9 Steps to Optimize Pharmacy Staff Performance

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Staff productivity is critical to any business, especially independent pharmacy. As a business owner, you may be confident about your own daily productivity, but what about your staff? Are you positive that you are getting maximum results for what you are paying them? Below are some of the things that you should be doing to improve your pharmacy staff performance:

1. Properly Train New Hires

The road to effective pharmacy staff is paved by smart hiring and training practices. The best employees are trained correctly and promptly from the beginning of their employment. It is important to maintain some uniformity. Each staff member should be provided with the same tools and expectations from day one.

2. Continuously Monitor Performance

After new employees complete a thorough training, the owner or manager should follow up regularly to provide performance feedback. It is important to put quantifiable measures in place and then review them at regular intervals. In many cases, business owners choose to conduct reviews every quarter. Whether the process is formal or informal, it is important for staff members to know that you will monitor them continuously.

3. Provide Motivation by Rewarding Performance

It is human nature to display better performance when oneis feeling happy, motivated and supported. To get maximum productivity from your staff, set up programs to motivate them. In addition to or instead of financial compensation, you may choose to reward your team with gift cards to their favorite restaurants or e-commerce websites. Do not underestimate the power of small gestures like handwritten thank you notes or public recognition for a job well done.

4. Set Reasonable Guidelines

Every business needs a set of guidelines for employees to follow and your pharmacy is no exception. It is important to set forth a group of carefully thought out rules without condescension. Remove any rules that are archaic or unnecessary and you may see an increase in workplace morale and productivity.

5. Make Work Fun

Nothing ruins productivity like feeling burnt out. In order to prevent burnout, make sure you allow your staff to have adequate time off to spend with friends and family. As a business owner or manager, you can make work more enjoyable by planning team building activities. Organize a team dinner or a family field day. Take the opportunity to reward staff and invest in their professional growth by sending them to out-of-town industry events

6. Manage Conflict Immediately

Personality conflicts, miscommunications, and misconceptions are inevitable in any workplace, but your employees will be unable to maximize their potential if they are distracted. As a manager, you have a responsibility to provide a positive workplace environment by effectively managing conflict as soon as it arises. When employees feel like you have their best interests at heart, they will be able to function at their highest level.

7. Maintain Open Communication

Communication is key in any relationship, including business. You cannot hold a staff member accountable for what they have not been told, so effective communication is critical to pharmacy business success. All of your employees need to know exactly what is expected of them and who to speak with when they encounter challenges.

8. Monitor Computer Usage

The computer is one of the most beneficial resources ever added to the pharmacy industry. We use the internet for research, billing, marketing, record keeping and more. However, computer and internet usage can squash productivity when not managed properly. During the new employee training process, be sure to set parameters for the use of company computers.

9. Offer Flexible Schedules

Some of your staff may be early risers who are most productive in the morning, while others would prefer to work an evening shift and stay up late. Your business may require an overnight shift for stocking new products, but that shift will not be appropriate for everyone. Find a way to schedule your employees during a time that is best for them. Scheduling an employee at a time when they are naturally most productive will help optimize performance.

Motivating a staff with diverse skills and talents can be challenging, but following these nine steps can help ensure that you get the best possible performance from each of them. If you’re looking for more ways to increase your pharmacy’s profits and optimize staff productivity, we would love to help. Among other things, our business advisors are specially trained to help you empower your staff, improve store culture, identify new niches and implement new programs. Click here to request a free business assessment

 

6 Ways to Make Your Pharmacy Employees Feel Appreciated

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Pharmacy staff is one of the most vital tools when it comes to keeping customers happy. Their smiling faces and helping hands is the first impression your customer gets when they enter your pharmacy’s door. Providing employees with a great work atmosphere makes them more likely to develop a positive personal connection with each customer, resulting in a great level of care and service. As a business owner, establishing an environment of appreciation and support should be your main task in creating high-quality experiences for your customers.

If you’re worried that showing appreciation to your employees means providing expensive benefits and outlandish gifts, think again! There are plenty of ways to acknowledge hard work and dedication without breaking your budget:

  1. Introduce an Employee of the Month ProgramAsk your team to nominate and vote for a colleague who deserves special recognition. This kind of collaborative acknowledgment goes a long way toward making employees feel appreciated. To be the most effective, ask staff members to provide specific reasons for their nomination. Then, present the award at a staff meeting. Designate space for the employee of the month photo on the pharmacy wall, so customers can participate in recognizing those who provide excellent service. Patients will be excited to realize that a person who fills their prescriptions on a regular basis is this month’s superstar.
  1. Implement a Urock ProgramLike a rewards program for a supermarket, the Urock program distributes points to employees for any positive behaviors, such as punctuality. Points may be redeemed for small prizes, gift cards or sought-after privileges like an extra vacation day or a longer lunch break. The introduction of such a program can energize employees and provide a tangible goal to work toward.
  1. Celebrate AchievementsPlan a surprise celebration for an employee or a team of workers who excelled in a certain task or successfully completed a difficult project. The celebration doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate – play music and provide ice cream or throw a pizza party. The employees you recognize will be delighted that their work was noticed and appreciated.
  1. Recognize Your Employees’ Personal AccomplishmentsYour employees are much more than pharmacy staff. Work/life balance has become a huge priority for American workers in recent years, so your staff will be thrilled to know that you acknowledge major milestones in their personal lives. Maybe a member of your staff recently completed their first marathon, got married or donated blood to theRed Cross. They will enjoy your recognition of personal accomplishments, even if it’s a simple announcement at your next staff meeting.
  1. Write a Formal Letter

This a simple, free and heartfelt method for recognizing awesome employees. Write a letter or card explaining in detail why you appreciate their hard work. Deliver a copy to the employee and place a copy of the letter in the employee’s file.

  1. Set Up a Suggestion Program

This can be as simple as setting up a suggestion box or as thorough as completing a company-wide survey. Ask for ideas on everything from building employee morale to improving inventory procedures. Employees who believe that their opinions and ideas are taken seriously are more likely to feel invested in your pharmacy’s success.

Recognizing your team doesn’t have to be elaborate or costly. With so many easy-to-implement ways to acknowledge your staff, there’s no reason for any pharmacy employee to feel invisible or underappreciated. As the owner, you can use these six methods to foster a supportive, productive workplace that will make your pharmacy more enjoyable for everyone. As your staff morale improves, your customer service will inevitably follow suit.

Introducing new processes in your pharmacy can be intimidating whether it’s for an employee of the month or a new synchronization program. Luckily, we’ve put together an eBook outlining the best course of action to implement any new program in your pharmacy. Click here to access the free eBook, “The Pharmacy Owner’s Guide to an Exceptionally Effective Implementation”

 

5 Ways to Run More Effective Pharmacy Meetings

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Staff meetings are an important part of running any business successfully, yet many employees report that they dread them. Pharmacy meetings should never be thought of as boring or a waste of time. On the contrary, meeting time with your team should leave your employees feeling excited and empowered to do their very best work.

Here are 5 ways to run more efficient and effective pharmacy team business meetings:

1) Keep Meetings Brief

Sixty minutes is generally the longest amount of time that workers can remain truly engaged, so do not schedule meetings over an hour if you can avoid it. If you regularly run the meetings and have a reputation for being someone who keeps meetings brief, you will be amazed at how many employees will make every effort to attend and give you their full attention.

2) Only Invite Essential Personnel

Before scheduling a mandatory meeting, consider who needs to attend. When people feel that what’s being discussed isn’t relevant to them, they view their attendance at the meeting as a waste of time. If you’re announcing a change, invite the people who are affected by the announcement. If you’re trying to solve a problem, ask the people who will be good sources of information for a solution. There are certainly times when it is important to invite the entire staff to a meeting, but those are probably few and far between.

3) Commit to a Schedule

Write down exactly what needs to be discussed and assign a length of time to each topic. Print and distribute the schedule or place it on a screen. This will keep attendees focused on you and prepared for upcoming topics instead of wondering how long the meeting will last and scrambling to respond when it’s their turn to speak. Most importantly, once you’ve created a schedule for your meeting, make sure you stick to it. Your staff will appreciate your efforts to respect their valuable time.

4) Limit Meeting Hijacking

Nothing derails a meeting faster than one person is talking more than his or her fair share. If you notice someone monopolizing the conversation, put an end to it immediately. You can do that by saying, “we appreciate your contribution and would like to hear input from others before making a decision.” Establishing ground rules early on will create a framework for how your employees will respond during your meetings.

5) Recap at the End

Spend the last five to ten minutes of the meeting recapping decisions and discussing action items. If only managers and supervisors attended the meeting, be clear about what information should be disseminated to each of their respective departments.

When done correctly, meetings can be an integral part of increasing productivity and building an exceptional pharmacy culture. If you’re looking for more ways to empower your staff, develop new leadership skills as a pharmacy owner or identify profitable new niches, PDS can help!

Talk to a pharmacy expert today. It’s the easiest way to get immediate, personalized advice for transforming your business.

 

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Training Your Pharmacy Employees

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As the owner of an independent pharmacy, you need to make sure your staff is properly positioned and trained, so they can deliver top-quality service to your customers. The first thing you need to do is to hire excellent people who believe in your company and share your values. Then, you must provide an environment where they can improve their skills. It isn’t enough to hire capable candidates and put them to work. As an outstanding employer, you will get the most from your staff when you empower them and learn to develop their existing talents. Fortunately, getting proper training in place may be easier than you think. Here are 5 ways to train your pharmacy employees:

1) Hire an External Consultant

With your everyday workload, training new hires may seem too time-consuming. For this reason, many pharmacy owners opt to hire a consultant or HR rep to come in and do the training process on their behalf. Having a productive staff will pay for itself in the long run, so it’s a good idea to keep the big picture in mind when considering this financial investment.

2) Provide Online Resources

As an alternative to hiring an external consultant, supplying your staff with online tools is a very cost-effective solution.Webinars and training videos bring the external consultant to you, often free of charge or for a nominal fee. With the flexibility to complete them whenever and wherever you want, online trainings can also be a great way to keep current staff engaged and up-to-date.

3) Setup Mentoring Relationships

Positioning new hires to be trained alongside your most trusted, seasoned veterans is a great way to introduce them to company processes. Since mentoring is such a powerful form of job training, your new talent can quickly gain valuable knowledge, attain new skills and learn best practices as they apply to your business. It can also increase and expand employee relationships, ensuring that a new person will experience a seamless transition onto your pharmacy team.

4) Encourage In-House Trainings

When an employee attends anexternal seminar, training or industry conference, company policy should dictate that the employee will relay the information they learned to the rest of the team. A brief, in-house training session will allow staff members to take ownership of what they learned, while promoting employee development and the dissemination of new ideas.

5) Start a Book Club

A book club is a great way to promote employee development and idea sharing. Combining the book club with a regularly scheduled staff meeting will ensure participation and allow your team to apply new concepts immediately. Ask one employee to choose the book and lead the discussion, while other team members collaborate in open dialogue. Here is a list of book topics that may be helpful for your pharmacy staff, both at work and in their personal lives:

  • Improving Customer Service Skills
  • Budgeting and Finances
  • Developing Leadership Skills
  • Understanding Government Regulations
  • Accepting Change
  • Learning about New Computer Programs
  • Developing Highly Effective Habits

Training your staff properly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your pharmacy running smoothly and profitably. A huge mistake pharmacy owners make is thinking that employee training is a one-time event. Don’t forget – if you want to stay ahead of the competition, both pharmacy employees and owners need to learn and grow constantly. This industry is always evolving. The choice is yours – will you keep up with the changes or get left behind?

The best way for an independent pharmacy owner to remain on the cutting edge is to attend the industry-leading conference. The 2016 Independent Pharmacy “Together Toward Tomorrow” Conference will provide the most up-to-date information on industry trends, as well as the best training for pharmacy owners and team members alike.

 

5 Ways to Make Your Staff Love Their Jobs & Why It Matters

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shutterstock_245646454-185680-editedPharmacy ownership shares many traits with more traditional business ownership. While every industry has it’s own niches, nuances, and problems, everyone can relate to the struggle of staffing their companies. Offering a candidate a fair wage and a free uniform is no longer enough. Many workers view their jobsas more than a paycheck and rather something they and even . You’ll never find a more productive, loyal, and profitable employee than one who feels appreciated, needed, and is genuinely happy to come to work.

According to a survey conducted by the staffing firm Manpower Group, nearly two-thirds of the American workforce are not happy with their current jobs. That’s two-thirds of employees who dread going to work, dislike their boss, and more often than not, make it blatantly evident to customers. Think about the last time you had poor service – did it make you want to go back?

You naturally want your staff to love working for you and research shows that you’re justified in seeking ways to make this happen. Here are five ways to create employee satisfaction and turn your employees into brand ambassadors who love your customers:

Be Willing to Step In

As a company owner, you must be willing to get your hands dirty. Your time is ultimately best spent operating your pharmacy, but opportunities will arise that will allow you to lead your team in the best way eg; by example. Your team members need to know that you can and will step in and provide support when they need it. Leading by example creates an environment where everyone is willing to pitch in and help no matter how hard the job is. This technique will create a culture of accountability and mutual support and will help propel your business toward greater success.

Define Pharmacy Goals

Defining goals doesn’t automatically sound like something that would cause your employees to love you, but a simple display of forward-thinking shows them how much you care about them. When a company sets, strives for, and achieves their goals, everyone wins. Devoting the time to create a business roadmap will help create an environment of security. An owner who cares enough to keep their eye on the horizon is one that deserves the loyalty of his staff.

Create Continuous Improvement Plans and Education

The vast majority of people don’t come to work every day to fail, or to feel like they’re failing. Develop personal growth strategies for all of your employees, but especially those who are facing difficult times personally or professionally. Be clear about what you need from them while they’re on the clock, but lead with empathy. If an employee needs additional training, resources, or a little more time and you believe they can become a valuable asset, help them. When things turn around for them, they’ll be one of your most loyal employees.

For your employees who excel, foster continuous education plans for them. Develop career tracks that allow them to train for higher positions. Investing in their future is investing in your future.

Be Diligent About Hiring

The single greatest asset your pharmacy has is your staff. Show them how much you appreciate them, by being diligent during your hiring process. Take into consideration how a candidate would fit in with your current team dynamics. Do they have the skills your team needs right now? You may not always make the right decision, but the mere fact that you carefully vetted candidates will earn you the respect of your employees.

Never Stop Showing Gratitude

Yes, you pay them a fair wage for a day’s work. But, you should always be grateful for the excellent team you have. Don’t simply take your rockstar employees for granted, thank them. Show them your gratitude, let them know that you appreciate and need them. Beyond money or fancy gifts, employees want to know that they are making a difference in your pharmacy and their community. Tell them, show them and do it often.

Creating a culture of happiness in the workplace starts with you, the pharmacy leader. If you put the right framework inplace, you are setting yourself and your pharmacy up for success. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, work alongside your team, and clearly define team goals. Offer career advancement opportunities, avoid hiring the wrong people, and show your team that they are appreciated and valued. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to creating an enjoyable work environment and being an admired pharmacy owner.

Interested in making some changes in your pharmacy to create a better work environment? Download our free ebook The Pharmacy Owner’s Guide to Exceptionally Effective Implementation

 

4 Strategic Ways to Build Your Pharmacy’s Culture

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culture_blog_2015“Culture” has become a huge buzzword in business lately, and it’s hard to ignore its importance in your pharmacy. From higher employee retention to more satisfied customers, cultivating a strong culture in your pharmacy can no longer be an idea, but a mission. Everyone has their own definition of what it means to have a successful company culture, and there’s no right or wrong when it comes to defining a culture that works for your store.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to define and cultivate a great culture. You don’t need to have a slide in your pharmacy or give away lunches every day either. Although these extra perks are nice and often feel like a a great assets, they can distract you from building a true lasting culture.

Your pharmacy’s culture is your vision of who you are, how you treat your employees and customers, and all that you strive to become. It’s what makes you a desirable employer, and it’s what compels people to work for your pharmacy.

If you’re looking to build your pharmacy culture from the ground up, here are four tips to follow:

Create a Compelling Vision

There’s a good chance that you have all of these ideas in your head, so be sure and get them  down on paper and define your vision. Putting your vision in writing will make it successful, allowing your team to have a reference point of what they’re working toward. The goal of a vision statement is to define your pharmacy’s purpose. It also provides  direction and inspiration for your employees, and serves as a guide for your culture. Your vision statement should be short, memorable, and concise.

Determine Your “Why”

It’s not enough to define what you do. You also need to understand why you do it. If your business exists solely to make money, your employees won’t stand behind you for long. Your “why” is your passion behind your business and the reason you wake up every morning to go to work. It’s the reason you do what you do. It’s important that you determine your “why” and convey it to your team. Your “why” should benefit your company and your community. If you have a strong enough “why”, you will attract passionate employees who want to help you fulfill your company’s purpose.

Set the Tone with Your Leadership

In the beginning, your pharmacy’s culture is mostly shaped by how you and other leaders in your pharmacy act. It’s important that your leadership team embodies everything you want your company culture to be. If teamwork is important, it’s essential that your leaders actually work as a team. If transparency is important, your leaders need to be transparent, even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable. Culture starts at the top and works its way down to your team. If you don’t embody your pharmacy’s culture, you can’t expect your team to embody it either.

Always Communicate

Communicate your values, vision, and culture both internally and externally. It’s important that your team not only understands your culture but also knows why it’s important. Be transparent with your employees about your expectations. Reward those who work to advance and embody your culture, and be honest with those who don’t. The only way that your entire team will be able to understand your culture is if you communicate with them openly and honestly, every step of the way.

Building a strong culture in your pharmacy isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time to craft your vision statement and to explain  your vision and culture to your team. However, by following the four tips above, you will be able to build a stronger culture in your pharmacy.

Want to learn more about building your pharmacy’s culture and running a successful pharmacy business? Register for our free webinar: The Roadmap to Pharmacy Business Success.

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Navigating Change Management in Your Pharmacy

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changemanagementAs an independent pharmacy owner, you will find that your pharmacy, like any other business, will go through periods of change or adjustment. These modifications to your business will be  necessary for your pharmacy to grow and stay competitive, but they may be scary for your employees. Managing the fears of your personnel may be difficult and definitely not something you learned in pharmacy school. However, you don’t need a business degree to navigate the challenges ahead. Here are a few suggestions to help you and your team through a period of disruption:

Discuss the Changes

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to NOT communicate that change is coming.  If your team doesn’t hear it from you, they may come up with their own version and spread inaccurate information. A change to someone’s job responsibilities should be explained professionally by a supervisor. Don’t let your valued employees hear gossip from their co-workers which will lead to confusion and possibly combativeness. Hold a meeting and articulate exactly what changes are coming and how this may affect your team.

During the meeting, share any details you can. This includes addressing the who, what, when, how and why. Eliminate as many unknowns as possible and you will eliminate worry and speculation.

Be Available for Questions

Even after you present your message clearly and professionally, your employees will most likely have questions. Be available for questions, and consider holding “office hours” each week where your employees can come talk to you. Listen to them with open ears and provide any additional information and reassurance your staff may need to accept the coming changes. Be prepared to answer any concerns as honestly as possible. Worries like “Will I still have a job?” and “Does this affect my salary” are merited, so don’t avoid the tough questions. Your employees will thank you for your openness and professionalism which will ease the transition for everyone.

Focus on the Positive

Any significant change comes with its own pros and cons. Be sure to convey the benefits of the change, and stay as positive as possible. If you remain upbeat and optimistic, your employees are more likely to follow suit. Is the change to a new computer system one that will  simplify their job? Or is there a new process geared at making closing the pharmacy easier at night? Whatever the change may be, showcase how it will benefit your employees in their day-to-day routine.

Hold Training Sessions for New Programs

Everyone knows the change is coming. Now what? Your employees are much more like to willingly accept change if they feel prepared for it. Make sure to provide ample training and support to set your staff up for success. If the change is a new billing program, train them on how to use the software. If you are offering a new vendor service, ask the third party representative to come and explain the product to your team. Whatever it takes to educate them will be well worth it when all of your employees are learning new skills and improving production.

Reward Employees Who Take Charge

Some of your employees will naturally take to changes better than others. Reward them! Making an example of those that are doing what you expect is always a good idea, but in a period of change it is even more paramount. It may be a financial reward, extra time off from work, or simply verbal recognition. Whatever you decide the reward should be, make it meaningful for your staff and you’re much more likely to see others follow suit.

Regardless of what is changing, most people prefer to maintain the status quo rather than try something new. But a pharmacy, like any business, cannot remain stagnant. New computer software is released, new drugs come onto the market, and new laws go into place. You can’t change human nature, but you can make it easier for your staff to move from fear to acceptance during periods of transition. Looking for more helpful tips on how to implement change in your pharmacy? Download our free eBook “The Pharmacy Owner’s Guide to an Exceptionally Effective Implementation

 

4 Tips for Providing Extraordinary Customer Service in Your Pharmacy

Extraordinary Customer Service in Your Pharmacy

4 Tips for Providing Extraordinary Customer Service in Your Pharmacy

 

Exceptional customer service is essential for customer satisfaction and retention in any industry, and it holds especially true for pharmacies. While many of the national chain pharmacies offer the same services as you do, your pharmacy can provide your customers with more. Your pharmacy should be more than a place where you fill prescriptions, it should be a place where your customers know they are your neighbors and feel valued. Having a well-defined customer service strategy in place can not be an afterthought if you want to stay competitive.

Here are a few simple ways to ensure your customers are receiving top-quality service:

Tip #1: Train Your Employees

Your customer service process will never succeed without good people behind it. Hire talent with great people skills and help them improve through ongoing training. Employees that are personable, positive, friendly and have the right skill set will take your company further than you can imagine.

Tip #2: Listen to Your Customers

Excellent customer service is more than what you say and do for the customer. It also means giving them a chance to make their feelings known. With today’s technology, this can be easier than ever. Listen to what your followers are saying on social media and respond accordingly. If you’re getting more than one person with the similar comments, chances are many of your customers may be feeling the same way.

Tip #3: Admit Any Wrongdoings

Going above and beyond to resolve an issue is especially important when a customer has a complaint or a problem. There are many ways of showing the customer you care. When a prescription has been delayed, what should you do?

  • Call the customer personally with an update on the status of the order and expected completion time
  • Offer a small discount
  • Send a note apologizing for the delay after they have picked up their medicine
  • Include a gift card for an over-the-counter purchase

Tip #4: Show Your Customers That They are Valued

Nowadays, customers have more choices than ever for where to get theirprescriptions filled. Automating the “thank you” process using email and other digital message delivery systems is certainly easy, but it lacks the personal touch of a birthday card or hand-written message your customers appreciate. This is an excellent way to differentiate your independent pharmacy from big corporate giants.

Customer service is an integral part of owning a pharmacy and should be seen as a key component of running your business. Your most vital assets are your customers, and there are countless ways to provide them with extraordinary customer service.

 

3 innovative ways to compete in the pharmacy market

How To Weed Out “That’s Not My Job” Mentality in Your Pharmacy

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shutterstock_258454127Working side-by-side and leading a variety of people on a daily basis is part of being an entrepreneur. You’ve probably worked hard to build a team of all-stars who are the front line of your business. They work diligently to to solve issues and serve your customers. A great team can significantly impact the success of your pharmacy by  doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
Every so often, you might encounter a “thorn” in your otherwise harmonious, positive team. One of your employees might be unhappy with a task, project, or role that has been assigned to them. Often you won’t hear this from the employee directly, but instead you might hear it from someone else on the team. The signs might have been there all along but you didn’t pay close attention to the sarcastic comments, the eye rolls or the occasional door slams.

Things can get tricky in a small team environment. Tasks are often distributed to whoever can handle them at the time. Whether it’s the junior team member, the beaver or the most seasoned staffer, when there is a need people need to be flexible and step in to help.

Being a team player means doing what is necessary for the greater good of the pharmacy. As a leader, it can take some coaching and mentoring to get your team to work as a well-oiled machine and support each other so they can efficiently execute toward a common goal.

Here are five  tips for curating and managing a flexible, collaborative team who won’t bring the “it’s not my job” mentality to work:

1. Team Building

Get to know your employees by asking them about their families, their hobbies and their work styles. Do whatever you can to dismantle silos and encourage your team members to get to know each other. Help foster ways for employees to meet and interact with staff they don’t  directly work with. Over time it should become easy to recognize who the team players are in your group.

2. Change Is Good

Change can be difficult to digest, especially for employees who have been with you for a long period of time and are used to doing things a certain way. Whether it is moving around desks, changing an internal process or system or assigning new  roles. Change and adaptation can be critical to the success of running your company and can also gauge the flexibility of your team. Try to include your team in the planning process before making significant changes, so they can be part of the process.

3. Inspire New Ideas

How often does your team have  time to be creative? Sometimes this does not make sense in their direct role, but as the pharmacy owner and  team leader you can certainly provide this platform. Here’s a tip: next time you want to host a brainstorming session, invite your entire team and tell them ahead of time your brainstorming goal and ask them to bring their ideas. This can be as simple as choosing a place for the company picnic or a theme for your new sale or promotion. You will be surprised with how many thoughtful and creative ideas your team can come up with. This type of exercise will make each individual feel valued for their creativity and contribution to the group.

4. Set Clear Expectations

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it is an effective way to avoid misunderstandings with team members In a small organization, it is helpful to articulate that all team members are expected to help out with tasks  that do not necessarily fit their job descriptions and that flexibility is highly valued. You can set the tone and the environment for your pharmacy team from the beginning.

5. Be Available

Or if you cannot physically be available, delegate a manager to step in and help provide a non-judgmental ear and effective solutions. Either way, let your team know that you care enough to listen to them and find solutions that will work for everyone. Being open to employee feedback, providing a safe place to vent and respecting your team will build loyalty and help increase satisfaction at work.

Collaboration is a beautiful art that takes time to build. These basic principles will help build the strong, healthy bones that your business needs to succeed. As an entrepreneur, leader and manager, it is your job to create the culture and maintain it so your team can thrive. They will not only do their job but do it with joy and outstanding performance. Help your team by showing them that you are invested in each individual’s success and happiness just as much as you are with your business.

Finally, show the ‘it’s not my job’ mentality worker bees the door.

Want to learn more about how to become a more dynamic leader in your pharmacy? Register for our free webinar, Leadership on Fire.

July 18, 2015 10:07:49 PM GMT+03:00

Excellent points, managing people is not something included in pharmacy school, or any other business skills for that matter! Negativity can spread like and infect those around it. Especially when implementing new pharmacy programs like MTM, we need leaders in our pharmacy to step up!

 

Understanding the Right Pharmacist to Technician Ratio

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Understanding the Right Pharmacist to Technician RatioRunning a highly efficient pharmacy depends on a lot of different things, one of those is finding the most efficient pharmacist to technician ratio. Finding the optimal ratio isn’t clear-cut because there are multiple variables that have to be taken into consideration. You can start by checking the state guidelines for suggested pharmacist to technician ratios. Each state is different and  30% of states have no ratio rules at all.

The following is a deeper look at the variables you’ll need to consider when finding your most efficient pharmacist to technician ratio.

Pharmacist to Technician Variables

Customer and Prescription Types
The type of patients you serve and the location of your pharmacy can impact your pharmacist to technician ratio. If you’re located close to a pain management clinic, you’re going to see a lot more Schedule II prescriptions that will require more time. Likewise, if you’re located across the street from a hospital, you’re going to see a lot more discharge patients that may need more of your counseling and care. Also, if your pharmacy offers compounding, it will require a very specific pharmacist/technician ratio to meet the demands of the lab.

Pharmacy Systems and Policies
Filling 500 scripts at one pharmacy may be completely different than filling 500 at another. The pharmacy design, computer systems, and policies you have in place play a big part when it comes to the efficiency of your pharmacy team. Does your pharmacy counter have two or more checkout stations? The more patients you serve, the more technicians you will need to provide your customers with great service.

Is your computer software terribly outdated or is it current? Certain pharmacy policies regarding drug access levels, preparation of the bags, and who speaks to patients all play a vital role in the process of filling prescriptions. Analyze your process and ask your team where improvements can be made. Any efficiencies you can add to your system will help improve your pharmacist to tech ratio and keep you from being bogged down.

Pharmacist and Technician Quality

The quality of your pharmacy team plays a big part in how many people it takes to run your prescription counter smoothly. How highly-trained are your technicians at entering prescriptions, answering general patient questions, and submitting insurance claims? Two highly-trained technicians can easily handle the workload of four that lack proper training and experience.

All pharmacists are different. Some are more comfortable working behind the scenes and others love the retail side. To be efficient, your pharmacist needs to multi-task and not become overwhelmed. If a pharmacist lacks management skills or doesn’t care for the customer service side of things, your pharmacy will lose efficiency and it will take more bandwidth to make up for those lack of skills. The training and hiring process are vital to operating effectively and keeping your tech to pharmacist ratio low.

While there many variables to consider when scheduling your pharmacist to technician ratio, the most important details are customer safety and satisfaction. Make sure your team is highly-trained, and your pharmacy policies are streamlined. If you have effective processes and talent in place, it will make everyone’s job easier and your customers will have a great experience.