Walgreens POWER Initiative

The new model would give pharmacists a chance to counsel patients more often and offer vaccinations if regulations permit. (“Walgreen moves ahead with POWER program in Florida Drug Topics”, n. D. ) Company leaders predict the project will free pharmacists and even pharmacy technicians from some of the mundane dispensing tasks so they can migrate to a broader role in patient oversight, clinical care and integrated health care alongside physicians. (allegro’s’ ‘Power’ initiative expands, centralizing workload in Florida, Arizona I Drug Store News”, n. D. While the benefits of the POWER Initiative are obvious there is a gloomy side to the implementation of the process; it is called RIFF (Reduction in Force). So while this process will free up pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to interact more with patients, there will be far fewer available to do so. During this reduction in force process Walgreen offered pharmacy technicians the option to transfer to the front end of the store, unfortunately most stores did not have available positions for these technicians, due to a reduction in the front end payroll hours as well.

Not only were there limited positions available in the front end of the store, many managers were hesitant to fill these positions with a registered pharmacy technician because of the pay differential between obtaining a new hire at $7. 50 an hour or moving a suggested pharmacy technician into a front cashier position at a rate of $13. 50 per hour. With over 100 pharmacy technician and pharmacist layoffs complete throughout the Central Florida area, it was now time to determine pharmacy payroll hours and determine which stores to place the remaining technicians.

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Many technicians were transferred to a new store or even forced to split their hours between two or more stores in order to maintain their full- time status. Needless to say this process took a toll on the morale and job satisfaction of the employees that made it through the reduction in force process. Job Satisfaction Probably the most studied attitude in organizational behavior is job satisfaction, a person’s evaluation of his or her job and work context. It is an appraisal of perceived job characteristics, work environment, and emotional experiences at work.

Job satisfaction is best viewed as a collection of attitudes about different aspects of the job and work context. (Machines & Von, 2010, p. 1 08) A few years ago when employees became dissatisfied with their organization they would quit and get another job. In today’s economy placement opportunities can be few and far between and our unemployment ate still ATA high, very few people will opt to quit and leave an organization, rather something much worse is happening. Employees “quit,” but they stay. (“Seven Ways To Increase Employee Satisfaction Without Giving A Raise – Forbes”, n. . ) The Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect (“EVIL”) examines the consequences of job dissatisfaction, and postulates that employees will respond to job dissatisfaction in one of four ways: by exiting, by speaking out about it, through loyalty, or through job neglect. (Withed & Cooper, 1989, p. 521 ) To reduce the negative effects of job dissatisfaction, managers should be ware of behaviors considered by the EVIL model and should identify them as indicators of job dissatisfaction and should immediately act upon it once identified.

The EVIL model would be a useful tool to Walgreen management staff to determine the key factors that play a role in job satisfaction. While the remaining pharmacy technicians may not fall into the exit category considering their local market is now flooded with unemployed pharmacy technicians, the remaining three categories need to be evaluated and a plan of action implemented in order to increase job satisfaction. Employee Morale upon the completion Of the reduction in force process employee morale was at a low, not just in the pharmacy but in the front end of the store as well.

Pharmacy customer complaints and general store customer complaints were on the rise. Some of the signs of decreased morale are: tardiness, absenteeism, apathy, moping backstabbing, decreased quality, decreased productivity, increased errors, accidents or injuries. It’s important to note that contrary to popular belief, morale is not a cause, but rather the effect or result of many factors going awry. (“Improving Employee Morale Entrepreneur. Com”, n. . ) Many employees spend more time at their place of employment than anywhere else.

Consequently, job satisfaction has a big impact on employee morale. ” Employee morale refers to employee attitude toward an employer, contentment or discontent with a job and general outlook, which affects the worker’s productivity. ” (“Differences in Job Satisfaction & Morale I Everyday Life ; Global Post”, n. D. ) There are a host of options available to Walgreen store managers and pharmacy managers to aid them in boosting employee morale, such as providing continuous communication and providing consistent values.

Other valuable ways that Walgreen management can boost employee morale is to take time to have a little fun, develop team-building activities or possibly providing employees’ time off to pursue personal projects, such as volunteer work. All too often company leaders feel that the key to positive employee morale lies with competitive wages; many studies have shown that recognition is the most sought after component in employee morale. “Recognition consists of acknowledging or giving special attention to employee actions, efforts, behavior or performance.

Recognition can include both formal and informal orgasm and supports business strategy by reinforcing certain behaviors that contribute to organizational success. ” (“The Value and ROI in Employee Recognition”, n. D. , p. 5) The Relationship between Employee Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction In 2002, Harder, Schmidt and Hayes conducted a meta-analytic review of 7,939 business units in 36 companies to assess the link between employee outcomes of satisfaction and engagement and business outcomes of customer satisfaction, productivity, profit, turnover and accidents.

These researchers found that there was a correlation between an increase in employee satisfaction and an increase in business profit, as well as a strong positive correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction at any one point. Employees that interact with customers are in a position to develop awareness of and respond to customer goals and needs. Satisfied employees are motivated employees; that is, they have the motivational resources to deliver adequate effort and care.

Satisfied employees are empowered employees; in other words, they have the resources, training, and responsibilities to understand and serve customer needs and demands. Satisfied employees have high energy and willingness to give good service: at a very minimum, they can deliver a more positive perception of the service/ product provided. Satisfied employees can provide customers with interpersonal sensibility and social account (I. E. , adequate explanations for undesirable outcomes). It has been suggested that these components of international justice … Have a significant impact on customer satisfaction.

According to this view, because satisfied employees experience international justice, they can deliver it; that is, satisfied employees have enough emotional sources to show empathy, understanding, respect, and concern. (Bulgaria, 2005, p. 3) Customer Satisfaction As previously stated pharmacy customer complaints and general store customer complaints were on the rise, likely due to the decline in job satisfaction and employee morale, thus causing patients to transfer their business to competing pharmacies, ultimately causing pharmacy and front end store profits to shrink.

When patients entered many Walgreen locations they could overhear employee conversations or complaints as it were about the many changes taking place within the pharmacy, which led some customers to question the changes. Unfortunately, there were a few too many times when the pharmacy staffs personal discontent with the changes transferred to become the patient’s discontent as well. Patients began to feel uncomfortable with the fact that their prescriptions may be filled off site and shipped to their local store and either opted to transfer their business elsewhere or request that their prescriptions be filled onsite.

This of course led to the workload being placed back into the stores, only now there was far less personnel to handle the prescription load, which ultimately had a direct raring on the decline in employee morale and job satisfaction, as well as possible job burnout. “A popular belief is that happy customers are a result of happy employees. ” (Machines & Von, 2010, p. 278) “This correlates to the service profit chain, which states that increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty results in higher customer perceptions of value, thereby improving the company’s profitability. (Machines & Von, 201 0, p. 278) Motivation Employee motivation or lack thereof has always been at the forefront of issues for many leaders and managers. Unmotivated employees are likely to expend little to no effort in their jobs, produce lower quality work, avoid the workplace as much as possible and exit the organization if given the opportunity. With a recent national study showing that less than 1 in 4 non- management employees is fully engaged (aka, fully motivated and productive), there is, shall we say, ample room for improvement.

And since an employee’s relationship with his or her direct manager is the single most important factor influencing engagement, the responsibility falls to management to improve motivational levels. (“5 Easy Ways To Motivate – And Denominate – Employees – Forbes”, n. . ) One concept that may be useful and quite familiar to many managers is Abraham Mascots Hierarchy of Needs; this concept has been linked to employee motivation for decades. Abraham Moscow developed the Hierarchy of Needs Theory in 1940-505 and is still used throughout the business industry today.

He developed the hierarchy to understand human motivation, and personal development by creating five distinct levels. Mason’s theory designated two main approaches basic (deficiency) needs and growth needs. The deficiency or basic needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet, these include physiological, safety, social and esteem needs. “As individuals satisfy one level of need, their motivations; therefore to motivate an individual Moscow suggests that it is necessary to know where within the hierarchy each employee is placed so that these factors can be taken into account. (“Moscow – Building a better workplace through motivation – Kellogg I Kellogg case studies, videos, social media and information Business Case Studies”, n. D. ) All of the needs identified in Mascots Hierarchy of Needs Theory overlap with motivation in one form or another. If managers can understand how these concepts relate o employee motivation this will help them to overcome many of the challenges associated with motivation.

Managers are constantly faced with an abundance of challenges when attempting to motivate their employees, and must recognize and overcome these challenges in order to provide appropriate motivation for their employees. Communication “Communication refers to the process by which information is transmitted and understood between two or more people. Effective communication is vital to all organizations, so much so that no company can exist without it. ” (Machines & Von, 201 0, p. 270) Walgreen like many other companies rely on arioso methods of communication from face-to-face communication to emails and newsletters.

Unfortunately during the POWER Initiative communication was being sent through many different channels and relaying contrasting information, this lead to further dissentions among the employees that remained after the reduction in force process was complete. “In any organization, employees rely on the grapevine, particularly in times of uncertainty. The grapevine is an unstructured and informal network founded on social relationships rather than organizational charts or job descriptions. ” (Machines & Von, 201 0, p. 1) The corporate grapevine can be an organizations best friend or worst enemy depending on the information being disseminated through its flow. “The grapevine distorts information by deleting fine details and exaggerating key point of the story. ” (Machines & Von, 2010, p. 289) Case in point during Walgreen reduction if force process, the most disturbing “rumor’ to surface on the grapevine was that there would be a second round of pharmacy technician layoffs once the POWER Initiative was in full swing.

This “rumor” caused a great deal of panic among not just pharmacy technicians but with pharmacists as well, feeling overwhelmed with he thought that there would be no technician help available to them once this process had been completed. Walgreen district pharmacy supervisor and district manager should have at this point in time stepped in to end these “rumors” and stop the grapevine gossip in its tracks. Unfortunately, the pharmacy manager and store management were as unclear about the situation as the other members of the store and pharmacy personnel.

There is no better or more effective communication tool than face-to-face communication. Face-to-face communication is at the top of media richness because it allows us to communicate both verbally and nonverbally at the name time, to receive feedback almost immediately from the receiver, to quickly adjust our message and style, and to use complex language such as metaphors and idioms. (Machines & Von, 201 0, p. 278) The district staff should have utilized this method of communication to effectively inform management and employees of the current state of the POWER Initiative, as well as any upcoming changes or further reduction on force.

Meetings should have been held with all pharmacy managers and store managers alike to assist with disseminating the appropriate information to the store and pharmacy employees, to assist in alleviating stress in the workplace. Stress While coping with stress in the workplace is an everyday battle, stress levels ten d to increase during times of uncertainty and unquestionably during times when companies are laying off employees. During the reduction in force process many pharmacy technicians and pharmacists found themselves more on edge, stress levels and conflicts amongst employees was on the rise.

Excessive stress can interfere with an employee’s productivity, as well as take a toll on both their physical and mental health. During this time store and pharmacy management should have been given the adequate tools accessory to recognize the signs and symptoms of overly stressed employees. These signs include employees who exhibit a loss Of interest in work, trouble concentrating on work, as well as social withdrawal and a sudden increase in physical ailments.

While dealing with stress starts with the employee taking care of themselves, there are measures that managers can take to help alleviate some of the stress factors in the workplace. “It is in the managers best interest to keep stress levels in the workplace to a minimum. Managers are the positive role models, especially in times of high stress. (“Behavior Health Resources”, n. D. ) The following are some of the ways that management can help reduce workplace stress: Improve Communication Share information with employees to reduce uncertainty about their jobs and furniture.

Clearly define employees’ roles and responsibilities Make communication friendly and efficient, not mean-spirited or petty. Consult your employees Give your employees the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their jobs. Be sure the workload is suitable to employees’ abilities and resources; avoid unrealistic deadlines. (“Behavior Health Resources”, n. D. ) While Walgreen POWER Initiative made good business sense, it led to a significant amount of change for the employees who remained with the company once the process was completed.

Communication, stress management, employee morale and stress management are just a few of the steps that should have been taken during this process to help the company transition into their desired community-practice model of pharmacy in the retail setting. While the move to POWER is complete many employees still have a sense that their jobs may not be secure and the stench of the reduction in force process still lingers at many stores. Walgreen need to implement effective change in order to truly make the company transitions that they desire.