By Jason Poquette, RPh, DrugTopics
Remember that class in pharmacy school about being an effective manager? No? Neither do I. Typically, pharmacists have very little (if any) real training for the demands of managing a pharmacy. While pharmacy school does a great job preparing you for clinical questions related to drug therapy, there’s typically no course on the basic skills and habits needed to be a real-life manager.
While pharmacy school does a great job preparing you for clinical questions related to drug therapy, there’s typically no course on the basic skills and habits needed to be a real-life manager.I have been in pharmacy management and leadership roles for 20 years. While it is impossible to condense down all I have learned into a brief article, the following tips are 10 practical pieces of advice I would recommend every new pharmacy manager think about.
- Learn new skills. In your new role as manager you will learn a lot of your responsibilities on the fly.
- Learn delegation. If I failed in one area early on in my pharmacy management career, it was this.
- One on ones. Brief, well-planned, regular one on ones with your team will prevent and solve more problems—and will also position you as a great leader.
- Plan your week. Think about your work-week ahead of time and plan for the things that must get done.
- Measure your team’s success. The only way to determine the success of the team under your management is by measuring results.
- Compliance matters. Your job as manager is to keep your pharmacy running in a safe, lawful, and ethical manner. Don’t cut corners here. Sometimes you must be the enforcer.
- Build great relationships. You are a leader. And leaders build great relationships both internally and externally.
- Inspire others to excel. If you focus on the positive, give praise, aim high, and remind everyone that we are involved in an important work, then the mood of the pharmacy will improve.
- Read books. You may find books to be a great resource to help you grow as a manager.
- Find a Mentor. Find someone, ideally within the organization, who has been a model manager and leader. Ask them to serve as a mentor and bounce questions and scenarios off of them on a regular basis.