It seems that the list of HR policies is ever-growing. While some workplace policies are mandatory, some workplace policies can be put into places as the result of an added benefit offered to employees. If you are considering adding a new benefit that is “off the wall” in nature, there are a few fun options you might consider.
Flexible Working Hours Policy
A flexible working hours policy allows employees the creativity of deciding which hours within the day fits their schedule best. Often times, a flexible working hours policy will contain core hours in which the employee must be at work or working and allows them the flexibility of when they will complete the rest of their work week. This policy can be great for locations with longer commutes or high traffic areas, allowing employees to maximize their day.
What’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.
November is the most popular month for filling and completing internship offers in the agricultural industry. If your organization is going to hire the best talent, you better be finalizing your internship offers now!
They say it’s a job seeker’s marketplace, and data collected by AgCareers.com lends this idea to truth. We surveyed agricultural employers about their recruitment and hiring of students for the 2017-2018 Intern & New Grad Hiring and Compensation Report.
Even though the clear majority (73%) of ag organizations told us that intern pay rates were non-negotiable, interns have options – they’re often evaluating multiple internship offers. For those employers that have a bit of flexibility, they said they can negotiate intern pay rates based on some of the following criteria:
We’ll soon experience the change of seasons and celebrate Thanksgiving. As I write this Christmas is less than two months away! What will your employees tell their families about your company’s paid holidays policy? Will they be bragging about the time they have off or complaining about the ridiculous demands days spent away from family?
It should be no secret that adequate compensated holidays, aside from standard company allotted paid time off, motivates employees by giving them rest and time spent with family. Agricultural companies have a stereotype of being stringent and inflexible. Live animals and production environments often lend to this perception. Do you fall in this category? How does your organization compare to what others in the agricultural industry are offering their employees?
According to the AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review in the U.S. most ag employers participating in the survey, provide employees 6 paid holidays. Most companies provide somewhere between 6 and 10, a combined 79.20% of companies. Six paid holidays was the most frequently selected response (20.79%), followed by 10 (19.80%). Although, some companies provide as few as 5 paid holidays and some 11 or more.
I 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.
It 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.
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?