[ATTENTION] If you are a…
- Manager/Team Leader… Face It… Many Times, You’re Stuck & Need Some Assistance
- Cannabis Industry Worker… Unlock Your Company’s Professional Development Budget
Working at a company in the cannabis industry is hard!
The constant change makes it even harder. That’s where we come in… we support businesses via our eLearning solutions, so if your company or work is beyond the startup phase but you aren’t “HR-ready,” you’ve come to the RIGHT place… many HR departments leverage our “turn-key” solutions too…
It takes people to drive profits and that’s why our team becomes an “extension of your team.” The smarter industry workers are in the cannabis-space, the higher level of profits companies will achieve. This reality pervades any market and triggers fierce competition especially among high-performing businesses to find, develop, and retain top “cannabis experts” in the industry.
Recently, we had such an experience at Green CulturED where we had numerous industry workers reaching out to us asking how they could utilize our eLearning solutions at their work. Below, you’ll see a couple “Formal Request Letter” templates you can use… we’ve sent these to anyone who wants a simple way to copy/paste and request professional development at their work…
NOTE: With the exception of some information (which were changed for privacy reasons), below is the exact, word-for-word template we send for anyone to use. Feel free to use the “Formal Request Letter” templates below if/when you need to make a similar request at your workplace.
Forward-thinking professionals recognize the importance of professional development in cannabis. Their growth strategies always include ample budgets to FUEL their Learning and Development (L&D) programs. A mind-opening study by LinkedIn Learning Solutions found this incredible statistic:
Nearly 70% of L&D professionals believe talent is the number one priority in their organizations, with 27% expecting employee development budgets to increase in the coming years.
Make More $$$ Via Continuous Training
Quoting the multi-awarded French economist Thomas Picketty, Deloitte identified “skills and knowledge” as the only predictable FACTOR that influences how high an individual’s earnings can go for themselves and the business they work for.
This factor provides a two-pronged boost. A significant improvement in “skills and knowledge” not only upgrades their earning potential. It also delivers a corresponding Return-on-Investment (ROI) for the company that stands to benefit from an employee’s higher productivity and better performance.
With cannabis industry teams serving as the main profit-generating arm of ANY business, it’s no wonder professional development focusing on compliance training and industry up-skilling are sprouting everywhere. Some are training programs developed in-house by HR departments while others are designed and offered by third-party enterprise eLearning providers (like us!).
A well-trained team generates more sales, makes fewer mistakes, and contributes more deeply to your business. Unfortunately, most employees have huge gaps in their cannabis knowledge, which leads to unnecessary mistakes, missed opportunities, high turnover, and costly damages.
Formal Training Request Letter
Make a solid pitch by summarizing applicable points in a formal letter (we made this easy, BELOW you’ll find our copy/paste “Formal Request Letter” templates to use).
In a clear and compelling way, you’ll need to justify the cost of professional development versus the Return-on-Investment (ROI) that will be meaningful and make a huge impact on your company’s “bottom-line” profitability.
Make concrete and reasonable forecasts on what areas of performance will be IMPROVED when you complete a specific training program. Whether you want to perform better in your job, or your C-suite needs to make better strategic decisions, or you want new hires to learn quickly… everyone needs to have the credible knowledge and skills that are required to succeed in the cannabis industry.
It’s been a while since we’ve shared this… and we have many new clients getting fast results, that’s why we provided our simple copy/paste templates to get your boss to start using our eLearning solutions… we would love the honor and privilege of helping your business colleagues get amazing results – making more sales and with much less effort as they become a better “cannabis expert.”
So… if you know of one high-performer that is on the verge of greatness but is “struckling” (stuck and struggling) to breakthrough, please copy/paste the following templates and send to your boss (via email, physically print, or even postal mail)… we’ve made it easy for YOU request to additional professional development by using these two (2) “Formal Request Letters” that we put together.
Simply fill in the blanks and modify the templates as you see fit!
[Templates] Two Formal Request Letters
Face it. You’re stuck. And if you aren’t stuck yet, you will get stuck. It’s just a matter of time. All companies… even good companies… stall out. And all cannabis industry workers… even successful ones… get stuck and frustrated. It isn’t your fault. As you’ll soon see, it’s just some simple math.
We’re breaking down why all companies (and their founders) get their professional development programs stuck. More importantly, we’ll share how to get unstuck by installing our “scalable training system” (“HQ Enterprise” for short) in your business today…
Here are our two (2) “Formal Request Letter” templates you can use as a reference to persuade your manager or boss to allow you to join our cannabis industry training. You may choose to present them as a memo for formality, but you can always print and hand-delivery your “Formal Request” or email it too if that works better for you to put in your training request with the management.
NOTE: If you use this formal letter template via email, please include us in your email (via being CC’ed in your email)… this opens up the communication channel between us and your boss or team leader.
Letter Template #1
TO: [name of your boss]
FROM: [your name]
DATE: [make sure your request well in advance of budget/training planning]
SUBJECT: [example: Check out “HQ,” it looks awesome!]
I sincerely request your approval to join Green CulturED’s “HQ Enterprise” which is their “turn-key” eLearning solution for businesses in the cannabis industry. I am certain their training will help me (and our entire team) to learn new skills and improve our performance in the following areas:
- Help ensure COMPLIANCE from their accredited cannabis industry training that’s been authorized by governments for compliance.
- Reduce RISK from occupational safety and workplace hazards – everything from retail dispensaries to cultivation, plus much more.
- And help increase PROFITS ($$$) from better cannabis knowledge, soft-skills training such as selling, along with other topics.
I seek to take advantage of this opportunity not only to upgrade my professional credentials but also to directly benefit the company by:
- Driving more sales and company profitability by implementing better cannabis-knowledge as well as helping with our bottom-line to reduce safety concerns as well as compliance risk.
- Sharing whatever I’ve learned with our team via presentations and one-to-one mentorship. I believe this will have a multiplier effect on the benefits slated for our cannabis business from training.
Their training covers emerging fields and industry strategies such as:
- The latest cannabis knowledge and “best practices” to help with data-driven selling techniques, etc. that will likely help us achieve new sales targets, increase efficiencies, and revitalize our pipeline.
The total eLearning solution that provides is immediately discounted by over fifty-percent (50%) for businesses… which is a pittance considering the value it can generate for the company. Moreover, most of the offerings at Green CulturED can be taken on the go via their Mobile App, which allows us to learn (during my free time) without pulling back on any of my responsibilities.
Based on reviews, brand recognition, and demonstrable outcomes, I am certain that enrolling in their eLearning solutions will be a wise investment for the team and make a massive impact across our company.
Their training also aligns well with what Human Resources (HR) follows for its employee development goals. More importantly, it presents an opportunity for me to act fast on their fervent advice regarding continuous self-improvement with new training that’s released each and every month.
Looking forward to your reply.
Insert Your Name (“The employee who wants to learn”)
Letter Template #2
I wanted to introduce you to a place that I have been learning more about the cannabis industry and a team training solution they offer, it’s Green CulturED. They have helped me to learn more about general knowledge and compliance in the cannabis industry, they have shown different areas where I can improve my performance to impact the “bottom-line” of our business.
And I know that our team could possibly need help with their training to help have big breakthroughs with their learning about the cannabis industry and how it can help our team to drastically improve what we do every day.
Green CulturED, meet my boss.
[Insert 1 – 2 lines with background information: __________.]
I know you would benefit from working with them because they can help us ensure we’re compliant, reducing our risk, and increase profitability.
Also, Green CulturED would love to schedule a quick 20-minute meeting to help us get more done. So just let them know if you would be interested and would like to do a demonstration to learn more about their “turn-key” total eLearning solutions that were made exclusively for the cannabis industry.
I’ll let the two of you take it from here.
Insert Your Name (“The employee who wants to learn”)
Step Into The Mindset Of Your Boss
If you can bring your boss to realize that participating in professional development can measurably benefit your team and your company, then there’s a good chance you’ll get the go-ahead nod. Otherwise, everybody will think you’re just planning for just yourself – all at the company’s expense.
By completing additional training, it always involves an initial outlay of time and money, but here’s the REALITY of what spending time by doing professional development means for you (in your boss’ eyes) and your colleagues at work:
- Paused workflow during professional development
- Slight push back in project deadlines at times
- Colleagues stepping in to “fill your shoes” while you’re training
That said, these aren’t losses by any means. It’s an INVESTMENT; you need to put your sales skills to the test and pitch why they should invest in your professional development. This should be pretty easy to do if you’ve already added significant value to your cannabis company where you’re employed.
That means your manager believes in the value you’ve added, and the value you will continue to add in the future, here are ways to demonstrate professional development Return-on-Investment (ROI):
- Quantifiable knowledge generated from training based on scientific studies and research.
- Improved performance on particular sales techniques that will make an impact on bottom-line figures such as increased sales from additional professional development.
- Improved operational efficiency (ex. cost reductions) via a new eLearning solution, a well-designed training methodology, or a new skill that lets you do your job faster or better.
Any of these may be acquired directly from the training or indirectly through the NEW relationships you have built from our community. Furthermore, a new batch of “cannabis experts,” who will ensure compliance, reduce your work’s risk, and, at the same time, increasing profitability from professional development is extremely valuable for any business operating in the cannabis industry.
Itemize these ROI components and tie each with an existing metric whenever possible. This way, you establish accountability and the means of gauging success. Strongly suggest: Draw up a benefit-sharing and maximization plan and make a commitment to follow through on your word.
When You Get The Golden Nod Of Approval
Remember to thank your boss for approving your professional development. But don’t just mention it in passing as you meet her in the hallway. A much better way is to communicate your GRATITUDE is with an expressed verbal (or written) promise to deliver the results you’ve cited in your proposal.
When You Get A “No”
This might suck, but don’t take it the wrong way. The last thing you want to do is become bitter and act hastily about it. Thank your boss for just the same for taking the time to review your proposal for professional development. Follow us just the same through available channels such as our official website and social media since we’re always releasing new things that may interest your boss.
Leverage your network and get updates, snippets, and new learnings from contacts who were able to join our professional development. Find and share case studies (see here) proving that participation in our training generated substantial benefits to rival or competing organizations in the industry.
For subsequent professional development opportunities, consider ALTERNATIVE methods that will allow you to join. You can, for example, volunteer to complete training on your own time or schedule a demonstration with us or other learning opportunities we provide on subjects you are interested in.
Education will remain KEY for the constantly changing cannabis industry to learn relevant skills, discovering new ideas, and staying ahead of your competition. This will increase the likelihood that your boss will approve your professional development request, do the following:
- Take more time to complete for professional development
- Help cross-train and up-skill team members
- Promise and deliver a Return-on-Investment (ROI)
Understand exactly how well-known challenges at your cannabis business can be addressed by an eLearning solution, training, or just a problem you’re encountering that’s slated to be explored in your development that’s greatly needed in the cannabis industry due to the constant changes.
1. Make Your Request Specific
Be direct and tell your boss exactly what you need. Give them a flyer or link to our training, mastery certification, or membership you want them to fund. If you’ll need to take time off, tell them how much time you need and when.
If there will be other associated costs, including those in your estimate, and whenever you submit a proposal, you also want to attach a DEADLINE to it… this helps keep your professional development moving forward on schedule.
Finally, end your proposal with a RECAP like:
“According to the Association for Talent Development (ADT), companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized training. That’s actually MORE than 2x higher income… but it doesn’t stop there, they also enjoy a 24% higher profit margin. Also, let’s not forget about YOUR time commitment that’s required to train is a far bigger investment than out-of-pocket costs…”
You might not always be able to give your company an exact dollar cost when you make a pitch – but you should be able to provide a realistic projection on the Return-on-Investment (ROI) that will make your training request attractive to an employer. If you partner with a quality organization, they’ll see the value of investing in your professional development in the cannabis industry.
Let’s be real. None of these items are particularly new or groundbreaking, like many things in the cannabis industry – that’s exactly why they work. When executed effectively, consistently, and with the best interests of your team at heart, we make a BIG difference in terms of the overall satisfaction and performance so give us a try and incorporate them into your own strategy today.
2. Demonstrate Your Desire to Learn More
Begin by researching your company’s guidelines on employee development and training. Inquire if there are internal workshops or other in-house resources available and get involved in relevant offerings.
Check if there’s a BUDGET for third-party eLearning solutions like us and identify the training that will generate the best value for you as well as the company as a whole.
Currently, there are NO national standards for training dispensary employees, there is not even a licensing code. Therefore, it is important for owners to investigate government laws and understand legal minimums for worker education to meet all the jurisdiction’s compliance training requirements.
When a dispensary has protocols in place that show how the business operates, the company will have consistency and organization. No matter the task, all team members must follow specific procedural protocols. Be informed about the training details, especially those FACTORS (pricing, certification, provider brand, etc.) that will help persuade your boss to let you participate.
The most effective leaders know and understand that transparency and honesty are the catalysts for building a great team. Similarly, the bad news is received much better when your team knows you took a big, politically dangerous ask to senior leadership. They’ll take your words of inspiration to heart, rather than simply writing them off as “management speak”… take it as a learning opportunity.
And forget about open and honest dialogue with your team if you aren’t reciprocating. Your team won’t bother coming to you and will instead let issues fester, eroding the culture and TRUST that you’ve worked so hard to achieve… maintaining “company culture” means everything nowadays…
3. Prove You’re Actually Worthy of Extra Training
There are many people on the team. Why would your boss select you for training instead of another? Provide a definite answer to this question by being the most WORTHY candidate. To climb to the top of the corporate ladder, you’ll need a variety of hard and soft business skills.
Hard skills are those directly RELATED to your work, such as cannabis chemistry or industry “best practices” or how to run a cultivation facility. Soft skills include selling techniques, communications, leadership, presentation, and project management, and other competencies.
In addition to researching policies and available cannabis industry training, be ready to confidently answer questions about your professional development goals and the courses you intend to attend. Training PROVIDES you with the knowledge, skills, and credibility to succeed in cannabis today.
This also allows you to get to know what your team needs better and determine what roadblocks are standing in the way of their success. This is critical because removing a single ROADBLOCK that impedes your team’s performance can be a major difference-maker when you extrapolate the productivity gain across the entire business. Remember to keep an open mind and try to think of these as information gathering and problem-solving discussions as opposed to “gripe sessions.”
4. Articulate Benefits & It’s Immediate Impact
Every business’s main goal is profitability, so once you’ve come up with your list of professional development, write down what makes these initiatives extremely BENEFICIAL.
The key to selling your cannabis industry employer on paying for you to engage in continuous professional development is to be able to show your boss the return on the company’s investment into you and your team.
By engaging, learners not only become motivated by their training experience, but they learn NEW skills, knowledge, and abilities. By applying these new learnings in the workplace, the business benefits from innovation, productivity, efficiency, and the achievement of strategic cannabis industry goals.
The right professional development program returns much more than an intangible idea: It reaps real monetary advantages for your organization. Remember that the next time you find yourself asking, “Is professional development really worth the cost?” Here, we’ll break down the answer for you, and show you how to gauge the impact of professional development training on your company.
Discuss improvements in motivation, productivity, performance, and leadership skills… just present scenarios wherein the skills you expect to learn will help SOLVE complex challenges at work. A well-trained worker generates more sales, makes fewer mistakes, and contributes more deeply. Unfortunately, most employees have huge gaps in their cannabis knowledge, which leads to unnecessary mistakes, missed opportunities, high turnover, and even costly damages to your business.
Challenging your team will raise the bar over time, creating a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement and a sense of progression through training, even for your top performers. It may even help you identify who has the talent and potential to one day step into a leadership role themselves and take your spot when you ultimately move onto your next challenge within the cannabis business.
Then prepare a list of fact-based or verifiable benefits:
- Fact 1: The industry is an ever-evolving field. New technologies, skills, and approaches continually emerge. Many are explored and taught in new training that we release.
- Fact 2: Our eLearning platform serves as an excellent venue for building new connections and community, some of whom might be decision-makers or influencers.
- Fact 3: Professional training presents an opportunity to reinforce your brand-integrity.
- Fact 4: Training helps to meet some of Human Resources’ (HR) continuing professional development goals by utilizing enterprise eLearning solution providers (like us!).
- Fact 5: Knowledge, skills, and insights learned or discovered during education can be shared with colleagues to benefit your organization’s “bottom-line” profitability.
- Fact 6: Our eLearning solution continuously generates fresh and timely content for your company. Participation signals that you are at the forefront of the cannabis industry.
5. Discuss Benefits w/ Your Colleagues
Provide reasonable figures to simulate your expected Return-on-Investment (ROI), following improvements in productivity and performance. Offer to teach other members of the team whatever you learned from the training so that a multiplier effect applies to the benefits.
Whenever possible, explain the cost of LOST opportunity if your boss withheld your participation in the training or employee development program. Industry workers should receive training on how and when to make appropriate cannabis product suggestions to medical-use patients.
Any successful dispensary owner will acknowledge that employee education pays off in reduced loss, increased sales, and avoided fines. There are more benefits to employee training than just these and there are steps owners can take to ensure they are getting the most out of their employees.
As a team member, your colleagues will naturally be more comfortable approaching you about help or issues with other parts of the organization training. Whenever possible, you should ENCOURAGE your team to forge these learning opportunities directly to lessen their reliance on you, but sometimes that just isn’t practical or possible in the cannabis industry each and every day.
Your leaders will listen, say what needs to be said, and speak loudly on the issues that matter. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your team will begin to respect and follow you when they see you championing their cause, even if you don’t win every battle for them (which is good, because you probably won’t).
Cannabis Dispensary Staff Training & Practices
Unfortunately, nothing is known about the practices of dispensary staff training with respect to the recommendation of cannabis strains or concentrations for specific patient ailments. To address this limitation, a research study published in “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” assessed the training and practices of cannabis dispensary staff, it was conducted by Nancy A. Haug, Dustin Kieschnick, James E. Sottile, Kimberly A. Babson, Ryan Vandrey, and Marcel O. Bonn-Miller.
The study found that fifty-five percent (55%) of dispensary staff reported some formal training for their position, with ONLY twenty percent (20%) reporting medical or scientific training. At the same time, the majority (94%) of respondents indicated that they provide specific cannabis advice to patients… which is absolutely horrible… meaning only one (1) out of five (5) workers are actually trained to make quality recommendations based on their training (20%)… wow, that’s crazy…
This means that there is a lot of BAD advice being passed around in the cannabis industry… although many dispensary members are making recommendations consistent with current evidence, some are recommending products that have not been shown effective for or could exacerbate a condition.
The study’s findings underscore the importance of consistent, evidence-based, training of dispensary staff who need to provide specific recommendations (non-medical advice, this is VERY important) for a patient’s medical conditions. Remember, only licensed medical doctors can actually recommend cannabis, so staff need proper training to use non-medical language too… to ensure they’re not “practicing medicine” (which is illegal)… so everyone needs to speak the “same non-medical language”…
How Much Are Non-Cannabis Companies Spending
Training Magazine’s Annual Training Industry Report is conducted by an outside research firm and recognized as the training industry’s most TRUSTED source of data on budgets, staffing, and programs. The data represents a cross-section of industries and company sizes:
- 41% Small (100-999 employees)
- 34% Midsize (1,000-9,999 employees)
- 25% Large (10,000 or more employees)
The total training expenditures – including payroll and spending on external products and services – declined 5.3 percent to $83 billion. The training expenditure figures were calculated by projecting the average training budget to a weighted universe of 129,321 companies, using a Dun & Bradstreet database of organizations with more businesses that more than 100 employees.
Overall, on average, companies spent $1,286 per learner… nonprofits spent the most per learner this year ($1,889), followed by manufacturers/distributors ($1,781). Midsize companies spent less ($829) than large ($1,544) and small ($1,511) companies per learner on average.
Although small companies have the smallest annual budgets, and there are so many of them (101,097) in the survey, that they account for one-third of the TOTAL budget for training expenditures. The average annual training expenditures for large companies were $17.7 million, the number for midsize companies is $1.7 million while small companies had $367,490.
While spending more per learner, companies provided slightly fewer hours of training than last year. On average, employees received 42.1 hours of training per year… small companies provided the most hours of training this year (49.8) while small nonprofits had the highest hours overall (89.8).
Companies continued to devote the bulk of their training expenditures to training non-exempt employees (39%). However, even as cannabis businesses set budgets for employee development, training doesn’t always come automatically for everyone. In MANY cases, employees must volunteer, request, or establish sound justification for specific cannabis learning and programs.
While forty-two percent (42%) of respondents said their training budget increased and forty-six percent (46%) said it remained the same. Some twelve percent (12%) reported a decrease in budget. Thirty-seven percent (37%) said their budget went up while forty-eight percent (48%) said it remained the same and fifteen percent (15%) said it went down.
Services companies showed a greater tendency for GAINS and government or military organizations saw more decreases while increases were not evenly distributed across organization sizes. Training is often one of the organization’s biggest budget line items for its operating costs. With business needs changing quickly and technology advancing even faster, companies are constantly reevaluating how they spend their training dollars and that’s exactly how we help.
Some twenty-eight percent (28%) of hours were delivered with blended learning techniques, down significantly from sixty-nine percent (69%) last year, but here is a quick summary:
- Some forty percent (40%) of training hours were delivered by a stand-and-deliver instructor in a classroom setting – up from thirty-five percent (35%) reported last year.
- Thirty percent (30%) of hours were delivered via online or computer-based technologies, up from twenty-six percent (26%) and virtual classroom or webinar accounted for fifteen percent (15%) of hours delivered, up from ten percent (10%) last year.
- Five percent (5%) of training hours were delivered via mobile devices and five percent (5%) of training hours were delivered via social learning and three (3) new categories were added: augmented reality (1.6%), virtual reality (1.9%), and artificial intelligence (0.6%).
It also can be difficult to determine just how big the training function should be related to a company’s size and the cannabis industry in which they operate. Actual budget sizes VARY widely and depend on numerous factors, the most influential being the sheer size of the organization.
Let us know what you think.