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How to Improve Employee Retention in the Cannabis Industry

yoga as employee perk

The revolving door in cannabis keeps swinging. Which means employee retention in the cannabis industry is as vital as ever. According to a Robert Half survey, 46% of workers plan to look for a new job in the next 6 months. Therefore, implementing the right cannabis industry employee retention strategies is crucial.  

It costs an average of 6-9 months of an employee’s salary to find a replacement. But losing employees goes beyond money. When an employee leaves, especially a top performer, the business suffers. Resignations could lead to lower morale and a critical slowdown of your business if you do not handle them correctly. By concentrating on retention of cannabis workers, you can build a well-performing, happy team. And to form a content, efficient team, you need to create a people-first workplace. Let’s look at the top six cannabis industry employee retention strategies that actually work.  

What’s the First Step to Improving Employee Retention in the Cannabis Industry? 

Adjusting your business based on your exit interviews is the first step to improving employee retention in the cannabis industry. What is an exit interview? An exit interview is a final discussion between human resources and a departing employee. It allows you to hear an employee’s opinion about their role, managers, and the organization.   

Paying attention to why people are leaving your cannabis company is crucial. Exit interviews can give you valuable information about your work environment. They can also help you revise your strategies for retention of cannabis workers. Here are some questions you can ask during the exit interview:  

  • Why did you decide to leave the cannabis company?  
  • How do you feel about management?  
  • Do you have any suggestions for how we can improve?  
  • What were your criteria for choosing a new employer?  
  • Do you feel like you received the proper training and development at this cannabis business?  

Stay Interviews

Also, you can conduct stay interviews. A stay interview is a meeting with a top-performing employee where you discuss what’s working and what could be improved. A stay interview is just as important as an exit interview. They may help you retain your top cannabis employees if you act based on what you learn from the process.   

Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance for Your Cannabis Employees 

Employee retention and work-life balance go hand in hand. And it is arguably the best strategy out there to improve employee retention in the cannabis industry. Many employees in cannabis cite work-life balance as the reason they stay or search for new jobs. It’s not surprising. However, many companies do not know how to promote a healthy work-life balance. Merely mentioning it in meetings is not enough.   

Work-life balance for cannabis industry employee retention can come in many forms. You could provide flexible scheduling, remote work opportunities, and even short workdays. Also, you can enforce a cut-off time for checking emails or work-related text messages. For example, you can set a cut-off time for work communication at 5pm. By respecting your employees’ time away from work, you can nurture a healthy working relationship. And that means when they are working, they’ll be refreshed and ready. However, there are times when late nights are necessary. If that’s the case, provide extra time off to make up for it.    

Provide Competitive Compensation and Perks  

Offering salaries that match the workload and responsibilities of the cannabis job is a no-brainer. Proper compensation is arguably the most important strategy for employee retention. It’s simple. If you do not pay your employees what they are worth, they will leave. Wages should be adjusted regularly for inflation and the cost of living in their location. Research what your competition is paying their employees. What are their top performers getting paid? How big are their raises? Paying your employees fair salaries beats the cost and time of hiring a new one. You may spend upwards of $30,000 and anywhere from six to nine months trying to replace a top employee. Also, your cannabis business will experience low productivity, workflow, and revenue while you search. 

Salary isn’t the only thing retaining your best employees. Perks play a huge factor, too. With exceptional perks, you can boost morale and productivity. Perks keep your employees happy. Happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy ones. Flexible schedules, remote work opportunities, wellness stipends, and professional development are just some of the perks you can provide. There are also outside-the-box perks, like matching charitable contributions or mental health support. Set up a survey to see what your employees want as perks.   

employee sleeping because of burnout

Prevent Cannabis Employee Burnout with a Blended Workforce 

With so many changes and challenges in the cannabis industry, employees can be overwhelmed. Overwork culture and burnout is not a mark of success. Looking at the numbers, 77% of employees experience burnout at their current job. Also, 70% of professionals believe employers do not do enough to alleviate or prevent burnout. So, what are the best ways to prevent burnout in the cannabis industry?  

One way to prevent burnout in the cannabis industry is by adopting a blended workforce. Temporary employees are available for big projects or busier times of the year. Temp workers have flexible schedules, and you can hire them for any period of time. They are also trained and do not require onboarding or payroll by your cannabis business. They can hit the ground running and help your team survive big sales weekends, new product launches, resignations, leaves of absence, and anything in between. Hiring temporary employees costs less than replacing full-time workers who leave due to burnout.   

training cannabis employee for growth and retention

Train and Develop Your Cannabis Employees  

Undoubtedly, training and developing your employees will improve retention in the cannabis industry. Upskilling your cannabis employees is pivotal to success. Not only will it benefit the efficiency of your business, but it will show your employees you care. How? They will see that you are making it a priority to invest in them. Help your employees identify areas for professional growth. Provide them with tuition reimbursement for training, seminars, continuing education, and certification courses. Green Flower has many cannabis certification courses to choose from.  

Another option for employee training and development is consultants. You can hire expert consultants for a set period to help train and mentor your cannabis employees. Gain access to consultants who have Fortune 500 experience or expertise in specific fields, like business strategy, cannabis cultivation, or marketing. By nurturing the professional growth of your employees, you will increase your staff retention. As consultants help develop your employees into leaders, your cannabis business will gain a growth mindset and a better ability to innovate in the space. A whopping 70% of small businesses that have mentors survive at double the rate compared to those without mentors.  

manager showing cannabis employee recognition

Give Your Cannabis Staff Recognition and Rewards  

Research shows that 79% of employees who quit say a lack of appreciation played a major role in their decision. Recognizing your employees’ efforts is a simple and effective way to improve employee retention in the cannabis industry. When you show appreciation to your employees, it activates the hypothalamus—the part of our brain that controls stress. It also increases dopamine, which is the chemical that makes you happy. So, by showing your appreciation for your employees, you’ll boost their happiness. And happy workers will put more energy and effort into their work. There are many ways to show employee recognition, including saying what you are specifically proud of in meetings, creating a staff appreciation day, sending “thank you” emails, and giving them a real voice. Recognition is one of the best ways to motivate your cannabis staff.

You can also give your employees rewards. Typically, rewards are data driven. Employees get them when they achieve a goal. Often, you can pair them with recognition. However, the words of affirmation take precedent over a reward. Rewards are impersonal. Without words of appreciation, a gift isn’t as impactful. So, pair them up with recognition. Rewards can be anything from a paid happy hour session to a gift card. Get creative and personal with the rewards! 

If you need to improve your cannabis industry employee retention, we can help. Check out how our temp services or consultants can work for you and avoid staff burnout. Or contact us here for more information on employee retention.  

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