Overcoming High Turnover Rates: Cannabis Staffing Challenges and Solutions

Vangst/Nov 13, 2023

hero-graphic-Overcoming High Turnover Rates: Cannabis Staffing Challenges and Solutions
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Navigating the Green Wave: Tackling High Turnover in the Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry has seen exponential growth in recent years, offering exciting career opportunities and economic prosperity. However, the industry faces a significant challenge in the form of high turnover rates among its workforce. According to never before seen data from the 2023 Vangst Salary Guide, Retail, Cultivation, and Manufacturing experience the highest turnover rates, as a result of low wages and low barriers to entry. Today we will explore themes within the cannabis industry in order to provide actionable advice for hiring managers and business leaders. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Ripple Effect

Leaders must grasp the profound impact of prioritizing employee development. This focus not only fosters individual growth but also cultivates a positive workplace culture, curbing the disruptive effects of turnover. Employee loyalty often extends beyond the organization to their peers, making it crucial to recognize that when a key employee leaves, others may follow suit. This ripple effect is observable across all levels, from entry-level to executives, emphasizing the need for careful consideration in hiring practices.

Understanding the organization's culture and the desired employee profile is key to establishing a positive workplace dynamic from the outset and minimizing the potential fallout from turnover.

The Budtender Perspective

In the fast-paced world of cannabis retail, turnover rates are hitting a staggering 55% within a year, according to Headset.io. Meanwhile, the 2023 Vangst Salary Guide Survey projects a whopping 67% of companies are gearing up to hire five or more retail employees in 2024. The urgency to address staffing challenges is evident as a quarter of budtenders exit within their first month on the job. These frontline warriors, the face of the business, are the key to building customer relationships. To scale successfully, businesses must prioritize the happiness, knowledge, and support of these budtenders. It's not just about operations—it's a strategic move in navigating the competitive landscape of the evolving cannabis retail industry.

Dollars and Sense: The Wage Factor

WorkWeek contributes low compensation and wages as the main contributing factor to high turnover in cannabis retail, and according to never before published data from the 2023 Vangst Salary Guide Report, budtenders typically earn between $14 to $22 per hour – A decrease from the $17 to $28 per hour that we saw the year before in the 2022 Salary Guide Report.

The reality is that a livable wage remains elusive for many in the industry. Unfortunately, unrealistic expectations about the cannabis sector can contribute to this issue. The misconception of an easy gig often clashes with the demanding nature of the work—handling millions of dollars in products and contributing to dispensaries' annual revenues of $2.1 to $3 million.

Bridging the Gap

To overcome these staffing challenges, cannabis businesses must take a multi-faceted approach:

  1. Invest in Training Programs: Given the complex nature of the industry, comprehensive training programs are essential. Equip employees with the knowledge they need to excel, creating a workforce that feels confident and competent in their roles. Check out Vangst Learn to learn more about Vangst’s free training resource.
  2. Prioritize Workplace Culture: Fostering a positive workplace culture is not just a nicety but a necessity. Recognize and reward hard work, encourage open communication, and create an environment where every team member feels valued.
  3. Competitive Compensation: Acknowledge the financial realities of your employees. Regularly review and adjust compensation to align with market standards, ensuring that your team is motivated and financially secure.
  4. Realistic Expectations: Address misconceptions about the industry upfront. Emphasize the hard work involved, the financial responsibilities, and the commitment required. This transparency can help attract employees who are genuinely passionate about the industry.
  5. Build a Winning Team: Minimize turnover by choosing the right individuals from the start. Partner with Vangst, where we collaborate with cannabis enterprises of all sizes to create a customized hiring strategy that aligns with your company's culture. Kickstart the process by reaching out to our sales team today.

Proud to Work in Cannabis

As the cannabis industry continues to flourish, overcoming staffing challenges is paramount for sustained success. By understanding the root causes of turnover, implementing targeted solutions, and nurturing a supportive work environment, we can ensure that the green wave keeps rolling, bringing prosperity to both businesses and their dedicated teams. Here's to a future of growth, stability, and success in the dynamic world of cannabis!

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