The employees in your cannabis retail store are your greatest asset
Plain and simple, the people you hire and employ in your cannabis retail store are your greatest asset, even above your product. Employee turnover and retention have been the subject of many business discourses, with the general consensus that the cost to replace a valuable employee can be up to 213% of the annual compensation for that employee’s role. Why spend the efforts, and lose the money, replacing your employees, when you can spend more of your time, money and efforts in employee retention? Here are a few ways that you can ensure you’re retaining your employees rather than replacing them as a marijuana retailer:
Invest in their Training and Education
The Fortune 100 “Best Companies” list invest up to two more times in employee training hours than companies that don’t show up on this list. These top companies also experience 65% less turnover of their employees. Investing in training and education for your employees is not only an investment in people but an investment in your business. When you train people or provide them opportunities for continuing education, they apply their learning within your own setting, leading to improved business functions and operations. Why not allow your cannabis dispensary to be the testing ground for some of the most innovative business training programs in the country? When you offer training programs, you also become a more attractive employer to those who are dedicated to building a career in cannabis, not just a job. Through these offerings, you up the ante on whose resume you’re getting across your desk right off the bat.
Pay Them Above the Competition & Market Rate
If you want minimally performing employees, pay them minimum wage. As the cannabis industry becomes more lucrative, so are the salaries of those providing professional services to marijuana retail markets. Pay attention to the Pay Scales and keep your compensation packages above market rates, and above your competition. Some salaries of some of your most professional staff can be reaching into the $50,000-$100,000 range, with store managers eligible to be making $75K annually. Are you willing to offer your employees what they can offer you? Many cannabis businesses have raised the bar by offering competitive health and dental benefits plans for their employees. These compensation perks can be worth gold to any employee looking for stability and care, especially if they have families to support.
Grow the Role & Responsibilities
Employee retention is also about giving people careers, not just jobs. When you are looking to hire new staff, ask what their future goals are, and how they want to be involved in the cannabis industry. Do they want to grow? Do they have focus on what they want to do? Will they be the type of employee that can commit to helping you grow your brand in the long term? If you can find people who will be in it with you for the long haul, allow them to grow with you. Build a development plan with them that will have them progressing in responsibility and compensation. Show them the value that they add to your company by showing them how integral they are to your growth and the benefit of sticking around and making a commitment to you.
Build a Corporate Culture
According to thought leader Jacob Morgan, corporate culture is what “energizes us or drains us, it motivates us or discourages us, it empowers us or it suffocates us”. Your corporate culture is an intentional effort to incorporate the following elements into your marijuana retail store: organizational structure, leadership approach, work style, pay and benefits, performance, people, and purpose. Having employees won’t work if you’re willy-nilly about the ways they are being utilized within your organization. Take time within your upper management team to reflect on the ways you’re building a corporate culture that is attractive enough to make people want to join the team, and more importantly, stay on the team.
Work Around their Lives
Fostering work/life balance has been an important best practice of management for a while now, but more employers don’t actually practice what they preach in terms of the work/life balance they promote. In order to build a successful team of employees, you have to recognize that your team are humans first, with families, and other priorities than your cannabis retail store. The more you work to recognize this, and foster work-life balance, the more willing your employee will be to share their valuable time with you when it’s time to be on the job. Setting boundaries for when someone can be reached on their off-time is important. Setting flexible work schedules will allow employees to work with you when they’re at their best. Allowing them to tend to personal needs (within reason) without grief during their workday can make their time ON the job more productive. What are some ways that you can improve work-life balance for your employees?
Most of all, be a kind, considerate, and a generous employer who takes time to recognize the important contributions of others to your success. Always remember that your marijuana retail store’s employees are your greatest asset, and dedicate yourself to always raising the bar to be that dispensary people want to work for.