Whatever your pay is, be sure your employees realize the full value of all segments of their compensation. If there is some insurance, housing, meat or produce offered, paid vacation, etc., outline the value of those extras and include them in a pay statement so they are recognized for the value they contribute to employee compensation.
Employee retention is not just a Minnesota or United States issue, either. A 2011 Gardiner Foundation project (Nettle, Semmelroth, Ford, and Zheng) for Dairy Australia reported that employees were influenced to stay with their employer because they were promised and experienced:
- Higher than average pay rates in industry for their role
- Flexible work hours
- Limited weekend hours and very long shifts
- Training and development opportunities
- Feedback and appreciation for a job well-done
- Individual attention to career development and mentoring
- An enjoyable work environment with good facilities
- Varied work
Some employers are probably looking at the list and saying, "I'd like those things, too. Wish I could afford it all." That feeling is understandable, but the list points out that your employees are just like you. They want to grow and improve themselves in their chosen profession. A good employee whom you can trust is a valuable asset to your dairy business; one worth some investment to keep and develop into an even better employee.
Employers should also note not all the items in the two lists are direct cash costs to the business. Several of the items are management issues of time management, personal relationships between employers and employees, and attention to good management practices on a farm.
Would you rather spend a bit more to keep the good, current employee, or spend that money and time on finding and training a new employee whose quality you will not know for perhaps a year or more? Consider the options for your business.