A happy workplace is one that is characterised by good leadership generating good policies, forward planning and capital recruitment, with all of that activity interpreted by good managers.
Note that I use the word “interpret” for managers whose primary function is simply to make good decisions.
Words can sometimes be misleading and if they ambiguously find their way into policy documents and statements, they can be just as disruptive as having no policy documentation at all.
Intent is what needs to be understood and a good manager will intuitively work with what is really needed to be managed, delivered in a style that will work.
This is a skill that is improved with constant research and attention to detail.
Now a happy workplace is also one that is characterised with having all employees engaged in a range of unique projects that allows each individual to develop mentoring skills and to foster creative processes within the business environment.
Once the creative process is allowed to be the “norm” within your pharmacy it will stimulate automatically the process of innovation, and suddenly the workplace becomes interesting – and profitable.
Having a range of projects on the go means that there is no “down time” because there is always something productive to fill any “down time”.
That condition should never exist in any well organised pharmacy.
Read also “Creativity and Innovation in Pharmacy – Both may need an injection”
A project can be anything that adds value to the business of pharmacy – it can be a small project such as the redesign of aspects of your brand, (a logo or tag line), or creating a registered business name for a business segment that may need focus as a division within the business, upgraded from a regular department.
It can include a simple form redesign, the development of an App for a particular purpose or a computer program to help manage more efficiently a particular function that has outgrown its current parameters.
It is really anything that an employee can offer to management as a project, so that with appropriate sanction that employee is appointed a project leader.
Suddenly, you are a leader!
So the next step is to recruit your team and identify the skill-set you will require, and then seek out mentors who will assist in your development and training to complete the project.
As with any endeavour you need to establish guidelines and rules to ensure your project stays on track and actually gets completed.
In looking for a model set of rules I found them on Seth Godin’s site.
He is a person that I have immense respect for, particularly in his ability to articulate a concept. He has actually produced a set of project guidelines and rules that could be adopted or adapted for any pharmacy project.
We are always under tight deadlines, because time is our most valuable asset.
If you make a promise, set a date. No date, no promise.
If you set a date, meet it.
If you can’t make a date, tell us early and often. Plan B well prepared is a better strategy than hope.
Clean up your own mess.
Clean up other people’s messes.
Question premises and strategy.
Don’t question goodwill, effort or intent.
“I’ll know it when I see it,” is not a professional thing to say. Describing and discussing in the abstract is what we do.
Big projects are not nearly as important as scary commitments.
If what you’re working on right now doesn’t matter to the mission, help someone else with their work.
Make mistakes, own them, fix them, share the learning.
Cheap, reliable, public software might be boring, but it’s usually better. Because it’s cheap and reliable.
Yesterday’s hierarchy is not nearly as important as today’s project structure.
Lock in the things that must be locked in, leave the implementation loose until you figure out how it can get done.
Mostly, we do things that haven’t been done before, so don’t be surprised when you’re surprised.
If an outsider can do it faster and cheaper than we can, don’t hesitate.
Always be seeking outside resources. A better rolodex is better, even if we don’t have rolodexes any more.
Talk to everyone as if they were your boss, your customer, the founder, your employee. It’s all the same.
It works because it’s personal.
Projects underwrite the productivity of a workplace by improving every individual’s working conditions.
People feel happy and confident when workflows “feel right” and that they have the basic freedom to correct any imperfections through a sanctioned project.
By allowing creativity and innovation to flourish in a pharmacy environment, you actually build in stability, efficiency and profitability.
More, it stimulates leadership qualities that are inherent in all personnel in a pharmacy, and by allowing them to self-start with a high degree of “hands-on” of all the processes required, it develops a sense of ownership and pride that they belong to such an organisation where projects are encouraged.
As a suggestion, why not start a project built on the problem of “how do we offset the $1.00 co-pay and protect our bottom line?”
I am certain that given time to think this problem through, pharmacy staff collectively will come up with a range of ideas that could help offset the co-pay.
If management sanctions some of the more practical ideas and offers them back in the form of a project, I am sure those involved will not disappoint, because they have now become part of a creative and innovative solution.
And then embed the solutions and keep driving the process.
It’s better than being permanently depressed!