Dispensary Managers: Tips to Being a Successful Leader

The cannabis industry is growing quickly, which means more jobs that need to be filled. As dispensaries and other cannabis companies grow, leadership positions need to be filled to manage employees and overlook day to day operations. Most dispensaries like to promote from within, and have a manager with budtender experience. Many people that have worked in dispensaries understand the importance of knowledge and day-to-day experience in the cannabis space. This is a great opportunity for budtenders and entry level employees to realize growth opportunity within the company.

After nearly 5 years in the Cannabis industry, one thing I have noticed as a huge area of opportunity is effective leadership and coaching as a manager. I am a big believer of promoting within and there are many budtenders who deserve the opportunity. However, without proper training, such internal promotions become risky and difficult. Often times, great budtenders are thrown into management roles without proper guidance and understanding of employee management. A scenario like this can potentially impede business growth within a dispensary. Don’t make this critical mistake! You can give your employees the proper training to help prepare them for management of product AND people.

MJ Hybrid Solutions has compiled some tips on how to effectively manage and coach budtenders. Like any employee in any business, accountability is crucial. These tips will help ensure budtenders are providing the best service possible and doing their job correctly.

1. Always Be Coaching (ABC)

As a dispensary manager, it is important to always be coaching on the floor. If the dispensary has a training program in place for budtenders, such as the MJ Hybrid Training Program, it is vital as a manager to not only do the trainings, but to implement them as well. Once the employees do the training, it is your job as a manager to see that they are using the training and be able to coach them on missed opportunities or areas they might be struggling with to help them stay consistent and make it a habit. Continuous training behind the counter is imperative for a team’s success. Knowledge can easily be lost after 90 days so it is important to always follow up and review each month to keep what they learned fresh so they continue to implement. Make sure to spend a couple hours a day behind the counter working with your budtenders. This should be a daily priority

2. Accountability meetings bi-monthly or monthly

Meeting with your budtenders once or twice a month to discuss how they feel they are doing, what they love about the job and what struggles they are facing will help keep them focused and engaged. Create an excel sheet with a few different focus points and go through it with them individually. And make sure to get their feedback and input. Asking for their feedback and input makes them feel valued and they will be more open to coaching. Always make sure you let them know what they are doing well and then ask them if they are open to some coaching and feedback on areas they can improve. If they understand that this is to only help them become better they will always be open (those who don’t want coaching probably don’t really care about the job and you may not want them there). This doesn’t have to be time consuming, it can be simple and yet very effective for the growth of the employees and business.

3. Set goals individually and as a team

Dispensaries are like any other business; they need sales and growth to survive. Just as dispensary owners set overall sales goals, it is important to have budtenders set goals. Instead of just telling them what they need to do, involve them in the goal setting process. Whether it be increasing average transactions, or the number of customers they help in a day, it is important to set small achievable goals with them and follow up on those goals. When you involve them in the process and ask them what they think they can do and set an attainable goal that works for both the store and the budtender, they are more likely to achieve that goal vs being told to hit a number and throwing them on the floor. When setting team goals, get everyone together and always ask the top budtender what they are doing to be so successful and then ask others if they think they can accomplish a certain goal together. When they can openly talk and give feedback it empowers them to want to hit that goal and work together to do so. Always recognize hard work in team meetings and give budtenders recognition; this will also help those that might be struggling be more inclined to want to do better and try harder.

4. Celebrate every accomplishment

It is important to always celebrate every accomplishment that the dispensary and budtenders achieve. When the store hits a milestone, involve everyone from the receptionist, the security to the budtenders and whoever is a part of the team. Be transparent and let them know all the successes from the executive level to the entry level employee. When employees understand the overall vision and goals of the company even at a high level they are more likely to contribute and be committed to helping those goals. Every employee matters and it is important to make them know that to ensure success at every level.

At MJ Hybrid Solutions, we provide managers with the tools and strategies to roll out the training program effectively to ensure success and guarantee results.

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