Best Practices

Protecting Your Pharmacy's Most Valuable Asset

Do you know who your top performing pharmacy employees are? More importantly, do you do anything with that knowledge?

Do you know who your top performing pharmacy employees are? More importantly, do you do anything with that knowledge?

Employees represent a major investment and are without a doubt your most valuable asset. While not every hire you make will be the right fit for your pharmacy, hopefully you have a few team members that are super stars. And, ideally, you’re not only recognizing those employees, but utilizing their talents to help your pharmacy business thrive.

Why Top Performers Matter

If time, cash flow or profits offer any sort of challenge, your top performing employees can offer a solution. These are the team members who you can delegate responsibility to, putting programs like Medication Synchronization or Remote Patient Monitoring within easier reach because you have dedicated staff to help you run those programs rather than having to do everything yourself. Even letting go of just a few of your day-to-day responsibilities can create the time you need to take on new opportunities.

Your best employees also help to build and maintain customer relationships. They create consistently excellent customer experiences that set your pharmacy business apart.

It’s also important not to underestimate the impact your top performers have on your company culture. Just like a bad employee can drag your team down, a star employee can lift everyone up. Culture has a huge impact on overall employee satisfaction and longevity, so don’t underestimate its overall importance.

Who are your top performing employees?

There isn’t really a metric that will tell you who your best employees are. You can look at transaction volume and overall activity in your systems, but there’s no number that will come close to telling you who you can rely on to keep the wheels from falling off.

And while it may seem obvious who your star team members are, it’s still worth considering a few indicators for amazing employees. You may have someone just waiting to be recognized and given the opportunity to do more.

There are many traits that awesome employees share, but here are a few to start with:

  • First, your top performers should be reliable. That doesn’t just mean someone who rarely calls in sick or is always on time. Truly reliable employees are those that you don’t have to check in on or feel like you need to micromanage. They know their responsibilities and execute them well without constant reminders.

  • Great team members also ask questions. Not only if they don’t know what to do, but when they want to understand why something is done a certain way.

  • Employees who are comfortable enough to ask questions are also more likely to be proactive. Proactive about identifying problems, bringing them to light and trying to find solutions. You’re looking for people who can pre-empt the question and give you the information and answers you need without you necessarily having to ask.

  • Emotional intelligence is another important quality that top performers and leaders demonstrate. Broadly defined, emotional intelligence is how well someone understands and handles their own emotions as well as the emotions of other people. There’s a lot to consider and understand when it comes to emotional intelligence. This article on the subject is a great place to start.

  • Last but not least, don’t hesitate to create your own criteria for star employees. There are so many other factors when it comes to amazing employees. Like which employee your customers and other team members tend to gravitate to, how well they interact with your team, physicians and vendors, and how quickly they can learn and adopt new processes. At the end of the day, only you can decide what makes an employee the absolute best fit for your business.

How to Cultivate and Keep Your “A-Team”

So, now what? You know who the employees are that go above and beyond. Maybe you’ve given them additional responsibility and autonomy. But what comes next?

From here, it’s all about employee retention and trying to grow your top performer count. Don’t settle for a couple of great employees. Strive to make every employee feel valued and help them become a member of the A-Team. Here are some considerations and resources to get you started:

  • Employee Wellness: You have to invest in your employees beyond their paycheck. From communication to exercise program, catered lunches and flexibility, to recognition of achievements. There’s no one-size-fits-all, but this presentation from Business Coach Emily Cannata should help you get started.

  • Company Culture: Don’t mistake culture for wellness. Cultivating a positive company culture requires a top-down approach. Beyond open communication and enabling employees to do the things that are important to them, you need to consider your transparency on decision making, how you handle employees that aren’t the right fit, and regular team building activities. For inspiration on healthy company culture and team building, we recommend taking a look at this talk with pharmacy owner Joe Daugherty.

  • Tools & Training: The tools you use in your pharmacy aren’t only an investment in more efficient practices, or adherence to regulation. Investments made in technology help your team perform their jobs better and with fewer unnecessary steps. And your investment shows employees just how valuable they are. Make sure that your team members feel confident in their roles and that qualified trainers are showing them how to use the tools at their disposal.
  • Feedback & Reviews: Small businesses may not be able to offer exponential growth or promotions. That does not mean that employees should feel stuck. Regular employee reviews can help you understand an employee’s personal and professional goals, enabling you to help them grow in their current role and feel fulfilled in their job.

What are some of your favorite metrics for measuring employee performance and potential in your pharmacy? What do you do to promote employee wellness and company culture? Let us know in the comments!

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