Written By Tony Gallo – Guest Writer
While almost every industry stresses their importance, diversity, and inclusion in cannabis security is vital to the enforcement of an effective security plan. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are not only beneficial to the employee, but also to the business and the surrounding community. Diversity produces more effective security, helps score points in certain state cannabis business applications, and helps a business be well-received by their community.
But diversity in cannabis security does not stop after hiring and maintaining diversity in any workplace requires an environment of inclusion. Creating a positive and inclusive employee experience ensures diverse professionals feel accepted and stay with the company.
More Effective Security Team
Diversity is especially important in the security sector because modern businesses face a multitude of varying and evolving risks. A diverse security team is better equipped to protect against these risks because members are able to pull from different backgrounds and utilize their individual perspectives. As the risks faced by cannabis businesses become more diverse, so must the security teams tasked with defending against them.
A strong security team that can protect against diversion, theft, and loss is vital to any successful cannabis business. Diversion can occur in many forms, so it is important to instill a diverse security team capable of countering increasingly creative criminals. A diverse security team is not only able to pull from unique experiences to prevent diversion but may also use this experience to respond to crimes in progress too.
In places like the City of Los Angeles, regulators have opted to establish “social equity programs” that reward diversity in cannabis businesses. Recently, Illinois incentivized diversity during the application process and social equity applicants could earn an additional 50 points, or 20% of the total application score.
In competitive markets where only a few cannabis businesses are allowed to open, earning every possible point in the application process is crucial. Choosing to prioritize social equity points in the application process could be the difference in a cannabis business obtaining a license.
Reception within the Community
Cannabis businesses that promote diversity and inclusion may also be better received by their communities. Research shows that “61% of shoppers prefer organizations with a solid position on diversity and inclusion.” This shows that people value companies that promote policies, programs, or attitudes that support diversity among their employees. For a cannabis business, putting policies in place that encourage diversity and inclusion could be a way to establish a good reputation in the minds of shoppers and the community.
Cannabis businesses that prioritize diversity and inclusion may also be better received by prospective employees. One poll conducted by LP Magazine shows that 90% of people believe that diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important. Cannabis companies may have an easier time securing and maintaining staff when they can guarantee a diverse and inclusive environment for their employees.
Environment of Inclusion
Although hiring a diverse team is a start, ensuring these professionals stay requires an environment of inclusion. Cannabis companies should ensure security team members know their lives are more important than things that can be replaced, like cannabis or cash, and that they feel comfortable sharing their opinions.
Individuals that feel included are more engaged in the workplace, more efficient employees, and more equipped to come up with creative solutions to on-the-job problems. Ensuring a positive, inclusive experience for a diverse group of professionals not only benefits the employees but betters the business overall.