How often do you take a step back and consider the impact that your leadership has on your pharmacy? Frequently? Occasionally? Almost never? Whatever your answer, there’s always room for improvement. How you lead, manage, and inspire your pharmacy staff has a major impact on how successful they are in their roles which directly correlates with how satisfied your customers are. Here are 5 quick tips on some changes you can make to improve your leadership.
Listen – Author Stephen Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”. When your employees try to talk to you about a question or concern, are you really listening to what they are saying, or are you just waiting for your opportunity to jump in with a response? Last year we posted this article with some tips on how to really listen to your pharmacy customers. These are great tips to remember for customer interactions, but they can also help you improve your employee/employer relationships. Employees that feel heard are going to be more satisfied with their job and their frustrations won’t negatively impact customer interactions.
Be transparent – Your pharmacy is almost constantly undergoing change of some sort. You may have to let some employees go or hire new ones. One employee may get a promotion over another. Whatever’s going on, it’s important that you are up front not only about what changes are happening, but why those changes are happening. If you don’t connect the dots for your employees, they might draw their own conclusions. That’s never healthy and can lead to a toxic environment in your pharmacy. (It’s also important to make sure that your employees are comfortable coming to you with questions.)
Trust your staff– There will always be certain decisions that a pharmacy owner or manager has to make. That doesn’t mean all decisions have to be escalated to pharmacy management. If your staff has some autonomy and can act independently, they’ll be more confident and ultimately perform better. If you’re a little nervous about loosening the reigns, just put in some control mechanisms within your POS system. You can limit what certain employees can do as far as overrides, discounting and more. If they aren’t allowed to complete a certain function, they won’t be able to finalize the transaction. This way, employees will automatically know when they need approval for something instead of having to second guess themselves.
Be positive – This is a great article on why it’s important to create a positive, low stress work environment. If you can’t take the time right now to read the whole article, I’ll just leave you with this conclusion from the article. “When organizations develop positive, virtuous cultures they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, productivity, and employee engagement.”
Provide learning opportunities– Some employees may just be punching a time clock and cashing a check. Others may have a genuine passion for what they do and want to learn and grow. Invest in the latter, not only with time, but with resources to help them do their jobs better. Taking the time to provide ongoing training from industry experts and technology partners not only lets your employees know that you value them, but provides knowledge and tools to do their jobs better. (Which directly benefits you!)
Remember that being a good leader doesn’t mean that you’re on a pedestal. The best leaders (especially in small businesses) work with their employees to help them succeed rather than directing from on high. It’s a lot of responsibility, but you don’t have to be on an island. Trust in your pharmacy technology partners to help you by providing tools and training resources that make running a successful pharmacy with happy staff, crazy easy.