We’ve all been there, right? Every other week, there is a card passed around, everyone mumbles the “happy birthday” song, and there is a room of people asking only for a “small” slice of cake. Once the small slice is eaten, everyone jets back to their office. While celebrating office birthdays is a great time to relax with coworkers, they can also become incredibly mundane. Though not every office decides to celebrate birthdays, it is a great way to step away for a few minutes and celebrate. If your office does decide to celebrate birthdays, there are a few things to remember that can make everyone more comfortable and bring the celebration back to birthdays.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is the Ag & Food HR Roundtable. From the gathering of ideas and input of our Organizing Committee and then molding that into an agenda that will intrigue and provide solutions to the challenges our audience faces. To the meeting new people and making valuable connections for myself but also among the participants. Each step along the way is rewarding, knowing that this event provides a unique opportunity for human resource and university/college career services professionals within agriculture and food found nowhere else.
It is hard to believe that this will be the Roundtable’s fifteenth year. Yes, I know this ages me, but I’m lucky enough to say I’ve been a part of all but the first one! Plan to join us for a fun celebration of 15 years of success, August 1 – 3 in Kansas City, MO. Our Organizing Committee, yet again, has developed a great agenda and we have plenty of fun networking opportunities – can I say, Boulevard Brewery!!!
There have been a lot of changes in Western Canada over the last 3 years which have impacted recruitment and retention in the agriculture industry! It was not that long ago that there was a labour shortage in the western provinces, due in part to a thriving economy. There were more high-paying jobs than people and people were flocking to Alberta in droves from other provinces.
Fast forward a few years and oh how things have changed! Lower oil prices have halted/slowed oilsands production, putting many out of work, and driving unemployment. Many agriculture employers were initially optimistic that they would have more candidates, which initially did appear to be the case.
However, many employers have been hesitant to hire those from other industries, worried that as soon as the price of oil and gas rises, they will lose those employees and be back to square one. The reality is that there are now more jobseekers in western provinces, but are they the potential employees that agribusinesses want to hire?
This is one of the big challenges, and here are some tips and things to consider when trying to hire in western Canada:
Danielle Tucker joins AgCareers.com this summer as our Marketing Intern in Ames, Iowa. She is currently a student at Iowa State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a Master’s of Business Administration.
What will you be working on this summer with AgCareers.com?
I will be working on a few large projects including creating an Ag Major Profile section for the website and putting together reports for companies about what their interns experienced. Also, I will be doing some benchmarking analysis on AgCareers.com to see how well we are serving customer needs. I will be writing articles and blogs about multiple areas in the workplace. I look forward to helping with the Ag & Food HR Roundtable as well and experiencing it for the first time!
What are you most excited for about this internship?
I’m excited to gain experience in marketing! I recently headed a new direction in school by pursuing a MBA along with my Animal Science major so this internship will allow me to explore areas within the business industry while still being involved in agriculture.
AgCareers.com celebrates and promotes the active hiring among our clients of military veterans and professionals. The practice of actively recruiting and hiring veterans to work in agriculture has become more popular in recent years, but recent findings show that military veterans do not always feel welcomed into the agricultural industry, leading some employers to wonder how they can make their workplace more military friendly. Here are a few suggestions to create a more military friendly work environment for veteran employees:
Guest Blogger: Becky Wilcox
One of the best things a manager can do is to surround himself or herself with people who make the business better. The employees you hire can make you or break you.
Nobody is good at everything, so in the case of a manager, a good criterion to consider in hiring people is to bring in personnel who compensate for your shortcomings. They can complement your best features in a way that makes both of you more effective.
Technology is often one of the areas where senior staff find themselves lacking. After 15 or 20 years in management, it can be easy to find yourself behind the times on information technology. Yet the business goes right on demanding it, providing profit and growth when the right tech tools are implemented.
AgCareers.com recently gathered a group of agribusiness HR leaders in Indianapolis, Indiana to discuss current challenges in talent acquisition. A nice mix of companies were represented, and the organizations varied in size, which contributed to well-rounded conversation (JBS United, Equipment Technologies, Tom Farms, Dow AgroSciences, Total Seed Production, Inc., Elanco, and Beck’s Hybrids). Despite the difference in size of company and the nature of their businesses, the group seemed to echo similar challenges.
Talent Attraction emerged as a key discussion theme, as we began exploring challenges as a group. The group indicated four areas of importance to focus on when examining talent attraction strategies.
AFA asks questions. We genuinely value curiosity and learning. Our current question is this:
Let me explain. Almost a year ago AFA launched the Leader Fellowship™ experience which partners a young person and a coach. Part of the relationship is geared toward direct mentoring and part of the relationship is geared toward direct coaching. These are very different skills, and as we have developed, we have had to think through models that serve both needs.
Mentoring tends to be directionally-based: “Do this.” It is position-led and can look a lot like good supervision. It is performance oriented, and the mentor tends to be viewed as a role model. It sounds like “Try these things to solve your problem.”
AgCareers.com is anxiously awaiting and preparing for the 2017 Ag & Food HR Roundtable in Kansas City, Missouri! This year’s event takes place from August 1-3 and, as always, is chock-full of exciting sessions with a broad range of topics. Not sure if you’d like to attend? Longtime Roundtable attendee Tina Dorner with CHS, Inc. may persuade you with her answers to these questions regarding the 2017 Roundtable:
What keeps you returning to the Roundtable each year?
Each year the roundtable topics are current and relevant to the agriculture industry. It’s an opportunity for me to learn from the presenters and to network with other HR and educational professionals in agriculture.
Whomp whomp whomp. Do you ever just feel like you hear that in your head when you approach the desk of a particular employee? A Debbie Downer can come in many different forms: the complainer, the constantly depressed, the sluggish and unmotivated, or the unhopeful. All of the above can be quite draining and detrimental and take a toll on workplace morale. Here are a few tips on how to engage and call that negativity to attention:
Don’t Ignore Them. Typically, office downers might have something on their mind they probably want to share but are instead letting their body language, expressions, and maybe not-so-subtle words speak for themselves. Ignoring this behavior and brushing it off only adds tension. Talk to them about what’s up. Confront it rather than letting it build and cause rifts.