Farmscape for December 1, 2017
A retired Extension Educator in the area of workforce development and management for agriculture suggests open communication and regular feedback are key to retaining employees on the farm.
Research has shown that, if an employee can be retained for two years, the chances of that person becoming a long term employee increase significantly.
Chuck Schwartau, a retired Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota in the area of workforce development and management for agriculture, suggests getting employees past that two year milestone is very much a matter of impressing upon them their value and sense importance and belonging on the farm.
Clip-Chuck Schwartau-University of Minnesota:
One is a communication piece and it's communication between supervisors and employees.
They need to feel comfortable asking questions of supervisors, asking questions of other employees.
They need to know the other employees so that they know who else to relate to.
We need to provide positive feedback to them so they, again, can understand that place they are in the system.
One of the other keys that I like to bring into it is that there is a regular system of that positive feedback.
It's not when we've got a 30 day, a 60 day, a 90 day or an annual performance review but on a regular basis.
There's quick feedback kinds of things where managers or coworkers with whom they work are able to provide some positive feedback.
And, if there's a problem, how do you deal with it.
It's not always a disciplinary piece, it's a redirection piece so that you have people who understand how to provide further training to employees to make sure they can do a better job and then communicate regularly.
It's again the managers to the employees and employee to employee.
Knowing that they can ask somebody is so important.
Schwartau notes research in a variety of industries has shown the cost of employee turnover can be one and a half to two times what you're paying that person as a result of reorganizing duties, recruiting, hiring and training replacement employees and lost productivity.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork