Encourage Feedback From Your Team (Part 1)

Dispensary: Encourage feedback from your team

By regularly touching base with your customer-facing crew, you strengthen the team more than you may realize. Utilizing your staff’s feedback allows them to feel heard and validated, creating a unified feel between the team and management. The following is just a shortlist of why encouraging feedback from your team is so important.

What is the customer asking for?

Your budtenders converse with your customers all day, every day. They are your best source of information about what your customers wish your business had, what they didn’t care for and what are your most requested out-of-stock items. 

Customer complaints

Most customers won’t bother to take the time out of their busy days to speak with a manager when visiting your store, but they will definitely tell your budtenders (or social media) all about what they’re bothered by. Whether it’s problematic cartridges, less than desirable flavor from a concentrate, a problem with an edible, or requests for earlier business hours, chances are your staff has heard it. Listening to them may be helpful to your production team and also prevent a negative review online.

How to be more efficient as a team

Most managers spend the majority of their workday multitasking behind the scenes of the dispensary or in an office of the production facility analyzing sales reports, so team efficiency can easily go unnoticed. Every team has its top producers or leads who can be relied on to notice where minor tweaks in operating procedures could speed up production or if a certain employee may be better suited in a different position where their skills may be better utilized. A top producer or mindful employee will often notice when a particular associate in the same position is falling behind on their duties. This allows the manager to address the situation before this causes any animosity or future problems.

How to improve operations through their experience

Operations within the cannabis space tend to constantly be evolving, and a  smart manager seeks out the advice of the people performing the tasks daily. The SOP’s that were created when your business first opened will likely need to be adjusted to meet those changes, and asking for feedback from your team, especially the leads, or “stars” in each department, is the way to go. When the manager allows her staff to help upgrade SOP’s she will probably get a much more thorough instruction than if she wrote it herself. Your team may also point out lesser noticed operational hiccups that, when brought to light, could be instrumental in defining best practices.

Employee Suggestion Box – Best suggestion to solve the issue gets rewarded

Putting an employee suggestion box in an area that is off-camera in your facilities, such as the locker room or restroom, is a safe way to get employees to chime in anonymously on any issues brought up by management or otherwise, or uncomfortable topics that may need to be addressed. The suggestion box may also be used when the company is looking for specific employee advice or recommendations. Turning this into a contest where the best suggestion for the issue is rewarded is a great way to encourage your crew’s creativity in problem-solving and also drives friendly competition. 

New Product R&D

A nice incentive for any employee are highly discounted products. When new edibles, concentrates, and cartridges were created in our production facility, a small batch would be sent to the dispensary for the employees to purchase and compliantly sample for a dollar each. Along with each R&D product purchased would be a form to be filled out with questions from the department the product was created. This allowed for honest feedback and ideas on how to improve your products.

Product quality deficiencies

You likely offer an employee discount or stipend, so your staff is most likely very well versed in your products. They’ll notice when something has changed, for the better or worse. Make it known to your people that they should report to you with any potential product issues or observations that could help the production team. Any positive reviews or observations should be encouraged as well and shared with the appropriate departments.

New product ideas

Sometimes a team member may have a great idea for a new product but may not work in the production setting. Sharing their thoughts with management could lead to an amazing, top seller. This could be incorporated into the “Suggestion Box” idea listed above.”

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