In today’s world, the power of diversity is no secret. Small businesses may wonder what’s in it for them and how they can use diversity to propel their business. Companies that excel in diversity and inclusion are more likely overall to succeed as a company. In addition, companies that have a greater ability to attract and utilize a diverse employee base are able to bring different ideas to the table, approach a problem from a different standpoint, and connect with a wider customer base. Also, business that leverage their employees’ diverse backgrounds can in turn garner greater respect from employees and customers as well.
One of the best benefits of any home-based businesses is being your own boss, controlling your schedule and being close to family throughout the day. It’s both convenient and efficient. This is especially true for farmers and anyone invested in agriculture. While there are many benefits for starting any type of home business, there are also a few drawbacks that you might worry about. You may feel overwhelmed by the monumental task in front of you, and concerns about not knowing every single detail might hold you back. This is especially true for a small agricultural home business. There are so many things to prepare that you might not know where to even begin. Luckily, if you break it down into several steps, it becomes much easier.
It has happened – you’ve made the jump and are now managing people! But wait, what do you do? How do you handle transitioning from peer to boss? Are you prepared for this promotion? The quote, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers,” definitely has some truth to it – not solely, but some. No pressure! Becoming an effective manager takes training, time, and quite frankly practice. In today’s workplace you’ll be hit with all sorts of scenarios, from work related issues to personal challenges that creep into the workplace. And, something that I still am getting used to, is the time needed to give it its due consideration.
AgCareers.com is holding a Leadership Enhancement Development Course in Ames, IA, June 5 – 6. We’ll talk about a lot of ways to become an effective manager. This is a great workshop for those new to managing or for those that need a little fine-tuning to their efforts. This is limited due to the interactive nature, so if you have interest, please sign up early.
Here is a sneak peek and a few of my keys to strengthening your managing skills:
We hear a lot about women in ag. There’s everything from Facebook groups, conferences, t-shirts and television shows promoting this demographic. Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor has weighed in on the subject, reporting that women are substantially underrepresented in the agriculture industry.
A 2015 survey conducted by AgCareers.com reinforced the Bureau’s findings, as well as uncovered additional perceptions and realities as they apply to women in agribusiness. 79% of women in ag surveyed felt there was gender inequality in agribusiness. Half of women surveyed said they had experienced blunt sexism or discrimination based on their gender in the workplace. These responses make it clear that employers have a lot of work to do to ensure women are represented and valued in the workplace.
An encouraging data point from the survey was that 80% of both men and women felt that the attitude toward women in agribusiness had changed for the better in the past decade. Add to this the fact that several colleges of agriculture are seeing the scales tip in their student demographics, enrolling more females than males in their undergraduate programs.
Hiring great talent that truly fits within your organization isn’t easy, and the hiring process can be rather extensive. In fact, competition for talent is the top challenge in recruiting new grads in our industry, per AgCareers.com’s 2018 Intern and New Grad Hiring & Compensation Report. We may go through a lot of effort to “woo” top candidates, and it’s tempting to say our job is done once they accept the offer, but it’s crucial to ensure your new hire is still on the priority list once they arrive. So how do we stay close to the onboarding process and motivate our new hire to succeed in the organization? I’ve included six suggestions below to consider.
Utilize the time between offer acceptance and your new hire’s first day. Send a packet of local area brochures and important contacts if they are relocating. Ensure they have a main point of contact at your company they can depend on as they tie up loose ends at their current job and prepare to start from scratch with your organization. Arming them with information to help them through the transition can give them assurance they made the right decision, and clear the way for excitement about getting started.
Whether it’s heavy traffic on your drive to work, down time in an airport or the train ride home, a commute can be draining. Reportedly the average travel time to work in the United States is 25 minutes. Apply this to a five-day work week driving back and forth, that’s over four hours spent in your car. Factor in long flights and airport delays and you spend a considerable amount of time each month just trying to get somewhere so you can do your job!
The good news is this doesn’t have to be wasted time or a miserable experience! Here are some tips on how to commute like a boss.
• Utilize the time to learn something new. Search for podcasts that interest you and can benefit your professionally. I’ve already put together a list of my favorites here. Have a book you haven’t had the time to read yet? Download the audiobook version and start listening!
Guest Blog Post by young talent expert Amy Crippen, Agriculture Future of America (AFA), Leader Fellowship
There is an old saying that goes, “It’s not enough to find your purpose. The real achievement is in helping others find theirs.” I never could attribute the wisdom to a single speaker, but the advice remains sage. For those of us in the talent development business, we know helping others find their purpose is the most rewarding.
Think of the moments when you have given someone real time to sort through their thoughts and feelings, and they come away with a nugget. What about identifying someone’s strengths they’ve never noticed in themselves before? How about when you’ve helped someone figure out they are in the wrong role?
These moments all happen within the business of mentoring and coaching. What has always been true is the time requirement to build the relationship, but there are a lot of other factors that play into mentoring and coaching as well. Do you give feedback in a way that builds a person up? Are you strength-based by nature? Do you keep conversations solution-focused? Are you viewing time with them as a gift and opportunity?
Our world at work is changing, and more people are working remotely than ever before. AgCareers.com has been no exception in embracing this trend, and we’ve grown to include more offsite employees in recent years. If I reflect on my own personal experiences, I would say managing remote team members is probably one of the hardest aspects of my role. This has nothing to do with the people who are offsite. It has everything to do with the level of intentionality required to successfully create a winning environment…and the journey is never really over in that regard.
We have to strive to keep learning from experiences, and continuously manage expectations from both perspectives. It’s very important to consider individual personalities and work styles. I’ve asked for feedback from remote team members here at AgCareers.com in order to compile three quick tips to keep in mind when you have a remote team.
According to agribusinesses surveyed in the recent AgCareers.com Intern & New Grad Report, we’re approaching one of the busiest months (March) for filling and completing new graduate job offers. Meanwhile, there is increasing demand among employers for sales and production roles, the most hired categories for new graduates. This competition for talent necessitates that employers create compelling job offers for new grad hires.
College students are becoming savvier at analyzing and negotiating job offers. More than half of U.S. employers responding to our survey said they could offer sign-on bonuses to new graduate hires to entice them to accept the offer.
A lunch interview is a common portion of the interview process. Often, a lunch interview is an opportunity to have a more casual conversation with a candidate over a meal while still getting to know them as a person and as a professional. Many employers even opt to do to the entire interview over lunch instead of in an office setting. Like all interviewing methods, a lunch interview has unique advantages. Check out this list of reasons to do a lunch interview.
It presents an opportunity to meet with a candidate on a more personal level.
Formal in-office interviews are typically more tense situations for candidates. A lunch interview, while it should still be taken as a formal interview, also invites the candidate to relax a bit more and be themselves. While they should still show a certain amount of nervousness, as it shows they are taking this seriously, it allows for more openness and casual conversation over a meal. Once the questions do start rolling, the candidate has been given an opportunity to ease into getting to know the interviewers as well. This type of interview also serves as a great indicator of emotional intelligence. How easily is conversation flowing? Do you feel like connections are being made? Are they able to laugh a little?