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Pharmacist Guidelines for Human Capital Management

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Human capital management (HCM) is the comprehensive set of practices for recruiting, managing, developing and optimizing the human resources of an organization. While in school, pharmacists receive limited education regarding HCM or on pharmacy management. Their education focuses on clinical information, patient care, and pharmacology of medications. In this blog, we review critical elements and best practices to help pharmacists hone practical pharmacy management skills.

Personnel Policies and Procedures of Human Resources Management in 2018

Every pharmacist, regardless of management status, will need to know how to provide effective coaching, feedback, and recognition throughout the workday. Pharmacists are naturally expected to understand how to guide technicians, interns, and even other staff through a growth and learning process while ensuring their patients are receiving the correct medication.

Staff development can be challenging but is extremely worthwhile in the end. Even for situations in which staff may not have many opportunities for promotion, you can help them to become stronger employees, better educated on the company goals, and more aligned with how your pharmacy is operating. These all result in positive outcomes for the company overall, and are good pharmacy practice guidelines.

Staff members of all levels will have their ideas of what they want to accomplish in their job and how they want to grow in their careers. It is important not to assume that someone is content or happy in their position just because they are performing well. Employees will often not say anything, then give notice to everyone’s surprise. Employees should be encouraged to discuss concerns, expectations, and provide suggestions for their role.

Pharmacy Team Goals

Many pharmacies face concerns over staff morale and pharmacy team goals. If pharmacists and the management team do not provide adequate coaching, developmental opportunities, and feedback, staff morale will suffer. In smaller pharmacies, there might not be much room for upward advancement, especially for technicians. However, that doesn’t mean that your employees should remain stagnant. Each can still be provided with growth opportunities and coaching so that they can further develop in their roles.

What matters most to employees? While the most common thought is that money is the most significant motivator, that isn’t always the case. Of course, employees need to make a living wage, and bonuses and raises maintain a factor in overall job satisfaction. Other motivators include:

  • Challenging, purposeful work
  • Growth opportunities
  • Appreciation and recognition
  • A sense of accomplishment

If you are in a direct management role in your pharmacy and involved in the hiring of staff, keep these motivators in mind when you go through the hiring process. These are critical to leadership and management in pharmacy practice. Make sure to communicate to potential new hires what the career goals and expectations will be if they choose to work at your pharmacy. Today’s job seekers have many options, from individual to chain to long-term care pharmacies. Having a clear path of career development can also improve your pool of qualified applicants.

Engaging in Feedback

Pharmacists, who often work on the front line with other staff, play a critical role in engaging other pharmacy staff. While management and other leaders are important, pharmacists are primed to provide feedback that can improve working conditions, enhance production, or increase morale. On the flip side, lack of feedback can cause morale to decline, reduce productivity and output, and produce other negative results.

Many pharmacists are afraid to provide feedback in the pharmacy because they feel:

  • Uninformed on how to give feedback or motivate others
  • Uncertain on the feedback process (what upper management expects)
  • Unwilling to provide negative feedback for fear that staff will quit or become unruly

When you deliver negative feedback constructively, developmental opportunities for staff are appreciated and accepted. Staff cannot grow and develop if they do not know what they may be doing wrong.

Fostering Staff Appreciation

Staff appreciation can occur in any number of way. Some examples include:

  • Bonus or financial incentives
  • Certificates or other items of recognition
  • Monthly or quarterly food days with lunch provided
  • Gift cards or certificates as prizes
  • Paid time off

Management may decide on qualifying factors for staff to achieve these goals. For example, pharmacies that have Quality Improvement meetings and reviews may determine that staff with the least amount of recorded errors receive a gift or a prize for achieving their goal. Staff achieving zero errors may receive an hour paid time off or some other reward. Pharmacies can also hold “employee of the month/quarter” events. Staff members could be encouraged to nominate co-workers, and those with the highest number of nominations would receive a certificate or a prize.

Developing Good Communication Skills

Verbal communication is one of our primary methods of interaction. However, meaning is not only conveyed through words. You must learn to utilize many modes of communication when developing staff. These include:

  • Empowering words
  • Body language
  • Use of presentations

Without proper communication, staff will feel uninformed, and morale will fall. Production can decrease, and employees may even quit over not understanding the direction of the company. Presentations can be a useful tool in giving staff members the updates needed on the company direction, giving insight into growth opportunities, or even providing updates on company policies and procedures. Regular email communication, memo boards, or even group texts to share information can provide value to employees.

Conclusion

Most pharmacists do not receive human capital management training on the pharmacy management process during their schooling. Their focus remains on patient care. No matter their role, pharmacists provide some level of coaching and mentoring to their staff and should receive guidance from upper management on how to best present it. Such advice may come in the form effective coaching, monitoring morale, providing constructive feedback, and improving communications.

Ultimately, your goal is to help foster a robust workplace, grow your team, and improve your pharmacy’s bottom line. There’s more to being an excellent pharmacist today than merely providing exceptional care to patients. You can start by establishing pharmacy team goals. Learn how the Infinx team can help grow your business.

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