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What Makes Employees Stay? A Look at Our Retention Research

By Kristine Penning, responded to the growing concern of retaining employees in 2019 by conducting the “Retention Practices with in the Agriculture Industry” survey. One portion of the survey focused on participating employers’ perceptions of what makes employees stay at an organization as well as their effectiveness in those areas. We surveyed employers that measured their retention efforts as well as those that did not and gauged their responses based on their perceptions. Participants were given a list of desired job components and perks including compensation, benefits, company stability, flexibility, recognition, leadership, and more.

Relationships are Key

Most respondents appeared to believe that employees stay at an organization due to relationships. The choices of coworkers/relationships, supervisor/manager, and company leadership all ranked highly in terms of importance with more than 80%* of participants ranking these as “very important” or “important.”

Compensation was also, unsurprisingly, high-ranking. Among those who measured retention efforts, 64%* reported compensation as “very important” to retention efforts, and 48%* of those who did not measure efforts reported the same.

What’s not key? Company social responsibility ranked lowest with 58%* citing it as “slightly important” or “not important.”

But How Effective are Agribusinesses in These Tactics?

Participating employers were asked about their measured or perceived effectiveness in corresponding areas such as work/life balance, promotion opportunities, job stability, compensation, and leadership/manager development. Considering the importance placed on the supervisor/manager and company leadership in terms of retaining employees, leadership/manager development did not rank as high as other categories. Approximately 54%* (an average calculated between those who measured and those who perceived retention efforts) of participants reported that they were “highly effective” or “effective” at implementing leadership/manager development as opposed to company stability with 86%* of those measuring and 76%* of those perceiving retention efforts as “highly effective” or “effective.”

Organizations reported that they felt less effective in the areas of promotion opportunities and recognition.

Look for more articles around our findings from the “Retention Practices within the Agriculture Industry” survey in upcoming newsletter articles, or download the full report on now.

*Percentages do not total 100; respondents were allowed to select multiple responses. Results are calculated dividing the number of responses by respondents