Employee Frustrations

Live Office Hours - December 9, 2021

All Office Hours

This session will discuss on how pharmacy owners can handle employee frustrations.


Hello, everyone, happy Thursday, it is December 9, we are almost a third of the way through December, it’s hard to believe. I wanted to talk to you today a little bit about employees. I had two phone calls one last night and one this morning about pharmacy owners being frustrated with employees. Certainly just the whole point employment market is crazy these days. But I think getting employees engaged and getting them working towards goals and being able to win at those goals can do a lot to making your employees more happy and satisfied in their positions. The owners that I spoke with had frustrations of the employees, you know, don’t do things the way that I want them to do or there seems to be a lot of drama with my employees, or I’ve told them to do something I just can’t keep get them to do it. And this is really where there’s a disconnect between a pharmacy owners goal and their vision for the pharmacy, and the employees understanding of how they fit into that vision, and what their role is in achieving those goals. You need to create alignment there. And I think alignment can be created in a few ways between owners and employees. One is there needs to be communication, lots and lots of communication, when you think you’ve communicated enough, you need to double it and do it some more. And it needs to be in different forms of communication. So verbal communication in a meeting, typed up notes, so they can they can read it, even recording something that they can listen to it later. All different forms of communication, because people have different preferences of how they like to absorb information. And if you’re an auditory learner, and you were reading something, you’re going to read it and you’re going to understand it, but you’re not going to retain it as well as if you had heard it. And so being able to communicate to employees in many different aspects will help them to better understand the ultimate goal. And then the other thing is, is you need to tie specific behaviors and specific tasks of the employees to reaching the ultimate goal. So one of the pharmacies that I was talking to is a user of EZScriptRx, which is one of my favorite software’s for pharmacies, if you don’t recall, who EZScriptRx is, is they are a benefits claims check so that you can find out what drugs went in DCs are covered on your patients insurance, it’s not test claims, you don’t have to do test claims and violate your PBM contracts. There are medical benefits claim check. And it’s a fantastic software, or with the push of a few buttons, you can no prescriptions that are covered. And the owner was wanting their their staff to you know, do these checks and be able to optimize the therapy for the patients, and they just weren’t doing it consistently. And so I was talking with them about how they could they could kind of remedy the situation. And one is is with an employee bonus program and employee bonus program is certainly something that isn’t new to you guys, as we’ve been talking about employee bonuses, but really making it specific towards the goal that you’re looking for. Uh, you know, I often say you should have about three tasks a month, that are bonus double, or things that they can do to earn additional bonus. And so if you are signed up for service, like EZScriptRx or insert any other type of service that you’re using in your pharmacy, don’t just sign up for it, tell your employees about it, and just think they’re gonna run with it and be as excited as you are about it. That just doesn’t happen. You really have to do a heavy lift for the first three months that you implement anything. I often relate it to, you know, a freight train, a freight train expends most of its energy trying to just leave the station, once it’s going and it’s up to speed, it doesn’t require nearly as much to keep going. And that’s the same thing. Anytime you’re trying to implement anything in your pharmacies. There’s a whole bunch of lift in the very beginning. And so this is the time when you tie it to employ bonuses, it doesn’t mean you’re going to always bonus the employee on these exact same tasks for forevermore, but maybe for the next one, two or three months you are because you want to them to build new habits and you want them to have some skin in the game and really orient their goals into your overall goals and vision for the pharmacy. So in this particular case, not only do you want to train your employees communicate, what does success look like? Is
it is it in this case with EZScriptRx? Is it trying every single prescription? Is it trying just certain prescriptions? And so get very clear with your employees what success looks like it may be a no brainer to you. You are the owner of the business. You’re the one that kind of sees the big picture. Your worker bees do not they just don’t know see it that way. And so it’s really important that you define what success looks like. And so make it measurable, is it five checks on EZScriptRx a day is it 50 checks on EZScriptRx a day, you know, let them know what success looks like leave nothing to interpretation. And so I think that’s really important laying out and communicating what that expectation is. Now, you might eventually want to get to 50 checks, per se, of EZScriptRx, don’t start that on day one, you’re going to overwhelm your employees, and they’re not going to know how to implement this into workflow. And it’s going to feel very awkward. So have an onboarding period, maybe you do five, the first week and 15, the second week and 25, the third week, like you slowly build up to the ultimate goal of the 50, get them acclimated, so you don’t overwhelm them. And then again, tied to a bonus, or at least track, you know, if you don’t want to bonus your employees, which I don’t recommend, I recommend throwing some money at them. It really gets them engaged super fast, but at least be tracking and let them know that you’re monitoring their activities and their tasks. Just knowing that they’re being watched in some way, shape or form is very important to changing and modifying their behavior. And then when you dangle the carrot of a bonus in front of them as well, it makes it much easier that they’re going to conform to the activities that you want them to be doing. And so it’s really creating that bridge, that connection between your goals for the pharmacy, and really explaining how every employee no matter what position, what can they do to help attain that goal, if they really truly have nothing to do with that goal. For example, if you have a, you know, somebody that’s like a janitor in your pharmacy, and they have nothing to do with your EZScriptRx goal, they should have another goal that they are focused on. And so nobody’s left out. Everybody has a goal, everybody knows what success and winning looks like. And this creates a really engaged team. Now kind of on the on the other flip side of that is also you get what you tolerate. Just like with your children, I often relate and it’s not a met in a you know, a downpour anyway. But managing employees is a lot like being a parent, you get what you tolerate your children push you to the up to the limit, and your employees will do the exact same thing as well. So if you have drama, if you have people with bad attitudes, if you have things that are going on in your pharmacy that you don’t like, if you don’t put a stop to it immediately. Your silence is a form of approval. And so it’s exhausting. Yes, absolutely to get on, and really be on top of your employees all the time to make sure that their behaviors are conforming, to what you want them to be. Now, if you’re on the bench or in the pharmacy boots on the ground, all the time, then this probably falls to you is your responsibility. However it could possibly fall to somebody else on the team doesn’t necessarily have to be the pharmacist, just because somebody is a pharmacist and they’re legally, you know, on top of the other employees, that doesn’t necessarily mean from a leadership standpoint, that they are on top of the employees, you can have technician managers, you can have non licensed people that are managers, you can have operational folks. And so find the best person that if you don’t if you’re not have boots on the ground to help manage your employees, that someone else is paying attention to them. And when somebody steps out a line, you have an immediate conversation right then and there. Just Hey, Susie, come over here real quick. Let’s have a talk for just a few minutes. Hey, I don’t like how you, you know, talk to Tami that way. I expect to see more respect. You know, we’re all here to work and help with one another. Tell me a little bit about what happened. Here’s what I want to see in the future. And then go on with your day like you have to stop it and nip it in the bud as soon as possible whenever it’s recognized. Now, you might not be made aware of something till later. But again, as soon as you’re made aware of it, you tackle it and take care of it. Your your team culture really is one of your biggest competitive advantages when your team is jiving if you’ve ever been like on a winning sports team or, or something that has just one and things were just flowing easily. When everybody’s working together. It really truly does feel easy. Working shouldn’t necessarily be hard, at least when it comes to your inter dynamics, you might have problems you need to solve, but your inter dynamic should be smooth and easy. And so it’s really about getting your team culture, you know, kind of in the right way and ultimately it comes down to you as a leader
had getting leadership training or getting key staff members leadership training is really important. Kelly Babcock and Terry Novell Norville over at leadership growth formula, have a wonderful class. They have a session coming up in January in Boca Raton, who doesn’t want to go to Florida in January? There’s there’s options out there for getting your training if you need some leadership development. either yourself or on your team, but you get what you tolerate, you are setting the bar every single time you either let something slide or you don’t let it slide. And the more that your employees understand the guardrails, the more that they’re going to stay within those guardrails. And when you have a strong team culture, they’re actually the ones that will hold each other accountable, instead of having to rely on you. But in the beginning, it does need to come from someone whether that’s you or an onsite manager, someone needs to be trickling down the culture. And then once you have your culture set, it actually trickles up it they hold each other accountable to what is right and what is wrong, according to your your company culture. And so you really have to understand that, you know, employees, there’s lots of ways to encourage them, lots of ways to support them. One of my recommendations, you know, for, for helping employees out is bonusing, that is a great way to be able to give somebody more pay, without changing their pay, or being obligated to pay them, you know, if it was some time that they’re not performing, or you need to change your pay. I know right now, it’s a really tight job market, a lot of people are looking at giving out raises, which is fine, there’s nothing wrong with getting a raise if they really truly need a raise. But you could also do them as bonuses. And you know, if your texts are making 15 an hour, and you want them to make 25 An hour right now, because you don’t want them to go work for the hospital, then give them a $10 per hour bonus, you’re not permanently changing the rate. But you are creating a way for them to create that. And that bonus, maybe in the first month that’s guaranteed as you transition to this new methodology, and then the month after that you have some tasks and things that they need to meet in order to get it. There’s always flexibility and there are always ways to be able to support your employees in ways that you want. So that was it for today, some really interesting conversations with with some of you guys over the past 24 hours. So I just wanted to share because I think a lot of you could benefit from this type of knowledge. If you have any questions or anything, feel free to reach out to me or message me happy to help you talk through any of your issues. And that is it for today. So employee frustrations, no more you can take control back of your employee frustration issues, and let us know what you’re experiencing and maybe what solutions you’ve you’ve come up with, with your employees. So that’s it for today, guys. Adios. Bye bye