While a certain amount of turnover is inevitable and may even be desirable, no dispensary manager wants to be blindsided by a valued employee’s decision to leave. You can minimize the surprise factor by learning to read and respond to the warning signs.
Research conducted by Timothy Gardner, an associate management professor at Utah State University, and Peter Hom, professor of management at Arizona State University, identified 13 “pre-quitting behaviors” that often predict whether an employee will leave within the next year.
While no single behavior was determined to be definitive, a pattern of behavioral changes is likely to be predictive. These include:
- Work productivity has decreased more than usual.
- Acted less like a team player than usual.
- Been doing the minimum amount of work more frequently than usual.
- Been less interested in pleasing their manager than usual.
- Been less willing to commit to long-term timelines than usual.
- Exhibited a negative change in attitude.
- Exhibited less effort and work motivation than usual.
- Exhibited less focus on job-related matters than usual.
- Expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual.
- Expressed dissatisfaction with their supervisor more frequently than usual.
- Left early from work more frequently than usual.
- Have lost enthusiasm for the mission of the organization.
- Shown less interest in working with customers than usual.
An engaged dispensary manager who has built good relationships with employees can often observe patterns of behavior that signal that an employee might be thinking about leaving. If they have a good rapport with employees, many times dispensary managers can have an off-the-record conversation to see if they can find out what’s really going on.
HR practitioners can teach supervisors and managers working in the cannabis industry to recognize possible warning signs and then coach them on the best ways to address the situation.
Unlike exit interviews where dispensary employees are asked to explain why they want to leave, stay interviews are designed to learn more about what motivates employees to stay, along with why they may not be happy with their situation.
They can also identify employees on the verge of leaving who might require more individualized attention. Keep interviews simple by asking employees two (2) open-ended questions:
- What do you love about your job?
- What sucks your soul?
When you know the answer to those two questions, you also know whether the problem can be fixed or whether the employee needs to move on to a job that is a better fit for their needs. Conduct stay interviews in a way that allows employees to remain anonymous so that employees will feel more comfortable opening up about their problems and frustrations.
Of course, it’s not uncommon these days for people to change jobs and even careers every few years in the cannabis industry. They may end up working for the same company more than once, thus becoming “boomerang” employees. Some leave organizations for personal reasons: They want to take time off to travel, stay home with their kids or care for an ailing relative.
Many leave to gain new skills and perspectives. But, many cannabis dispensaries are happy to rehire people who were good employees and who left on good terms. Once they come back, you can usually count on them to stay with you for a long time and former employees can be valuable public relations and recruitment resources.
On the flip side, angry ex-employees can create problems for their former employers by posting negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Leaving should be a natural part of an employment relationship and lifecycle so if you can’t offer them what they need, then try to help them move on and find a better fit somewhere else.
There’s no reason for anyone to sneak around or leave with bad feelings.
Let us know what you think.