When most people say they have been involved in an industry for five years, they usually are considered new to that industry. In the cannabis industry, five years is considered a lifetime because as we all know the business of cannabis is really no more than ten years old. Back when I started, there were two types of people in the cannabis industry. The first were people who knew the value of the plant and how it can help and the second were those who felt there must be a way to turn this plant into a business that makes money.
Over the years, I have seen this industry continue to grow as well as the people involved in its growth. Some of the changes in the industry have been very good and some not as good but all these changes have affected the way people look at this industry now and into the future.
When I look at this industry, I see what I call various “generations” of cannabis business people. These business generations are involved in one part of the business or another and I do not believe that one generation is better than another nor do I believe that a person can’t be a combination of several generations. Also, one generation’s mission is no more or less passionate than another generation’s. It is just the type of person you are in the business side of this great industry.
Generation 1 – Old Time Hippie
You have been in the marijuana, pot, weed, cannabis industry before there was an industry. You are very much an activist of the plant and have dealt with the underground and law enforcement concerns during your time in this business. You feel the “devil’s lettuce” is more important than the money but some money for all your heartache would be nice.
Gen 2 – Pick and Shovel
You entered the cannabis industry to help cultivators, dispensary, processor, manufacturing etc. owners with their desire to grow in this industry by selling the services or products that they will need to be successful. Much like the people who sold the ax picks, blankets and shovels to the gold miners during the gold rush. You would not consider yourself a Gen One but you do love this industry.
Gen 3 – Entrepreneur
You are in the industry to make money, lots of money. You are willing to do whatever is needed to make money in this industry but when the money is gone so are you. You are here for the business of cannabis and not as an activist. A true entrepreneur.
Gen 4 – Investor
You are willing to put your money where your mouth is. You look to invest in the industry but only if there is a return on your investment. The Cannabis industry is just another product that could make money for you over time. The only “green” you care about is the green in your bank account.
Gen 5 – Reality Star
Your desire is to communicate a positive image of the cannabis industry to mainstream society. You may be an activist one day and an entrepreneur the next day depending on your following. Having people recognize you when you walk into an expo or conference is more important. Making money or growing a business is not the main goal, rather you want to popularize your brand. That brand may be general or specific to a niche, but your media presence is the key to success.
Remember, these generations are for the business of cannabis, not for those who are not in the business but understand the medical value of the plant.
So, who are you in this industry?
This article was originally posted in Cannabis Business Executive, available here.
Previously we have written about educating your seasonal staff and taking steps to limit your vulnerability to theft by your seasonal staff. But as the employer-employee relationship changes during this age of the “gig economy”, the attitudes and interests of your temporary employees should be taken into account.
As any good planner will tell you, it’s never too late to plan for the future; especially for any retail stores that hire temporary employees for those busy seasons. It is not sufficient to rely on staffing firms and temporary employment agencies to do all the work.
With all of the new faces around retail stores, security becomes of greater importance. Simple preparation practices can help limit the amount taken from businesses.
If You Don’t Want the Crime, Do the Time
Over 75% of employees have stolen from their place of employment. Not limited to inventory, this could include time spent by employees conducting their personal business or inventory from your store while still on the clock. A higher percentage of theft, 42.7%, came from employees rather than by shoplifters, 35.6%. These numbers can become higher for businesses once temporary employees enter the fray.
The Quick Shift
Quickly building a good rapport with temporary employees can be crucial. When businesses hire for special seasons, they would typically like to rely on the same people each season. It can be tedious to retrain new seasonal hires every time that time of year comes, so you want to have a familiar face around.
It also important to remember that they are helping you. Temporary employees may not have the sense of loyalty that a full-time employee may have to you. This makes building the good rapport not only a necessity, but also an immediate need to change that sense of loyalty after you hire them for the holiday season or whatever occasion.
Employee Hide and Seek
When searching for new employees, there are ways of finding the best employees for your business. Before even hiring someone to join your staff, it is important to perform a screening of these potential job holders. Background checks help to find any glaring red flags that a prospect may never let you know about. Also, it can let you know how honest they really are. If, during the interview process, someone fails to mention something from their past that comes up in a screening, you know they have a lower chance of developing loyalty and accountability. Once you find someone loyal, it is important to make all expectations clear.
Keeping Everyone Accountable
Clear expectations can help employees stay on target. When employees know their jobs and know what is expected of them, they are less likely to stray from those expectations. Policies should be established on Day One and help maintain status quo when upheld consistently. Whether responsible for something like a minor violation or something as serious as theft, employees must know there will be consequences to actions. Another way to keep everyone accountable is to have employees work together on accomplishing tasks.
Whether swimming in the lake at Camp Hope or working on an assignment, it is important to have a buddy system. When working with a partner, two things can be accomplished. The first is that when working together, partners are more likely to hold each other accountable. They will work together to accomplish their goal as both would like to receive credit, rather than letting each other down. Also, with the consequences lined out from your expectations, they are more likely to keep each other in check. This helps reduce any possibilities of theft when they know there are another pair of eyes on them. One important factor to consider when placing co-workers together is the friendship level of the two. If the pair is close, they will be more likely to cover up for each other or take chances that unfamiliar duos would not be comfortable doing.
Private Eyes are Watching You
The final step to helping with temporary employees is to allow for anonymous reporting. When employees can report suspicious activity anonymously, they are more likely to report it. One for the sake of being seen by their peers. Employees don’t want to be seen as a “snitch” for telling on a fellow employee’s activity. Secondly, if employees know that anyone can report them, they may be more inclined to not perform illegal activity. The more eyes on each other, the better.
Keeping a Permanent Hold on Temporary Employees
With the seasonal times that come every year, businesses will take on additional help along with the additional risks of losses by new employees. But the disadvantages of employing temporary staff should not outweigh the advantages. By following a few simple steps, businesses can ensure that they will be secure from any theft from their temporary employees.
By screening ahead of time, it becomes easier to select the right candidates for the job. Once on the job, setting expectations and assigning buddies will help keep everyone together working on the common goal and know what happens when they veer from that path. Finally, it is important to allow everyone to report things anonymously because they may be more inclined to report something that may not always be caught on camera.
Through all of this, a good rapport can be built between employers and employees, and the risks of theft become temporary as well.