Classic Care Pharmac y
Ahappy environment breeds a healthy environment, most importantly when you’re a health-care provider. It’s a truism that Wendy Buchanan, manager of pharmacy and clinical services at Classic Care Pharmacy, understands and puts into practice.
“I’ve taken every job I’ve been in and put together how I’d like to be treated,” she says. “Happy and engaged employees provide great client services and ultimately (make) happy customers.”
Classic Care Pharmacy opened its Ottawa offices in 1999. This “closed door pharmacy” (not open to the general public) provides prescription and health education services to seven long-term care homes and 16 retirement residences, serving 1,900 residents in eastern Ontario.
This is the third time it’s been an Employees’ Choice Awards winner. No surprises there, for this is a place where individual care and attention is not just lavished on patients.
“I hire the best people I can get and take a lot of time to figure out what motivates them, then I try to engineer it so I can help them find their niche,” Ms. Buchanan says.
While many employers throw up their hands in despair at the “impossible demands” of Gen-Xers and Gen-Ys, she says she doesn’t believe they’re any different to previous generations in terms of work ethic and loyalty.
“I think if you give people meaningful work, if they’re engaged, have ownership and are respected, there are not going to be retention problems.”
This is a woman who knows what she’s talking about, given the low turnover rate and frequent job inquiries. And it’s corroborated in the employee feedback for the 2009 ECA survey.
“Classic Care Pharmacy is a wonderful place to work. In my time here I have been able to develop my skills and take on new and challenging roles. Great efforts are taken to create a sense of community within our company,” wrote one staff member.
“I have recently joined this organization and management has been excellent in helping me with the transition from stay-home mom to parttime employee, especially throughout the summer months. We worked out a schedule that benefits both of us. It’s not easy to find an employer that will go the extra step,” wrote another.
Ms. Buchanan explains the focus is on fulfilment and ultimately, top performance.
“We want everyone to have rewarding and enjoyable careers, not just a place to work. We’re committed to building skills and competency at all levels so we can be at the top of our game every day.”
Like its vow to go “above and beyond in client care,” the company provides the same in terms of benefits for its employees. Innovative HR policies include $1,000 awarded to employee of the year. First-time newlyweds receive an extra week’s annual leave, products can be purchased from the pharmacy at wholesaler prices, the health benefits program is 100-per-cent covered and prescription fees are waived. And that’s just the technical facts.
“We care about our employees and recognize that life can be messy sometimes, but family always comes first,” says Ms. Buchanan. “When we say we’re going to do something, we follow through … Our business is people. If we respect our employees, colleagues and clients, we’ll all achieve our end goals.”
Employees and patients aren’t the only ones to benefit from Classic Care Pharmacy. Over the past three years alone, the company has raised more than $75,000 for Canadian charities.
“We are very proud of our fundraising efforts,” says Ms. Buchanan. “We want our employees to make a difference in this world by helping others and setting the standard of care to our seniors.”