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To retain top farm employees, focus on life-long learning

MangoStar_Studio/ThinkstockPhotos Close-up of stacked hands of business team,
Empowering employees to become life-long learners helps their career - and your farm business

Your employees need to know you’re committed to their growth and staying up-to-date on the latest information and technology. Empowering employees to become life-long learners not only encourages their career success, but your business success as well.

It’s all about retention

All managers and human resource professionals should understand the importance of retention and continued development of current staff members. In a tight labor market, retention is key.

Behind only competing for talent/recruiting difficulties, agribusinesses say that employee training and development is their second most common human resource concern (2018-2019 U.S. Agribusiness HR Review).

Continued training is also one of the top motivational approaches ag employers report they use to keep employees challenged and productive in their roles. Training initiatives support employees in their current role and help them prepare for advancement.

As companies seek to keep top performers, providing opportunities to expand skills, knowledge and experience at an affordable cost will remain challenging. Ag employers state in the HR Review that they spend an average of $1,740 on training per employee. Besides on-the-job training and online learning, sending staff to external training sessions and conferences also reiterates an employer’s commitment to employee growth. 

It’s a recruitment tool

Beyond retention, education and training play into the recruitment process. In fact, agricultural employers report in the HR Review that applicants ‘not having required skills’ is their top recruiting challenge. Likewise, opportunities for advanced education and continued training on-the-job are enticing to candidates. Ag candidates report that career growth and advancement opportunities were the most likely factor to motivate them to leave their current job for a new position ( Candidate Motivation & Behavior Survey). Growth was a stronger motivator than compensation!

Continuing education, earning credits, and extra credentials are vital to both employees and their employer. For all the upcoming workshops, webinars, and those available on-demand, visit: For more information contact [email protected]

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

TAGS: Business
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