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3 Tips for an Effective Pharmacy Golden Handcuffs Plan

Posted by Matt Coakley on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 09:50 AM

Pharmacy golden handcuffs planning is critical to protect your pharmacy. And, if you are like mostcommunity pharmacist golden handcuffs pharmacy owners, your pharmacy is your "Golden Goose." It is the asset that drives the financial engine for you and your family, as well as, your employees and their families.

It only makes sense to use something called "Golden Handcuffs" for your "Golden Goose."

So, what is a pharmacy golden handcuffs plan?  And, how is different than the traditional benefits offered to other pharmacy employees?  These tend to be the questions we receive when we ask community pharmacy owners if they have a golden handcuffs plan.

A pharmacy golden handcuffs plan is a special benefit designed for the key employees of your pharmacy.  It is something that you can do above and beyond the traditional employee benefits package (401k etc.). Golden handcuffs benefits can be designed to help grow your pharmacy, meet the key employees specific needs and desires, and keep key employees working for your pharmacy for the time period that you choose.  The combination of these three is dramatically different than the typical employee benefits where every employee is treated the same across the board.

Most pharmacy owners tell us that they have certain employees that are more valuable than the rest.  They then say that the pharmacy would be a mess if any or all of these key employees leave for any reason.  Most pharmacy owners have a goal of being able to take more time away from the pharmacy and the key employees allow them to do this.  If one or more of them left, typically this means the pharmacy owner has to go back into the pharmacy more frequently than they want.  This is a direct threat to their goals.  

We then ask if they know how much it would cost to replace a key employee.  Most owners do not know the amount, but they all agree (after a discussion) that it is probably very high.  

Note: It is less costly to keep and employee than replace one.

Golden handcuffs planning is designed to keep your key employees with your pharmacy so you don't have to incur the significant costs of replacing any one of them.  This is one of the best retention tools in the marketplace today.

Below are three tips to keep in mind when thinking about setting up a golden handcuffs plan for your key employees:

  1. Understand what keeps your key employees awake at night - this can help you understand how to structure a benefit to meet each employee's specific needs (this will be the subject of another blog).
  2. Understand each employee's time horizon - understanding how long your employee wants to work can help you think about the benefit you will provide him or her. It also can help you think about when you need to start preparing to replace each one.
  3. Fund the benefit ahead of time - when you choose the benefit you want to provide, then you can choose to fund it or not.  We recommend you start funding it immediately because this is a benefit that you will have to provide if the employee meets all the requirements.

When it comes to asset protection and risk management, protecting the pharmacy from defections of key employees is rarely discussed.  However, this can be one of the biggest risks that you face today as the owner. This is especially true if you have assembled a team that is running the pharmacy for you. It's time you start protecting the things that truly matter.  Your key employees definitely fit that category.

Click Here to Set Up a Free Pharmacy  Golden Handcuffs Workshop

Why do we do what we do?

Our mission is to help independent community pharmacy owners achieve all their goals and dreams, inside, outside and after their life in pharmacy. In doing so, we are helping independent community pharmacies remain independent and thrive for many years to come.

When a pharmacist reaches out to us for information and help, we give them as much free value as possible. In addition to providing educational, self-assessment and strategic planning tools, we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.

The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This complimentary and private 90-minute session enables us to deliver a free, detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a roadmap for achieving your goals and enables you to fully understand the value of joining The Inspired Independence Program.

If you wish to learn more about any aspect of our work, the free value we offer, or to be considered for The Inspired Goals Workshop, visit our web site at or call 843.873.4420 and ask for Ben or Matt Coakley.

At Waypoint Pharmacist Advisors, we take care of you!

Topics: community pharmacy, pharmacy golden handcuffs plan, community pharmacy benefit plan