THE VALU IS IN THE PEOPLE: SUPERVALU FOCUSES ON HUMAN RESOURCES
Ms. Heinze is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
SUPERVALU Pharmacies Inccombines grocery retailing withpharmacy, operates 920 locations(primarily under the Osco, Sav-On,and local banner names), andenforces 5 principle values: passion,focus, urgency, standards, andintegrity. These values apply not onlyto its pharmacies, but to the entireorganization.
People, of course, are the vehiclesthrough which these values are fulfilled,and Janeen Winnike, BPharm,director of recruiting and collegerelations at SUPERVALU PharmaciesInc, highlights the importance ofpeople when striving to create ahealthy workplace—the companysucceeds in attracting a loyal clientele."One of the things that underliesour work efforts is that we want to bethe best place to work, hence the bestplace to shop, and hence the bestplace to invest. The focus is on ourassociates," she said.
The company offers its employeesthe opportunity for professionalgrowth, career development, and promotion.Pharmacy personnel atSUPERVALU are given the tools necessaryto assist thepatients in improvingtheir health,Winnike says. "Weare looking forsomeone who doesnot necessarily wantto work for the biggestcompany, butwho wants to workfor a company that is focused onallowing the pharmacist to utilizetheir professional skills to improvepatient care," she said. "We are lookingfor someone who is focused onthe patient."
Winnike notes that a large portionof SUPERVALU's humanresources effort is focused ontraining and supporting itspharmaceutical team. "Thereis training not only for ourpharmacists who come onboard, but also for our technicianswho support thepharmacists," she explained.Pharmacy managers also followextensive training, sheadds, and new employeesalso benefit from the company'smentoring program."We really value the contributionof each associate. Weencourage and value 2-waycommunication. Our pharmacydistrict managers are out there,in the stores, working with our pharmacyteam."
This training does not simply focuson how things are done on a dailybasis, but also on what SUPERVALUis all about with respect to its policies,procedures, and company culture,including what pharmacists and theirstaff can expect of the organization,and in turn, what is expected ofthem. "We feel it's important to preparethem to be successful in thecompany—not just hand them thekeys and say, ?Here you go. Utilizeyour skills,'" Winnike said. "We givethem some background to be successful."
As retail pharmacy moves from aproduct-oriented profession to onebased on the presentation of information,Winnike notes that pharmacyprofessionals are undergoing achange in thinking. "The challenge isthat there is a shift in the wholemindset of the profession, not onlyfrom what our pharmacists do on aday-to-day basis in shifting theirefforts from being product-orientedto information-oriented, but also ashift in expectations in the mind ofour patients and what they expect,"she said.
This requires pharmacists toassume the role of a counselor, Winnikeelaborates. "The patient's expectationsare changing in that they areready for, and expecting, pharmaciststo give them advice—not only interms of their medication, but also interms of their health condition overall,"she said. "We have programs inplace to help educate patients abouttheir diabetes, how to make healthychoices and how to stay well, as wellas preventative care, such as ourimmunization programs."