Staff Engagement. Everyone talks about it, but why is it so important, and how do you get it?
There’s no denying that staff engagement is critical to the success of your Pharmacy. Employees who are engaged at work are generally more productive and are less likely to look for better positions with other organisations. Employee engagement means increased staff morale and an overall happier workplace culture.
There are many factors why employees are not engaged in their roles. Limited earning potential, lack of career progression and fewer new workplace challenges are just some.
Employee engagement within healthcare companies
Many young and idealistic healthcare professionals envision that by working for a major healthcare provider, they will have an almost guaranteed career path to a leadership role. Whilst this is certainly not an unobtainable career goal for some, the reality for many employees of these types of firms, can be quite different.
Although it’s certainly true that there are a host of advantages in working for a major healthcare provider, there can also be just as many drawbacks. A common cause of staff disengagement in larger brands / groups is the feeling of being overlooked and undervalued by the hierarchy of management. Many feel they are treated like they are “just another number” and left to stagnate in a dead-end role. When internal opportunities for career advancement do arise, competition amongst colleagues can be fierce.
How can I make my team members feel engaged?
Although there are many organisational factors that are beyond your control as a Manager of a team, there are also certain measures that you can take, to intensify the engagement of your team members.
Schedule one-on-one meetings with your team
Scheduling regular catch ups with each individual in your team is a great way to show interest in your employees. These meetings afford your staff the chance to discuss any issues they might have in their jobs. As their Manager, you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of how you can be more supportive of them. What changes can you make to help them be more successful?
Implement a Development Plan
Implementing structured, outcome focused Staff Development Plans for each employee is one of the best ways you can help your staff progress at work. These plans identify any relevant career goals and establish what action needs to be taken to achieve them. If a staff member expresses a desire to eventually move into a supervisory role, could they benefit from some extra study? If so, does your Pharmacy cover course fees?
Present them with new challenges
Employees become disengaged when they feel bored and flat in their roles. As a Manager, what new tasks can you give to your staff members to provide them with more job stimulation? Maybe you can offset some of your manager’s duties to various team members whilst you are on annual leave? This would give the team, practical, on-the-job management experience that would benefit them if they wish to eventually become managers.
Ask your team about other areas within your organisation that might be of interest to them. If possible, could they spend a day or two working in a different department?
Change your leadership style
How would you describe your management style? Are you stern and autocratic, or a warm and approachable people person? Whatever approach you take to managing people can have a huge influence over the way your staff perform for you. Strict and intimidating bosses threaten staff and lead through fear. This causes disharmony and resentment within the team. Always keep in mind, that regardless of economic conditions, competent healthcare professionals will always be in demand, and don’t have to tolerate a domineering manner!
Employees will generally try harder for an understanding and approachable manager who appreciates their contributions. Ensure that you take the time to thank each one of your staff members for their efforts. Small tokens of recognition and appreciation from a manager can trigger a huge shift in an employee’s attitude and work performance.
Create a fun and positive workplace culture
A good way to improve staff engagement is to introduce a reward and recognition scheme that awards the efforts of high performing team members. Consider implementing a fun and good-natured team competition. What social activities would your team be interested in?
Get them engaged!!
Implementing just a few small, yet profound measures to improve your employee’s engagement will yield huge returns for your business. What approach will you take to engage your staff today?
If you would like to discuss any of the plethora of ideas we have seen over the years to keep staff engaged (both within the Pharmacy sector and from others), feel free to reach out to Deon Haar on 0404 397 352 or [email protected]