Maternity or paternity leave–one of the few things in life we can typically plan for! There’s ample warning, but it can easily sneak up on you. It would be great if everyone could work ahead and have everything under control, but that’s not reality and often impossible. When you, or your employees, expect to take this parental leave, don’t wait until the last few weeks to wrap things up. Planning ahead before leave ensures you cover responsibilities and jump-starts a successful return to work later. This planning impacts all players on the team but falls into the hands of the employee taking parental leave, and their manager.
The employee and manager should meet a few months ahead of the planned leave. Develop a list of all current tasks and brainstorm who is completing what during parental leave. The easiest way to visualize this is through a chart or spreadsheet that can be shared as a Parental Leave Plan with other employees. Break down tasks into ongoing responsibilities and special projects. List at least four columns, including:
Agriculture professionals from in and around the Kansas City area gathered on April 3, 2019 in Overland Park, Kansas to discuss their top talent acquisition challenges. The peer networking group was compromised of 23 representatives from 18 different companies of all sizes representing 16 different industry types. The diverse atmosphere and backgrounds made for a great conversation about the challenges each company faces daily when it comes to recruitment.
Among the numerous topics that were discussed in each group, 3 key issues rose to the top. Retention, Remote Locations & Transportation and Career Pathing. While some of the organizations participating differed in industry type, they could all relate with these topics.
It’s no surprise that this topic quickly rose to the top for each representative. As we talked through this issue, many suggestions were given, and experiences were shared. Several shared the use of their employee dashboards. These technologies allow employees to take training classes, set yearly goals and communicate with their manager or supervisor. Other specified technologies were also introduced that allow manufacturing training, job qualification and even interview training for supervisors.
Mentor programs were popular among the conversation as well. Pairing entry-level employees or interns with a long-time employee or supervisor kept retention rates at 92% for one company. These types of programs allow the new employee to adapt to the company culture and give them a sense of acceptance and belonging they may be looking for.
Gender equality in the workplace is a hot topic lately and one that should not be ignored. According to our Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness survey that was conducted in 2015, more than 70% of women felt outnumbered by men in agribusiness. The majority of women felt that there was gender inequality in the industry (79%), while only 47% of men felt there was gender inequality in agribusiness. Luckily, more than 80% of both genders felt that the attitude toward a woman working in agribusiness has changed for the better in the past ten years. While this is a large percentage, we still have work to do!
Being a woman in the workplace has never been simple. As females, we tend to have more to worry about how we are being portrayed by our peers and can easily be labeled, negative or otherwise. If we are too nice then we are a pushover but if we are too serious then we may be thought to be mean. We also tend to over-apologize for things that are not necessary and the list goes on! Although it has always been a challenge, we will continue to try to close the gap between genders in the workplace. In the meantime, here are a few tips to winning in the workplace as a woman.
Don’t Take It Personally
Constructive criticism is great for everyone but sometimes it is hard not to take it personally. Make sure that you are a good receiver of criticism because in the end, it only helps our personal development. We are often told we are being too “dramatic” or “emotional” if we are passionate about a certain topic or if we react a specific way. This can be frustrating so keeping a level head in every situation encountered is important.
AgCareers.com recently released the twelfth edition of the Agribusiness HR Review. This one-of-a-kind report documents a range of human resource best practices and emerging HR trends from agribusinesses across North America over the last twelve months.
Positive indicators of salary increases and job growth were evident throughout the reports. And even though each year is laced with its own challenges, ag companies across North America are ready. Participating companies in both Canada and the United states reported that a large majority of their employees received an increase from July 2017 to July 2018. The predominant average increase received by both Canadian and U.S. employees was reported as 2.6-3.0% (26.19% U.S. and 24.53% Canada). Salary increases were coupled with a projected increase in workforce as noted by 64% of U.S. and 57% of Canadian participating agribusinesses. This number is up slightly in Canada and up 14% in the U.S. over last year’s numbers.
We invite employers, educators and agribusiness professionals to watch an overview of HR trends discovered in the report with our complimentary webinars on-demand. Register for free and watch at your convenience:
We know a thing or two about HR at AgCareers.com! So we decided to have a little fun and create a list examining the in’s and out’s with the letters of the alphabet. Let us know what you would add!
A – All-inclusive AgCareers.com – Need I say more?
B – Better Benefits – Offering better benefits historically ranks as one of the top methods employers use to compete with other employers. Mark your calendar now for AgCareers.com’s webinar coming up later this year, Total Wellness & Comprehensive Benefits.
C – Comprehensive Compensation – Do your employees a favor and research current market pay trends, which you can do with AgCareers.com’s exclusive Compensation Benchmark Review tool.
D – Devoted to diversity – Companies can achieve so much more with different backgrounds represented. Look out for the Diversity in Agriculture Virtual Career Fair this spring.
E – Engaged employees – Engaged employees are productive employees!
Tis the season for giving! I love giving. I seriously do. It is my favorite thing to buy things for others (my husband will show you our credit card bill to prove it). And I’m thankful and glad to be in a workplace environment where office holiday giving charity initiatives are implemented. However, I’ve learned over the past few years of doing things in the office that there are some things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to be mindful of when doing office holiday giving initiatives.
Pick a charity that will be fun for staff members to participate in. Choosing gifts for a giving tree initiative or toy drive is easily fun for shoppers during the holidays. Or choose something with a prize incentive that makes for friendly competition.
Participation is awesome and really unites the office. It can also lead to a really successful initiative. Many offices, in fact, hold incentives to encourage participation like getting to wear jeans to work or paid time off for every so many dollars worth raised or cans of food collected. While it’s great to encourage participation, don’t require it. Not everyone may have the means to give back, whether financially or timing-wise. Participation should also be optional because of the following point.
Unlike many industries, office views in the agriculture industry can vary quite a bit. Your office may be in the cab of a tractor, out in the open prairie checking on your cattle herd, or in a manufacturing facility.
There are many, however, who still work in a traditional office setting, and if so, there are several things you can do to spice up your office and give it a fun and agricultural flair but still have a functional vibe. If you are like me, your workspace plays a huge role in your productivity so personalizing the space, as well as having an organized one, is an important factor. Here are some fun tips to elevate your “ag style” and stay organized.
If you are like me, it doesn’t take long, and random papers start accumulating on my desk and before you know it you have stacks upon stacks! We all know this is not functional, especially when I start looking for that very specific piece of paper and it is nowhere to be found. Having a filing system is important to keeping your documents in order. Some even suggest using a color-coded filing system and separating it into color-coded categories.
Jessica Bartow joined the AgCareers.com team earlier this year as our Western US Talent Solutions Specialist. Jessica is based in a home office in California.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
I help my clients with whatever they need – posting jobs, compensation data, registering for events, etc.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I love the ag industry and am so thankful for the opportunity to help our industry leaders find and retain talent.
I don’t claim to be any sort of expert when it comes to work/life balance. Lord knows that I struggle with this sometimes. Throw in business travel and you have another caveat to what work/life balance means.
A lot of people think that business travel is so glorious. While I’m not complaining and will admit that I’ve gotten to see and go to some pretty amazing places, the norm isn’t quite so glamourous. Travel in, have meetings in a hotel, travel out! It makes missing home and all the things you could/should be doing a bit more top-of-mind.
Again, no expert here, but I have found a few things over my years of travel that have definitely helped with balance.
Kate Boeckenstedt joins the AgCareers.com office in Ames, Iowa this summer as our Marketing Intern. Kate just completed her junior year at Iowa State University as an Agricultural Education major with the Communications option. Last summer, Kate worked as a Crop Scout for AgVantage FS in Alburnett, Iowa.
What will you be doing this summer with AgCareers.com?
I’ll be in charge of the student success kit we’re working on as well as the Internship Benchmark Survey. Organizing some pages on our website as well as a few special marketing projects will be some other things I’m working on this summer.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I like the flexibility and getting to know the indoor work environment. I like the opportunity to grow and share my ideas. The research side and blogging has been new to me. I never thought I’d be a blogger.
What advice would you give to employers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
I think the resume database is a useful tool. Sometimes personally looking for the right candidate can serve as an advantage.