t listen

Some managers have tunnel vision. They operate at a high level and hone in on the business goals but can’t seem to come down to earth.

These managers spend most of their time barking commands and little time talking with their employees.

On the less extreme side, other managers spend time talking with employees but still aren’t open to hearing anything from them.

Allowing someone to talk is different from listening to them.

When is the last time you listened to an idea or feedback from your employees? When is the last time you took the time to hear about their life outside of work?

5. You’re unreliable

Do you set up meetings you don’t show up to? Or cancel at the last minute?

How about making promises you don’t follow through on?

Small failures to follow through become huge annoyances for your employees.

When they can’t count you, they start to discount you. And that kills motivation and morale.

Keep your promises. Show up when you’re supposed to. As simple as those sound, when you have a lot going on, you may find it hard to follow through.

Here are a few practical ways to help you follow through on commitments:


6. You’re unavailable

Similar to being unreliable, being chronically unavailable will wear down your employees. And lead to poor performance.

When you’re unavailable, employees have to guess for answers on their own. And if they need an answer from you to continue their work, they’ll waste time until they can get ahold of you.

If you never seem to have time for your employees, they’ll not only feel stranded but unvalued.

Although you can’t be available all the time, you can implement practices to make sure your pharmacy employees can get a hold of you when they need to.

For example, make a point to respond to emails as soon as you read them instead of putting it off for later. When you’re between tasks, ask your employees if there’s anything they need.

7. You don’t trust your employees

Employees can’t do great work in handcuffs. And that’s the effect of micromanagement.

When you maintain control of all the details, you reduce your employees to robots. While that may sound like making their work easier, it really makes it more frustrating.

It also prevents them from coming up with more efficient solutions that would make the work easier and more productive.

When you watch over an employee’s shoulder, so to speak, you communicate that you don’t trust them to do the work correctly. That will either erode their self-esteem and confidence or will infuriate them.

Even more, micromanagement keeps employees from realizing their potential.

8. You don’t praise your employees’ good work

As a manager, you’re right to expect that pharmacy employees should always do their work well.

But that expectation doesn’t rule out the need to show appreciation and recognition. In fact, that’s exactly what your employees need to continue to do their best work and to keep them employed at your pharmacy.

In one survey, 40 percent of employed Americans said they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. In another survey, 50 percent of workers said they’d be enticed to stay with a company if they received more recognition.

And the sad news is that this the most common mistake among managers. Eighty-two percent of employees don’t feel that their supervisors recognize them enough for their contributions.

RELATED: 5 Ideas for Retaining Good Pharmacy Employees

9. You don’t practice what you preach

Everyone’s had a boss who punished employees for being late but always arrived late himself.

Don’t be that boss. Holding employees to a different standard than yourself will turn good employees into disgruntled employees.

Only create rules that you can follow. And apologize to your staff when you find yourself breaking them.

10. You overwork your employees

Overwork leads to job burnout even for the best employees.

It’s tempting to put your top-notch employees on the clock all the time. If they don’t complain, you assume they’re okay with working 60-hour weeks.

But many good employees don’t want to ask for fewer hours for fear of losing too many hours or for disappointing you. And some employees feel bad taking fewer hours when your pharmacy relies on them.

No matter how willing an employee is to work long hours, don’t fall into that trap.

Research reveals the great irony of overwork: It doesn’t actually produce more work.

Chronic overwork leads to lower productivity. And, it leads to more mistakes and higher employee turnover.

Research also shows that overwork can make all these activities more difficult:


Avoid routinely overworking your employees, no matter how great they are.

Check yourself for these bad manager habits to make sure you’re not making work more difficult for your pharmacy employees.


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