How to create a highly efficient pharmacy team (5 quick tips)

So, what exactly does it take to create an effective -a truly highly effective and efficient team? What is the secret to success? It’s a question that most leaders including in pharmacy teams in different fields and industries have asked themselves over the years but few have been able to crack the proverbial code.
pharmacy teams

Let’s get one thing clear. You need a team to achieve sustained success. There are no two ways around it. You not only need a team; you need a strong team.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines teamwork as the combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient and this forms the anchor of this article.

So, what exactly does it take to create an effective -a truly highly effective and efficient team? What is the secret to success? It’s a question that most leaders and managers in different fields and industries have asked themselves over the years but few have been able to crack the proverbial code. 

Creating effective and efficient teams is not an event but rather a process that needs time and patience. It involves rallying around a common vision, recruiting the right profile of team members, creating an open communication channel, setting clear measurable goals and having a clear understanding of the role that each team member has to play to achieve success.

In this article I discuss five key steps in creating and sustaining highly effective and efficient teams;

pharmacy teams
Create a vision for your team

A vision is what an organization aspires to be in the picture-perfect scenario. It is a short, concise, inspirational and rememberable statement that defines the organization and by extension the team’s purpose. A major stumbling block in achieving success is teams being unclear on what their purpose is, the Japanese call it ikigai i.e., what gets you out of bed.

In this regard, the first step towards creating effective and efficient teams is to define what your purpose is, through a vision statement.  This then has to be consistently communicated and shared within the team ensuring that everyone is onboard and united around a common purpose. Some tips to make the vision statement rememberable to your team is to have it printed on office cups, calendars, T-shirts as well as the conventional vision board.

Assemble a team with the right profile

Before embarking on the journey of recruitment, ensure you do a proper job analysis to derive the prerequisite skills and competences needed to adequately execute the job assignment. All teams that have achieved sustained high level of success have team members that are perfectly suited for the role and have a team-oriented mentality.

Apart from the obvious technical capabilities needed to fit in certain roles, attitude and specifically group dynamics should be a priority of the recruiting team. Target individuals with good communication skills, keenness to improve and respect for opinions are attributes of others. Take your time with step as this is the make or break of your team success. They say a team is as strong as its weakest link, then why not have strength across the chain.

Read also: Pharmaceuticals: 5 important principles to improve forecasting (

Define your leadership style

Many have stated that great leaders are born and not made. Personally, I have always been an ardent believer that the best leadership styles are learnt and cultivated. Teams need a leader to steer the ship towards realizing its vision especially in the midst of uncertainty. Assuming that you have successfully navigated through step 2 above, and you have the right team in place, you need to decide which style suits your team.

You have the option of being an autocratic, democratic or laissez faire kind of leader and all have their application. However, to achieve effectiveness and efficiency you should implement a democratic or participative leadership style.

Involve your team in the decision-making process as this motivates the team to higher levels of performance. Use influence rather than authority by encouraging a two-way communication. Pushing ideas and duties down your team’s throat impairs morale and initiative at the same time building discontent. In this scenario, teams will stop working and engage in horseplay as soon as you walk out of the room and you do not want that.

Set SMART goals and celebrate when you achieve them

Team goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.  Ambiguous, unrealistic goals demotivate teams rather than motivate. Therefore, focus on creating few, time bound goals and pin them on the team white board visible to all team members. Always set goals as a team and after achieving any of them, get one of the team members to strike through it, that way you create a sense of progress within the team. Once all goals have been struck, celebrate. Have lunch together, cut a cake, open a bottle of wine and after that come up with a new set of goals and let the cycle continue.

Customize your rewarding system

When it comes to rewarding systems, understand one thing; no one size fits all. As a team leader it is your duty to understand what drives each of your team members and structure your rewarding system to your findings. This is in line with Abraham Maslow’s concept of Hierarchy of needs. Understand what motivates your individual team members and meet them at their level of need.

For instance, telling a team member who is driven by public acknowledgement that they will get an extra KES 10,000 if he meets his targets, is a useless endeavor. Acknowledge such an individual during the team meeting encouraging him to continue with the same vein.

On the flip side when a team member goes against the ethos of the team, it’s prudent to address this with the member to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Always remember there is nothing more demotivating to a committed team member than seeing a leader remaining tolerant to an uncommitted team member.

In summary it is my belief that people generally want to do well and succeed, all they need is to be provided with an environment where they feel a sense of purpose, engagement and appreciation for their work. Therefore, it is necessary to assemble the right team, provide direction and give them space to flourish.


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