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.
If you employ skilled labor and skilled trade professionals, you don’t need anyone to tell you there’s a shortage of candidates. You’ve likely been swapping experienced employees back and forth with your competitors routinely. It’s a miracle to be able to find and net new talent with the experience needed. My colleague Jessica Bartow and I recently gathered human resource professionals from agricultural employers in Tulare, California and surrounding areas to discuss the skilled trade shortage, and we identified five strategies they use to try and keep the candidates flowing.
The tactics below can serve as a quick checklist. If you are finding it challenging to attract people to your skilled positions, it’s time to ensure you’re developing programs like the ones below.
1. Employee Referral Bonuses
2. Training Initiatives tied to Managers’ pay and intentional development paths for current employees to reduce turnover – develop a mentoring/buddy program
Agribusiness professionals gathered in Tulare, California on January 15, 2019 to join a discussion in their top talent acquisition challenges. Not surprisingly, the topic of regulatory hours jumped to the top as a high interest among the group. Multiple HR professionals shared that this issue has been a challenge for them. Together, they shared ideas on three main subgroups within this topic:
1. Overtime Payment
2. Making it about the whole company
3. Being proactive for change
Employers shared that some had lost previous employees due to overtime payment, or rather the lack thereof. Employees had grown to expect being paid overtime, and when they did not end up working the extra hours to receive payment they left to go elsewhere. One company stated that they have paid their overtime early to stay ahead of the curve and guarantee the pay for their employees. It was a shared feeling that most employees might not be aware of the entire package they receive from their work, including overtime pay and standard wages. A recommendation that stood out was to educate employees by using a chart to show the entire breakdown of the net pay and benefits each employee receives.
In 2018 AgCareers.com 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.”
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:
“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.
As 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 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.
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!
Employee 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.
Encourage employees to interact with simple events and get-to-know-you activities. AgCareers.com 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!
Various 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”.