Adding Value: Employee Satisfaction in a Difficult Market

At a time when many cannabis businesses are feeling the squeeze from competition and price compression, the question arises of how to continue to add value to employees when wage increases are not on the table. For many companies, a permanent wage increase is a difficult sell right now, but employees that feel undervalued often leave, and the cost of turnover can’t be excluded from the equation. Training and education can add value to your employees and organization when the budget won’t allow for wage increases.

Years ago, in a conversation with an employee on my team, he expressed frustration that he hadn’t gotten a raise recently. He felt undervalued, and said that he needed to either be compensated appropriately or that the company should provide additional training and development. This was a stellar employee, but we were in a cash crunch so there was a freeze on raises. It got me thinking, so I asked him if he would like more ownership of his projects, and I created training courses related to our goals as a company for him and other employees. He took hold of the opportunities immediately, and the response from nearly all employees that took the training classes was very positive.

Additional training allows the employee to continue to make personal career progress during times that are lean for the company, while also increasing the overall knowledge base of the organization. In addition, allowing employees the opportunity to cross-train in additional departments adds to their skill set, but also gives the company as a whole more flexibility and fosters interdepartmental communication and understanding.

Someone reading this is probably thinking, “How do we know who wants to be developed, and who is just trying to get out of work for a day?” The answer I have found useful is to have the employees fill out a very brief application about why they want to take on the additional training or project. This small step is usually enough to separate out the ones who want to be there. This won’t be practical in all situations, and every workplace is different, but I have seen initiatives like this bring new energy into entire departments. Training courses from NCRMAcademy or another qualified training provider can expand the knowledge base of your human capital at relatively low cost. Adding value to your employees adds value to the entire organization, and additional training is a value-add that continues to pay dividends long after it is completed.

Andrew Hatch
Director of Biosecurity

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