Becoming A Destination Employer: Part 2

The concept of Destination Employer is a topic we briefly discussed in the November issue of CropLife magazine. In December, we had the opportunity to visit with many of the top retail agronomy organizations in the U.S. at the 2013 Agricultural Retailers Association convention in Miami, FL, to discuss this subject.

During the show, we held a breakout session to discuss the challenges we face as employers and the steps employers can take to become a true destination employer in the marketplace. Throughout the session, and during the trade show, we were able to survey attendees on many of the issues surrounding how they measure their organization with respect to several of the components we feel are necessary to call yourself a Destination Employer.

The survey was broken into six sections, each representing a component of Destination Employer:

  1. Hiring
  2. Retention
  3. Engagement
  4. Onboarding
  5. Recruiting
  6. Communication

The survey results revealed several key things of note. One of the most noticeable results was that nearly half (44%) of those surveyed believed that finding employees was their No. 1 problem. Additionally, a few respondents that I visited with afterwards mentioned that at the time it wasn’t their No. 1 problem, but finding and hiring people is consistently in the top two or three spots of issues they face.

Looking Past 100 Days

In questions surrounding the onboarding of employees, 82% of those surveyed said they do NOT have a start-up or onboarding program that extends past 100 days. This was very surprising to us, and it should be a significant concern to retailers if this represents the norm.

Within the first month of employment, most employees make a decision on how long their intent is to stay with an employer. Your ability to create a long-term employee will be based on your ability to provide them with the critical tools, resources and support throughout their first year of employment. Studies have proven that organizations that have onboarding programs that are less than three months have a significantly higher turnover rate than those with programs that are six to 12 months in length.

In the communication section of our workshop, we discussed the importance of giving supervisors the time they need to work with their staff. It’s not surprising that organizations that have structured themselves to enable supervisors to be able to meet with each of their employees at least once a week to discuss progress towards goals are not only more successful, but also have a much higher retention rate, and therefore, much lower employee turnover. When asked about the percentage of their company’s employees that have the opportunity to visit with their supervisor to discuss goals, 82% of respondents said that less than 50% of employees have that opportunity.

In The Destination Employer Club

And finally, when asked if becoming a Destination Employer was something they wanted their organization to work towards, 92% of those surveyed saw this as an important goal. Based on retailers response to our question about hiring being a major problem, we were very glad to see that they recognized the importance of shifting the way they approach hiring new employees and working with current employees in order to be competitive in the future.

Becoming a Destination Employer is not a silver bullet that guarantees success. Nor does it imply disaster for your organization if you choose not to incorporate these strategies into your processes.

However, what it can do, is improve the way both your current and future employees view your organization — and that’s always a good thing.

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