7 Ways to Better Manage Your Dispensary Employees

So you’ve taken the leap and started your own business, and you’ve done it in the new, cutting edge cannabis industry. You’re obviously not scared, or weak minded.  And you’ve seen your marijuana dispensary business grow, and you’ve hired employees.  Maybe you have a top notch staff of skilled, outgoing, beacons of professional sales expertise.  Maybe you have a bunch of stoner slackers who are getting paid to loiter around your shop and fondle the goods.  Either way, you, as a dispensary business owner, have to MANAGE these people, and coach them up to be the best possible employees, the best possible representatives of YOUR business, that you can. The employees at your dispensary will make or break your business, so it is time to sharpen your management skills.

Here are some proven management strategies that will ensure that your dispensary employees are being managed in a way that will motivate them to do the best job that they can possibly do for YOU, the EXPERT MANAGER. 

1. Respect your dispensary employees not just as your paid workers, but as individuals.  Respect goes a long way, just as lack thereof does in the opposite direction.  Pay attention to the things in which your team members take an interest.  It’s very likely more than just weed.  Sports, fashion, musical tastes, hobbies, personal and political views – they all form part of the fabric that make people individuals.  Take note of these things.  Be prepared to talk about things that have nothing to do with work for the sake of conversation and team bonding.  You may not care about the Philadelphia 76ers tank-and-draft analytics-based team building philosophy, but a little research and the ability to discuss it with your basketball fan employee will go a long way towards the desired goal of mutual respect.   

2.  Know the individual strengths and weaknesses of your dispensary employees, and match tasks accordingly.

Chances are you don’t have an entire staff of consummate sales pros like the one described in the opening paragraph of this blog.  That’s ok.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses.  As the owner, boss, and manager, you have to figure out these specifics.  People skills are a huge variable.  Find your team members that really shine with personal interaction and get them out front.  Task the computer savvy guy, the self-proclaimed greatest joint roller of all time, and the OCD neat freak accordingly.  Find the areas where your dispensary employees naturally shine and feel most comfortable, and make sure that they are working in that particular element most often.

3.  Provide meaningful, constructive feedback on a regular basis. 

You have to be able to communicate with your employees about the quality of the work they’re doing.  It’s not always going to be positive.  But if you see that something was done in a way that was not to your liking, be sure not to huff and puff and stomp around, proclaiming, “Well THAT’S going to cost me time and money!” in earshot of your staff.  That sort of behavior will get you nowhere.  Instead, give consistent feedback on a regular basis, and if something needs to be corrected, say, “I see that you’re doing this, but I think it would be better for you do to this instead because….”  And, of course, if you see something positive that you like….

4.  Reward your marijuana dispensary employees with recognition. 

Economic incentives and rewards are great, but do you know what often goes even farther to show that you really care about your staff?  Taking the time to genuinely thank them for a job well done.  Money, product, and time off are great rewards, sure, but when you look an employee in the eye and offer them heartfelt thanks and praise, the emotional reward is huge.  Remember – admonish privately, reward publicly. And praise is a very powerful reward.

Also remember that there are different ways that employees value being appreciated. A great resource to learn more about this is Appreciation at Work. This website also offers assessments you can have your employees take so you know the best way to communicate appreciation with them. Getting to know your dispensary employees in this way makes them feel valued and less likely to seek out a better work environment.

5.  Be visible and emotionally available to your dispensary employees.

Few things are less conducive to a positive work environment than a manager that slinks around and provides no feedback or emotional support whatsoever.  No one ever knows if they’re doing a great job, or if they’re one mistake away from getting fired.  As a manager, you need to be present and available.  It’s also a lot easier to successfully practice the other bullet points on this list when you are.  Without this one, the others are all but impossible.  Don’t get bogged down in the office with the paperwork and minute of business operation.  Get out there and mingle with your staff.

6.  Identify your goals as a business owner.

What are your specific goals for your dispensary business?  Sales targets?  New contact generation?  High customer service scores?  Winning your town’s “Best Dispensary” award?  Whatever they are, write them down and post them prominently.  This list will change over time, but it should always be posted somewhere the entire team will see it on a regular basis.  Written goals are far more likely to be achieved than goals that never make it to paper, and that are never posted.

7.  Meet with your dispensary team.

Staff meetings are key, and are a tremendously important tool in keeping the lines of communication open and flowing freely.  Everyone has opinions about their job, whether they are owners, management, employees, or otherwise.  Regular team meetings keep your dispensary business machine well lubricated and running smoothy.  Remember, the meeting isn’t just about what you think.  Of course you should go in with a list of things that you feel are important to discuss.  But always remember to open the floor to anyone that has any issue that he or she would like to bring up.  Then address this issue at that time, if possible, or be sure to include it on the next meeting’s agenda.

Follow these seven simple management tips, and you will find that your dispensary employees will respect you and reward you by being happier at work, caring about your business, and doing the best job that they possibly can for you.  Your life will be easier as a result, and your business will thrive. 


Link – Marijuana Marketer

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