Pharmacists facing employer intimidation

Clare Brazill, Divisional Partner at Flame Health Pharmacy comments on the C&D article – ‘Pharmacists facing employer intimidation’.
The majority of employed pharmacists are facing pressure from management, with many feeling under so much stress that it is affecting their performance at work, C+D surveys have suggested.
Preliminary results from the C+D Salary Survey 2012 revealed that, out of more than 900 pharmacy employees surveyed, 55 per cent felt under pressure from management at work, with a quarter saying this had crossed the line into intimidation.
The results came as a smaller C+D website poll of 34 readers showed that 68 per cent felt under so much pressure to hit targets that it was affecting their performance. Only 3 per cent said they felt a "slight pressure" to meet targets and no-one said they were entirely free of the demands.
But while employers said targets were necessary in a successful business, the Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) argued that the drive to hit targets was causing too much workplace stress.
"We've always said that the idea of pharmacists being paid for services is a good thing, but [targets] are increasingly being put on top of all the other work that pharmacists do," said PDA director John Murphy.
"When pharmacists are feeling under more and more pressure to meet targets, it's actually setting up behaviours that these people would not normally exhibit," Mr Murphy told C+D.
The comments came after the GPhC suspended a former Boots store manager from the register for four months for falsifying feedback to the multiple's customer care survey. At the time C+D readers questioned the suspension and said some pharmacists faced high pressure to meet targets, but Boots said undue pressure to meet targets was "unacceptable" and not tolerated in the organisation.
Lloydspharmacy stressed that "challenging but achievable" targets were vital to the running of businesses. The multiple said setting goals improved customer service and enabled it to "measure and reward success". It added that pharmacy managers could discuss their targets with area managers if they felt they were too high.
Claire Brazill, divisional partner in pharmacy at recruitment consultancy Flame Health, told C+D that pharmacy employers were increasingly looking for people who could work to targets. "At interviews, it's now expected for them to ask ‘what targets do you work to?' and ‘do you hit your targets?'," she said.

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