A budtender is the most consistent interaction that customers have with cannabis products. They are able to educate customers on the different types of cannabis and how it can be used, answer any questions that a customer may have related to cannabis, such as dosage information or how to use a specific product as well as provide a valuable service to educate people about what they are buying. Therefore, it stands to reason that budtenders can either make or break your dispensary.
High Budtender Turnover Rates
The cannabis retail industry continues to see high budtender turnover rates, a problem that affects the market in ways beyond just direct financial expenses. Budtenders are frequently the finest option a cannabis brand has for spreading the word about a product because they are the initial point of contact for consumer education.
Additionally, there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to cannabis due to its past illegal nature, propaganda such as “Reefer Madness,” and general spread of misinformation due to a lack of research and education. This makes budtenders important not only for sales but also for ensuring people understand cannabis and know everything they need to know about the products they purchase.
In order to inform budtenders about their goods, cultivators and brands spend a significant percentage of their budget sending sales representatives to dispensaries. However, these sales representatives soon leave. According to recent research by the Seattle-based data analytics firm Headset, 55% of budtenders who have worked in either the United States or Canada at some point over the preceding 12 months “had left by the end of that time period.”
The idea that cannabis retail is isolated from all other retail trends in traditional commerce, according to Marc Rodriguez, is incorrect. Rodriguez claims that legitimizing the work experience is important for keeping employees in the cannabis industry.
Numerous enterprises in the cannabis industry still don’t offer contemporary perks like online pay stubs or 401(k) plans, and many workers are being paid in cash – which is largely due to the lack of safe banking options for cannabis businesses. There are corporations that offer these services to cannabis companies, but they are less prevalent than in other sectors of the economy.
These things are able to be accessed in theory, but they are expensive, according to Rodriguez, which makes them difficult for businesses to obtain in reality. He calculates that the payroll and personnel services related to cannabis cost him an additional $60,000 per year.
Retaining employees, according to Jim Finkelstein, CEO of the California-based compensation advice business FutureSense, is more about providing good leadership, decent pay, and good benefits. According to Finkelstein, “the No. 1 reason people quit is typically that they don’t like their boss or that they don’t feel like they’re getting the tools they need to be able to enhance their own personal capabilities.”
“You may adjust the setting, the development of the culture, and the rewards. They’re going to have a big impact on turnover. In the cannabis industry, some businesses prepare for significant turnover, a practice known as ‘come, contribute, leave.’”
Finkelstein asserted that this tactic ultimately harms business owners. The potential cost of having to retrain personnel is significant, and, as we’ve deduced above, budtenders are essential to a dispensary’s success.
Learn From Past Mistakes and Other’s Success
Both Rodriguez and Finkelstein compared marijuana sales to regular retail, noting that entry-level jobs like budtenders experience the majority of turnover. As a result, in terms of the kind of worker the role draws, budtenders can be compared to sales employees in apparel stores.
Finkelstein contends that cannabis dispensaries might benefit from prior employee retention success stories for well-known brands. He continued, “We know, for instance, that Marriott was quite successful over the years in keeping housekeepers because they had a profit-sharing scheme that allowed you to receive a quarter of a million dollars if you worked for Marriott Corporation for 30 years.”
Budtenders need to be made aware of how crucial their work is to the overall client experience, and they should receive due recognition for their work. They need to be highlighted as being so important to the way the process works – because they are.
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