How to Motivate Your Team After the 420 High

Mack Bush
May 25, 2023

420 is the biggest cannabis sales day of the year. The rush ignites your employees and helps them get excited about their jobs. However, as sales slow down after the 420 holiday and the weather starts to get warmer, it can be hard to motivate your cannabis team.

If your employees are unhappy, they’re much more likely to leave your company and find a different position. Up to 55% of budtenders quit their current roles within the first 3-5 months of employment. Searching for new employees can cost $4000 or more, and an employee leaving can cost 30% of the person’s salary.

This means retaining your current talent and keeping your budtenders happy is more important than ever. Here are some ways to motivate your cannabis team now that the 420 high is over.

Set Weekly & Monthly Sales Goals

Setting realistic sales goals is a great way to motivate your cannabis team. This encourages them to upsell and dedicate time for each customer. You can set sales goals for your whole team for a week, month, or certain period of time. When the store reaches its goal, everyone should get a substantial reward, like a pizza party, paid time off, or free products.

Track each employee’s sales numbers and reward the top-selling budtenders with gift cards, sample products, or other rewards. Make sure that these bonuses are enticing and get the team excited. If you are unsure of what your employees will like, you can survey them or have a “prize bucket” where each winner can select their prize. 

Reward Teams with Employee Bonding Events

When choosing rewards for hitting goals or providing great customer service, consider rewarding your budtenders with an activity they can do together. Some examples might include a team dinner, karaoke night, laser tag, an escape room, or attending a baseball game.

When your employees know each other well and enjoy each other’s company, they’re much more likely to stay with your dispensary long-term. In a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of employees who had 6-25 workplace friends said they love their company. Personal relationships will make your budtenders enjoy their shifts more and become more unified.

A team of dispensary workers are bonding at karaoke night.

Encourage a Work-Life Balance

Everyone needs a break, both for their mental and physical wellness. This is why it is crucial to schedule your employees fairly. Ensure you’re not scheduling anyone for more than five days in a row or for extended shift lengths, by leveraging scheduling software with compliance alerts

It is also important to understand that your team has obligations outside of work. If someone needs a day off for an appointment or needs to leave early to pick up their child, be as flexible as possible. Do not make your staff feel guilty for making requests, especially when it comes to their health or their family.

And everyone needs some vacation time to unwind and recharge. When a budtender asks for time off for vacation, do your best to honor their request. Time off makes it less likely that your budtender will get burnt out while giving them something to look forward to. Encourage your team to use their vacation time, and again, do not make them feel guilty for putting in a vacation request.

Surprise Your Staff with Treats

Sometimes all it takes to motivate your cannabis team is a little snack or treat to recognize their hard work. While it’s great to reward employees when things are going well, bringing in surprise food like donuts or pizza can really boost morale when your staff is having a tough week.

A variety of donuts for a dispensary staff treat to increase motivation.

Get to Know Each Employee

Employees want to feel like they’re valued, and not just a number to their employer. If budtenders feel like they’re not being recognized for their work individually, they’re much more likely to find a new position at a different cannabis dispensary.

Try to have a relationship with everyone on your team. Learn their names, and listen when they tell you information about themselves. Figure out what management style works best for them so they can grow.

You can also schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your employees. In addition to going over their individual sales numbers, talk to your budtenders about their interests and how they’d like to advance in the company. Making a personal connection can play a huge part in motivating your cannabis team.

Celebrate Wins

Your cannabis dispensary should be a fun and exciting place to work. Celebrating whenever you can may help you retain employees and keep morale high.

In addition to celebrating store and individual sales goals, you can commemorate your store’s anniversary or transaction milestones. It’s also a great idea to recognize employee anniversaries and birthdays to make each employee feel extra special — and who doesn’t an opportunity to eat cake?

A dispensary team is celebrating a milestone to keep motivations high.

Encourage Career Development & Promote from Within

Most people become budtenders because they have a genuine interest in the cannabis industry. Ask your employees if they’re interested in moving up in the company, and offer them professional enrichment opportunities to grow their skills.

When you’re looking for a new manager or supervisor, it’s much better to promote from within than find outside talent. Your current budtenders have shown that they’re loyal to your dispensary, and they’ve already been thoroughly trained on your products and protocols. They know your business better than anyone. Promoting your current employees shows the whole team how much you value them and the trajectory of their careers.

Final Thoughts on Motivating Your Budtenders

It can be hard to motivate your cannabis team after the 420 holiday. However, if you set goals, surprise your staff with treats and outings, celebrate milestones, and promote from within, you should be able to retain your budtenders and make your dispensary a rewarding place to work.

Need help motivating your cannabis team? KayaPush makes employee management easy. Schedule a free demo today to learn how you can recruit and retain your best team!

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May 2023


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