Seek Professional P.E.A.C.E.

February 2018 - Vol. 15 No. 2 - Page #1

The paradoxical precept of “doing more with less” has become pervasive in health care as a result of the constant pressure of diminishing reimbursements. While innovation remains a necessary component of any such endeavor, perhaps the best way to do more with less is to create an employee retention program.

Consider how long it takes until a new hire is productive; it is probably prudent to estimate a full year is required for a new staff member to become fully operational and versed in the bulk of pharmacy and facility workflow nuance. This is the case for staff at all levels, from pharmacy technicians and staff pharmacists to pharmacy leadership.

As a leader, it is important to reflect on how you can enable the professional fulfillment of your staff, given that a satisfied workforce creates the cohesive environment necessary to support new initiatives. This can be looked at as an approach of PEACE:

  • Professional Growth: Occurs when ample opportunities are provided to receive training, attend meetings, and present at conferences
  • Engagement: Results from being involved with meaningful, quality work
  • Advancement Opportunities: Consider creative solutions like a bonus structure tied to certain departmental goals that allows for opportunities to increase compensation without impacting the pay scale
  • Comfortable Work Environment: Physical facilities should reflect pride in the workplace and promote creative engagement
  • Ensure Fairness: Salaries should be systemized by position and determined by a single person to avoid unfair variances

Complementary to strategies for improving employee retention is the development of a pool of temporary worker talent. Reliable temporary employees can be enormously valuable in emergencies. Review specialized placement agencies, per diems, or recent department retirees as possible candidates in order to avoid staff burnout during busy periods, go-lives, or vacation times.

We cannot always do more with less, yet the maxim can stand as a guiding principle for ongoing improvement. Quality staff retention will remain a significant element of any process improvement initiative and has the potential to give you greater peace of mind.

All the best,

R. Mitchell Halvorsen


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