In Canada, new mothers are entitled to 17 weeks maternity leave and up to 35 weeks parental leave (Canadian government has plans to extend leave up to an optional 61 weeks of parental leave at a lower rate). Mothers who do not take maternity leave and all other new parents are entitled to up to 37 weeks parental leave. Employees on leave have the right to continue participation in certain benefit plans, continue credit for length of employment, service and seniority. In most cases, employee must be given their old job back at the end of pregnancy or parental leave.
This is a significant amount of time to be away from the workplace, and not without its challenges. Here are some tips for parents returning to work after pregnancy and/or parental leave:
Your employees are your organization’s most valuable assets. Helping them stay healthy keeps your organization healthy—with reduced absenteeism due to illness, and increased productivity due to better health. Promoting workplace wellness and implementing workplace wellness programs is one of best investments you can make as an employer.
According to the Agribusiness HR Review, wellness programs were among the 6th most commonly offered benefits for agribusiness employers. There are many ways that you can support work-life balance in your workplace – even with a limited budget. Start by finding out from your employees what wellness programs would support their work-life balance. Then back up your wellness program with policies, encourage employees to make use of your workplace wellness programs and affirm that tapping into these options will not negatively affect their employment with you.
Flared jeans aren’t the only thing out of style, time off plans and vacation policy are trending in a different direction as well. There is no denying that the manner in which we work has changed over the years, and it would only make sense that time off plans would evolve as well. It seems that more companies are transitioning from traditional leave plan that segment sick and vacation leave, to a paid time off plan that is designed to have one “bucket” of time off. Along with a new plan, employers are upping the ante with additional time off. In a time when most employees find it difficult to maintain a work-life balance, being able to offer employees a generous amount of time off is a perk that gets most employees’ attention.
According to The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 by the World Economic Forum, there remains a wide gap between women and men in economic participation and opportunity. When we look at the overall Global Gender Gap Index, Canada was ranked #35, while the United States was only #45. The U.S. ranking dropped due to the decrease in economic participation and opportunity score, with a sizeable gap in estimated earned income.
The Global Gender Gap Report notes the positive effect of increasing gender parity on economic growth – “Making full use of women’s capabilities paves the way to optimizing a nation’s human capital potential.” (p. 27)
In the AgCareers.com Gender Roles and Equality in Agribusiness Survey, women were asked if they felt they would be given more advancement opportunities if they were male. The majority, 72% felt they would be. So, are women content where they are at or do they want to pursue advancement?
No one likes to waste time. Time is precious. Whether you are recruiting talent for an opening within your company or you are the talent looking to make a career move, the more information you can gather about an applicant or a job opening, the more efficient you can be in accomplishing your goal. This is why it is more important than ever to include at least a range for the Salary field on a job posting. It boils down to attracting the right talent for the right role.
Put yourself in the place of today’s candidate. The resources available to search for a new job can be overwhelming, and companies don’t always follow the same rules about job titles and responsibilities. You see a role that seems to be a solid fit for your skill set, only to go through the whole apply process and find out that the level of the role wasn’t at all what you perceived. Does this sound familiar? Let’s face it: your current salary and expectations are always a factor as you consider a change. Many companies choose not to share any information around salary on the job posting, but that is a crucial piece of information for top talent. Even including just a broad range depending on experience would be helpful to a job seeker. That way, a recruiter doesn’t waste time with overqualified candidates, and the job seeker doesn’t waste time applying to something that isn’t a match for his/her salary expectations.
In a factory/production setting, it may be pulling an extra shift for a co-worker or it could be you need that extra income by making overtime hours exceeding your normal work week.
The requirements can vary state to state, but typically overtime is calculated for non-exempt employees as time and one-half per hour as we all know. This would be defined as an employee working more than 40 hours in one work week, for the hours worked over 40 – the employer would pay the employee for those hours at a rate of time and one-half.
If an employer is paying overtime and the workload or final product of the employee is not being completed in a timely manner, or to employer’s standards – the issues within the workforce need to be identified. Employee hours worked vs. end product/sales results must be correlated accordingly.
Guest Blogger: Shannon Latham, Vice President of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds
Women are changing the ag landscape. They’re bringing new ideas to the workplace, whether their place of work is the home office or the board room. While women have varying needs and priorities depending on their stage of life, “flexibility” seems to be the one job perk that transcends the ages (as seen to the l from the left AgCareers.com “Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness” survey).
Flexibility was certainly key when I was a developing young professional. I was working full time at an advertising agency while pursuing my MBA in the evening. Honestly, I was overwhelmed. I was a newlywed, who had recently purchased her first home and started a new job. I felt additional stress when I was traveling for work or needed to help pitch new clients. I also was stressing about the amount of homework that needed to be done each week.
Thankfully, my boss was a great mentor. He had empathy and offered a solution by giving me permission to flex my work hours. That way I could finish my homework before coming into the office, so once I got to the office my attention wasn’t divided. I was able to focus 100% on my client work, and as a result, my billable hours actually went up! My productivity increased when I was working (writing) from home without any interruptions. I felt good about what I was accomplishing. When a person feels good about what she’s doing, she does a better job!
Performance rewards go a long way in building a positive relationship between employer and employee. Over 70% of ag companies have a structured performance system in place, according to AgCareers.com. This data recently released by AgCareers.com, in the annual Agribusiness HR Review, a survey that benchmarks human resource practices and trends among agricultural companies. Undoubtedly, agriculture identifies with the opportunity to support growth and achievement within the industry while creating value for the workforce that supports it.
Over 90% indicated staff performance was linked to rewards ensuring that employees must meet establish goals and objectives to be rewarded. In addition to staff performance, companies also used company performance, individual performance as basis for performance rewards. Additionally, team performance (42.17%) and business unit performance (33.73%) were also noteworthy factors, a new trend for companies aiming to support the efforts of collective groups of employees working toward a common goal.
The Christmas and New Year’s Holidays can be a great time for employers to sow seeds for spring harvest. Consider this – employee referrals consistently rank in the top 3 as effective sources of recruiting talent (might include link here to our HR Review). Senior Leadership within organizations should keep this in mind as Q4 comes to an end and do all they can to help their top talent end the calendar year motivated and in a positive frame of mind. Give your top talent something to talk about over the Holidays – especially if the organization plans to recruit new talent in the coming months. Below are a few ideas for business leaders to consider in exceeding staffs’ expectations:
It’s probably safe to say that traditional employee benefits such as retirement plans, healthcare/insurance, and vacation/holiday time have evolved to “expectations” – meaning that all prospective employees today expect standard benefit offerings. If you are an employer and you have competitive standard benefits, chances are you are always on the lookout for potential employee “perks” that could enhance your employer brand and employee loyalty. Below are some popular employee perks that are receiving high marks by talent today.