Greatest Practices for Coaching New Hires and Documenting Operations

Food processing and sanitation


Let’s simply say it. There may be an plain chaos within the cannabis business. It doesn’t matter in the event you’re a giant or small operator, it’s possible that you simply don’t have a documented system for creating and managing ever-changing SOPs or for constantly coaching all staff on probably the most present variations of these SOPs. This chaos is usually the results of fast progress, mergers and acquisitions, and the ever-present turnover in our business. When division management adjustments, and it typically does, established insurance policies and procedures are sometimes left behind. In some instances, this can be a optimistic signal of progress. As an organization outgrows SOPs and because it develops extra subtle methods to domesticate, extract, course of, manufacture, package deal and promote cannabis and cannabis merchandise, inevitably, the previous methods of doing enterprise should be changed. For these operators who’ve prioritized operational excellence, whether or not they wish to place their firm for brand new funding, merger or acquisition, or simply wish to create a constant and standardized, branded product, it’s important to get management of SOPs, coaching and documentation.

Food processing and sanitation
By standardizing and documenting security procedures, producers mitigate the chance of cannabis-specific issues

As with most huge objectives, to acquire operational excellence, you have to break the aim into manageable steps. Assuming you may have accessible high quality insurance policies and procedures in place, correctly coaching staff after they first begin work and on an ongoing foundation as insurance policies and procedures change is the primary key to profitable operations. When staff know how you can do their job and perceive what is predicted of them, they’re positioned for achievement. When staff are profitable, it follows that the corporate may even achieve success. Documenting operations is a second essential step in acquiring operational excellence. Whereas coaching and documentation look like totally different, in best-practice organizations, they’re inextricably linked.

One Set of SOPs

These of us who’ve been within the cannabis business for some time have skilled firsthand or heard tales of facility workers working off of two units of SOPs. There’s the set of SOPs which might be printed or digitally obtainable for the regulators, let’s name them the “ideally suited” set, after which there are the SOPs that truly get carried out on a day-to-day foundation. Whereas that is frequent, it’s dangerous and undermines the inspiration of operational excellence. Workers typically know there are two units of SOPs. Whether or not they specific it or not, many are uncomfortable with the intentional or unintentional deception. When regulators arrive, will they should bend the reality and even lie about day by day operations? Taking the time to determine and implement one set of accepted SOPs that’s compliant with each exterior rules and inner requirements is nice for worker morale, productiveness and finally, income.

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What’s one of the simplest ways to get management of a facility’s SOPs? Once more, break it into manageable steps:

  • First, job somebody with reviewing all SOPs which might be floating round. Decide if any are non-compliant, which of them should be tossed and which of them should be revised in order that they work for the corporate in addition to exterior regulatory authorities.
  • At a minimal, set up a two-person staff to draft, assessment, publish and distribute the ultimate SOPs. Be sure that a minimum of one member of the staff has administration degree authority. Assign that worker the duty of reviewing the SOPs earlier than “publication” and distribution.
  • Archive, delete, or truly throw away outdated or non-compliant SOPs
  • Revise or create new best-practice SOPs which might be in compliance with exterior rules and inner requirements
  • Set up a system to replace SOPs when exterior rules and inner requirements change
  • Use a naming conference that distinguishes draft SOPs from ultimate SOPs, for instance, “Publish-Harvest Process, FINAL”
  • Inform staff that they are going to be retrained on the brand new SOPs and that accepted SOPs will at all times have the phrase “Last” within the title
  • Retailer the ultimate SOPs in an simply accessible location and provides staff entry, not solely throughout coaching, however on an ongoing foundation

Centralized Repository for Last SOPs

Storing ultimate, accepted SOPs in a single simply accessible, centralized location and giving staff entry sounds easy, however once more, that is the cannabis business, so this typically doesn’t occur. Many people have or are presently working for a corporation that shops SOPs in a number of locations. Every division might have its personal approach of updating, disseminating and storing SOPs. Some SOPs are saved in a printed binder stuffed in a drawer or left on a backside shelf. Others are saved digitally. Some use each programs, which creates confusion. Who is aware of if the digital variations or the printed variations are probably the most present? Certainly somebody is aware of, however typically the front-line workers don’t.“When you’ve established a single set of compliant SOPs and have saved them in a single accessible location, it’s time to coach your staff.”

Establishing a centralized repository for ultimate, accepted SOPs is the inspiration of operational excellence. It lets staff know that operations are organized and managed, and it reassures regulatory authorities and exterior stakeholders—suppose insurers, bankers, traders—that the corporate prioritizes compliance and group. And exterior stakeholders who consider that a corporation is proactive and well-run are usually extra forgiving when the inevitable missteps happen. Corporations which might be organized, have efficient coaching programs, repeatedly conduct inner audits to establish potential points and take identifiable motion steps when essential to remediate points, obtain fewer deficiency notices, violations and fines than their much less organized rivals.

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Practice Workers

Many states require cannabis operators to supply a selected variety of coaching hours previous to an worker starting work, and a selected variety of persevering with and refresher coaching hours yearly. When you’ve established a single set of compliant SOPs and have saved them in a single accessible location, it’s time to coach your staff. To take action, set clear expectations and resolve who’s accountable for what. Is the HR supervisor accountable for preliminary onboarding and coaching? Are division managers accountable for ongoing and annual coaching? Create a coaching duty chart that works greatest on your firm; write it down and share with all stakeholders.

Documenting all key areas of operation on a recurring foundation will show you how to preserve observe of a big facility and workforce

The subsequent step is to determine how you can practice your staff. People have totally different studying kinds, so ideally, you’ll provide a number of methods for them to grasp the necessities of their place. Assign written supplies and if doable, connect quick movies exhibiting one of the simplest ways to finish a job. Comply with up with a quiz to find out comprehension and a dialog with a division lead or supervisor to reply questions and assessment the important thing take-aways. Ideally, the division supervisor or lead worker will work with the worker till they’re competent and cozy taking up new assigned duties and obligations.

Sum It Up 

Operational excellence begins with:

  • Data of and entry to present exterior guidelines and rules and inner requirements
  • One set of accepted and simply accessible insurance policies and SOPs that adjust to each exterior and inner requirements
  • An preliminary coaching system with clearly assigned roles, obligations, and objectives
  • An ongoing coaching system with clearly assigned roles, obligations, and objectives
  • Methods to:
    • Check data earlier than staff start unsupervised work
    • Keep up-to-date with all adjustments to exterior guidelines and rules and inner requirements
    • Management coverage and SOP revision course of
    • Inform all stakeholders when insurance policies and SOPs change
    • Check that staff perceive new requirements
    • Doc all key areas of operation on a recurring foundation
    • Deal with deficiencies and consider whether or not SOP revisions are warranted
    • Doc and implement crucial remediation when crucial
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For these of you rolling your eyes and considering you don’t have time for this, ask your self, “Are you able to afford to not?”

For these of you dedicated to operational excellence and doing what it takes to get there, congratulations on being a visionary chief. Your efforts pays dividends on your personal firm and can assist the cannabis business develop right into a well-respected, worthwhile business that improves lives.


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