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To keep your key staff happy, think beyond the paycheque
Suppose you have a skilled, dedicated employee who knows your farm business well. On a day-to-day basis, of course, that's a big plus. From another angle, it's also a risk. If this superstar staff member quits on short notice, your operations could be disrupted.

How can you manage this risk? You might think first of a raise in salary. In Art Lange's experience, however, money isn't everything.

“Salary is often not the key issue,” says Lange, Principal Consultant with AJL Consulting in Sherwood Park, Alta. “A good place to start is to discuss with the employee what their personal goals are.”

Some people want to have their own farm or ag-related business some day. Leading a new venture within your operation could help them build skill and confidence and potentially reward them with a bonus or profit-share. That's one idea. Overall, in Lange's view, helping your valued staff member pursue his or her personal goals will strengthen their connection to your business.

“If you know their plans,” he says, “you can both think creatively about how their time with you could be a stepping stone to what they want in the future.”

With this top-performing employee secured for the time being, start thinking about their replacement.

“These days, you need people with the right experience and skills,” says Lange. “Keep your eyes peeled in your local area or on Kijiji. Even if you're not looking today, you’ll get some ideas about who could fill that role next.”
Listen Now Ep 51
Episode 51: Navigating farm
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  Listen Now Ep 52
Episode 52: Buying the farm one
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