Some businesses wait to start onboarding employees on their first day in the office, but as training becomes digitalized and new online training tools for the cannabis industry become more widely available, it’s easier than ever to begin the onboarding process before a new hire’s first day.

Onboarding refers to the process of developing a program that trains newly hired or transferred employees with the skills, behavior, and knowledge necessary to become effective contributors to the business. Therefore, onboarding is highly relevant to all businesses.


Why Is Onboarding Important?

A study by Gallup has found that only 12% of employees feel that their business effectively onboards new cannabis dispensary employees, meaning that some businesses drastically underestimate the importance of onboarding. Businesses without a structured onboarding program can potentially end up with two major risks:

  • An increased risk of staff churn. Staff who churn are estimated to cost between 6 – 9 months of their salary.
  • A longer ramp-up time for new hires. Ramp-up times refer to the amount of time a new employee takes to perform at their expected level. Longer ramp-up times drain resources as your existing staff will need to spend excess time training recruits.
  • Structured cannabis industry training. Studies have found that a well-structured onboarding program has been found to increase staff retention by 68% and reduces the average time spent training employees by 40%.


Onboarding Before The First Day

By switching from manual to online learning, cannabis industry employees can start their onboarding process at home, at the office, or even on their daily commutes.

This new way of cannabis industry training allows onboarding to start before the employee’s first day at the office.

Let’s take a look at what makes up a truly effective ‘pre-first dayonboarding training for the cannabis industry.


1. Get The Boring Stuff Out Of The Way

Traditionally, there has been a gap in interaction with new hires between HR sending out the offer letter, to the new hire’s first day. This gap is the perfect opportunity to get some passive learning out of the way and acts as preparation for your new staff before they get to the office.

Administration documents (like financial details and ‘about you) and policies (like a code of conduct) can be added to your online course along with some information about the office including where they can find coffee, parking, their managers, etc.

Your new hire will come to the office on the first day, ready to go, so you can focus on what really matters such as budtender or dispensary technician training.


2. New Hires Introduce Themselves To The Team

Great onboarding is not just about going through administration documents and policies, but your new hires want and need to feel connected to your team. It’s great to introduce your new hire to their co-workers, managers, and leadership so that they begin to feel familiar with the cannabis business’s inner workings.

However, in some businesses, this is not physically possible, but, there are alternatives such as video introductions from leadership to new hires or even videos about the company’s workplace culture. It is important for new hires to understand the company’s roots and core values, which are best learned through those that live and breathe it, your own people.


3. Design For Mobile

Mobile learning is gaining preference as it offers so much flexibility for employees, in comparison to traditional learning methods. Mobile learning allows your employees to learn their cannabis industry training when it suits them individually, leading to a more effective and engaging learning experience.

As mentioned previously, when your learning is mobile optimized, employees can access your training materials anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. A study by Brandon Hall Group found that 70% of employees preferred to train via mobile, whilst they are being mobile.

Say goodbye to scheduling training sessions in the office, and say hello to your virtual classroom.


4. Employ A Learner-First Training Model

A study by Qualtrics found that 31% of trainers faced challenges when it comes to learner engagement levels. A learner-first training model is being adopted by cannabis companies around the globe to increase the success of their onboarding programs.

In short, this model is focused on the most important part of the learning strategy – the learner. When training is designed with the learner as the focus, trainers will see more engaged learners, better training results, and more efficient, happier workplaces.

The learner-first training model is an effective way to create onboarding dispensary programs that are proven to provide a powerful and meaningful training experience as it focuses on the learners themselves.


Putting It All Together

A short online onboarding course should put all the information together for your cannabis dispensary. These online training introduce the company, with engaging multimedia such as video, and keeps content short and sharp.

It should have a cannabis company policy download, which allows new hires to easily get their admin out of the way, and ends with a smart quiz that is shared with the company to drive a strong cultural fit.

This cannabis industry course includes an email integration that shares the final section’s quiz results with the rest of the company, automating the introduction process and reducing the load on the HR department.

Click here for cannabis industry training, and see for yourself what a good onboarding course looks like.

Let us know what you think.