71. Invite your staff to implement one of their ideas

July 25, 2014By 99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy, Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

By Mary Hart for our “99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy” blog series

There is simply no better way to foster change and train your staff to be global thinkers at the same time than to have them implement one of their own ideas.

Do you have an employee suggestion “box?”  Does your staff meeting agenda have a “suggested change” topic every week or every month?

What happens once you have all these ideas?

Typically, managers are left to do the work, research, and analysis to determine if it’s feasible. What happens then?  When one (or a few) are left to do all the work for many suggestions, there is not enough time in the day to 1) research them all 2) explain why ideas don’t get implemented, or worse yet, 3) implement them without truly understanding what the person who made the suggestion had in mind. Employee morale suffers because they are left feeling that their suggestions weren’t heard.

letstaffimplementideasWhat better way to solve this cycle of defeat than to encourage your team members to come up with the plan to implement the ideas! You can coach them to take certain factors into account, and make them aware of what to consider.  Maybe one of them has an idea for merchandising your endcaps. Let him do the research and analysis, and provide you with an outline or a plan to determine product needed, potential revenue and how you can promote it. Perhaps another has an idea for adding automated messages to your phone system to promote specials and programs while your patients are on hold. Have her look into vendors, costs, flexibility and integration with your system.

Look at what can be learned:

1)     Not every idea will be implemented

2)     Staff will have to look outside their area of expertise to get all the pieces of the puzzle

3)     Staff will need to determine and gain an understanding of the return on investment

If it’s implemented, since it was their idea, the team member will be truly committed to making it work. Really, it can’t get any better than that!


Mary HartMary is Hamacher Resource Group's Data Assets Coordinator and is responsible for HRG’s Data Assets team. Her team supports the documentation and execution of content capture including descriptive and transcriptive information related to product attributes. Mary is also responsible for the company’s project management process.

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