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Cannabis Industry Employee Retention: What is a Stay Interview?

cannabis industry employee retention stay interview

Employees are more important to your cannabis business than customers. If you take care of your employees well, they will take care of your customers. Each individual on your staff plays a significant role in paving the way to your cannabis company’s goals. With quiet quitting and the Great Resignation in the picture, employee retention is more crucial than ever. Making every effort to keep your best talent is both smart and financially sound. One way to help your cannabis business keep incredible talent is through stay interviews. By incorporating stay interviews into your retention and employee engagement plan, you can gauge how your employees feel about working for your company, which will help your organization evolve.   

To help you retain your best employees and keep your business afloat or thriving through challenging times, read on. Our guide can help you learn what a stay interview is, the many benefits it can provide, and the top stay interview questions to ask in the cannabis industry. 

two cannabis managers looking up stay interview

What is a Stay Interview? 

Although it may sound like it, a stay interview is not a one-on-one conversation where you try to persuade a departing employee to stay. A stay interview is a meeting with a high-performing employee where you try to discover the reasons why they come back every day. Additionally, it is also an opportunity to find out what may influence a stellar cannabis employee to consider searching for other cannabis jobs.   

In the cannabis industry (or any other industry), stay interviews are more important than exit interviews. A stay interview is typically done with enough time to recognize and correct issues, so that high-performing employees do not leave for other cannabis jobs. When executed correctly, stay interviews can have an incredibly positive impact on employee retention. To make the most of them, using what you learn from the process to improve your cannabis company culture and strategies is paramount. If you do not act on what your cannabis employees have said, you may appear disingenuous.   

cannabis staff meeting about stay interview process

Who Should Conduct Cannabis Industry Stay Interviews? 

First, you need to choose who should receive the stay interviews. It is best to pick your high-performing employees that have been with the company the longest. Your main objective is to see why employees are staying at your cannabis business. However, you can also learn how you can improve from the feedback of these individuals. You can also conduct stay interviews for all employees annually if they are settled in their roles. However, keep them separate from performance reviews for the best results.   

The interviewer for the process should be the direct manager or supervisor of the employee. By setting it up that way, you will cultivate a healthy relationship of trust and open communication. Not to mention, this will show your employees that management cares about the progression in their cannabis careers.  Although this isn’t an exit interview, managers and supervisors can also ask for suggestions on how to improve their strategies, management skills, and the company culture. 

Best Practices for Stay Interviews 

  • Create a chance for open two-way communication to receive honest feedback 
  • Keep it conversational, not formal
  • Hold stay interviews in a quiet, comfortable location
  • Carefully tailor the stay interview to the specific employee you’re meeting with
  • Keep an open mind while conducting stay interviews—this process is meant to help the company evolve  


cannabis industry zoom meeting

Benefits of Stay Interviews in the Cannabis Industry 

Stay interviews provide many benefits to the company if done correctly. Although they take up another slot on your schedule, it is time well spent. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of conducting stay interviews at your cannabis business.  

Address Issues Earlier  

By performing stay interviews, you can gauge your top employees’ well-being in the workplace and at home. If they have too big of a workload, you can lighten the load to steer them away from burning out. By conducting stay interviews for several employees, you can also see if there are any recurring issues to address. Learning from your mistakes after the fact in an exit interview is beneficial. However, tending to the issues and problems earlier on is ideal.   

Gain Insight into What Is Working  

Stay interviews can also help you uncover what is working for employees. What works for a few of the high-performing employees may be applicable to the rest of your cannabis staff. It is also a chance to uncover new opportunities for training and professional development.   

Improve Employee Relationships  

When you identify the issues employees are experiencing before they become full-scale problems, you will improve your relationship with your staff. Stay interviews can boost your employee retention rate when done correctly. At the very core, stay interviews show your cannabis employees that you care about their well-being.   

Cost-Effective for Your Cannabis Business  

The average cost of one new hire in the cannabis industry is close to $5,000. Not to mention, the average time it takes to replace an employee who leaves is six months. By conducting proper stay interviews, you can keep your employees from going off to other cannabis jobs. And the only thing it will cost you is the time it takes to have a conversation.   

writing down stay interview questions

Top 10 Stay Interview Questions for Your Cannabis Business  

For stay interviews to work, you have to ask the right questions. Additionally, you can take the one-on-one opportunities to show your cannabis employees your appreciation. We have gathered the top 10 stay interview questions for your cannabis business. Practice actively listening when asking these questions and be sure to ask thoughtful follow-up questions. Your employees will give you all the information you need to further improve your cannabis business. As the cannabis industry evolves, so should your company.   

  1. What do you look forward to doing at work every day?  
  2. What are you learning at work? What do you want to learn?  
  3. Why have you stayed here for as long as you have?  
  4. When is the last time you thought about searching for other cannabis jobs? What prompted you to do so?  
  5. What are some things you dislike or think could be improved at this company?  
  6. How would you rate the work-life balance here? Do you have any suggestions to improve it?  
  7. In the past year, describe a day at work when anxiety or frustrations were high.  
  8. Within the past year, describe a good day you had at work.   
  9. What can I do to make your job better for your overall well-being?  
  10. What did you love about your past positions that you no longer have?  


When asking questions during the stay interview, it is crucial to avoid being defensive. If you cannot take feedback, the exercise becomes futile. Also, do not be afraid to ask the same questions the following year. By asking them consistently, you can sharpen your management skills, which will help increase employee retention. Take your time doing the stay interviews and ask meaningful follow-up questions based on the employees’ answers. Stay interviews are a great way to combat the Great Resignation and quiet quitting. And remember, they only truly work when you adjust your cannabis business based on the information you uncover doing them. If you need more advice on how to conduct stay interviews, don’t hesitate to contact us!  

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