Drug World Pharmacies is a family-owned group that has been serving the local communities north of New York City since 1975. President and CEO Heidi Snyder bought the business from her father in 2000 and has kept the company’s three locations on the cutting edge ever since. She began utilizing Business Coaching in 2014 to help her bring the best out of her pharmacies.
Although her business was performing consistently well year after year, Heidi was all too aware of the untapped potential hiding in her pharmacies. She knew her talented staff was the key to Drug World’s continued success, but empowering all of her employees to go beyond the bare minimum of day-to-day operations was proving to be difficult. With the help of her son, Mark, who plays a large part in employee development at the company, Heidi instituted a bonus structure to reward store managers based on increased sales, positive attitude, and participation in business enhancement activities outside of work. Unfortunately, the incentive program wasn’t enough to inspire big change within the pharmacies. The only way to get every employee to go the extra mile was to make it mandatory, and that could have a detrimental impact on morale over time.
I think it’s important for people at the workplace to be happy. It needs to be enjoyable to go to work. And to make that a reality we needed something to give our staff a purpose instead of just standing there at the register. They needed to know they could help the business grow and be an instrumental part of the growth.
Drug World’s business coach recommended an employee development training to increase engagement, and Heidi was thrilled with the idea. Her response: “I’m in. I’m in 100 percent!” They scheduled a date for the business coach to meet with all of the employees at once. Heidi made attendance mandatory and paid her staff for their time. During the session, the business coach talked in-depth about the different roles staff members can play in the pharmacy, the value each one brings, and the control they have over not only their own success, but also the success of the business overall. In the days that followed, Heidi and Mark met privately with each employee to discuss what would make his or her career more rewarding and what opportunities he or she would like to explore in the future.
Drug World employees received their annual bonuses shortly after the training, which reinforced the importance of being proactive inside and outside the pharmacy. Once the staff understood how much more money they could be making, participation in business enhancement activities increased significantly—from one or two per month companywide to nearly one per week. These actions, called Toot Your Own Horn (TYOH) activities, included everything from attending Board of Education meetings to putting up posters at the local senior center promoting a weekly Rollator sale. Even more impressive, every TYOH is completely voluntary.
Our employees are now much more aware of the part they play. They’ve shown up—on their own time—for continuing education sessions, opioid abuse trainings, and Chamber of Commerce meetings. They’ve dropped off vitamins to nearby pediatrician offices. They’ve made connections with the PTA. And I attribute that directly to the training provided by my business coach.
In addition to the lift in TYOH activities, many employees requested to take on more responsibility at work. One cashier moved from the front of the store to the pharmacy. Another cashier volunteered to do doctor detailing and began networking with physical therapists in the area. Other employees took the initiative to call parents of children who were prescribed antibiotics to find out how they were feeling. These extra efforts freed up the pharmacists at each location to focus more on their core responsibilities and helped Drug World tap into new business opportunities.