Study shows pharmacy employee recognition ranks #1

Pharmacists selecting bottle

How motivated employees can grow your pharmacy

In brief:

  • Research on employee motivation shows recognition has more impact than money
  • Apply these research findings daily
  • Give pharmacy employees recognition fast, frequently and publicly, and make it specific

What works: Findings from research

A study on employee engagement discussed in Psychology Today found that how a person feels matters more than what they earn. Consider the following research results:1

  • 70% of employees said their most meaningful recognition “had no dollar value.”
  • 83% said recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than rewards or gifts.
  • 76% found peer praise very or extremely motivating.
  • 88% found praise from managers very or extremely motivating.
  • 90% considered a “fun work environment” very or extremely motivating.

Hospital case study

A New York hospital found that only 10% of its medical staff used hand sanitizer when entering or leaving a patient’s room. This low usage rate came despite employees knowing this practice prevented the spread of disease and despite reminder signs and camera monitoring.

However, within one month the hospital raised its rate of hand sanitizer usage to nearly 90%. The key: providing instant positive feedback.2

Applying research in your pharmacy

Apply research lessons on employee motivation in your pharmacy every day.

  • Show meaning. Employees want to know their worth. To convey meaning, explain the importance of an action or achievement of a goal. Relate human stories that go beyond numbers. Explain why adherence programs help patients live longer, healthier lives. For example, tell staff how “a patient improved their health status by enrolling in our medication synchronization program six months ago.”
  • Provide public recognition. Find ways to publicly recognize individual and team accomplishments. At a staff meeting, recognize an employee who delivered outstanding service or commend a team for reaching a goal. If the employee prefers digital communication, post a positive comment on social media.In contrast, always provide private coaching on changing a behavior or improving performance.
  • Make the recognition specific. Personalizing recognition shows employees you value their contributions. Make feedback and recognition very specific. You want to call attention to the exact behavior you want to highlight.Don’t just offer general praise like, “Last month Sue provided excellent service.” Describe the customer Sue assisted and outline how her actions produced a positive outcome.
  • Give feedback fast. Increase impact by immediately showing recognition after an employee’s positive action. For example, “Jan, you effectively and clearly explained the benefits of medication synchronization to Ms. Hopper this morning. It made the difference in convincing her to enroll. Well done.”
  • Give recognition frequently. Motivating employees requires consistency. As motivation guru Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.”
  • Make rewards fun and meaningful. Even though recognition outperforms money in motivating employees, tangible rewards also provide a powerful tool. Use personal and meaningful rewards, like concert tickets to a person’s favorite performer or a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant.

Motivation checklist

  • Convey the meaning and purpose in each person’s work. Show them what they do matters.
  • Provide public recognition for positive behaviors and achievement.
  • Make recognition specific and personal, not generic.
  • Give feedback fast to reinforce positive behaviors.
  • Give recognition frequently, like weekly or daily.
  • Provide fun, personal and meaningful rewards.
1 New Employer Study Shows Recognition Matters More Than Money, Psychology Today, June 13, 2013. LINK
2 “What Motivates Employees More: Rewards or Punishments?” Tali Sharot, Harvard Business Review, Sept. 26, 2017. LINK