Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane “pill-flipping” life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

7 Ways Pharmacists Can Thank Their Pharmacy Team

OCTOBER 26, 2015
Every good pharmacist knows that his or her team is what really makes the pharmacy tick. Having an excellent team helps the pharmacy run smoothly day in and day out.
 
You may think that providing a paycheck bonus is the best “thank you” there is, but studies show that offering monetary bonuses is the most expensive way to reward employees—and sometimes, it isn’t even the most effective method. Gifts create a relationship, while bonuses are purely transactional. 
 
Here are some ideas for pharmacists to say “thank you” to their team members for a job well done:
 
1. Host a fun team-bonding event.
Perhaps this is a staff-wide breakfast or lunch, special activity, or trip. If you can manage it, go somewhere off-site. If funding is a concern, then consider a potluck picnic at a local park.
 
Not only will this improve morale and show your employees that you appreciate them, but it will also allow your team members to get to know each other on a personal level outside of the office setting. 
 
2. Help make their jobs easier.
Ask your staff members what tools could help them do their jobs better. A new printer? Ergonomically friendly keyboards? A less annoying drive-thru buzzer?
 
Keeping your employees happy (within budgetary constraints) is one of the best ways to say “thank you.”
 
3. Promote continuing education.
Offer to contribute toward the continuing education of your team. Whether it is allowing them to take courses during paid work hours, paying dues for professional organizations, or offering stipends to attend trainings, showing your employees that you are invested in their success is a great reward for a job well done. 
 
4. Write a note.
Give your employees a sincere, handwritten note of thanks. Be sure to cite specific examples of things that you are grateful for.
 
Some examples include: “Thank you for always being 5 minutes early for work. It sets a great example for your co-workers and helps get the day off to a good start” and “Thank you for consistently providing great customer service. I know that the patients can be difficult when they are angry, and I really appreciate how you keep your cool.”
 
5. Listen.
Consider hosting a roundtable discussion with your staff to gather suggestions about how pharmacy operations could be improved. Being approachable and in touch with the concerns of your staff year-round is one of the best ways to show appreciation. 
 
6. Give employees extra time off.
Everyone has a personal life, so why not give your employees extra paid time off? Whether this amounts to a day, afternoon, or extended lunch hour, your staff will appreciate the breather from their busy work schedule and will likely come back to work refreshed and rejuvenated.
 
7. Give personalized gift cards.
Many managers make the mistake of giving each employee the exact same gift card, such as a $10 Starbucks card. In my opinion, it is a far better option to get each employee a gift card based on individual preferences.
 
For instance, you could get Employee No. 1 (a coffee lover) a $10 Starbucks gift card, Employee No. 2 (a movie buff) a $10 movie theatre gift card, and Employee No. 3 (an athlete) a $10 sporting goods store gift card.
 
However you choose to thank your team members, remember that even a small token of appreciation can be very meaningful and help you build a positive relationship going forward.

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