Survey Says Most Budtenders Actually Aren’t Happy on the Job

Here are 3 things you can learn from dispensaries to make a happy employee.

Jake Levin is the co-founder and COO of Best in Grow.

When an employee thinks about a job in the cannabis industry, they often have a romanticized impression of what their career and day-to-day might look like.

They might have visions of a work environment not too dissimilar from the set of the Netflix comedy, Disjointed. Or they might imagine a relaxed role where they get to spend time with like-minded colleagues, sell cannabis, and quickly ascend into a prominent role within the a rapidly-expanding industry.

Unfortunately, the latest research shows that isn’t the case.

According to the popular job and employer reviews site Glassdoor 40 percent of dispensary employees rate their job as a 1 out of 5. So if you’re a dispensary owner or manager, odds are that your employees hate coming in to work -- and that means sales are probably suffering as a result.

Bummed out budtenders drive fewer sales

If the Glassdoor research is reflective of the overall industry, most budtenders are actually disengaged from their work and customers. And disengaged employees sell fewer products, make more compliance-related errors, and provide a generally negative customer experience.

But this is not entirely the owner’s fault! Working any retail job is challenging, and when you add in the high-stakes compliance requirements that permeate the legal cannabis industry, even the most dedicated retail professionals will get a headache.

Still, the importance of ensuring that your team loves where they work cannot be understated. If your dispensary is known for treating its employees poorly, you likely already aren’t getting the best applicants for the job. Even more importantly, employees who feel undervalued and unappreciated by management quickly become disengaged (leading to the slower sales noted above).

The good news is that the Glassdoor study also shows that there are ways to make employees feel valued, appreciated, and eager to come into work each day.

Communication is key

All favorably rated dispensaries had one thing in common: a strong infrastructure for communication. Establishing a two-way flow of communication is one of the most important steps dispensary owners can take to help create a shop that’s known for its passionate and engaged team -- and that includes making yourself available for feedback and ideas.

After communication, the next most commonly cited benefits of working at a highly-rated dispensary on Glassdoor were: family-like coworkers, a good work environment, and opportunities for growth.

These shouldn’t be surprising, since they form the foundation of an engaging and exciting workplace in any industry. They’re the result of a positive environment and meaningful work-culture.

And while this kind of culture takes time to create and nurture, the importance of investing the time and energy required cannot be understated. With a little effort, you can look forward to happier employees, happier customers, and a significant boost to your bottom line.

For more insights into why budtenders might hate working at your dispensary (and some actionable steps you can take to change it) check out our latest report: Why Budtenders Quit.

Photo via Instagram

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