Walgreens is eliminating all task-based metrics for retail pharmacy staff as part of team members’ performance reviews, further enabling the company’s pharmacists to practice at the top of their license while creating a differentiated work environment within its pharmacies nationwide, the company said.
Noting that Walgreens pharmacists are playing a more important role in health care than ever before, the retailer said that taking this significant step will allow its more than 24,000 pharmacists to place even greater focus on patient care and outcomes.
“We’re proud to take a strong position in the industry with this measure, one we are taking due to feedback from our pharmacy team members and also as part of our commitment to pharmacy quality and patient care,” said Holly May, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance. “We’ve continued to make investments to elevate the role of our pharmacists and to foster an environment that enables them to best care for our patients and customers. Coupled with other infrastructure enhancements and technology investments, this allows our pharmacy team members to do the work they love and engage with our patients and communities in the way they were trained.”
The change in approach to talent management also comes as Walgreens is laying the groundwork for new areas of pharmacist care, such as testing and treating routine illnesses. Moving forward, pharmacy teams will be evaluated based solely on the behaviors that best support patient care and enhance the patient experience, in line with the company’s core values.
This is the latest action Walgreens is taking to care for its team members, building on numerous investments the company has made to address pharmacy staffing as well as to retain and reward pharmacy staff.
In August 2021, Walgreens increased the starting wage for hourly team members and has since taken a number of additional steps, including:
- Made incremental investments of $190 million dedicated to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in fiscal year 2022, mainly in premium pay and bonuses, with further investments of $265 million for pharmacy staff planned for fiscal year 2023;
- Increased base pay for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and provided additional bonuses;
- Implemented enhancements to the annual merit review process in fiscal year 2022 to provide compensation increases or lump sum payments for Walgreens pharmacists; and
- Made investments in pharmacy and automation technology, including eight micro-fulfillment centers, helping to reduce prescription fulfillment in stores and giving pharmacy staff more time to provide clinical services and patient consultations.