The legal cannabis industry doubled in revenue from 2015 to 20201, there are multiple challenges associated with this growth.  Many companies are looking at sources of chaos in the industry such as regulations, financial and technical growth challenges.  But the successful companies will also be considering their most influential source of chaos…their people.  In times of major change, companies can grow rapidly, leaving behind their culture, their processes (or lack thereof) and their most loyal employees.  Are you experiencing any of the symptoms below?

  • High Turnover – current trend is 60% of employees don’t make it to month 32
  • Managers constantly putting out fires regarding employees, equipment and customer concerns
  • High level of frustration felt at all levels of the operation including customer facing and behind the scenes

If you are experiencing any of these, do you and your team a favor and slow down a moment and focus on controlling your chaos.  What does this mean?  Look around at your employees.  Identify those that operate in a structured world.  You will know them because they tend to look frustrated or scared in moments of intense change.  They are also generally good at hitting deadlines and if you observe them, they have systems put into place for their current position.  Utilize their strengths to look at current, or lack of processes and ask them what systems they would put in place.  Your frontline employees are feeling the pain points, use the vast knowledge they possess to help you manage your chaos.  Your employees have the answer if you only take the time to ask them the right question.

Speaking of asking them the right question, when was the last time you were intentional about spending time with your employees?  Not the drive by “Hi, How are you?” without waiting for an answer, but an intentional conversation in a private location where you asked the employee how they were doing?  You took time from your busy day to invest in your most valuable and costly asset, the people who work for you.  This plays huge in helping retention rates go down because your employee feels valued, heard and like you give a damn.  The next step is to ask them their opinion.  The reason for this is called “low hanging fruit”.  What is low hanging fruit?  I am glad you asked.  Low hanging fruit is those sources of chaos that your employee is feeling that they can’t fix but is an easy fix for someone on the management team to fix.  Is your checkout area in a spot with iffy wifi?  Is this incredibly frustrating for your employees during peak times when the systems are slowing them down and frustrating your customers who think your employees are just being lazy and taking too long?  An employee can’t fix that, but you can.  And when you do fix it, it shows you are listening, you value your employee and you will start building relationship equity with that employee.  The higher the relationship equity, all other things equal, the longer you will retain your employees.

In short – control your chaos means putting time on the front-end preventing fires caused by lack of systems, not always running around with a fire extinguisher.  And an amazing thing happens when you do this…you can spend more time doing what you want to do, leading your team, driving results and being the rock star that we both know you are.    

1https://www.statista.com/statistics/820158/global-legal-cannabis-market/

2https://www.headset.io/blog/the-revolving-door-factor-employee-turnover-in-the-cannabis-industry


About the Author

Summer Jelinek is a keynote speaker and workshop trainer helping organizations control their chaos. She has over 20 years leadership experience working with companies such as Walt Disney World, Disney Institute and the healthcare industry. Her passion is connecting with audiences around the world-particularly audiences looking for the magic in leadership. She is a no holds barred, authentic and engaging speaker who delivers rousing keynotes and workshops.  For more information, feel free to visit Summer on LinkedIn or at www.summerjelinek.com