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Workplace culture a competitive advantage for future-focused farmers

How can employers contribute to employee well-being and reap the benefits for their business?


Health SquaredIn our 13-week HEALTH SQUARED Agri Update on Food for Mzansi we have been sharing vital ways for future-focused farmers to support their workforce to be healthier and more effective. This week we are concentrating on how Agility can help to contribute to the well-being of your employees.

Dawn Noemdoe, editor for audience engagement at Food for Mzansi, is joined by Dr Kobus Laubscher, agricultural economist and independent consultant at Agility Agri, as well as Marcia Le Roux, sales executive at Agility Channel, to discuss employee well-being.

The importance of well-being for your employees

Over the past few weeks we have discussed how future-focused farmers should consider the well-being of their employees and understand it as being an overall plan that they need to have in place if they want their agri-business to succeed.

“During the lockdown we were sort of deprived of development, and that was very exciting in terms of how we prepare ourselves to be more competitive,” Dr Laubscher says. “Being competitive doesn’t just mean you have the right price, the right product, and the right place.”

What is increasingly important is how you know what environment you’re coming from, and not just in terms of the physical environment, but also the people side of your farming environment. We know that we need to look at a holistic approach in terms of the well-being of the farm, he emphasises.

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“Farms are driven by the people, you know,” says Dr Laubscher. “Without them there’s nothing – no product. So, you have to equip and enable your team to do what is required from them to their full capabilities.”

Ensuring the well-being of your employees

Le Roux agrees completely with Dr Laubscher’s statement that employees are the most important capital to your business, especially on a farm.

“It’s becoming more and more evident that employers are seeking a solution for the well-being of their staff,” Le Roux says. “It reduces absenteeism and gives higher productivity because your employees have opportunities and access to benefits that really benefits them as individuals.”

Employee well-being solutions identify and manage the human capital risk that you as an employer could be exposed to. Agility’s benefits reduce absenteeism, improves productivity and also helps to keep your employees healthy.

“Using Agility’s services helps your employees to feel that they are valued by their employer in terms of their personal requirements being met, as well as from a well-being perspective,” says Le Roux. “Agility Agri’s employee well-being program assists employees with psychological aspects that they could encounter or financial distress that they might have, as well as legal advice.”

GUIDE: Affordable medical aid options for farming enterprises

We’ve noticed the importance of catering to these aspects of employee well-being over the past few months, where the covid-19 lockdown has made us all face at least one of those three this year. And it might be difficult to speak to your employer about these challenges that you face as an employee.

Agility programmes provide employees with a 24/7 helpline where they have access to professionals that can deal with psychosocial aspects and give advice on financial and legal matters.

“This is definitely something that enhances the well-being of your employees,” Le Roux explains. “They realise that their employer has given them an opportunity to speak to a professional that can assist them during tough times.”

“It’s not just about spending money to save people’s lives when things go wrong,” Dr Laubscher points out. “It’s about empowering the employees on your farm.”

Agility Agri: what does it offer in terms of services?

“As a member of Agility Health Squared you automatically have access to our EWP core program which offers access to the previously mentioned 24/7 assistance line for psychosocial, financial and legal advice,” Le Roux explains. “And then we can tailor-make the program into specifically what the farmer is looking for or is concerned about.”

The other part of the Agility EWP program is a comprehensive program that focuses on pinpointing exactly what a farmer requires for their team in terms of assistance, health cover and benefits. This forms part of their benefits that give you access to preventative screening, biometric reports, management consultations and risk identification.

“Using these tools, we can identify the specific risks your employees face, and incorporate that information into the employee well-being program to ensure that our customers really get their return on investment.”

The great thing about Agility Agri is that they realise that there is no “one size fits all” package that will work for farmers, so they have provided access to services and benefits that are completely customisable for whatever the farmer and their employees require.

 Is Agility Agri the right fit for you?

If it is important to you to cater to the needs of your employees’ well-being, not just for the purpose of production and productivity, but as a human being, then Agility Agri might just be the perfect service for you. Agility Agri provides the right tools and benefits to give employers and employees the peace of mind that their needs are looked after.

GUIDE: Affordable medical aid options for farming enterprises

Agility offers the answer to the questions that employers have regarding how to care for the well-being of their staff, and how to retain valuable employees in their business. Caring for your employees’ well-being doesn’t necessarily always provide you with measurable and tangible results, but it does provide that peace of mind to employers and employees that ensures them to be productive and healthy.

This adds to a better bottom-line, enhances the sustainability on a farm, and empowers the employers and employees on the farm.

If you want to find out more about Agility’s Health Squared options, feel free to reach out to Marcia Le Roux via email marcialr@agilitydistribution.co.za or by calling 011 796 6425.

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Dona Van Eeden
Dona Van Eeden
Dona van Eeden is a budding writer and journalist, starting her career as an intern at Food for Mzansi. Furnished with a deep love and understanding of environmental systems and sustainable development, she aims to make the world a better place however she can. In her free time you can find her with her nose in a book or wandering on a mountain, looking at the world through her camera's viewfinder.


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