creating a diverse workplaceIn 2018 conducted our initial U.S. Workplace Diversity Survey to better understand how the agriculture industry measured up in attracting and retaining employees of diversity. The survey results contained a wealth of valuable information an insight and demonstrated that even though we’ve outgrown stereotypes about the demographics of our workforce, there is certainly room for improvement as the agriculture industry strives to foster diverse workplaces.


Encouraging responses from the survey included over half of respondents indicating that their recruitment strategies are aimed at increasing the diversity represented in their organization. The number one reason organizations said they are intentional about recruiting diverse candidates, was to build an environment of different perspectives and experiences. One employer commented, “…we are finding the more diverse our workforce, the better the business decisions and results.”

Published on February 21st, 2019

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HR 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:


U.S. Agribusiness HR Review Trends Recap Webinar

Canadian Agribusiness HR Review Trends Recap Webinar

Published on February 12th, 2019

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internship program“Internship” is a word that gets thrown around-a lot. But a true internship program is more than coffee fetching and running errands! It’s an opportunity for your organization to build a future talent pipeline by giving students a work experience ripe with learning opportunities.


Too often the internship program is a repeat of what has always been done and it seems stale. While there is a lot of ground to cover when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses or your program, here are three signs that it needs a refresh.

Published on February 5th, 2019

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hiring manager interview dressAs agribusiness employers, we typically have high expectations for the candidates we interview. Arrive on time, come prepared with questions, and conduct yourself professionally. This includes dress. While interviewees are held to high standards, does the hiring manager in your organization hold him or herself to those same standards of professionalism, including appearance? How an interviewer dresses can tell the candidate a lot about the organization and its culture. Here are some tips for conveying this truthfully but still making known that you also came prepared and are taking this interview seriously.

Why the Hiring Manager Should Dress Well


Why does it matter, you ask? You might feel like you’ve got the upper hand here–that your candidates want to work for YOU, after all. THEY are the ones needing to make an impression. But in this job seekers’ market, your impression matters just as much. A candidate will judge on your appearance. It will reveal to them whether or not you take your role seriously, your workplace culture, your expectations for your employees, whether or not your in-person brand matches your online presence, and whether or not the workplace environment is friendly and comfortable. With all that being said, dress in such a way that your candidate could conclude favorably that your organization is the place they would like to work for.

Published on January 31st, 2019

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HR a to zWe know a thing or two about HR at! 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 – 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’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’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!

Published on January 25th, 2019

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engagement ideas for remote teamsEmployee engagement is a measure of how emotionally attached a staff member is to their job, coworkers, and employer. An “engaged employee” is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work. Your staff members that are actively engaged will work to not only meet their goals, but the organization’s goals.


Employee engagement may be challenging with a remote workforce or off-site employees. You miss the daily “How’s your day? What did you do last night?” face-to-face conversations. You don’t have an easy shared connection to discuss local events, sports teams or even the weather forecast. It’s more difficult to find out what remote employees really like, what their hobbies are, and generally just get to know them.


Not only can remote employees feel left out, but it may be more difficult for other staff to communicate with remote employees. There are actions you can take as an HR representative or remote manager to connect and make sure all your employees are feeling engaged with each other.


Structure Interaction


Encourage employees to interact with simple events and get-to-know-you activities. organizes “3 Questions of the Month” for all employees. We ask everyone the same series of questions via email. We share all employee’s responses (that choose to take part) with the entire team in an email or document. This always entices fun conversations between all!

Published on January 18th, 2019

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employee issuesVarious versions of the mantra, “To be unclear is to be unkind” have been stated by leadership gurus like Brene Brown and Dave Ramsey, and I can identify with their perspective. As leaders, we can’t ignore issues, and it doesn’t serve anyone to dance around the elephant in the room in hopes that it will magically go away. Caring about your team members means having the courage to deliver difficult feedback. They say the best friends, true friends, are the ones that care enough to tell you something you don’t want to hear…but need to hear. We all know that we need to do the right thing in addressing employee issues, but it’s a tricky recipe of timing, empathy, attitude, and the list goes on. Here are three reminders I strive to incorporate as I prepare to address an employee issue.


1. Check your attitude and assumptions.


It’s so easy to go down the path of making assumptions and weaving a storyline in our heads about the motivations (or lack of motivation) of a team member. Harboring resentment is completely unproductive when it comes to handling an issue with an employee. The key is realizing the minute we start down this path. I personally find it helps to write those negative thoughts out…literally get all of my assumptions out of my head and down on paper. That way, I have the opportunity to move all my opinions to the side and focus on the facts and desired outcomes. I love how Henry Cloud positions how we should focus feedback: “hard on the issue, soft on the person”.

Published on January 10th, 2019

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coworker conflictIt would be unheard of to make it through a career without having coworker conflict along the way. They say that you spend the most time with those you work with, so it is only natural that situations will arise. When more than one person is involved, there will be conflict. Conflict in general is just a fact of life. Now that we’ve agreed there will be conflict, what is the best way to deal with it? Perhaps flushing out what not to do first would be best.

The Don’ts of Coworker Conflict

1. Don’t stir the pot. In other words, do anything that might add to the conflict. This includes gossiping about the issue, responding in a harsh tone, showing them who’s boss, or getting back at the individual. All these responses to conflict will certainly only escalate the issue. Not to mention your superior will be judging you on your response, so keep it professional. This point also addresses any conflict you might witness while at work. Getting others bothered over someone else’s actions is never helpful.
2. Don’t keep pushing the issue aside. In most cases it would prove beneficial to address the issue instead of pushing it aside. Instead of blowing up over a small issue, deal with the small issues one by one to avoid a larger conflict. A quick conversation with those involved, will go a long way.

Published on January 3rd, 2019

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office holiday givingTis 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.


Choose Something Fun!


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.


Encourage Participation But Don’t Require


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.

Published on December 18th, 2018

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Your business didn’t have a stellar year and you’ve already told your employees they won’t receive year-end bonuses. Company-wide performance oftentimes determines employee bonuses, which may be affected by numerous aspects outside an individual employee’s responsibilities, such as economic climate and leadership decisions. If you find yourself in this situation, but still want to show your gratitude to your staff, there are some low to no-cost alternatives you can implement now! It’s called the gift of time.


These ideas require time away from the workplace, so you may need to alternate staff for coverage or plan accordingly. Most organizations offer a small holiday break, but it’s usually on Christmas or after. People are feeling the weight and stress of the holiday season NOW. Year-end projects at work, planning for the new year, along with the outside pressures of holiday gatherings, activities, and shopping can make employees stressed, grumpy, and less-productive at work.

Published on December 13th, 2018

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