Will & Skill Webinar with SparkPlug | Effective Strategies for Motivating the Cannabis Industry

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Seed Talent CEO Kurt Kaufmann and SparkPlug COO Jake Levin Discuss Motivating the Cannabis Industry Workforce to Upskill and Grow their Careers


When considering what motivates salespeople and employees, two critical components stand out: will and skill. The effectiveness of a team often hinges on whether its members possess the skills and knowledge required for their roles, and whether they have the motivation, or will, to excel. In a recent webinar featuring Kurt Kaufmann, co-founder and CEO of Seed Talent, and Jake Levin, Co-Founder & COO of Sparkplug, we address these two aspects in depth to uncover effective strategies for motivating the cannabis industry to succeed! 

Watch the ‘Will & Skill Webinar’ Replay!

Success in the cannabis sector depends on more than simply having good products and being present. A motivated and well-trained team can make all the difference when it comes to achieving excellence. In this webinar, titled “Will & Skill Webinar with SparkPlug,” we dive into the strategies that can effectively empower industry teams with the keys to drive sales, while also enjoying their growth journey.

Meet the Speakers: Kurt & Jake 

Our webinar featured two distinguished industry experts who shed light on the critical components of skill and willpower in the cannabis sector: 

Kurt Kaufman: As the co-founder and CEO of Seed Talent, the premier employee enablement platform in the cannabis industry, Kurt brings a wealth of knowledge about cultivating skills and knowledge among cannabis employees. With a focus on aggregating and disseminating content, Seed Talent plays a pivotal role in elevating workforce capabilities.

Jake Levin: Co-Founder & COO of SparkPlug, Jake introduces us to the world’s first incentive management platform designed specifically for frontline employees. He emphasizes the importance of igniting the willpower of your team to maximize their potential and foster a culture of perseverance.

Empowering Industry-Specific Knowledge with Up-Skilling

Our conversation commences with an exploration of the skill component, a fundamental element in achieving success in the high-volume, high-demand cannabis industry. Kurt provides insights into the role of skills and knowledge in driving value for customers and patients – getting to the heart of why education matters. Seed Talent, with a presence in over 1,500 dispensaries across 24 states, focuses on addressing the skills gap in the cannabis workforce to positively affect compliance, the employee experience, the patient & customer experience, and profitability.

While many new employees had transferable skills, they often lacked the industry-specific knowledge needed for success. This knowledge gap has far-reaching consequences, impacting customer experiences and business outcomes if not properly filled. 

Kurt’s background at Green Thumb Industries highlighted this challenge, leading him to establish a cannabis onboarding program. Training over 700 salaried employees, he realized that training was not just about compliance, but building a skill-focused culture within the organization.

Building a Centralized Learning Hub

Seed Talent aims to create a central hub for federal and state compliance training, corporate onboarding, brand training from top providers, cannabis foundations essentials, and so much more! By offering consistent onboarding and training experiences, businesses can ensure their staff’s skills are standardized across the workforce.

One of the key takeaways from Seed Talent’s approach is the focus on building a culture of learning and development. Training should not be passive; it should be an active and ongoing process with a seat at the table. The platform is designed to centralize all training materials, making it easy for employees to access content. Mobile-friendly access ensures that employees can engage with training materials on the go, promoting flexibility in learning. Plus, an intuitive dashboard helps managers and community leaders offer highly valuable learning pathways to their employees, as well as track their engagement.

Motivation’s Major Role in Retail Success

SparkPlug is a gamification platform that integrates directly with point-of-sale systems. It enables vendors and retailers to run specialized incentives that tap into the motivational aspect of employee behavior. These incentives can take various forms, including contests, team-based challenges, and manager-exclusive campaigns.

Transitioning from skills to willpower, Jake Levin introduces SparkPlug’s role in igniting motivation within cannabis industry teams. Motivated employees can be the driving force behind achieving organizational goals with the right structures in place.

Customizing Incentives for Success with Behavioral Insights 

SparkPlug’s success lies in its ability to understand employee behavior and tailor incentives accordingly. Whether your team thrives on competition or collaboration, SparkPlug allows you to choose the incentive style that aligns with your company culture. By linking incentives to training materials, you can boost motivation to complete courses. Employees are more likely to engage with training when they see a direct connection between their learning and potential rewards. 

Additionally, an essential aspect of any training or incentive program is measuring its impact and ROI. SparkPlug provides valuable insights into employee performance, helping businesses refine their strategies. With real-time data, you can adjust campaigns and track how they influence sales and overall team performance.

To avoid the race to the bottom in pricing, diversify your incentive campaigns. Vary their length and style to keep employees engaged and motivated throughout the year. It’s essential to find the right balance between incentives that boost performance and maintaining healthy margins. To top it all off – experiment with different commissions, leaderboards, and goals to find the right combination that resonates with your team!

Conclusion: Dial In Your Balancing Act

The importance of balancing the skill (learning component) with the will (motivational component) in your growth strategy cannot be overstated. By investing in employee enablement and engagement, businesses can elevate their teams to drive optimal success.

Through Seed Talent’s skill-focused approach and SparkPlug’s motivation-enhancing platform, organizations can foster a culture of continuous learning. These strategies not only reduce turnover but also enhance the customer experience and differentiate businesses in a competitive market.

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, staying ahead requires innovative approaches. With the right strategies in place, you can empower your employees to thrive, setting the stage for long-term success in this dynamic industry.

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