Best Practices

The Importance of Awarding Pharmacy Excellence

'Tis the season! Awards season, to be exact. Here are some of our best practices for awarding employee excellence in your pharmacy.

The holiday season is done, Medicare Open Enrollment has ended, and peak flu vaccine months are behind us. There isn't a major retail holiday in sight. So, of course, it makes sense that we’d invent a whole new season: Awards season.

Awards season may not mean much to the average professional, but it's noteworthy that news of awards shows is ever present in January and February. Even with viewership decreasing in recent years, millions of people still tune in to shows like the Golden Globes, the Emmys, and the Oscars. 

While we may be far removed from the glam and excess of the red carpet, there’s certainly something to the sentiment of awards season that feels relatable. Recognition is undeniably an important part of our lives. In this article, Dr. Jennifer Guttman notes that “we crave validation because as social beings, we feel comfort in a group-think mentality. It’s reassuring to believe that other people think the way we do because it gives us a feeling that we’re right about our choices and behaviors”.   

The desire for recognition and appreciation extends to the workplace, as well. While there’s no need for a red carpet-level ceremony, your employees still need to feel validated and valued. Giving them constructive feedback, recognition for their successes, and celebrating their achievements will help you build a stronger, happier, more loyal, and better-performing team.  

Who to recognize?

The thing I like most about awards season is that there’s a category for everything. Recognition abounds, from behind the scenes to the most visible roles. This is a good rule of thumb to apply professionally, as well. Every employee should be included, from your A-Team leading the charge to your supporting roles. They should all be equally acknowledged for their skills, value, and overall importance - both personally and professionally.

When to recognize?

There’s no wrong time to appreciate your employees. Any time you feel someone is deserving of recognition is a great time to show your appreciation. In fact, according to this recent study, frequently recognizing your employees can be more meaningful and motivating than offering them a promotion or pay increase. Wowza!

Recognizing employees "any time" and "frequently" is a bit open-ended, so here are some examples of ideal times to show your appreciation:

Host an annual event.

This is an excellent time to show your appreciation and recognize employee contributions in front of their peers. It also doubles as a fun team-building experience! Just remember that while group celebrations are a great way to show your appreciation, it's still important to single out individual achievements.

Recognize employees on their employment anniversaries.

There's no better time to show your appreciation than on a "work-iversary"! Conveying your appreciation for their hard work and dedication on this special day each year will give your employees warm fuzzies that you remembered such an important, sentimental date. Of course, the key word here is remember, so be sure to add a recurring calendar event so it never slips through the cracks.

Engage your employees in some friendly competition.

Engaging your employees in a little friendly competition can also be a great time to recognize excellence. Have a weekly challenge to see who can schedule the most vaccine appointments or initiate the most drug-induced nutrient depletion conversations, and then reward your top performers.  

How to recognize?

Employee recognition has no limits. Of course, pay raises and bonuses are going to be high on some wish lists, but that’s not always financially feasible. Plus, as discussed above, recognition often proves more meaningful to employees than simply increasing their pay. Money may talk, but genuine, heartfelt appreciation yodles like a mountain goat. Money does talk, though, so if you're not in a position to offer employees raises or bonuses while you're yodeling their praises, giving out gift cards to coffee shops, favorite restaurants, or even spas is a budget-friendly alternative. 

Public recognition for passing a milestone or going above and beyond is another excellent way to show your appreciation. This not only makes employees feel validated by you but by their peers and customers, as well. You can make the moment even more meaningful by giving out custom awards to commemorate longevity and special achievements. There are many companies that specialize in this that can help you design and create the perfect token of gratitude.

Group-oriented celebrations are a fun and engaging way to show your appreciation and can be as simple as bringing in breakfast or lunch, or a special evening out at a favorite restaurant. The sky is the limit! (Well, that and your budget). Use your imagination, get creative, and find ways that speak to your company values and your employees' personalities to show your recognition. 

If you need any more inspiration to celebrate excellence, remember that a "best picture" is made up of many other “best of” achievers. The more "bests" you can encourage in your pharmacy, the higher your business will rise.

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