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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Strategies to Boost Employee Retention in the Cannabis Industry


The cannabis industry has a high turnover rate, making employee retention more critical than ever. A recent survey by Robert Half revealed that 46% of workers intend to seek new job opportunities within the next six months. Therefore, implementing effective employee retention strategies in the cannabis industry is essential. It not only saves costs associated with hiring and training new employees but also helps maintain morale and productivity. To build a dedicated and satisfied team, creating a people-focused workplace is key. Let’s explore six proven strategies to improve employee retention in the cannabis industry. 

On average, it costs a company 6-9 months of an employee’s salary to replace them. Losing employees can have a significant impact on business performance, especially if top performers leave. Resignations can lead to decreased morale and a critical slowdown if not managed effectively. By focusing on employee retention in the cannabis industry, companies can create a high-performing and content workforce. The first step towards improving employee retention is to analyze insights from exit interviews.

The Importance of Exit Interviews 

Exit interviews are crucial in understanding why employees leave a company. These interviews provide valuable information about the work environment and highlight areas for improvement in employee retention strategies. During exit interviews, some essential questions to ask include: 

  • Why did you decide to leave the company? 
  • How do you feel about management? 
  • Do you have any suggestions for improvement? 
  • What were your criteria for choosing a new employer? 
  • Do you feel you received the proper training and development? 

Conduct Stay Interviews

In addition to exit interviews, conducting stay interviews with top-performing employees is equally important. Stay interviews involve discussing what’s working well and what could be improved. Acting upon the insights gained from stay interviews can help retain valuable cannabis employees.   

Promote Work-Life Balance 

Work-life balance plays a significant role in employee retention. Many employees in the cannabis industry prioritize work-life balance when choosing to stay or search for new opportunities. Simply mentioning work-life balance in meetings is not sufficient; companies need to actively promote it. Strategies for promoting work-life balance can include offering flexible schedules, remote work options, and shorter workdays. Establishing a cut-off time for work-related emails and text messages also helps employees maintain boundaries between work and personal life. When late nights are unavoidable, granting additional time off compensates for the extra hours worked.  

Offer Competitive Compensation and Perks 

Providing salaries that align with the workload and responsibilities of cannabis jobs is crucial for retaining employees. Fair compensation is arguably the most effective employee retention strategy. If employees feel underpaid, they are more likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. Regular adjustments to wages based on inflation and the cost of living in their location are essential. Research the compensation rates offered by industry competitors, including salaries for top performers and the size of annual raises. Investing in fair salaries saves the time and costs associated with recruiting and training new employees, which can exceed $30,000 and several months. Additionally, offering attractive perks can boost employee morale and productivity. Some examples of perks include flexible scheduling, remote work options, wellness stipends, and professional development opportunities. Conducting surveys to understand employees’ preferences regarding perks is crucial to personalizing the benefits provided.

employee sleeping because of burnout

Prevent Employee Burnout with a Blended Workforce 

To address the challenges and changes in the cannabis industry, preventing employee burnout is crucial. According to statistics, 77% of employees experience burnout in their current jobs, while 70% believe employers don’t do enough to alleviate or prevent burnout. One solution to mitigate burnout is implementing a blended workforce. Temporary employees can be hired for specific projects or during busier periods. With flexible schedules and the ability to hire them for any duration, temporary employees can seamlessly integrate into the workforce without requiring extensive onboarding. This approach reduces costs compared to replacing full-time employees who leave due to burnout.  

training cannabis employee for growth and retention

Invest in Training and Development 

Training and developing employees is key to retention in the cannabis industry. Upskilling your workforce not only enhances overall business efficiency but also demonstrates your investment in their professional growth. Providing opportunities for employees to identify and pursue areas for development is crucial. This can include offering tuition reimbursement for training, seminars, continuing education, and certification courses. Platforms like Green Flower offer various cannabis certification courses. Alternatively, hiring expert consultants for a specific duration to mentor and train employees also contributes to their professional growth. Research has shown that 70% of small businesses with mentors survive at double the rate compared to those without mentors.

manager showing cannabis employee recognition

Recognize and Reward Your Employees 

Appreciating employees’ efforts is a simple and effective way to improve retention in the cannabis industry. When employees feel valued, it activates the hypothalamus – the part of the brain that controls stress – and increases dopamine, which promotes happiness. Showing appreciation boosts employee happiness, leading to increased energy and effort at work. Recognition can be shown in various ways, such as acknowledging specific achievements during meetings, organizing staff appreciation days, sending personalized “thank you” emails, and giving employees a voice in decision-making. Rewards can also be given in conjunction with recognition. While rewards are data-driven based on goal achievement, words of affirmation remain essential. Personalized rewards can range from paid happy hour sessions to gift cards, tailoring the rewards to each employee’s preferences.

If you need assistance in improving employee retention in the cannabis industry, we can help. Our temp services and consultants offer solutions to prevent staff burnout. Contact us for more information. 

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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