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Setting staff expectations of new service standards
Rachel Friend
So, you’re feeling inspired to make some changes in your own pharmacy – whether that’s introducing a brand-new health service, adjusting your service model to collect more accurate data or improving how you communicate your services to your community. Whichever way, the success of all of these changes, big or small, rests largely with your staff.

So, you’re feeling inspired to make some changes in your own pharmacy – whether that’s introducing a brand-new health service, adjusting your service model to collect more accurate data or improving how you communicate your services to your community. Whichever way, the success of all of these changes, big or small, rests largely with your staff.

What do you need to do to implement these changes effectively?

  • Vision – Have a clearly defined vision of the change. Your staff may come to work every day but that doesn’t mean they understand the challenges or the issues with which you grapple nor why you need to make changes in the pharmacy. Make sure you can clearly articulate the who, what, why, when and how of your new service. It’s vitally important your staff understand the problem you are trying to solve and agree with the course of action you are taking.

  • Time – Don’t expect your staff to accept this new way of working after just one meeting. Give your team time. Give them plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Make sure you listen to their questions, concerns or comments with a positive attitude.

  • Repetition – Not everyone learns the same way. Some of us like to sit down and talk through change in great detail. Others find it difficult to listen to instructions and learn ‘on the job’ through demonstration. It’s wise to think about different ways you can communicate the same message so that all the different personalities on your team understand and accept the change.

  • Collaborate – Where possible, invite your staff to become involved in developing the systems and processes they will be using to implement the changes. They will be far more likely to accept and adhere to the new way of working if they’ve had some input into what it will look like.
  • Review – Don’t expect any change to be perfect from day one. Schedule time to review your service and adapt when needed.

  • Accountability – Ensure you have defined success! How do we know this new change is working? What are the objectives and how can we measure success? Is it just measured in prescriptions or are we looking to measure community engagement?

  • Reward – Make sure you factor in recognition and reward for good results. Incentivise the change for your staff. This doesn’t have to be monetary but we all like acknowledgement for a job well done.