5 Ways to Help your Pharmacy Employees be More Emotionally Intelligent

My 18 month old son wanders into my home office.  He stacks the dog dishes neatly, closes the door to the dog crate, and proudly brings me things that he thinks need to be put away or thrown in the garbage.  On the other hand, his twin brother likes to tip over the dog water dish, open and close the door to the dog crate so many times that I think it might break off, and pull books off the shelf.  They’ve been together since the day we brought them home from the hospital, but they have completely separate and unique personalities. 

This is a universal truth.  Every person has their own unique personality.  We start forming our personality young and personality traits are basically set in stone by the time we reach early adulthood. It’s a common thought that an individual’s personality impacts how good they are at their job.  Is their personality the right fit for your company culture?  Are they predisposed towards customer service? 

But it turns out that personality traits aren’t really the most important thing when it comes to being exceptional at one’s job.  And no, it’s not how smart you are either.  It’s actually your Emotional Intelligence, or “EQ”.  And unlike our personality, which we can’t change, we can actually improve upon our EQ.  This article talks about some characteristics of exceptional employees.  And while they may seem at first like personality traits, these characteristics are actually demonstrations of emotional intelligence.  Let’s talk about how some of these characteristics are important to nurture in your pharmacy employees and how you can help your pharmacy employees to improve their EQ.

“They’re willing to delay gratification.”  In any small business, it’s important that employees are willing to step in and help when it’s needed, regardless of their job descriptions.  While the ultimate exceptional employee won’t be concerned that they aren’t getting recognized for stepping up to the plate, most employees do eventually need to be recognized for their hard work. Not everyone is to the point of being satisfied only with the knowledge that they are doing an exceptional job.  They need to hear from pharmacy management that their work is noticed and appreciated.

“They can tolerate conflict.”  Disagreements are par for the course in any customer service based business.  They are also a given in any environment where a group of people have to spend a majority of their time together.  In your pharmacy, your employees are going to experience conflict with customers as well as each other.  There’s no getting around it.  But you can help by giving them the tools to handle conflict diplomatically.  When it comes to conflict with customers, start by educating your employees about your expectations and giving them the authority to make decisions when appropriate.  Getting in trouble from their boss for making the wrong decision should never be an employee’s primary concern when they are dealing with a frustrated customer. 

“They Focus.”  There’s no better way to pinpoint why the right kind of focus is important than this video.  Take a couple minutes to watch it.   Did you see the gorilla?  Or were you too focused on counting to see everything that was going on?  Employees that let themselves get carried away by inconsequential things are going to miss the big picture.  It’s up to you to create a culture in your pharmacy where the little things that really don’t matter so much just slide off so that employees can let go and move on. 

“They’re Judiciously Courageous, and they’re never satisfied” I’m combining two qualities together here because for independent pharmacies, they go hand in hand.  If your pharmacy employees are afraid to speak up, the growth and improvement of your pharmacy will suffer.  Make sure they have an outlet to talk to you or pharmacy management about their ideas or concerns.  Office hours a few times a week or a regular group meeting outside of business hours can be great places for brainstorming and issue resolution.

“They’re in control of their egos.” Usually we know it when we are better at something than most other people.  But exceptional employees don’t let that go to their heads.  As an employer, it’s important to give constructive criticism to your employees, especially those that go above and beyond.  Give them a reason why they need to make a course correction and offer the help they need to get there. 

We all have the capability to improve ourselves personally and professionally.  And we don’t have to be bound by our personality traits. We can move beyond personality to work smarter and better.  Your pharmacy can be the beneficiary of this improvement if you take the time to help your employees hone their emotional intelligence. 

 

 

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