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Page 68


Staff management, or human resource management, covers a range of issues related to managing

employees in any organisation (Jones 2009). The human resource functions are vitally important to

pharmacies when implementing professional services since services in health care are provided by

people to people. There are some critical problems highlighted by pharmacies in areas relating to staff

management. These include role ambiguity, lack of understanding of purpose and job overload (Nankervis 2005).

In this section we do not attempt to cover human resources in its entirety, instead we have chosen to focus

on the topics pharmacies indicated were more relevant to their pharmacies and were deemed crucial

to implementing professional services. These include:


Any effective organisation needs more than just a strategic direction, associated plans and an image. It needs employees to

work towards achieving the set objectives and goals. In pharmacies, this means having the right number of pharmacists and

non-pharmacist staff to support any new service and creating or adjusting job descriptions to reflect their role in the service

provision. In the case of moving to a model of professional service provision, it was found that ‘for [pharmacists] to provide

more professional services, they must be willing to relinquish the dispensing function to pharmacy technicians and automated

dispensing systems.’ (Szeinbach et al. 1994)

Once you have decided which services you would like to implement or improve in the pharmacy, it is then important to

establish the staff you will need to perform these services. Firstly, it is important to do an analysis of the current staff in the

pharmacy, their current level of training and their current responsibilities. This is a way of highlighting if any of your staff are

suited to providing services or how you might be able to restructure any roles to allow of professional service provision. In

the workshop, you will have the opportunity to work through a job analysis to identify any issues relevant to your pharmacy.

The information used in these analyses can then be used to create job descriptions for your staff members. These will outline

critical competencies for each staff member and can help to guide recruitment for new staff members if this is required (Jones



Do we have enough staff to be able to provide the service?

Are the staff assigned roles and responsibilities in relation to professional services?

Could staff be better organised to provide support in other areas of the business and allow time for services?


Templates for managing staff including job descriptions and performance reviews can be found in section T12 of the 2nd

Edition of QCPP.



Page 69

35This material was produced as part of the “Building Organisational Flexibility to Promote the Implementation of Primary Care Services Project” by SI Benrimoj & E. Feletto.


Your employees are the frontline connection between your business and your customers. It is important to maintain the

motivation of your staff members, especially in relation to service provision. It has been said that “without staff who can

and want to make the change [to a service model], all the best equipment, computerisation, private consultation areas and

marketing plans in the world will mean nothing” (Hagel & Rovers 2002, p.63). If the staff understand the need for change they

are more likely to be accepting of it (Greenhalgh et al. 2005).

Explaining the relevance of professional services to the pharmacy, how they fit in with the other activities and the potential

benefits to the customers are important elements in motivating staff. Staff should be informed of any new initiatives as they

happen and how their roles will be affected. It is important to foster an environment of open communication and seek input

from staff into the planning process and especially the setting of goals and targets. Depending on the particular service, staff

may also be able to provide certain elements and should be encouraged to do so. Therefore, staff motivation can be promoted

by encouraging staff involvement in the services, planning and goal setting, creating an environment of open communication in

your pharmacy and offering rewards and incentives related to service provision.

Rewards for staff are not only financial – or direct – rewards; they can also be indirect rewards for example, services provided

to employees or time in lieu (Jones 2009). It is important to establish the criteria by which these rewards will be allocated

and ensure the system is objective and fair for all staff. For service provision, the criteria should be related to their role in the

service itself. These criteria are often referred to as KPIs. The employee should also be informed of how the objective will be

measured. Some examples of KPIs will be discussed in the workshop, where you will also have the opportunity to develop

some specific to your pharmacy.


Do we foster a team environment in our pharmacy?

Do we need rewards and incentives related to professional services?


External consultants can be used to help develop reward and incentive programs for staff. For example, many banner groups

offer this service as well as consultants who assist pharmacies in business management. Reward and incentive programs can

also be developed internally and be based on areas most relevant to your pharmacy.


The Change Management and Community Pharmacy Study highlighted the fact that “because services demand higher level

skills and different skills, there is usually a need to…place a stronger emphasis on training and professional development”

(Roberts et al. 2007). The appropriate training of staff can impact positively on the profitability of a small business in the long

term (Chambers 2002). Investing in the development of staff help retain valuable employees.

Training, however, needs to be adapted to the needs of the staff and to meet the needs of individual employees. For the

provision of services, specialised training may need to be organised as well as regular revisions in specific areas (e.g. HMR

accreditation updates). This requires an understanding of the areas in which training is necessary and where the training is

available. An analysis of training needs for your pharmacy is covered as a workshop activity.

It is important to set objectives for training as well to ensure that the staff members understand what they are expected to

learn at each training session/course. Interview and survey participants utilised both internal (staff members training other staff

members) and external training (pharmacy organisations, product companies, banner groups) and highlighted the importance

of incorporating both types of training in any plan.


Are the staff sufficiently trained in order to be able to provide the service?

Is training a formal requirement in job descriptions?

Do we have a formalised training plan for the pharmacy?

Do we have a formalised training plan for service provision?

What has been your financial investment in training staff in the last year?

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