Hanging On To Talent

EmployeesIt is a cliché, but also very true: A crop inputs business is only as good its team of employees. And having a great team means hiring great employees — and then keeping them dedicated and productive. We know that some turnover is a given; indeed, you periodically want some new faces and the energy they bring. But many managers know too well the sickening feeling that comes when a valued employee walks out the door.

Let’s review some of the keys to hanging on to your talent.

Recruit The Right Employees

Retaining your key employees starts with hiring the right individuals. Simply put, you won’t keep an employee who from the beginning didn’t understand their place in the organization, or the nature of the work. Your interview process must provide a prospective candidate an unfiltered, up-close examination of the duties he or she will perform if hired by your firm and an honest evaluation of the firm culture, as well as their relationship to management.

Compensation, needless to say, is an important factor in employee retention. Does this mean that if you can’t pay top dollar you won’t keep people? No. But, it does mean the further you are “out of the market” (and we mean all forms of compensation, including benefits), the more challenging retention will be.

Competitive Compensation and Benefits

Compensation, needless to say, is an important factor in employee retention. Does this mean that if you can’t pay top dollar you won’t keep people? No. But it does mean the further you are “out of the market” (and we mean all forms of compensation, including benefits), the more challenging retention will be.

Balance And Flexibility

Many managers believe the main factor affecting employee retention is compensation. While important, compensation is typically not the most important factor. Research has shown that many employees value a balanced lifestyle over a higher salary. (We know: “balance” in the retail crop input business?!) But think: some employees have family obligations, such as elder relatives or children in school. These employees will value an employer who provides a flexible work environment. But don’t kid yourself — make sure the “flexibility” you can offer has value to your employees.

Challenge And Empowerment

Today’s top employees are more entrepreneurial than ever before. Employees in general are expecting more independence and will resent micromanagement. An employee who feels empowered will take ownership for a project — and is more likely to stay. Regularly investing in training also sends strong signals to an employee about their value to the firm.

Open Lines Of Communication

Employees place a high value on a professional environment which is friendly and provides for open communication. Employees feel more empowered in their positions if they know their opinions and ideas will be heard and taken seriously. A recent study found that 50% of employees’ job satisfaction can be related to an employee’s relationship with his/her manager. So why would an employee want to work for you?
A simple and cost-effective method to reducing turnover is the use of rewards and recognition. Employees who are recognized for their accomplishments are more likely to be happy with the company and satisfied with their work. Recognition can range in various levels of formality. A special day set aside for employees, or a day off after the completion of a difficult project can convey your appreciation to employees. Don’t forget the power of a simple thank you for a job well done.

Rewards and Recognition

A simple and cost-effective method to reducing turnover is the use of rewards and recognition. Employees who are recognized for their accomplishments are more likely to be happy with the company and satisfied with their work. Recognition can range in various levels of formality. A special day set aside for employees, or a day off after the completion of a difficult project can convey your appreciation to employees. Don’t forget get the power of a simple thank you for a job well done.

Dealing With Employees Who May Consider Leaving

One consultant found that on average two of five employees are actively considering leaving their firm within 12 months at any point in time. It is important for you to identify employees who appear dissatisfied. Look for a reduction in productivity such as an increase in the number of sick days, tardiness, and errors. Speed is of the essence when dealing with employees who are considering leaving, if they are important to your firm. One author suggests identifying factors which previously motivated the employee to succeed and seeing if one of those factors is currently missing.

Conduct Exit Interview

Exit interviews can also yield information which can be used to improve employee retention. Employees who are leaving the firm are likely to be honest about what they view as the firm’s people management strengths and weaknesses. They can also help identify what will be effective at keeping current employees around.

Upshot

Some have characterized today’s labor market as a “War for Talent.” It is. However, the crop input retailer who understands that keeping great people is vital and develops a multi-layered strategy for winning that war is far more likely to create a work environment where people want to be.

Leave a Reply

Employees Stories
EmployeesAsmark Institute Dedicates New Training Center To Ford West
August 6, 2014
The Asmark Institute plans to recognize the retired industry leader's years of service to the fertilizer industry at the new state-of-the-art facility in Owensboro, KY. Read More
EmployeesSyngenta: ‘Take Charge’ Of Farm Safety
June 4, 2014
Syngenta and health officials warn of four health-related challenges in agriculture and how they can be managed. Read More
EmployeesHead Start Program Prepares The Next Generation Of Ag Retailers
April 7, 2014
Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, in partnership with the Asmark Institute, are offering the Head Start Program to prepare students for work at ag retail facilities. Read More
EmployeesThree Keys To Employee Success
March 3, 2014
Increasing employee performance becomes much easier when managers follow these three simple things. Read More
Top 100 Articles
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Latest News
Measuring Bulk Tanks
ManagementBulk Pesticide Compliance: Top 10 Areas Of Improvement …
July 1, 2015
  In honor of the 33-year run of David Letterman’s Late Show, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is happy Read More
Industry NewsArysta North America Hires Midwest Sales Manager
July 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the hiring of Brian Battles as the Senior Technical Sales Manager for the Midwest Read More
Farmer on tablet
Eric SfiligojThe Never-Ending Battle Against Modern Agriculture
July 1, 2015
In the world of comic books, the character of Superman often refers to the fight to save the world as Read More
Retail FacilitiesBuilding Up Ag Retail
July 1, 2015
In the oftentimes unpredictable world we live in, it’s nice to know some things can be reliably countered on to Read More
Retail FacilitiesMaple River Grain And Agronomy Phases In Site Developme…
July 1, 2015
Marcus Construction helped Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, ND, with the design-build of its dry fertilizer, liquid chemical/seed Read More
Retail FacilitiesA&B Welding Builds A New Liquid Terminal Hub For Br…
July 1, 2015
To build its new hub facility, Briggs Crop Nutrients enlisted the help of A&B Welding. The result, an efficient facility Read More
Edon Farmers Co-op
Retail FacilitiesNew Marcus Facility At Edon Farmers Co-op Provides More…
July 1, 2015
Edon Farmers Co-Op in Edon, OH, needed a new facility to consolidate outdated locations. Marcus Construction was able to design Read More
Retail FacilitiesKinder Morgan Expands Its Storage With A New Dome Barre…
July 1, 2015
Kinder Morgan wanted additional covered storage at its Dakota Bulk Terminal on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. With Read More
Retail FacilitiesHeartland Tank Protects Fertilizer From Extreme Cold At…
July 1, 2015
The Arthur Companies in Harvey, ND, enlisted the help of Heartland Tank Companies to develop a new liquid fertilizer facility Read More
The McGregor Co. fertilizer loadout
Retail FacilitiesThe McGregor Co. Partners With Kahler Automation To Cre…
June 30, 2015
Kahler Automation helped The McGregor Co. expand its Clarkston, WA, operation with unstaffed loadout technology that enables customers to pick Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Helps CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative Build…
June 30, 2015
CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative in Mooreton, ND, wanted a liquid/dry blender system that could meet the needs of its customers Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes, United Suppliers To Merge Crop Inpu…
June 29, 2015
Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, IA, today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Read More
FungicidesHelena To Distribute Unique Summit Agro Fungicide
June 29, 2015
RANMAN 400 SC fungicide, the only fungicide with a FRAC group 21 designation, is now part of the innovative Summit Read More
Eric SfiligojIARC Targets 2,4-D In Latest Report
June 29, 2015
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has struck again. Earlier this year in March, this agency of the Read More
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Ma…
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
EquipmentCase IH Launches New Precision Air 5 Series Carts
June 29, 2015
Case IH recently introduced its new Precision Air 5 series air carts, developed to get the most from every plant’s Read More
InsecticidesVestaron Biopesticide Approved In California
June 29, 2015
Vestaron Corporation, a developer of insect control products derived from naturally occurring peptides, today announced that its VST-006330-EP biopesticide has received Read More
InsecticidesValent’s Zeal SC Miticide Receives EPA Approval
June 29, 2015
Valent U.S.A. Corporation announced today that Zeal SC Miticide has been registered by EPA with a new liquid formulation that Read More