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Employee Turnover and Retention Of Pharmacists And Techs

Employee Turnover and Retention Of Pharmacists And Techs

pharmacy jobsWhat Is the Actual Cost of Employee Turnover?

Numerous studies have been performed in the past to help identify what losing an employee actually costs a business. Getting to an accurate assessment of the costs is a complicated process, involving various factors that may not accurately depict the “true” economic impact that losing a valued employee can cost a pharmacy business. Additionally, many of the factors that one needs to take into account to determine the cost are subjective and sometimes cannot be accurately measured. What makes it so hard are the numerous intangible (and often undocumented) costs associated with replacing a good employee. Yet a frequently quoted study released by the Center for American Progress determined that employee turnover costs can be estimated to be, at a minimum, almost 100% of the employee’s base salary. In the profession of pharmacy, depending on the individual’s salary and responsibilities, the study concluded that it can actually be as high as 300% in certain situations. The study also noted that for replacing “highly educated” employees such as a pharmacist, using the median of 200% is a pretty “safe bet”.

The study also took a good look at what costs a business owner needs to take into account and consider when faced with a high employee turnover rate. These include (but are not limited to):
1. The cost of advertising and attracting good potential workers to replace the individual (attracting candidates, interviewing them and hiring all take time).
2. The costs of on-boarding a new employee (not only the training time, but also the “hidden” management and human resources time that are required when someone new is hired).
3. The costs of off-boarding the employee leaving (again, the “hidden” management and human resources time required to take care of things like payroll, ongoing benefits such as Cobra insurance plans and record keeping).
4. Lost productivity (a new employee may take a year or more to reach the productivity of an existing worker).
5. The “Domino Effect” of losing other employees or seeing a decreased performance from other employees. This may be the hardest off all to accurately determine, keeping in mind that whenever an employee leaves, others are often times affected. Most times the other employees who see a high turnover rate in a company tend to disengage and the result is a  business wide decrease in productivity or the loss of another valuable pharmacy staff member.

Employee Retention Versus Employee Turnover

From the studies of what losing a valued employee actually costs a pharmacy owner, perhaps employee retention is a better way to solve the problem. Turnover is a “reactive” situation – the employee needs to be replaced as quickly as possible with the best candidate available. Retention is an “active” situation – it’s an ongoing and never ending process. Perhaps every pharmacy business owner should focus on a “retention strategy” to ensure that all of the key people are satisfied and happy. After all, happy employees not only remain loyal to a business, but are more productive and have a positive impact on a pharmacy’s bottom line and profitability.

Tips To Increase Employee Retention for Pharmacy Owners

Here are some tips and things that every business owner needs to consider to improve with employee retention and decrease staff turnover:
– Determine first off exactly what your employee retention and turnover rates actually are. How can you fix a problem that may not even exist – “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. This also means that a business owner should always conduct an exit interview when a worker leaves, to help determine exactly why the person left and evaluate and document the retention problems that the company is currently facing, plus take a look at some of the possible solutions.
– Offer a health benefits program, like a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA), sometimes referred to as a Small Business HRA. Studies showed that, although wages are obviously an important factor, health benefits are becoming perhaps one of the most common reasons that employees leave a job to go to work at another company. Also cited as critical when discussing employee turnover are factors such as future individual growth opportunities and appreciation from supervisors and management.
– Communicate with your employees. One of the biggest concerns that employees have is that they are treated as a “cost of doing business and not as an asset” by the owners and/or management. Many owners simply assume that everyone working at the pharmacy is happy. Initiate open communication by making the company’s vision and mission clear. Discuss the company’s goals and expectations so that each individual is clear as to where the business is heading. Also, consider regularly surveying all of your employees, but you must be willing to listen to open and constructive criticism and feedback. Otherwise your employees will not completely open themselves up and be honest.
– Empower your employees to make decisions on their own. This means that at times they may not make the right decision, but empowering employees allows them to feel management’s confidence in them and discourages the feeling of being micro-managed. This obviously assumes that you have a written job description for every employee that clearly lays out their duties, roles, responsibilities and tasks. Yet a great job description doesn’t limit the employee from being flexible, empowered and able to add to the business’s profitability.
– Recognize and reward their good work. Money as a bonus is always appreciated, but recognition of doing their job well actually means a lot more. Numerous studies have repeatedly shown that the number one reason that workers actively look for another job is that they feel unappreciated and undervalued. Just be sure that the praise is specific and that it is sincere. Additionally, keep in mind that you may have some employees that prefer to be recognized privately. Some people (such as technical or IT personnel) tend to dislike recognition in a public manner.

About HCC Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting

With over three decades of experience in pharmacy staffing and pharmacy consulting, HCC has helped hundreds of pharmacies with employee turnover and retention problems. As one of the nation’s premiere pharmacy recruitment and placement agencies, HCC can also help you find you the best candidates available to fill your job openings. HCC has been a national leader since 1989 in regards to staffing, recruitment, permanent placement and direct hire. With HCC as your partner, you can rest assured that employee turnover and retention are once less area that you need to focus your limited and precious time on. So you can both relax and concentrate on the profitability and growth of your pharmacy operation.

Contact us on line or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a Free Consultation to find out how we can help you too.

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Pharmacy Ownership

New Pharmacy Ownership and ConsultationPharmacy owners are really no different than the owners of any other types of businesses. Everyone can agree that owning a pharmacy presents the owner with some very unique challenges and requires very specialized knowledge when compared to most other industries. However, the basic rules of running a business still all apply to owning and running a successful pharmacy operation, whether it’s a retail community pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, compounding pharmacy or even a mail-order operation. Having opened up hundreds of pharmacies throughout the nation, having an expert help out with your pharmacy startup is obviously a great way to get started. But what happens after the startup is completed? To help every pharmacy owner to be as successful as they possibly can (and of course be more profitable), here are several strategic ideas that have been shared by numerous successful business owners.

Have a Business Plan

Having a business plan is essential for success. Consider it to be like a road map. Would anyone travel to their destination without a road map (or these days a navigation unit)? Eventually you may get where you were going, but the route you traveled may not have been the most efficient or fastest way to have gone. The same is true in any business. A written business plan lays out the proposed route to success. Keep in mind that the plan is never “written in stone”. It must be flexible and adjustments often need to be made due to unforeseen circumstances or new changes in the pharmacy profession. Yet not first “mapping” out and planning your business strategies will hinder both your growth and profitability.

Strategic planning for a pharmacy business or operation is crucial in today’s complicated environment. Being prepared for new legislation and the constantly changing insurance issues makes strategic planning a must. Strategic planning and pharmacy consulting are areas that most pharmacy owners don’t take advantage of until it is too late. So why not start off the right way with a solid business plan to help you get where you want to go faster and efficiently?

Set SMART Goals

Setting goals is a key to success for not only owning a business, but for all facets of an individual’s life. This has actually been proven by numerous scientific studies, perhaps the most famous one being a study conducted by Harvard University. The study looked at the monetary success of graduates from the Harvard University MBA Program 10 years after they graduated. What the study revealed was that those graduates who had written goals accounted for approximately three-percent of all the graduating students with MBA degrees. Yet, after ten years following graduation, those 3% were earning almost ten times as much money as the other 97% of graduates “put together”!

The best goals are those that are called S.M.A.R.T. goals. The requirements are these: S.M.A.R.T. goals are defined as goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.
Specific: This is What, Why and How that describe the goal you set and clearly states exactly what it is that you are intending to achieve or accomplish when you’re finished.
Measurable: This is simply making sure that your goal can be proven successful. It means defining some sort of tangible evidence that clearly demonstrates that your goal was completed and finished.
Achievable: They must be realistic. This doesn’t mean that your goals should be restricted to being “small”. Many people set goals that seemed almost impossible to reach, yet in the end they accomplished them. What it does mean is that you and your team must realistically have the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities that are necessary to achieve the goal.
Results-Focused: This one sounds the easiest, but may actually be the hardest. What it means is that your goals should measure outcomes, not activities. Often times we may hear that “the devil is in the details” and perhaps it is. Yet in successful goal setting, focus on the outcome. The activities required to achieve your goal can be defined afterwards.
Time-Bound: A specified time frame must be established. Once again it must be realistic, but it creates a time frame and an urgency to accomplish the goal and produce a relevant outcome and result.

Have an Exit Strategy

Having an exit strategy is a must for all business owners. Although many may consider this to be a necessary component of any good business plan, it’s such an important topic that it warrants a separate discussion. It also obviously ties in closely when a pharmacy owner is setting his or her goals: What happens when I reach my goals?

The very best business plans include a sound strategy regarding exiting the business. As the profession, the economic environment, plus multiple personal  situations can obviously change, your exit strategy can change right along with them. Every pharmacy business owner that plans on selling their business at some point in the future should be asking themselves several important questions. Some examples include:
– Will I be able to sell my pharmacy when I retire?
– How can I accurately project what my operation will be worth when I am ready to sell it?
– How can I improve both the worth of my pharmacy and the chances that a third-party will find my drugstore a lucrative purchase?
– What can I be doing right now to increase the value of my business when the time comes to sell?
– Would my family (perhaps a spouse and/or children) be able to run my business if something should happen to me? How do I get them prepared for such a situation?

Almost daily the news stories regarding pharmacies in the USA contain a story about a pharmacy or drugstore simply shutting down their operation and closing their doors. Perhaps proper planning, combined with a solid exit strategy, could have helped prevent some of these sad closings from happening.

Have an Objective Third-party Help You

We’ve often talked about the fact that most pharmacists may, perhaps, lack both the skill and the training that a business owner needs to have. All agree that they definitely lack the time that they need to dedicate to looking closely at all the business parameters in making decisions and adjustments to improve efficiency and profitability. So how can a pharmacy owner do a better job to improve his business?

The answer is in knowing that it is virtually impossible to look objectively at your own business and that expert help is required. Some recent business studies revealed that most successful business owners (not only pharmacies, but in every business vertical) worked with two primary outside vendors:
1. An expert accounting firm to look objectively at their financials and perform regular audits.
2. An expert consulting firm to look objectively at their operation’s work flow, efficiency and business performance.
Pharmacy owners cannot be experts in every area of business. Every pharmacy owner should consider finding an experienced and reputable pharmacy consulting firm to help them look at their operation on a regular basis. Most find that establishing such a partnership produces results that are very effective, with the benefits far outweighing the costs.

About Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing & Consulting

HCC offers pharmacy owners the support of an experienced staff who have been know the business inside and out! With over 29 years of pharmacy consulting experience, HCC has helped hundreds of business owners (pharmacists and non-pharmacists alike) get results by evaluating their business and objectively identifying operational problems, business opportunities, solutions and options. Contact us on line or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a Free Consultation to find out how we can help you too.


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