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How to maintain motivation in your pharmacy team

How can pharmacy managers maintain motivation within their teams to ensure continuity of service for their patients? Karen Baker from Care provides some top tips

Pharmacist and pharmacy managers are recovering from the pressures of COVID-19 while managing the cost-of-living crisis and the upcoming cold and flu season. That pressure is taking its toll.

A recent survey by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has found increased workplace pressures in pharmacies are negatively affecting 82% of pharmacists' health and wellbeing.

Read more: Deja-flu: NHS confirms COVID booster campaign and flu jab launch dates

So, what can pharmacy managers do to support and maintain motivation within their teams during this time?

Care’s pharmacist, Karen Baker, discusses the ways in which motivation can be maintained within pharmacy teams.


Look out for early signs of low mood


It might seem obvious, but it is important that senior team members watch out for signs of low motivation within their team and ensure that if any behavioural changes are noticed, they are dealt with carefully.

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Ms Baker says: "Be on the lookout for early signs of low morale. Someone who was confident and friendly may start being quieter and more reserved.

"Attention to detail may be lacking and mistakes may occur, as it is more difficult to focus when down, and absenteeism may increase, too."


Use honest and open communication


It is also important to maintain honest and open lines of communication so that employees can voice their concerns.

Adopting this approach enables the pharmacy manager to understand what is affecting their team so they can fully support them.

Read more: Clinical podcast: How can pharmacists protect their own mental health?

Ms Baker adds: "Everyone is different so you need to look at each individual to see what you can do to help their motivation.

"Using one technique for all team members won’t work. And don’t forget to ask people what motivates them – often it isn’t money."

"Small gestures can go a long way to boosting morale, such as buying coffees or bringing in a cake," she suggests.


Adopt a workable support system


Once the needs of the team are understood, the pharmacy manager can adopt several different measures to support their colleagues.

Ms Baker points out: "Positive feedback and incentives are good for employees, so setting clear, achievable goals and praising achievements that are met usually has a positive response."

"Being understanding and explaining what is being done to help relieve the pressures is helpful," she says. "Ask employees for feedback and if they have any ideas that can help the business, as that keeps them involved and shows you are listening to them."


Lead by example


"It is important that the pharmacy manager sets a positive tone and atmosphere for their team, as this will filter down to colleagues and encourage others to adopt the same mindset," Ms Baker says.

"If the manager is stressed, low, or being negative, this influences everybody else, and has a knock-on effect on the staff working there, so lead by example."

Read more: One in three pharmacists have considered leaving profession, RPS survey finds


Provide training opportunities


Another opportunity for pharmacy managers to motivate their employees is by looking to the future, creating positive steps forward.

Ms Baker advises: "Training and providing a career path can alleviate boredom and give the member of staff something positive to be working on, although this must come within training time during work hours."

She suggests picking a product a week from the counter and providing a five-minute training session on it.

However, she cautions: "Managers themselves also need to take the time for training. By ensuring the whole team is receiving training, the pharmacy will grow positively together."

As pressures continue to increase on pharmacy managers and their team, these are just some of the ways motivation and morale can be boosted in the workplace.


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