Direct farm marketers know the value of a good employee. After all, retailing is about personal relationships. While it is true that higher salaries offered by other organizations may be a threat to your employee retention efforts, research shows that traditional pay programs are ineffective for motivating high-performing, committed employees.
Companies will lose their most valued employees if they fail to offer them the intangible intrinsic rewards that money cannot buy. In fact, studies have shown that what tends to stimulate and encourage top performance, growth and loyalty is praise and recognition.
Help employees grow and learn
Providing employees with opportunities to learn pays dividends for both the organization and the employees. Extension programs, community colleges and industry seminars offer many chances to learn. The employer gains better-skilled workers who are better skilled, more versatile in their work assignments, and motivated because they are challenged and encouraged to grow. Employees get the opportunity to learn new skills, gain new ways of viewing things and network with co-workers.
Allow flexibility in work schedules
A key part of any retention strategy should include adopting flexible work arrangements -- it is the benefit employees want most. This can be difficult, but a recent survey by Robert Half International, an employee placement company, found that 76 percent of workers polled would leave the career fast-track in exchange for a more flexible schedule. And, almost 66 percent say they would take a pay cut in exchange for more flexibility.
Integrate work/life issues such as child care
Exploring the child care needs of your employees will help you determine what types of assistance would be most meaningful and widely used. Sit down and talk with your employees. Ask questions and listen. You might be surprised how much useful information you will uncover.
Retaining employees today is harder than ever. Skilled workers are -- and will continue to be -- the most important asset of any organization. Organizations must realize this and must create a culture that fosters a sense of trust, loyalty, and commitment. Employees must know that if they work hard and are loyal they will be appreciated and valued. It's on this belief that successful companies were founded -- and it is on this belief that they will survive.