4 Signs Your Pharmacy Leadership Skills Need A Boost

Pharmacy Leadership Profit

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Here are 4 signs you may need a booster for your leadership skills—guest post by Heather Haro.

I have a big crazy family! 

The current chaos count is 7, almost grown children and 12 grandchildren. Yep! 11 grandboys and 1 brand new little baby grandgirl! 

My Household Is My Business

I have run my household like a business from day one. My role as grandma or mommom, as the little guys call me, means I am the taskmaster, the disciplinary, and the drill sergeant all in one! Early on, I developed systems and trained my children on how to do the tasks within each system. Teaching everyone how to do each specific job the same way, the laundry the same way, clean the bathroom the same way, and how to do the dishes all the exact same way. Consistency created predictability.

In our new home, we have an old dishwasher; this beast is probably older than me! The beast is a pain but not up for replacement yet, so I worked with my Major Payne mindset as soon as we moved in. I would figure out the absolute best way, no, the only way, to effectively use this old dishwasher. I held my family meeting and gave all the instructions right down to which side to fill the detergent. Everyone knew the way the dishes were to be done. Cross that off my to-do list.

Getting Distracted

As DiversifyRx started growing, I became busy planning Pharmacy Profit Summits and Drinks, Desserts, and Drug events. My ability to watch every load of dishes quickly faded. As the different children were coming and going, a babysitter for the little guys would clean up or do a load of dishes heck; even friends do chores around here. 

One day I noticed the silverware basket was moved to the top rack. I immediately went into drill sergeant mode. I started my inquiry into why the change occurred. One daughter explained that she moved it to allow space for the glasses on the bottom so they would get the harshest water spray. By doing this, they would get cleaner and not need hand washing. 

My Epiphany

I had an epiphany; I realized that while I had the right idea that systems can keep the chaos at bay, the extreme control of how the children completed the task was overkill and really counterproductive to what we were accomplishing in my home which was making strong, confident, independent, good humans. 

As I thought more and more about the control and overprotectiveness of tasks, I realized that I was guilty of this in my leadership roles and even had some recent conversations with pharmacy owners about this very topic. We, as business owners, experience the same thing that I was doing in my household. Too often, we micromanage procedures that produce results but stifle creativity and development for even better outcomes. 

I began to pay even more attention to my calls with pharmacy owners following my ah-ha moment. I started to see a pattern. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself guilty of these. Have no fear; you can start improving right away. 

The 4 signs your pharmacy leadership skills need a boost.

Your Employees Lack Autonomy

Do your employees finish a task and wait for you to approve of their work, or wait for you to give them the next task? This is a sign that your employees lack autonomy. Autonomy is loosely defined as the ability to do your job with self-directing freedom. Autonomy is essential for employees and, ultimately, team growth in your pharmacy. As a pharmacy owner, we know you are already stretched thin. After being trained, giving your employees autonomy allows them to take responsibility in that role and ultimately creates a team of leaders instead of worker bees. 

A great way to practice autonomy is by allowing your employees to develop their own lead and lag measures in their role-specific KPIs. Once you have given them the goal, they can choose how to get there. Here’s an example. You want them to boost OTC sales by $1,000 next month. Instead of figuring out everything for them. Give them the freedom to develop a plan and execute it. You might be surprised by their creativity. Now, add in a bonus program, and watch the health of your pharmacy grow. 

Your Employees Lack Confidence.

Do you have employees who shine when given specific tasks but do not take the initiative to take on more responsibility or speak up when needed? This is a sign that your employees are lacking in confidence. Let’s face it; the best pharmacies are indeed leadership development companies masquerading as pharmacies. 

Employees must do tasks accurately in a pharmacy. No doubt. But, when you are constantly playing the role of inspector of every item, it is exhausting for both you and your employees. It also shreds their confidence. 

I guarantee that your employees have brilliant ideas. You just aren’t hearing about them because they are afraid. They worry you won’t have time to implement the new concept. Confident employees take on tasks that need to be done without asking, are willing to give a helping hand when needed, and most importantly, build up other team members around them. Help cultivate a confident culture in your pharmacy by giving timely praise for a job well done and allowing mistakes to be teaching moments propelling your team forward. 

Your Employees Lack Job Satisfaction

Have you experienced high employee turnover? It may be due to a lack of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is a feeling of fulfillment or enjoyment that a person derives from their job. Focusing on increasing job satisfaction in your pharmacy will absolutely help the profitability of your pharmacy. Not only will you eliminate costly hiring and training, but satisfied employees are eager to learn and do more. 

So how the heck do you cultivate satisfied employees in your pharmacy? In addition to the above-discussed autonomy, some practical steps you can take are:

  •  Ask for employee feedback.
  • Create career paths.
  • Recognize and reward employees promptly.
  • Encourage employee to employee recognition and praise. 

Pursuing these steps to cultivate meaningful relationships with your employees will reward you with a happy, loyal, and productive pharmacy team.

Your Employees Lack A Growth Mindset.

Do you or your employees have a “this is the way we have always done it mindset”? This is a sign that your pharmacy team lacks innovation, and I hate to break it to you, but yes, your controlling ways have had a hand in suppressing this in your pharmacy. Innovation and creativity are critical in improving processes when launching new products or services, increasing efficiency, and even customer service delivery. 

A growth mindset is not the absence of negative attitudes. It is a willingness and eagerness to grow and develop through learning. A growth mindset sees potential in training as an opportunity to develop instead of a task to check off. 

Here are 2 of my favorite ways to cultivate a growth mindset. 

Start relaying to your employee the pains or problems in your pharmacy as challenges. Problems are statements, and challenges are adjectives. Rewording the pains in your pharmacy as challenges creates a culture of problem fixers and can ignite creative and forward-thinking in your pharmacy. 

Another of my favorite mindset hacks is “YET”! Yes, the three-letter little word YET is indeed a powerful word. By adding yet to the vocabulary of your pharmacy, you will see how stated problems and lousy self-talk can go from I can not do this, to I can not do this, yet. We are not selling any of this OTC to we are not selling any of this OTC, yet. Yet is a practical and strategic way to start changing problems into challenges that your employees can solve with confidence. Heck! Turn into a marketing campaign! I can not control my diabetes, YET! 

Improving Your Leadership Skills

You are not alone if you notice any of these signs creeping into your pharmacy. I speak with pharmacy owners every day that are experiencing the same issues. Now that you are aware, you can create action to overcome them. I am confident that by integrating these skills into your pharmacy leadership, you will see a boost in the profitability of your pharmacy. 

If you want to focus on dramatically improving your leadership skills, I highly recommend you check out Leadership Growth Formula by Kelly Babcock and Terri Norvell.

For help in improving your pharmacy’s profitability, you can visit www.diversifyrx.com. You can reach Heather Haro at heather@diversifyrx.com.

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