Ag's HR Coach

All Column Articles

  • Engaged employees are more likely to perform their best work and be more productive. (Graphic by AgHires)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    Engaging employees needs more than a scattershot approach. If some employees are actively disengaged, a methodical approach would be better. Here are six questions you can ask employees to get feedback and to gain a sense of each one's engagement to the business.

  • A common complaint among farmers is their employees just don't listen. Rather than focusing on improving an employee's listening skills, Ag's HR Coach Lori Culler suggests cultivating an environment that encourages employees to think problems through. (DTN photo by Jim Patrico)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    Often the best way to improve employees' listening skills is to empower them to lead and think through problems on their own.

  • A recent survey by OfficeTeam found professionals waste an average of 56 minutes per day on their cell phones for personal use during work hours. (DTN file photo by Pamela Smith)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    Whether it's tardiness, extreme cell phone use, abuse of sick time or excessive negativity, addressing employees' bad behaviors is an essential part of running a successful team. DTN's HR Coach offers some tips for those tough conversations.

  • Wages are on the rise nationwide, with the largest gains seen in the mining and construction sectors. Agricultural employers may need find new ways to hire and retain the best talent. (Bureau of Labor Statistics chart)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    With the unemployment rate at an all-time low, many agricultural employers are struggling to find and attract top-quality candidates at historical compensation rates. While it's tough to raise wages when profit margins are narrow, DTN HR Columnist Lori Culler explains what you need to consider...

  • Just like too many cooks in the kitchen, too many farmers in the field isn't always a good thing. (Photo by Jim Patrico)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    Just like too many cooks in the kitchen, too many managers at the farm can cause problems. Here are some tips on how to create a structure that fits your farm.

  • A successful growing season isn't possible without motivated operators, livestock herdsmen or grain haulers, but keeping employees engaged and performing their best takes work. (Photo courtesy of NCBABaxter Communications)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    Managers set the tone for the farm's work environment through their actions and communication. Here are six factors that drive team performance and how you can improve your team's dynamic.

  • It's never easy to let go of an employee, but it's important to know where to draw the line when it comes to job performance.  (DTN File Photo)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    If an employee isn't living up to expectations, it could be time to let them go. Here are some tips on how to make the separation with underperforming employees less stressful.

  • (DTN file photo)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    Millennials today are over 83 million strong, representing about a quarter of the overall population and they were a big topic of discussion at the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Ag Summit this past December.

  • When hiring seasonal labor for your farm or business, it's a challenge to determine how we should classify and pay for the hours worked. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    If you're looking to add seasonal members to your team, consider whether they should be classified as part-time employees or as independent contractors. Choosing the wrong classification could result in fines and penalties.

  • Whether you have a team of 20 or two siblings operating on your farm, you have a company culture. (DTN/The Progressive Farmer file photo by Jim Patrico)
    by Lori Culler , DTN Farm Business Adviser

    Analyzing and working toward an improved company culture doesn't have to take a lot of time, but it does require a continuous focus and evaluation.