The Hidden Costs of Pharmacy Staff Turnover

When we talk about high staff turnover, we know that there is a loss factored to losing staff but the problem is that it is elusive.
You don’t really feel its’ direct effects in the cash register.
It’s a hidden cost, something that is not completely tangible, other than the costs paid to recruitment companies and placing ads in the local newspaper, you really can’t put your finger on an absolute figure.
On the other hand, even if you recruit someone strictly by word of mouth, there is always a cost to losing employees.

Below are the major losses that your pharmacy will experience when you lose staff:

Reduction in productivity.

Whoever left the pharmacy had a specific task to do, once that is left vacant then there is an instantaneous reduction in productivity. In many cases you have to shuffle other team members to fill the gap and this causes another problem… overworked teams.

Overworked teams.

This was by far one of the major problems in pharmacy where teams felt constant pressure to perform despite significant shortages in staff numbers due to cost cutting, sick leaves and staff resigning. This pressure in itself creates a vicious cycle where the remaining team members have to cope with the extra pressures of reduced staff numbers that ultimately may push them to resign due to the added pressures.

Loss of experience.

It hurts when you have a talented team member resign, it is often a hard pill to swallow and creates a large gap that needs to be filled. Skill is an important asset any pharmacy needs, losing an experienced team member can also mean a loss of customer knowledge, customer relationships, knowing company values, efficiency in service and the knowledge acquired throughout employment. This is all gone when an experienced employee resigns. The question is, are the other employees trained well enough to step up to the loss? And do they have the knowledge and expertise to fill in someone else’s position?

Training costs.

There is no doubt that if you need to pay let’s say $1000 to train your new recruit that in itself is a direct cost of training. On the contrary there are many times where you don’t have direct payments and the manager and other team members help the new recruit to become oriented and understand the tasks needed to be done.This means that there is someone who has to be with this new member to guide them and check on their progress. Everyone who has to help orient a new recruit is actually away from their own job which means that you’re paying two people to do the one job, as well as removing the experienced team member from the actual job they’re intended to be doing, this means it costs to train a new recruit three times the resources, time, productivity and expenses. Now that is expensive.

Time loss.

Time is the most valuable asset anyone can have, once that minute has passed there is never going to be the same one around. It takes a fare bit of time having to write a post in the newspaper and interviewing potential recruits. Some jobs have over ten interested candidates, if each one takes about twenty minutes tp interview, then you’re looking at more than three hours of continuous interviewing one after the other. This is usually done by the manager who is already down on staff and overworked.

Even if this might not be a direct tangible monetary cost, I know of many pharmacists who wish that stress and frustration can be paid to have it go away. Stress is a harsh price to pay, it is something that seriously affects the persons mindset and may lead to mistakes. What is the cost of a single mistake during a lapse in concentration while processing a script? Not only is it very costly, but it adds to the pressure and stress.

Now, the expensive question is, how much losses do all these problems add up to?

Staff turnover is costly. If you are able to keep a competent team member by offering them a raise or supporting their needs it would save you much more than losing them. On the contrary, if there is a team member who has been given many chances to be a team player and that person is still not performing, then you’d have to bite the bullet, not asking that individual to leave may be much more costly than keeping them.

In conclusion staff turnover inflicts significant losses on your pharmacy and team. If you can avoid it by coming to a compromise with your team member it may help reduce many hidden costs and save you valuable resources.

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