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Empowering Staff: A team based approach

Community pharmacy teams are improving patient care and providing indispensable services to their communities day in and day out. Every member of the team is important and plays a critical role in this process. But as a pharmacy owner and/or pharmacist in charge how can we empower our staff and optimize their roles?

1. Share your goals and vision for the pharmacy often

Let your staff know how you want your business and/or practice to grow! Are you interested in expanding vaccine clinics this fall? I bet one of your technicians has a community contact for that! Do you want to start diabetes management services? Your staff can help you develop what that looks like and how to integrate new services into workflow. Sharing your goals and including your staff in those conversations will help them know you value them and their input.

You can also make new goals fun! Have staff compete to identify the most interventions for an eCare plan for a prize, like bringing in their favorite coffee drink one day.

2. Communicate with staff regularly

Create a safe space for your staff to bring feedback and/or concerns to you as well as a place to encourage growth in their role at your pharmacy. When you make changes to a policy or change the protocol for a service your pharmacy offers, communicate that and the rationale with your staff so everyone is on the same page and understands any changes.

3. Provide clear guidance on roles and expectations

As you are expanding new services and providing new opportunities to your staff, make sure they have an easy way to know what their roles are and the expectations for those roles. Perhaps have a "living" technician manual with all of your policy and procedures or training opportunities, like technician immunization training. A document like this can show technicians and other staff how their roles can grow and evolve over time at your pharmacy.

4. Give staff ownership over a certain task

Maybe one of your technicians is the Medication Sync Guru and another is the Medication Delivery Organizer. Maybe you have a staff member who is a Community Health Worker and helps connect patients to resources in the area. Having a point person for different services at your pharmacy can help you all work best as a team to meet the needs of your community.

What are some other tips you use at your pharmacy to help build a team based approach?

Katie Hettinger, PharmD

Community Practice Research Fellow | Purdue University

FtP Cohort 2 Team Lead | Indiana

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