In today's episode, we're gonna talk about five ways dispensary owners can retain great employees and keep them engaged.
Engaged employees are going to be happy employees and happy employees don't want to leave. They will be committed to the business. But it's not just finding good employees because that's only half the battle. It's keeping them. That's what the dispensaries are struggling with.
Our 5 tips for retaining great employees are:
Maria McCliggott: All right, Tom, before we start today, I have to know what's the best perk you've ever had in a job. And did it make you want to stay longer there?
Tom Mulhern: When I was a teenager, I actually worked at a bookstore. That was my high school job was working at a bookstore. And one of the perks they had was that I got free books.
Maria McCliggott: I'm literally so jealous.
Tom Mulhern: know if you work in a bookstore and you get free books, you would never wanna leave. That was one of the best perks.
What about you, Maria? Have you ever had a really cool perk and did it make you wanna state your job longer?
Maria McCliggott: Definitely because for me it was food. Every job I ever worked at that sold food, we got free food and you always are just like, oh, I could quit. But that pasta is so good.
Tom Mulhern: One of the biggest issues facing cannabis business owners right now is bud tender turnover. About 55% of bud tenders will turn over within a given year. And nearly 30% of newly hired bud tenders are gonna turn over in the first 30 days. So you're constantly training new bud tenders. And then once you get them to the point where they're actually working well, They leave and go somewhere else.
And we've found that some of the top bud tenders are much less likely to leave a store than poor performers. So those people that are doing really well in their job are really happy in their job. Really content are actually staying. And those people that don't feel a part of the community of dispensaries are leaving.
And that's a huge issue in the industry.
Maria McCliggott: Yeah, of course, cuz engaged employees are gonna be happy employees and happy employees. They don't wanna leave and they wanna be committed to the business. But it's not just finding good employees because that's only half the battle. It's keeping them. That's what the dispensaries are struggling with.
So today we're gonna talk about five ways to keep great employees and keep them engaged.
Tom Mulhern: Now the first way to keep your bud tenderers happy is to promote total compensation, not just hourly wage. So what do we mean by total compensation? Obviously there's the hourly rates and you need to provide a competitive salary, but there's other ways you can help your bud tenderers have a good compensation rate.
And that includes tips, commissions, benefits, and a huge thing for a lot of bud tenderers is they want the discount on the product that they're selling. That's one of the reasons they got into cannabis was, the hopes of getting some free product or a discounted product. So offering discounts to your employees are gonna make your employees happy.
Another thing is prizes and incentives. Maybe you can have a prize for the top seller of the week or of the month, the all star bud tender, these sort of things that go beyond just a paycheck, really help people to feel a part of the community.
Maria McCliggott: And of course you're gonna wanna focus on investing in your employees with these growth opportunities. Growth is more important than promotions. Some businesses are small and there's just not a lot of room for you to move up.
So how do we let our employees feel like they're growing without having to promote them? You can set them up for a career in the cannabis industry. So maybe this is management of the dispensary, but maybe it's something else. Maybe it's giving them the opportunity for education. They might wanna do some somalie a training, like learning more about cannabis.
It is craft buds after all. You can give them training in sales. Maybe they're gonna tour some facilities and learn more about the actual growth of cannabis, which is only gonna help them when they're interacting with customer.
Tom Mulhern: The third way to improve your employee retention is to track employee progress. Cuz if you don't know how your employees are doing, and you're not tracking that, how are you gonna know how happy they are? So introducing tools like HR software to monitor your employees, progress and health and overall satisfaction is key.
Maybe you have some unsatisfied employees that just haven't received the right tools or the right training and tracking that in an integrated HR system, like Kaya Push really helps you to know where your team is at and what you need to do. What you may maybe need to pivot or change to make their experience at work even better.
Maria McCliggott: So as a business owner, there's other things you can do to keep your employees happy.
One thing is to give them annual reviews and reward longevity. Employee reviews are a great tool to gauge how employees are feeling about work. You might wanna check in with your employees to make sure that you're addressing any issues that come up having good communication with your employees is always key.
Unhappy employees are gonna produce poor work and happy employees of course are more likely to go above and beyond for you. And this is all gonna come down to how good your relationship is.
And of course, publicly acknowledging your employees is always great. If they're doing a good job, they should know. And so should everyone else. Whether that means you're gonna showcase an employee of the month photo in the back room, or you're gonna use your punch and software to show a message to them.
When they get to work, it's a great way to be able to talk to your employees, even if you're not there.
Tom Mulhern: The last tip that we have for you for improving employee retention is really making work fun. If people are working in a fun environment, they're gonna be more productive employees are actually 12% more productive when they're happy at work.
And. We've all had those jobs where we work in a great environment and the people are amazing and it just makes it more enjoyable to do your work. So doing some of those things, such as team building activities or pre-shift meetings, or even doing some charitable initiatives together. Are a great way to have fun together and boost that employee morale.
We work in an industry that is all about the experience. We're selling an experience when we're selling the product to customers. And the experience of working should be a fun experience for your bud tenders. So show appreciation, have fun, and don't be afraid to be silly.
Maria McCliggott: Managers to remember that your workforce, it's not just made up of employees, they're people. So you should try to build that relationship with them, recognize them when you can and do everything you can to just make it a safe and fun work environment.
Tom Mulhern: Keeping employees happy and keeping them growing in their career is gonna help your business to really grow itself.