Sowing and growing good employees – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations
The challenge many employers face is finding and retaining good employees. Coyne said the two factors driving employee retention are culture and engagement.

Click here for Coyne’s PowerPoint presentation.

Finding and retaining good employees is a challenge most employers face today.  At the 2020 Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting, Peter Coyne cited a survey from June 2015 that reported 80% of employers had difficulty finding good employees despite the unemployment rate being 5.6%; today it is 3.6%.

“If someone doesn’t have something good going, they’re going to go somewhere else,” said Coyne, a Vita Plus dairy field service specialist and sales manager.

He said the two factors that continue to drive the ability to retain good employees, and for businesses to be successful, comes back to culture and engagement.

Culture is how a company does things.  It is unique from business to business and is composed of your purpose and your brand.  Coyne said your purpose is why we do what we do, while your brand is how you want to be known.

“Hopefully, we do what we do so we can make a difference for our customers,” he said.

Why does culture matter?
Employees want to work for a company with solid footing and poised for growth because these companies are viewed as more stable with the potential for a future.  By establishing a culture, Coyne said you can attract talent and drive engagement, which translates to results because engaged employees produce better outcomes, treat customers better, and are more likely to stay.

“It gives employees a reason to say, ‘What I do matters,’” Coyne said.

Coyne said high employee engagement is driven by four factors:

  1. It comes from the top down.  The CEO or owner decides engagement is important and holds people accountable for it.
  2. Managers are educated to move from “boss” to “coach” to help employees be successful.
  3. It takes a commitment to company-wide communication.
  4. Management is held accountable for results.

GALLUP©’s Q 12 Statements.
Coyne also presented GALLUP’s Q 12 Statements.  These statements were designed to help managers self-reflect and gauge their employees’ engagement level.  You can view the 12 statements here.  Coyne said they are typically broken down into four categories.

  • Primary needs
    Coyne said a key part of ownership is making sure folks know what they are supposed to do and have the correct tools to do the job.
  • Do others value me?
    Coyne said part of being a good manager is “making sure people are in the right seat on the bus.”  The other part is making sure their contributions are recognized.
    “We don’t have to fill people up, but if they surprise you, tell them,” he said.“It builds resilience and loyalty.”
  • Do I belong?
    Employees want their opinions to feel like they count and that they are empowered by the company’s mission or purpose.  Part of building a culture of engagement involves making sure people know how they help achieve the company’s mission or purpose, and making necessary changes for the good of the customer.
  • How do I get better, grow and innovate?
    Tracking progress is important for employees to get better, and this starts with job descriptions.  Coyne said it is important for managers to have job descriptions for all positions, and the act of sitting down to write the job descriptions helps people know how their progress will be measured.

In closing, Coyne said feedback is essential.  People need to know what they do matters, and he said it is important to take some time to talk with your people to make sure they know how important they are.

He said, “Once you get ’em, it’s important to figure out a way to keep ’em.”

Category: Employee management
Forage Foundations