You expect a learning curve when you bring someone new into your business. It takes days, weeks, or even months before they fully understand the ins and outs of the job.
Cannabis businesses add new dimensions that aren’t often addressed in other organizations. A retail business that sells alcohol trains its employees to ask for ID to avoid selling to minors. Yet cannabis businesses have increased government regulation involved, especially if they deal with medical marijuana.
Of course, that’s just one aspect of it. Training employees means teaching them what they need to know about the industry, business, and their position. They need to know how to deal with the product, how to care for the customers, and what it takes to create a safe, secure environment every step of the way.
Security is a big part of the training process. Threats including:
- Physical theft – because many dispensaries still act as cash-only businesses, they risk being targeted for money and product.
- Cyber theft – dispensaries are often targeted for customer information, especially for medical marijuana. Customer data can be very lucrative to a hacker.
- Employee theft – employees continue to be one of the highest risk factors in any cannabis business. At one end of the spectrum, they can unintentionally click on a phishing email, which puts data at risk. Conversely, a disgruntled employee can take cash or product from the retail location for personal gain.
First line of defense – training and security procedures
Security should never be a “wait and see” task. You are the first line of defense in protecting the business. This means you need to develop robust security protocols and provide training every step of the way.
Start by vetting every employee before hiring. Perform background checks. Check references. Your goal should be to find trustworthy employees.
Then train all employees on security procedures. Don’t assume they know and understand; provide thorough training. Do it regularly to keep security fresh in their minds.
Create boundaries to give employees access to only the data they need. Don’t share logins or passwords; keep everything on a “need to know” basis. Limiting access is one of the best ways to keep data safe.
Get the right systems in place
You can train your employees daily, but if you don’t have a safe and secure work environment, no amount of training will help lower your risk.
Security systems start with things like cameras, motion detectors, alarms, multi-factor authentication, and possibly security personnel. They also include having the right programs in place. Cannabis businesses often start small, piecemeal systems together as they grow. This can leave gaping holes.
Periodically doing system audits can help ensure you’re up-to-date on all technology and are utilizing systems that will help you function at your highest capacity. You don’t know what you don’t know. Working with IT experts can ensure you’re utilizing the right tools for the highest productivity as well as maximum security.
Training is an ongoing process. It’s not something that will ever be “complete” or “finished.” Because there is always more to learn.
Security is a big part of it. Cybercrime is always present, ever-changing. If you’re not paying attention to these changes, you’re more at risk of falling for a ploy.
Yet training should also be about personal development. How can you make employees more of a part of what you do? Can you train for better customer service? To help them be more knowledgeable about the subject? Build up other parts of your business?
If they’re more connected with the subject, they’ll be more connected with what they do. Which ultimately makes them better employees.
Is your employee training program doing all of that?
For IT Strategy, Security and Compliance, or Help Desk Services, reach out to us at Cannabis Technology Partners 360-450-4759.