April 4, 2016
Hiring an employee is an investment in your pharmacy’s future. It’s also a hefty financial investment.
In 2014, the average hourly wage for a pharmacist in independent community pharmacies reached $55.37. Pharmacy technicians earned $14.31 per hour and clerks made $10.51 per hour, according to the 2015 edition of the NCPA Digest, an annual publication from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) that profiles the $81.4 billion independent community pharmacy market.
With any financial venture, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a return on your investment, and employees are no exception.
Here are three steps you should take to get the most from your pharmacy’s employees.
Hiring the best person for the job is the first step to getting the most out of your employees. When hiring, focus on finding the right person, with the right qualifications for the right position.
Each person is different, so put employees in a position that allows them to demonstrate their individual strengths. For example, if you have a pharmacy tech who is great with people, put him in your aisles so he can interact with patients. Let more introverted employees handle the behind-the-scenes duties.
Hiring someone who is overqualified can cost your pharmacy as much as, hiring someone who is under qualified.
When you’re hiring for a new position, think very carefully about what you need the person in that position to do, so you can recruit the right type of employee to meet your needs. For example, if you need help administering your immunizations, you need to hire a pharmacist who is qualified to do that. Conversely, if you need help at the checkout counter, consider hiring a clerk with retail experience.
Maximize your employees’ time by creating a hierarchy of duties. So, once they complete one task, employees can move on to the next, ensuring that they always have something productive to do.
For example, you might ask a pharmacy tech to help fill prescriptions, and once her portion of the process is complete, have her move on to taking inventory. Include tasks that always need to be completed, such as tidying up your shelves, cleaning the office space, or writing “thank you” notes to new patients.
This is especially vital in a pharmacy setting, where you might have periods of extreme busyness, followed by interludes of idleness. A hierarchy of tasks will keep your employees active, and ensure that you get the most out of their time.
Motivate your employees by rewarding productivity, recognizing when employees take initiative and reinforcing good work habits.
Consider recognizing an employee of the month for going above and beyond his or her typical duties. Or, simply give praise to an employee who is working extra hard, or taking on an unwanted task. Your positive reinforcement can go a long way in motivating your employees, and making them feel valued.
When employees know you appreciate their effort, they’ll be more willing to go the extra mile for your pharmacy—and for your patients. A few small acts of recognition can help motivate your employees and make sure they’re giving your pharmacy their best effort.
Check out these tips to get new ideas for why, and how, to reward great employees at your pharmacy.
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