Eight in 10 workers say they are stressed by at least one thing at work. About 1 in 2 workers in low-paying jobs say their job has a negative effect on their stress levels, while about 4 in 10 in medium and high-paying jobs say the same.
Yet at a time when dispensary jobs are arguably easier than ever before – because of automation, technology, employee-friendly laws and attractive benefits – why would the modern worker feel so stressed out?
We live in a culture that values business and stress, and stress is a powerful currency. The busier and more stressed you are, the more important and valuable you seem. Is the stress level of today’s dispensary worker is higher than that of a worker in other industries?
It doesn’t matter. Culturally, we perceive ourselves as the most-stressed worker-era in history, and our perception is our reality.
Unrealistic Dispensary Work Expectations
According to the World Health Organization, workplace stress is particularly common in situations when employees are asked to do things that exceed their knowledge, abilities and coping skills, and when they do not have enough support from peers and supervisors to close that gap.
Dispensary employees also cited unrealistic manager expectations as a top stressor, along with heavy workloads and looming deadlines. Increasing workloads can make you feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.
In fact, the top five things that employees say make them feel stressed have to do with cannabis dispensary workplace conditions that employers could probably do something about. Those top five (5) things are:
- Low wages or salaries
- Lack of opportunity for advancement or growth
- Too heavy a workload
- Unrealistic job expectations
- Long hours
It’s important for dispensary managers to spot the signs of stressed-out employees, such as incomplete work, decreased productivity, lower quality of work and mistakes. They can also ease up on deadlines and meet with workers and help them prioritize projects.
Even if dispensary managers only occasionally place demands on employees during off hours, employees may never really get a mental break from being at work if they know their manager could contact them at any time. This is not to put all the blame on dispensary managers. Dispensary employees also do this to themselves, working more in the evenings because of pressure – real or imagined – to do more.
Changes in Career Arcs
There was a time, not too long ago, when employees decided on a career, landed an entry-level position, then steadily worked their way up within the same organization until retirement. Such career arcs are decreasing, both because of human competition and technological advancements that, while making certain dispensary jobs easier, might threaten career options.
As technology and best practices evolve, so will the roles in a dispensary we are expected to fill and the skills we will need to fill these roles. The answer isn’t to liberate cannabis workers from having to learn new things, but for workers to become more resilient so that they are better able to handle this type of challenge. One key piece of resilience … is how you look at a stressful situation.
Do you see it as a threat or a challenge? Changing needs of the cannabis marketplace when it comes to technology could be seen as a threat, but resilient people see it as a challenge to tackle. People are living farther from their jobs, and commuting is a relatively new stressor in the workplace.
While the advent of telecommuting means workers can reduce or eliminate those commutes, remote work can also shake the stability of careers in the cannabis industry. Telecommuting might turn the candidate pool into a regional, national or even international one for jobs that may have been local in the past.
And despite a strengthened cannabis economy that hasn’t necessarily translated into higher wages for workers, which is also stressful. The economy has also seen wage stagnation that can contribute to stress. While perks and conveniences are nice, they aren’t substitutes for income growth.
Experts offered other ways dispensary managers can help employees handle stress:
- Encourage your dispensary team to take advantage of stress-management webinars, wellness tips or programs, and yoga or meditation classes. Set an example by using these resources yourself.
- Make sure cannabis industry workers are taking regular breaks, and be sure to take them yourself.
- Encourage dispensary employees to exercise daily, take time for friends or a significant other after work, pursue hobbies, listen to music and take time off.
Let us know what you think.