With the recent introduction of the Single Touch Payroll reporting requirement of all SME’s in Australia, it has forced the hand of many farming businesses to improve their HR compliance standards within their business.
By supporting clients through the significant change that is STP, it has become apparent that while HR challenges such as low job application rates, high employee turnover and labour shortage at critical times remain, there are some effective strategies which can help alleviate the risks to your business.
Back in March, GRDC presented their Farm Business Updates where rural workplace planning expert Sally Murfet from Inspire Ag was discussing the importance of attracting and retaining the right people into your business.
Sally used the point, made by a leading Agricultural Communicator, “Our industry is really good at production, not so good at people but it’s our people that do all the production”. Further to that, researchers in this field estimate that the turnover cost to a business of a full-time staff member is $20,000.00.
There is real money in being a better boss. But what does that actually mean if you’re running a farming business?
Attracting the Right People
An MLA funded study on employee relations in the red meat industry found the most effective method of attracting staff to rural businesses is local recruitment through either word of mouth or agricultural-based publications and recruiting services. This word of mouth or direct recruitment method means the chances are, the target employee would already have some knowledge of you, your business and how you operate. The result, a greater chance of attracting like-minded employees.
Retaining the Right People
Creating an environment that your employees want to remain in, starts from the first day they join your organisation. This means having a clear and defined on-boarding process where expectations are discussed, relevant WHS & HR policies and procedures agreed to, and the tone of the work environment is set.
Studies in this field have shown that monetary remuneration is not the most significant factor in staff retention. Drivers of employee engagement include: staff feeling trusted and valued; effective communication between management and team members; flexible working arrangements to support family and community life and commitments.
These drivers can be engaged with simple measures such as gathering regular staff feedback on their intentions and career progression, offering regular upskilling and professional development opportunities which can range from specific skills training to general field days and industry networking events.
Many studies indicate that businesses focussed on employee wellbeing and engagement were 22% more likely to be profitable than those who don’t. It certainly is worth your while to ensure you are providing an environment for employees who are invested in the success of your business.
Do you need support to better understand employee recruitment and retention? Contact Felicity Taylor for advice.