Working 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.