You get a text message at 6 a.m. in the morning from your opening tech that says,” I’m sick. I can’t come in today.”

Half awake, you toss your phone back down, annoyed. Not only is a text message insufficient for calling out, it’s their 3rd call out this month. The words “coaching,” “corrective action,” and “termination” fleetingly pass through your thoughts.

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You send out 20 text messages of despair to techs, other managers, and even your boss. “Help.”

Now, imagine a day at the pharmacy where a technician call-out doesn’t affect business, patients, or your own stress and work/life balance. When a colleague wants to take a last minute personal day off, or if they have a family emergency, you’re able to smile and tell them,”Take as much time as you need, and let me know how else I can help.”

Imagine that when your technician has an emergency or is sick that instead of calling you, they call other people to get their shift covered. Instead of a text message the morning of, they tell you in advance, “Hey, I need this day off, and I already found coverage for it.”

Imagine a team that even when they are feeling sick, they come in to work any way. You thank them for their resilience and strength of character, but deny their noble attempt. As a last resort, you have to use Manager authority to kick them out or face insubordination.

Imagine that on a daily basis, your team is creating new ways to have fun at work while delivering on business priorities. They spend time off the clock making signs, organizing team builds and parties, and coming up with ways to make your job easier. You have to continually remind them to stop working off the clock.

Imagine a team that is able to multi-task at the highest levels. They have the mental fortitude to prioritize patients and still manage to take their paid 15 minute breaks. They not only work hard, but also find ways to laugh on the job, build friendships, and grow together as a team. No prodding or direction from the leaders required. Your only job is to praise and recognize their outstanding accomplishments.

Imagine days at the pharmacy where your team doesn’t even second guess volunteering to pick up supplies from another store or swapping shifts to cover a sick colleagues. They even call and text each other on days off to perfect inventory or complete a high-level task. You gladly pay them with surplus payroll budget that their teamwork and excellence helped create.

Imagine a team full of winners who champion the idea that being a leader is the baseline expectation of working at the pharmacy.

This is what I love about working in retail pharmacy. This is why I am a Corporate PharmD. Witness the true power of full engagement.

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Business Tips from The Corporate PharmD

  • Always give someone the benefit of the doubt; never assume why someone is calling out
  • Address patterns of behavior and offer to solve scheduling problems with their availability
  • Create a culture where your team is responsible for managing scheduling and then reward them
  • Reward your team with flexibility, desired hours, and the ideal schedule for their work/life balance

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