competitive compensationWhat’s your compensation philosophy? What about your compensation strategy? How are you going to compete with companies for that sought-after talent? Or are you worried about competing at all? We all know that a competitive compensation strategy can help you retain better talent. Taking a look at your current compensation plan and understanding how it stacks up to other organizations can help identify where you are or aren’t effectively competing for talent.

 

According to the recent 2018 Agribusiness HR Review, 42.59% of Canadian participants compete with other employers by offering higher compensation and 44.05% of US participants noted the same. There are certainly companies doing due diligence to determine their competitiveness within the market. Companies that have recently completed a compensation study may be able to better determine if their pay practices are in line with their compensation strategy. A little over half (53.57%) of participants have conducted a compensation study within the past year in the US and 44.45% of participants in Canada also completed a compensation study within the past year according to the 2018 Agribusiness HR Review. Within that same survey, it was noted that in the US, 95.04% of companies increased salaries during the past 12 months and of those that received an increase, the predominant average increase received by employees during 2017-2018 was 2.6% to 3.0%, (26.19%). This data continues to affirm that companies are increasing wages across the agriculture industry, making it even more important to remain competitive for quality talent.


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Published on November 8th, 2018

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hr certificationBenjamin Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” I know this to be true because my grandmother supported this by instilling in me that education is the one thing someone can never take from you. An HR Certification, will challenge you to learn more about the HR field and reinforce many principles you may already know. Once you’ve completed the certification it will signal to employers and colleagues that you are well versed in HR competencies. Think of it as a good housekeeping seal of approval on your resume!

 

As a first step to determining if a HR Certification is for you, it is worthwhile to identify where you are in your career path and where you would like to go. With that in mind, identify which certification makes the most sense for you to pursue. It is a good idea to meet with your manager, cover career goals, and your interest in a certification. Your manager may offer support as you purse an HR Certification and there also might be a chance that your company will support your efforts financially as well.


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Published on October 11th, 2018

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401(k) matchingI would say that the 401(k) match really doesn’t get enough attention these days. So often it is easy to get stuck on the annual salary, but there is so much more to compensation than just the base salary. While an employer matching program is not required for the employer to provide, many employees and employers alike benefit from the program. Before getting into why a 401(k) match is a good idea, it important to understand what exactly a match rate is.
 
An employer will match up to a certain percentage of an employee’s contributions to their 401(k). For example, an employer may match 100% of the first 5% that an employee contributes. This means if you contribute 10%, they will match 5% and if you contribute 3%, they will only match 3%. In this case, if you only contributed 3%, you would be leaving 2% on the table. Of course, you’ll have to contribute more, but there goes the free money out the window if you don’t! If your employer offers a 401(k), be sure to research their vesting schedule and matching rate. A vesting schedule will determine the percentage of ownership you as an employee have over said matched funds based off years of employment.


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Published on September 28th, 2018

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exit interviewAn employee will leave a company for a wide number of reasons, but what are those reasons? Is there a rumor that employees leave your company for the competitor down the street for more money, when in fact they just feel underappreciated? How will you know the difference if you don’t ask, and more importantly, how will you fix what you don’t know? The answer: conduct an exit interview

 

The only way to ensure good talent doesn’t leave is to actively fix the issues that are causing employees to walk out the door. It is easy to blame employee turnover on speculation, such as they didn’t seem to get along well with others, or they didn’t seem to really like their position. The real issue could be the employee had little to no training and didn’t understand the essentials of their position. Once the real reasons of turnover have been determined, management and human resources should work together to ensure issues are remediated. What’s the point in learning about a problem if it isn’t fixed? Taking the time to sit with employees and discuss their employment experience can be fruitful for both the manager and employee. The list below describes just some of the reasons exit interviews are so important.

 

1. What does your company do well? Good data about your company walks out the door once the employee leaves. Maybe there is a manager that excels at developing employees or the flexible scheduling is what most employees love about your company. These are good tidbits you might already have wind of but, having concrete data that shows employees love them is important to have. Good data also walks out the door once the employee leaves.

 

2. Last chance to make a good impression. While there are occasions that an employee may leave due to no fault of the company, if an employee is disgruntled, the exit interview may be the last opportunity to hear out and smooth out any issues. A dissatisfied employee may have no issue telling their neighborhood about ABC Company’s crass managers, for example. In turn, bad publicity may deter others from applying for open positions, thus prolonging any recruiting pains.


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Published on May 22nd, 2018

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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.


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Published on April 19th, 2018

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competitive compensationIt seems that the world of recruiting is growing increasingly competitive. Because of this more competitive environment, employers are finding themselves in a constant race to up the ante to attract and retain employees. Preliminary results of the 2017-2018 Agribusiness HR Review found that attracting and retaining talent is the current top concern of human resource professionals. The top two methods for combating the ever-increasingly competitive recruiting world is by offering better benefits and higher compensation. Competition for talent means more than offering a bigger paycheck and ice cream on Fridays. In the compensation and benefits arena, employees are interested in a total package of salary and benefits that reward them for the job done, incentivize them to do more, and are offered a solid benefits package.

 

Other insights provided from the HR Review noted that the most common months for reviewing salaries are January and December and increases are commonly implemented in January. As it is already October, now makes the perfect time to start planning how your company plans to compete for today’s talent. Of course, before determining what you will offer, it is important to take closer look at your compensation strategy, or develop one if you haven’t already. Determining what and why you will offer a certain compensation and benefits plan is essential to successful execution. In addition, knowing which benefits and compensation tactics excite your employees can make the difference between a successful compensation and benefits program and an unsuccessful one.


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Published on October 20th, 2017

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employee drug testing marijuanaDo a simple internet search of “marijuana and the workplace” and you’ll likely find differing advice for each given year and state. Staying up to date on the latest news regarding marijuana in the workplace is a daunting task for any employer. As if the amount of information isn’t overwhelming enough, many sites offer conflicting information, making the task even more discouraging. What’s an employer to do when a once very black and white issue now seems so gray?

 

What to Do: Marijuana & Drug Testing

 

1. Check with your legal counsel. To ensure correct application of laws surrounding marijuana in the workplace, always consult with your legal counsel. As each state is different, your legal counsel will be able to give you the most relevant and up to date information.
 


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Published on August 24th, 2017

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birthdays in the officeWe’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.
 


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Published on June 20th, 2017

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talent acquisition assessmentTalent acquisition is generally one of the first areas of an organization that a perspective employee will meet, and an area that will have an ever-lasting impact on the organization. After all, a company is only as good as its employees, right? Assessing the talent acquisition function is a process that may take time, but the outcome is sure to provide a clear picture of the state of affairs and determine the likelihood that the function and organization will succeed.

 

A highly effective talent acquisition function starts with a well-planned talent acquisition strategy that is aligned with the overall strategic mission and vision of the organization. In addition, a sound talent acquisition strategy will thoughtfully lay out how the function will help the company achieve its overall mission. While for some companies the exercise of creating a talent acquisition strategy can seem arduous, especially during the day-to-day operations of most HR functions, it is sure to pay off in the end.


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Published on April 18th, 2017

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update your vacation policyFlared 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.


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Published on March 14th, 2017

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