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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Employee Retainage at Catskill Farms

 As most small employers can attest, recruiting and keeping employees is at the heart of any level of success.  We see it among our own team, and we see it among all the teams that support us.  Those who find a way to maintain and retain employees are those companies that grow with us, instead of us outgrowing them.

This little mini-barn just got over 500 reactions on Instagram, which was nearly a record.  I don't think this was the exact photo - the other one had fog - but for some reason really captured the attention of some of  our 6200 followers.

At Catskill Farms, back in 2012, I undertook several initiatives to try and retain employees, and for the most part they've worked well, in whole or part.   It's funny how a small self-made business person like myself would be caricatured to be against government programs of any sort - an Ann Rand "I can do it myself' mantra - but I actually have seen the benefit of some of these programs, both State and Federal.

One of the most recent was a testament to the safety net NY State offers with its layers of taxes on everything we do.  An employee had a serious and disruptive illness in the family and both his wife and he were able to use the Family Leave Act to take 8+ weeks off at a large percentage of their salary being paid.  A real life saver.

While healthcare remains a real mess, I was all for Obamacare though I, as a small business person, was supposed to be the main opposition to the cost and administrative burden, but having lived without healthcare for years, and seeing what a lack of it does to the safety and security of individual families, to me it was a no-brainer, even if it meant more hassle for me.

And 3rd, the 401k Safe Harbor plan for small employers, where we can offer a company match retirement plan has been a huge boon to those who have taken advantage of it (and most everyone does).  I think we as a company have stuffed away over $750,000 in direct contributions from our employees, and the associated match from me.  In an industry where benefits are few and far between, this type of retirement plan is unheard of, and several of my long term employees are approaching 6 figure accounts.

Vacation, holidays, sick leave, raises, retirement, etc... all work together to create an environment where my valued employees think twice before jumping ship and chasing a few extra short term dollars per hour.

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