It’s business as usual for most farmers. However, agricultural employers are enhancing benefits and wellness programs for staff in response to the pandemic.
COVID changed the way we work and interact with one another, both personally and professionally. As part of AgCareers.com’s annual Agribusiness HR Review survey of agricultural employers across the United States, in the summer of 2021, AgCareers.com added questions to assess employers’ COVID response and impact on the workplace.
The critical nature of farming required that many agricultural employers continue normal business operations. Of the U.S. ag employers surveyed in the AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review, 90% were operating as usual.
Work-from-home became necessary for some agribusinesses, or some types of employees, to continue business operations. As employers look forward to a post-COVID state, almost half indicated they will allow some or all employees to work from home. Sixty percent of employers currently have some employees working from home.
AgCareers.com also asked about the likelihood of mandatory employee vaccinations. Nearly 90% reported they do not plan to require staff to be vaccinated; just over 1% plan to require vaccinations, while 10% were unsure.
Even if it’s business as usual, employers are making changes and enhancing benefit programs. Over half of companies noted that they had enhanced benefits or wellness offerings considering the pandemic. The most common enhancement was work from home or flexible schedules. Wellness benefits, including mental health and fitness incentives, were also notable enhancements.
This article features results from the special COVID section of the report; the newly released full report includes annual information on salary reviews, employee attrition, workforce trends, development, bonuses, recruitment, and employer branding. Download a free copy of the full AgCareers.com 2021-2022 U.S. Agribusiness HR Review report at https://www.agcareers.com/reports.cfm
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.