Magazine article Drug Topics

GenX R.Ph.S Seek Mission, Not Money

Magazine article Drug Topics

GenX R.Ph.S Seek Mission, Not Money

Article excerpt


Employers desperate to attract and retain Generation X pharmacists should forget about the big signing bonus and the BMW and instead concentrate on helping them use their talents and training, according to a personnel management consultant and lecturer tuned into the MTV crowd.

Financial inducements may initially lure young pharmacists to come on board, but opportunities to use their training and talents will keep them happy and on the job. So said Rebecca Ryan, president of Next Generation Consulting, which specializes in the recruitment and retention of young employees. In addition to the chance to grow professionally, the top reasons young pharmacists stay are that they are given the tools to do their job and they have a good manager. Money comes in fourth.

"Money is not the answer," Ryan told Drug Topics. "The bottom line is that opportunity is king with GenX pharmacists. One reason the military has a kick-butt pharmacy program is because it fast-tracks those pharmacists, and that resonates with young employees. Sure, the money's not there, but the retention rates are unbelievable. The pendulum seems to have shifted from pharmacists being very money-- motivated to their being very mission-motivated. Being mission-- driven in pharmacy will be really critical."

Employers have to move beyond the mind-set that more opportunity has to mean a promotion. Expanding clinical duties or freeing up more time for patient contact will do wonders for a pharmacy's GenX retention rate. "Instead of promotions, think about lateral opportunities," Ryan said. "Put [R.Ph.s] on a committee to collaborate with the local health system, or ask them if they'd like to participate on a nursing team to figure out how to do medication safety better, or let them counsel two or three patients a day. Give them responsibilities and a lot of variety. Pharmacies also need to be flexible, because young talent loves to have control over its time. If you give them a say in their schedule, they really respond to that."

The profession's mantra that pharmacists must shift from dispensing to patient care appeals to young practitioners, but the reality of life behind the counter can be a real turnoff for some. "The industry saying that it's all about patient care will really appeal to this generation, but they're getting disillusioned because their experience does not align with the reason they got into pharmacy," Ryan said. …

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